Food & Drink
Weissman’s New Take on Sip
Published: May 7, 2014
Let’s get this out of the way—I’m a fan of Andrew Weissman’s work. Minnie’s Tavern & Rye House elevated the former Liberty Bar space and makes for a solid date night (get there ASAP!). The Luxury is literally down the street from us here at the Current and we’d live off those fries if we could. Il Sogno’s the place for power breakfasts over coddled eggs, fluffy frittatas and tableside Nutella. Sandbar flies in delicious and fresh North Atlantic oysters. I’m a fan.
So when I learned that Weissman would be taking over Sip, I was intrigued, but apprehensive. My love for the turkey and artichoke spread panino, available on the old menu, was rivaled only by the chicken, spinach and brie take. As plenty of online commenters asked, “Why fix what’s not broken?”
To be sure, Weissman isn’t fixing anything—he’s upgrading. The chef took over the Sip reins this January from his sister, who owned and managed the restaurant since the early 2000s. At the time, Weissman was disheartened by the city’s slow uptake to quality coffee and French patisserie-style baked goods. But that was then, and this is now and San Antonio is working on its hip factor, no?
If Sip Sr. was the steadfast go-to with matter-of-fact café tables and efficient lunch, Sip Jr. is adding a bit more flair. Gone is the black-and-white photography and in its place is a wall menu designed by restaurant artist du jour Robert Tatum with wide-eyed cats, caffeinated birds, wheel-clad snails, a robot and a mustachioed carrot bandito. You’ll find brewed sips, “more than sips,” “tossed and mix’d” fare and “squeezed sips” with prices ranging anywhere from $2.50 coffee, $4 for granola to $9 for a juice that promises a “good body.”
The restaurant seems to finally make use of its digs—expertly, instead of accidentally. Ordering has been made easy, as the counter received a bit of a makeover and orders are now placed on the back end of the eatery. The outward-facing bar has been replaced with tiny café tables that line the left side of the space. Two tall wooden bar tops command the front of the house where business-types are seen holding meetings.
It’s as if Weissman played curator by bringing to Houston Street boutique roaster Cuvee Coffee (out of Austin) and a line of house-made juices, both of which are gaining traction with San Anto eaters by the hundreds, while also adding items for which he’s already lauded. I could have easily enjoyed The Standard with crisp bacon, lettuce, tomato, a healthy serving of avocado and a fried egg ($7) at The Luxury. Messy, yes, but also hits the spot if you’re feeling ravenous. It was definitely a suitable replacement for my beloved turkey and artichoke panino.
I paired it with “The Science,” a juice of celery, apple, lemon, ginger, garlic, sea salt and basil. The flavor was refreshing and healthful if you’re into that sort of thing, but I would have preferred a handful or two of ice to help mellow out the tanginess.
> Email Jessica Elizarraras