A little recap from my recent trips to San Anton and NYC! Food, booze, shenanigans and rompers.
Hellllo! Sometimes I go on fun trips. Let me rephrase that. Sometimes I go on trips; they are always fun. Usually a whirlwind of food, drinks, frolicking and rompers. Okay, the romper thing was new in San Antonio, but I’m thinking of making it a regular thing. Pluses: rompers are fancy free, easy to accessorize, and instantly ups my cool factor (not that I need that.) Negatives: having to pee.
Anyhoo, I was in San Antonio for the Culinaria Food & Wine Festival. Every time I visit SA I fall more in love with that city. It’s charming, feels foreign (in a good way) and only an hour and change away from Austin. Plus, there is a bar that’s 1/3 piano bar, 1/3 karaoke, 1/3 booty shaking club. Why isn’t every bar like that???!! And a serious food scene. I was lucky to stay at the Hotel Valencia on the Riverwalk. Isn’t it gorgeous?? These photos are courtesy of the hotel.
Looks like Mexico, right?
The people watching on the riverwalk is on point.
When I arrived, there was champagne. Yay! Someone loves me. Everyone at the Hotel Valencia was super nice. I felt totally pampered!
My friend Abbi joined me on this little trip. Some facts about Abbi. #1: she’s awesome. When I moved to Austin, Abbi was one of the first people I met at my old grown up job. We took a road trip together to El Paso (don’t ask why) and Marfa. We only almost ran out of gas twice and ended up at some bar in a strip mall serving $0.25 Bud Heavy’s. We slept in a tee pee and ate nachos and talked to strangers and karaoked and it was glorious. Anyhoo, now she lives in the the adorable German beer town Fredericksburg (fun fact: Fredericksburg is one of the only “cities” in the US where you can drink on the streets, along with Vegas, New Orleans and a handful of others.) She’s opening her own bar/restaurant on Main Street and I can’t wait to visit!
We started with these spicy Moscow mules at the mid afternoon Tasting Room event and they were so good. Wish I snagged the recipe.
After a few more of those, we had some time to kill before the night events. So we went to the local mall. It was prom time in San Anton, and the ensembles were simply fantastic. I’ve never wanted to be in high school more!
P.S. Do you follow me on Snapchat? Whatjewwannaeat!
Then we went tipsy shopping. That’s where the romper came into play. #noregrets
Then it was time for the Grand Tasting! There were some Jewy-ish noshes like this tequila cured salmon with Fresno chile caviar on local cucumbers. Yes!
Ladies on the riverwalk! The event was awesome. There was food, drinks, fun bands, general merriment, even a Chinese dragon parade! Wee!
Eye candy Chef Jason Dady served up one of my favorite dishes. I forget exactly what it was, but it was the perfect one bite of Indian flavors. Possibly I was distracted by his long tendrils. Anyhoo, loved it.
That tuna bite on the right from Salt in McAllen was also delish. Anyone up for a road trip to the border?
And I can’t forget these pastrami bites from HEB!
After the party was the after party. Complete with a crawfish boil. People ate like they hadn’t seen food in hours. It was barbaric in the most magical of ways.
The next day (I know), I took at 5:30am flight to NYC! (I didn’t know those existed either.) Before I knew it, I had basically teleported to my old hood around NYU!
I was only there for three days, so I had to pack as much in as possible. I won’t share pics from our Air B&B, because it wasn’t nearly as spacious as the Hotel Valencia, and my champagne amenity must have gotten lost somewhere. Hmm. First up, drinks with Kate Siegel and SuperJew of Crazy Jewish Mom! She’s just as awesome as you think she is.
Much needed late night pierogis at Veselka. So so good.
The next day, I had some worky meetings (I hope to share the details with y’all soon!) and a Black Seed Bagel! It was heaven.
If you aren’t familiar with OneTable, get out from under that rock! They are singlehandedly making Shabbat cool again. OneTable helps people in their 20s and 30s find Shabbat experiences either in the home or a restaurant or other public space. They offer resources, financial support, Shabbat coaching, and fun classes like challah baking and cocktail crafting. Make new connections, slow down, and share dinner together. Don’t you love that? Currently they are just in NYC and Chicago, but soon taking over the world.
I was honored to be invited to help cook for the event, and made two dishes.
These Roasted Beets with Pickled Rainbow Carrots, Lemon Cream, Mint and Toasted Almonds. (Recipe coming soon. Photos below by David Joshua Ford.)
And Bagel, Lox and Schmear Bites with Everything Cream Cheese Spread! Those were super popular. I whipped up 400 of ’em! Oy.
Look how packed the room was! Everyone was so nice, and I met awesome people (hi! if you’re reading now!)
The launch party was at the WeWork space overlooking Bryant Park. It was so gorgeous! I wish I had a chance to take some pics, but I was too crazy busy cooking.
Love the sunglasses!
Cocktail making with Spice & Spoon.
Longest day ever. The next day, we schlepped out to BK for one of the best meals I’ve had in recent memory at 12 Chairs Cafe. The menu is Middle Eastern/Israeli inspired and everything was just so fresh and delicious.
Such a pretty space!
I could drink these juices every day.
There was so much food! We started with labneh (so good) and Israeli guacamole (there were hardboiled eggs in there!) And of course fresh pita.
Followed by the Israeli breakfast and my favorite shakshuka!!
I don’t even like sweets and I could polish off these pancakes myself.
“A” for effort, right? I didn’t eat again until dinner!
Have you been to NYC or San Antonio?? Tell me about it!
Disclaimer: I was invited to attend Culinaria and 12 Chairs Cafe for free. But no one told me to write this post. I do what I want! Thanks for reading and supporting! Jew the best!