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Food & Drink

Top 10 Things I Ate in 2013

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If my scale is to be believed, I ate a lot of food this year. As I’ve said before, 2013 was quite the banner year for the San Antonio food scene. I had just as difficult a time choosing the best dishes I ate this year as I will losing gained weight, but nonetheless, here’s my list of things I couldn’t get enough of in 2013. 

Faux Pop Tarts from Bakery Lorraine, 511 E Grayson
Yes, Jeremy Mandrell and Anne Ng make stellar croissants with real butter and several jillion folds. We all know the croissants are awesome, but one of my favorite treats out of Bakery Lorraine was a buttery and preservative-free blueberry pop tart. The apple and strawberry iterations were quite winsome as well, but I’m a sucker for the just-sweet-enough blueberry filling.

Oyster & lobster mushroom pizza from Barbaro, 2720 McCullough
It’s safe to say I enjoyed most Barbaro menus. The taleggio, kale and hash brown pie was an instant classic, but my personal fave came in the way of cow’s milk mozzarella, beefy oyster and colorful lobster mushrooms with a dainty sprinkling of chives. This hard-to-top pie is made for vegetarians and omnivores alike.

Country captain chicken from The Granary, 602 Avenue A
Back in January, I had one of the best things I’ve ever put in my mouth. Period. During my fourth or fifth visit to The Granary, I ordered what sounded like a simple chicken dish. Instead, what arrived at my table was an elegant display of ingredients. The popped rice, crispy-thin onions, the raisin jelly dots that adorned the left side of the plate; all of it gelled effortlessly with the moist smoked chicken. What set the dish apart was the fragrant and light curry consommé that tied everything together with a savory bow. The only thing I wanted to do after polishing off the dish was listen to sad Adele songs.

Pork gyoza from Kimura, 512 Pecan, Ste 102
While the shoyu ramen held its own charms, the show stealer at downtown’s Kimura was the simple gyoza. Chef Michael Sohocki combined garlic, pork and ginger for a fresh and comforting appetizer. Served piping hot, the gyoza is not to be missed.

Steak frites from Minnie’s Tavern, 328 E Josephine
Am I still upset that I didn’t order the steak frites during my first visit at Minnie’s? Yes. My skate wing was fine, but the presentation was lacking. There’s something to be said for a medium-rare slab of boeuf topped with a creamy sauce au poivre made with Cognac, peppercorns and heavy cream. The dish was finished with The Luxury’s now-signature fries and a healthy dose of perfectly grilled onions. Needless to say, this is now my dish of choice.

Texas citrus salad from The Special Projects Social
To close out the summer and celebrate three years of Special Projects Social dinners, chef/caterer Tim McDiarmid prepared a five-course menu with the help of a dynamite cast. The vibrant citrus salad with pickled fennel, pistachios, olives and chilies was topped with a light drizzle of Salud de Paloma extra virgin olive oil out of Dripping Springs. Juicy citrus flesh, chewy pistachios and the vibrant chilies made for a meaty salad that rivaled the stone fruit crostata for best dish of the night.

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