Rivard Report Preview: Tamales! at Pearl

Tamales! Holiday FestivalIn San Antonio, it’s not Christmas without tamales. Whether they are given as gifts or part of Christmastime meals, tamales are central to the holiday season.

This time of year, many families across the area gather together for an annual tamalada to make tamales from scratch using recipes handed down over generations. Others put in their order at a local tamale shop.

Whether you make or order these delicious bundles of masa and meat, tamales are a must-have holiday treat and are part of many a Texans’ holiday memories.

Inspired by this local holiday tamale tradition and all the memories that come with it, the fifth annual Tamales! Holiday Festival will be from noon-6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 6, at Pearl. In past years, the festival has attracted up to 20,000 people for food, fun, music, culture, and activities for kids.

Check out the rest of the preview on The Rivard Report: http://therivardreport.com/tamales-pearl-san-antonio-tradition/

On the Rivard Report: Chef State of Mind

Check out my coverage of the Best of Boot Camp at the Culinary Institute of America on the Rivard Report.  http://therivardreport.com/chef-state-of-mind-off-to-cooking-school-i-go/  I finished Day 1 today and it was pretty intense.  We focused on fundamentals – sauteing, pan frying, deep frying, roasting, braising, simmering, etc.  Looking forward to Italian cooking tomorrow.  We are going to make garganelli.  Don’t know what that is? Neither did I until today.  It’s a handmade pasta!  Yum!

Nao: Interwoven Education and Food Perfection

I love the concept of Nao.  It’s a capstone class for the Culinary Institute of America students where they get to work both the back and the front of the house to really understand and appreciate how a restaurant functions.  The flavor has always tended to that of Latin America, but they seem to recently have moved away from the small plate format to a combination of small plates and main courses.  I like this much better as it allows for a little sharing at the beginning of dinner, but then you get a yummy meal that’s all yours (unless your husband likes your dinner better)! Continue reading

Saveurs 209 est très magnifique!

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sleek & modern

During my little hiatus, several new restaurants have popped up in our lovely city.  One that we’ve had our eye on is Saveurs 209 — a little French restaurant downtown that’s been getting some rave reviews!

Parking is a little bit of a pickle (but it’s worth the little bit of trouble).  There is no valet and street parking is tight.  We found a spot in the St. Anthony’s lot for $10 — a little pricey but only a block and a half away.  When we walked in the restaurant, we were pleasantly surprised by the cheerful modern decor.  The small space seemed very open because of the white paint and orange accents.  The cute orange lanterns and modern orange chairs were a nice touch! Continue reading

Hoping Sustenio Will Sustain

It’s been a while, fellow diners! A little break was all I needed to shed those “memories of meals past” that I carried with me.  Mostly on my thighs.

I’ve heard both good and bad about Sustenio and J has been there for lunch, and we figured we’d try it out with a couple of our dining buddies, M&M, before they move back to Houston.   The only consistent commentary I’ve heard about Sustenio is that it’s in a weird place.   That is definitely true.

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eilan

As we pulled up to the massive Eilan retail/residential/hotel space in which Sustenio resides, I felt as if we were in Vegas.  Well, except there were no cars in the parking lot, no people in sight, and there was an eerie abandoned quietness that made me think we should turn back.   I was waiting for the tumbleweed to blow by, but J assured me that he had been to Sustenio for lunch and that it really did exist, so we pressed on.  The question is, can a restaurant succeed in a venue that is so empty and off the beaten path?   I hope so! Continue reading