Road Trippin’ – Culinaria San Antonio

Austinites, it’s not too late to road trip to San Antonio for their delightful food & wine festival, Culinaria. A Weekend Pass nets you entry to tonight’s snazzy kick off event Back to Bubbles, as well as to Tacos and Talk (Saturday), the re-imagined Grand Tasting (Saturday evening), and the casual, family-friendly Burgers, BBQ and Beer (Sunday). Tacos and Talk features day long programming centered around libations and food, with topics ranging from Texas tempranillos to a crash course in the language of sommeliers, creating elegant cocktails with coffee, and more. I love the idea of a caffeine high mellowed by smooth, rich liquor. Expect the T&T demo by Chef Rowan to be well-attended, as this 9 year old sensation displays his skills and passion for cooking, in advance of his June trip to Seattle for a bone marrow transplant.

Tickets are still available for this delicious weekend road trip, and Culinaria alllows you to purchase tickets for these events separately, to better fit your budget and weekend time constraints, or as a Weekend Pass. One item of note is that Culinaria not only showcases the talent of local chefs, but is a huge advocate of Texas wine. Our wine industry is undergoing phenomenal growth, and gaining recognition world-wide. Time to check it out, yes? Road trip to Culinaria!

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Complimentary Tasting at Delysia Chocolatier

Delysia Chocolatier planned to showcase southern-inspired chocolate truffle flavors at the Austin Food + Wine Festival, but with the cancellation, the party has moved! On Saturday, Delysia throws opens the doors to their culinary center to the public for a complimentary sampling of artisan truffles in unique Deep South flavors such as fried chicken, mint julep and peach cobbler. During your visit, make sure to pick up a decadent treat to give as a gift for Mother’s Day, any upcoming birthday, as a hostess gift, or simply just because you’ll be in a shop filled with world-class chocolates. Delysia Chocolatier was recently named one of the top 10 confectioners and chocolatiers in America, and is a local, woman-owned business. Chef Nicole Patel is the mastermind behind the seductive flavors, and whimsical designs.

Delysia Chocolatier is located at 2000 Windy Terrace, Suite 2C, Austin, Texas, and will be open from 11am until 6pm on Saturday.

Categories: Chocolate, Family Friendly, Local | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Austin Food + Wine Fest is 86’d, what now?

Photo credit: Christopher Michel

Photo credit: Christopher Michel

It’s an understatement to say yesterday’s announcement canceling the Austin Food + Wine Festival was huge news. With a festival of this size, involving not only local chefs, but those traveling from elsewhere in the state and nation, numerous in and out-of-town food and beverage vendors, and other industry insiders, the decision was not undertaken lightly.  Refunds are being issued for all but two indoor events.  Visitors and locals alike are now left with an empty weekend looming, but there is a plethora of food and beverage events ongoing.

If you’re truly downhearted about Austin’s Food + Wine Festival canceling, save the date for Culinaria, San Antonio’s food and wine festival. The even runs May 19-22, and includes underground dinners, a bubbly soiree that should be on any sparkling wine lover’s hit list, the ever-popular Grand Tasting, a family-friendly “Burgers, BBQ & Beer” event, a day-long session of panels, tastings, demos, and so much more. Tickets to Culinaria are sold both by the event and for the weekend, allowing attendees who can’t devote as much time to the fest to pick and choose among their favorites. San Antonio has experienced huge growth in their food and beverage industry, and my last few trips have included fantastic and memorable meals. If you haven’t visited lately, go, and taste for yourself how the city has grown beyond it’s Tex Mex roots (but make sure you leave room for puffy tacos).

There’s still plenty of fun to be found around town. It’s the perfect weekend for a craft brewery tour. My go-to favorite is (512) Brewing’s Pecan Porter, which you can sample on their tour. Many local breweries now have tap rooms in addition to tours.  Hops & Grain‘s tour & tap room is always fun, and with a bit of planning and being mindful to eat as well as drink, you can make a day of it.

Uncle Billy’s Brewery & Smokehouse is on their last few days of celebrating their 10th anniversary. Tonight, as part of the #WeSmokeTheGoodStuff #10YearsOfBeer events is Honky Tonk Happy Hour featuring $4.50 pints and music from Joe Greer. Tomorrow is the Barton Springs Full Moon Swim where you pregame at the brewpub/quepub, then return later for food and libations. Saturday from 10am to 3pm is their Puppy Porter Palooza, where well-behaved dogs will reap rewards for their owners to the tune of a complimentary four-pack of Gypsy Dubbel Coffee Porter.

Prelog’s is hosting a James Bond Cocktail class Saturday, and attendees will make (and drink) three cocktails, enjoy delicious munchies and take home their glass as a souvenir and reminder to test your new-found skills at home.

There’s an abundance of crawfish boils going on, the largest being the Louisiana Swamp Thing & Crawfish Festival on Saturday, held on the Statesman’s parking lot. Tickets are $20 cash at gate or buy online, and kids 8 and under are free. Your entry includes free boiled crawfish, one plate per person at a time, until all 7,000 pounds are gone. There will be other Cajun and creole food vendors, arts and crafts, activities for the kids, and live music, including great zydeco.  If you want to avoid a large crowd, Sawyer & Co is boiling up crawfish on Saturday starting at 4pm ($5.95/lb). Waterloo Ice House on N. Capital of Texas kicks off the Austin chain’s Crawfish Crawl Saturday beginning at noon. Crawfish are $15 for all-you-can-eat, which sounds like a personal challenge to me. There will be crawfish races and facepainting for the kids, specials on Lone Star and Tito’s Vodka for the adults. Other Waterloo locations will host Crawfish Crawls on upcoming weekends, check the restaurants’ website for details.

Photo credit: Kay Marley-Dilworth

Photo credit: Kay Marley-Dilworth

If you want to get away from it all, why not a road trip to the Texas Hill County wineries? I recently visited Wedding Oak Winery, located at Wildseed Farms, and enjoyed several very lovely glasses of wine. I brought home an albariño and a rosé, to enjoy another time. Grab a designated driver and use the Texas Hill Country wineries site to plan your trip. Make sure you stop at Lox, Box & Barrel in far Southwest Austin just before Dripping Springs, and purchase salads and sandwiches from their deli. Perfect munchies for a winery road trip!

Categories: Austin, Barbecue, Beer, Craft beer, Festival, Wine | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment