Thursday, December 5, 2019

Thursday Thoughts

It doesn't feel like it has been a week since Thanksgiving. I'm not sure if it feels longer or shorter than that! It was just the two of us although we did get to visit for a couple hours with TX family in the afternoon.

We weren't feeling much Christmas spirit and talked about not putting up the tree, but in the end we asked our friend ST to help us decorate. We didn't do quite as much as usual, but it's looking very festive now.

What We're Eating:

  • Leftover turkey, stuffing, cranberry, green beans
  • Chicken Piccata with rice and broccoli
  • Dessert: Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies

What We're Watching:

  • Watchmen! I started watching simply because I knew SP wanted to watch. It was good but I wasn't all that into it for the first few episodes and I kept wondering where Don Johnson's character was since he gets such prominent billing. But the last two episodes have been fantastic and now I'm into it and wondering what happens next. I am not so into Jeremy Irons' story/character. I never get what is going on in those scenes. But the rest of it! Angela and Cal and Will and Laurie and Looking Glass - so excited for Sunday's episode! Two more for this season.
  • We finished the final season of Man in the High Castle. I thought it did a decent job of wrapping up most of the story lines, left it open at the end, maybe ended kind of hopeful - ? We enjoyed the four seasons.
  • We zipped through Season 3 of The Crown on Netflix.
  • We watched Toy Story 4 and enjoyed it.
  • I watched The Farewell and found myself enjoying it much more than I expected.

What I'm Reading:

  • Lost by Sharon Bolton, the third Lacey Flint book. Really enjoying these books.
  • The Chocolate Shark Shenanigans from Joanna Carl. Very light, quick read.
  • New issues of Bon Appetit, Saveur, Food Network, Cook's Illustrated. Lots of holiday foods.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Bakery Lorraine

I think my favorite place in San Antonio was Bakery Lorraine in the Pearl District. It's a lovely cafe with delicious food made by people who met while working for Thomas Keller at Bouchon Bakery. You order & pay at a counter, take your beverage and hope there's a free table, and they bring your food to you. It can get quite busy and a free table can be hard to find, especially on cold & windy days when no one wants to sit outside.

We went here several times. That's how much we liked it. Here's what we tried:
A yummy puff pastry with cream and raspberries.
Earl Grey tea.
Quiche Lorraine (bacon, gruyère, caramelized onions, served with side salad).
Ham & Cheese on Croissant (French ham, brie, secret sauce).
We might have asked for no secret sauce, fearing some sort of garlic sauce. I don't remember a sauce. I remember flaky layers of croissant with ham and creamy brie.
Breakfast Sandwich (sausage or bacon and egg with cheddar on biscuit or croissant). I love breakfast sandwiches. I loved this breakfast sandwich.
Raspberry Coffee Cake (served warm with cultured butter). My goodness that butter was amazing. The cake, too.

Everything we ordered, we shared, and almost every time, I didn't want to share. Not that I could have eaten all of it, there was, as always, plenty of food in front of us, but it was that tasty. I wish we could have tried more. I wish Maybelle's Donuts, the donut shop run by the same people, had been open the Sunday morning we tried to go (it wasn't open that early and we had to get on the road before 11 am). I wish we had a Bakery Lorraine here. This place is delightful.

Friday, November 29, 2019

Maverick Whiskey

It's all about the holidays now, but I'm a little tired of the holidays already. Holiday creep is ruining the holidays. I was so sick of seeing Thanksgiving food in all my social media feeds for 3 weeks that I started to want to order a pizza on Turkey Day. I was sick of Christmas before Thanksgiving because of people I follow posting about decorating trees and making wreaths, etc. I don't want to see Christmas until the Friday after Thanksgiving. I'm so sick of the holidays I don't even want to put up our tree.

Instead of thinking about Christmas, I'm remembering our trip to San Antonio in October, hot darn hot it was, and our meal at Maverick Whiskey. It's a distillery and a brewery and a restaurant. We didn't have time to take a tour but we did go for dinner one night. Here's what we enjoyed:
Maverick Mule for me and Gin & Cuke for him. He liked his a lot. I didn't like my mule that much. I think maybe I wasn't a fan of the whiskey, or maybe it was just a tad too strong for me.
We shared a House Salad (Green Bexar Farms seasonal greens, grilled corn, smoked cheddar cheese, heirloom grape tomatoes, candied bacon, creamy herb dressing). Yummy.
We also shared Cast Iron Goat Cheese (creamy goat cheese, Texas pressed olive oil, thyme, rosemary,
local berry compote, whiskey flour focaccia). Also yummy.
SP was ready for another drink and decided to try the Oat Beer.
For his meal: Shrimp and Grits Ranchero (cilantro lime shrimp, smoked cheddar grits, heirloom adobo ranchero sauce, poached egg). He said it was delicious.
I ordered Grilled Pimento Cheese (smoked pimento cheese, house bacon, grilled tomato, sourdough). It was yummy but messy. I had cheese all over the place! The thin chips were yummy, too.

Overall, we liked the drinks & food and service at Maverick Whiskey. We'd go back.

*There's a step to enter but supposedly they have a ramp. SP just pulled me up backwards while a nice man also going to the restaurant held the door. The restaurant is on the second floor and there's an elevator.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Thursday Thoughts

Happy Thanksgiving!

Things have been a little stressful the past 2 weeks. One of us was in the hospital and it was pretty serious. Fortunately, things were caught in time, surgery was successful, and recovery is going fairly well. It makes us thankful for our relatively good health (though at times we feel terribly unlucky) and very thankful for good health insurance, a good job, helpful family, great friends.

We were supposed to host both families for Thanksgiving but once the latest health crisis came to be, we decided the best thing was to cancel. So we are making a turkey breast. This morning my dad brought over stuffing that my mom made. We made cranberries & pie and gave half to my parents. And we have some green beans (bought by MIL when she shopped for us last weekend, blanched by my mom when she was here last weekend helping with laundry). So a mini Thanksgiving meal.

We cheated this year and used a store bought frozen pre-made pie shell. We filled it with our usual Libby's pumpkin pie filling. It cracked on top. Oh well. You'll never notice under the mountain of whipped cream SP will pile on top.

Hopefully next year we'll be back to hosting & making pie crust from scratch!

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Thursday Thoughts

This past weekend we celebrated my birthday with SP's family at Cafe Io. Here's what we ate:

  • Iovino Appetizer (tempura mozzarella, Italian sweet sausage, marinated tomatoes, basil, organic mixed greens)
  • Monster Grilled Cheese (gouda and cheddar cheeses, bacon, egg, pulled pork, tomato, carmelized onions, spinach)
  • Daily Special: Fluke with couscous and vegetables
  • Chocolate Malt Cake

As usual, we enjoyed our meal and service was terrific. I think they're used to our big group of 10 by now?!

What We're Eating:

What We're Watching:

  • We finally finished The Deuce on HBO. At times I liked the show, at other times I was bored or didn't like it. It definitely isn't a feel good show. 
  • We're still playing catch up with some shows.

What I'm Reading:

  • I finished The Deserter by Nelson DeMille. I enjoyed the book. I don't want to say much else because of potential spoilers.
  • I started The Night Fire the latest Harry Bosch & Renee Ballard novel by Michael Connelly. So far I'm enjoying it. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Guenther House

One of my favorite things about vacation is going out for breakfast/brunch. It's a treat because we rarely make it out to breakfast/brunch when we're at home. One place I wanted to try while in San Antonio: Guenther House. It's an historic house, built by Carl Hilmar Guenther, who came to the United States from Germany. He settled in Texas and built a flour mill on the San Antonio River and then built this home for his family.
Today you can tour the home, hold an event here, dine at the restaurant, or shop for baking mixes/gifts in the store. The house is not accessible, but the outdoor patio area is. It was another really hot day, so I was a bit worried about being too hot, but the area is covered to shield you from the sun and there are lots of fans to move the air.
There wasn't a long line when we arrived on a Wednesday morning around 11 am, but it was busy so we had to wait 15-20 minutes for a table.
I had a pot of Earl Grey tea & SP had the Tea of the Day, a Blueberry Hibiscus iced tea that was a very vivid, beautiful color. And yummy.
SP got the Pancake of the Day Platter. The pancakes were pumpkin spice and he chose sausage. He said they were delicious pancakes.
I chose the Pioneer Pancake Platter - A short stack of two San Antonio River Mill Brand Sweet Cream pancakes with your choice of Applewood smoked bacon, pork sausage patties or chicken sausage links. Served with fresh seasonal fruit. I chose bacon. These were tasty pancakes, but I didn't receive any butter and some butter in addition to the syrup would have been nice. I'm not a big syrup person.

We got an order of Apple Strudel to take back to the hotel. I didn't take a photo of it, but it was really tasty apple strudel.

We both really liked our brunch at Guenther House. Despite the heat, it was pretty comfortable outside on the covered patio. It was definitely relaxing. Our server was terrific. I'd definitely go back next time we're in San Antonio.

Monday, November 18, 2019


Schilo's is the oldest restaurant in San Antonio. It started in the 1900's as a saloon in Beeville, TX.  moved to San Antonio in 1914, and started serving food in 1917. It also is SP's friend's favorite restaurant in San Antonio. They don't take reservations and are only open for dinner on Friday & Saturday. We didn't think we were going to have time to try Schilo's, but since our Friday in San Antonio was very windy, the roller coasters weren't running, so we didn't go to the park and instead spent the day wandering around, trying to stay warm, and stopping at Schilo's for dinner.
They are famous for their homemade root beer, so of course I had to try it. Root beer has always been my favorite soda.
You can try a root beer cocktail or order a root beer float but I opted for a mug of root beer with one free refill. It was really good root beer! I rarely if ever drink soda these days because I don't like carbonated beverages (or all the sugar or other not great for you ingredients). I thought it was very flavorful and it seemed less carbonated than most soda, which I appreciated. SP helped me drink it since he wanted to try it and ended up really liking it. We drank two mugs of root beer. He also had a beer.
SP started with Famous Split Pea Soup. He said it was delicious. I do not like split pea soup.
While he slurped soup, I munched on a Garden Salad, which was good.
SP chose the Sausage Platter (choice of one, two, or three sausages served with bread and a side of your choice). He chose Bratwurst and Cheddarwurst plus a side of sauerkraut. I didn't try the sausage (which he really liked) but I loved the brown bread. I think I ate all his brown bread.
I chose Schweineschnitzel (breaded and pan-fried pork-loin) and German Potato Salad for the side. The schnitzel was yummy. I wasn't a big fan of the potato salad, but that's because if it's not my family's German Potato Salad, well, that one is the best ever and nothing else can compare!

We both liked Schilo's. Super casual and fun, old-fashioned inside but I like that kind of charm. Tasty food, really good root beer. We'd go back next time we're in San Antonio.