Y’all, I have more than just this one blog post to write about a recent Austin Food Blogger’s Alliance trip to San Antonio to tour the Pearl Brewery marketplace. When Pabst shut down the historic Pearl Brewery, I was more than a little sad. Pearl was my late Uncle Peter’s beer of choice for my entire life, or at least starting from when I could recognize the label. Sure it’s still produced (now by Miller, in Fort Worth), but I wondered what would become of the brewery building. Fast forward to present day and I can tell you that you need to plan a day trip to San Antonio, and soon! The Pearl Brewery has become a mixed use site of retail, residential and restaurants, along with the Culinary Institute of America’s Texas campus. On the weekends, there is a terrific farmer’s market with local produce and products. If you get the chance to try Koch Ranch’s Garlic Kraut, do it and let the garlicky wonderment ensue.
We wandered the farmer’s market and retail stores, all while enjoying live music outdoors. Breakfast came from one of the vendors, Restaurant Gwendolyn, who has a brick & mortar. Their farmer’s market tent offers ala carte items from their constantly changing menu, and from the first bite of my pulled pork, leek and egg sandwich, I knew I’d eat there sometime very soon. Do not pass up an opportunity to buy their whole seed mustard. I did, and I’ve been kicking myself ever since.
I’ll post more about the individual restaurants we visited, in this marathon of eating and drinking, but you need to know three words now: Logan at Cured. Logan is the maître d at Chef Steven McHugh’s newly opened establishment that features a glass meat curing case front and center as you walk in the door. This charcuterie is on the fast track to become the highlight of every trip to Pearl Brewery, and Logan is part of the divine package. Knowledgeable, witty, and every so slightly a salesman, he convinced us to fit in happy hour in a day of serious amounts of food and libations. Logan is a font of information about the historic building, renovations, and more. You will not be disappointed in the restaurant or the staff, as all are just as friendly.