Coffee with a View at Paramour

To start with, I will say that Paramour is one of my favorite coffee spots.  But I’ll be completey honest- I was kind of disappointed the first time I went to Paramour because of the vibe and crowd it attracted.  It is such a beautifully built and decorated bar with a HUGE selection of beer and liquor to choose from but it reminded me that the atmosphere of a bar really makes a difference.  When I found out that they decided to start a coffee program, I got excited to go back and give the place another try.  So we went back and now it’s one of my favorite morning spots for coffee. 

Even on a cloudy day, you can’t beat this view in SA. 

When it comes to coffee, I’m pretty simple.  I like strong, dark roasted black coffee.  So when I go to Paramour, I order the drip coffee (which comes with a free refill).  Their menu contains most of the standard items you’d expect for a coffee bar so you should find something you like easily.  They also have some special things like the Americanski which is a tiny americano (watch out that glass is really hot when served!).  I’ve also tried a hot jasmine tea and an iced mocha which were both very good.  They have added drinks like an Irish coffee and bloody Mary’s to the menu which are perfect for some day drinking.  Everything is prepared on demand and with attention to detail so it’s not a place for a quick cup of coffee- it’s a perfect place to spend some time relaxing and checking out the view.

The bar, located on the 4th floor of the Phipps Building, is beautifully decorated and has plenty of couches and chairs.

Another reason I like this place for coffee so much is the people who work there.  It doesn’t hurt that Jesse, the Manager of the Coffee Program, and the rest of the baristas are incredibly knowledgable and super friendly.  If you have any questions about the menu, ask away.



Irish coffee- Irish whiskey, espresso, demerera sugar, heavy cream.

Pro-tip #1:  Parking can be tricky here especially if it’s more crowded.  There is some street parking available or valet (at night) if nothing is open in walking distance that you’re cool with.  As always, I’ll recommend taking an Uber. Also, be prepared to hike it up 4 flights of stairs since it seems like the elevator is often not available for use.  Hey, taking the stairs is good for you.

Pro-tip #2:  This is a great spot to get some work done.  Bring your laptop and grab a spot at the bar.  There are plugs installed underneath the bar so you don’t have to worry about running out of power.  I’ve also seen others use this as a meeting spot.

Find them on Facebook or at http://paramourbar.com.

– CL

Advertisements

Cured at Pearl

Have we talked about how much I love happy hour?  If not, I really appreciate a good happy hour.  What better way to unwind from a crazy work day.  For me, a good happy hour consists of a few things depending on what mood I’m in.  Today, I was in the mood for great cocktails, delicious food and something within walking distance.  Enter, Cured at Pearl.

First of all, this restaurant is just amazing any time of the day.  I’ve had the chance to visit for lunch, happy hour, dinner and brunch- and I’ve never been disappointed.  If you don’t know any thing about Cured, the best way for me to explain it is that they are all about the meat.  When you walk in, you’re greeted immediately by a case of hanging cured meats.  The restaurant resides in the former administration building of the Pearl Brewery and you can see where they have maintained some of the original building with the exposed brick and the old vault turned into a storage and walk in cooler space.  It also sits right in the middle of the Pearl Campus with a green patch of grass out front that attracts families, acro-yogi’s and others just looking for a good cup of coffee from Local Coffee.

I also finally learned about the XXX symbol that I’ve been seeing all over campus including inside Cured.  It dates back to European royalty where a courier would sample beer at inns along the way.  Inns serving average beer would get marked with a single X while  Inns with good beer would get marked with two X’s.  Three X’s signifies excellent beer.  Thus, the XXX symbol everywhere.


Quail legs- $0.50 a piece during happy hour.

Ok, back to the happy hour thing.  This place rocks for happy hour.  It’s a great way to try out some of their food and drinks at more affordable prices.  You can choose from the blue ribbon burger, an awesome gumbo, and fried quail legs in addition to some other rotating options.  For drinks, the signature cocktails, wines by the glass, and select beers are 1/2 off.

Are you into beer and want to try something new?  Ask for Forrest.  He’s the house Ciccerone.  A Ciccerone is like a Sommelier but for beer.


The Single Blue Ribbon Burger and fries- Bacon and beef blend burger, onion jam, and American cheese.

If happy hour isn’t your thing, that’s ok.  Still make sure you come back for lunch, dinner or brunch. 
The Starter Kit- vodka, grapefruit, jalapeño, lime, and salt.  Yum. It’s like a salty dog but with tequila and spicy. 

Pro-tip #1:  If you’re coming to happy hour, get here early and sit at the bar.  You get a front row to the charcuterie show.  Chances are, you’ll end up ordering a board for yourself because they look that good.  Happy hour runs daily from 3pm to 6pm- yes I said daily which means you can come here on Saturday for happy hour.  Can you say “day drinking”?

Pro-tip #2: Meat, meat, meat.  Seriously, get adventurous and order a charcuterie plate.  Ask for recommendations if you have no idea what you’re looking at.  And as a side note- If you’re not into meat, I’ve heard that Cured has an AMAZING vegetarian option on the menu daily that changes from day to day.

Find them on Facebook and at https://curedatpearl.com/

-CL

PS. I don’t quite know why these pictures are so big but I’m still figuring all this blog stuff out.

TBA Snack Bar & Cocktails

If you know me even a little bit, you know that TBA is my favorite bar in the city.  If someone was looking for me, chances are they could find me here for happy hour on Fridays (and other days TBH really).  Jonny and I stumbled on to this place early on when it first opened and haven’t stopped coming here since.  In fact, one of our best friends these days is a fellow TBA barfly (shoutout to Sean!).  Why do we like this place so much?  That’s easy- not only can you grab a great cocktail and some really good food- but it has a super laid back atmosphere with absolutely ZERO pretentiousness.

Don’t take this wrong, but chances are that if you’ve been out lately, you may have hit up one of those bars where the bartenders are “mixologists”, wear suspenders, old timey hats, and ironic handle bar mustaches.  All the while- only serving one type of vodka and silently judging you when you order a Jack and Coke.  On the flip side, what you get at TBA is those same craft cocktails made with fresh fruit and juices AND you can still order a Jack and Coke if you really want to without getting the side eye.

Do yourself a favor and don’t order a Jack and Coke though.  TBA has a great house cocktail selection featuring some long standing drinks that have been on the menu from almost the beginning.  Get adventurous and try out the Juan Collins, the South Flores, or the Rye n’ Gosling which are all cocktail menu staples here.  Also, it doesn’t hurt at all that they are only $5 during happy hour that lasts until 8pm through out the week.

With all of that cocktail drinking, you’re bound to get hungry.  No worries- TBA has snacks that will hit the spot.  From their grilled cheese sandwiches (accompanied by some of the best pickled veggies I’ve ever had) to the cheese plate and hummus, everything is perfect to pair with what ever you happen to pick as your drink of choice.   You won’t regret ordering the Westsider- it’s a grilled cheese sandwich made of Monterrey Jack and Barbacoa.  Can you say “puro SA”?

The other great thing about TBA is that it is located on the St. Mary’s strip which has many other bar and restaurant options in walking distance.  Located in the space formally known as Salute, the outside is mostly non-descript without big signs and lights.  If you need another landmark, you can find TBA across the street from Hardbodies (don’t even act like you don’t know where Hardbodies is).  Have a drink at TBA and then take a walk down the street to change it up.

image

The Westsider w/ pickles

Pro-tip #1: Don’t show up here expecting to order a Bud Light or Miller Light because they don’t serve those beers here and you should consider that a good thing.  TBA has a huge canned and bottled beer selection to choose from.  Instead of asking the bartenders “what beers do you have?”, walk to the left of the bar and take a look for yourself.  I’m sure you’ll find something you like already- otherwise, don’t hesitate to ask for a recommendation based on what you already like.

Pro-tip #2:  If you don’t frequent the St. Mary’s strip, you may not know that parking can become a nightmare as the night goes on.  Get there early to grab a spot directly behind the bar or on the street.  Or just Uber it.

This is a great spot for a casual first date, a work happy hour, or just to have a few drinks with some friends or homeboys.  Stop by and say hi to Miller, Evan, Peyton, and Haley.

Look for them on Facebook and at http://tbasatx.com

– CL

 

 

 

Oh hey, San Antonio!

So…I finally decided to start a blog.  Over the last few years, I’ve realized that I really like to eat and drink.  No seriously, I really like to try new restaurants and bars in my city because we’ve been lucky enough to have some of the most amazing places opening over the last few years.  This city has gone from a sleepy town with national chain restaurants everywhere to a place with a very happening food and drink scene.  Simultaneously, I also realized that I hated living in SA’s suburban neighborhoods (can you say Stone Oak?).  Mostly because of the horrendous traffic but also because there were very few unique and special places to visit to enjoy really good food and cocktails.  I convinced my husband to sell our house and move to the center of the city- and we haven’t looked back.  That move sparked my interest in trying different restaurants and bars since there is always something new popping up.

I also realized that I kept getting asked by my family, friends an co-workers for recommendations of where to eat and drink.  They’d ask things like “where are some good happy hour spots?” or “What’s a good kid and adult friendly spot by the Zoo?”.  And I’d immediately spout off 4 or 5 of my best recommendations.  So that’s where this idea came from.  You want to know a good place to go or thinking about trying out that new spot?  I’ll try it for you and let you know what I think.

I’ll be honest- I have a special love affair going on with anything in the central core of the city like the Pearl, Tobin Hills, Downtown, Southtown and Olmos Park so you’ll see that the places I tend to hit up are all in those areas.  But- I will also venture out every where.  Give me a good reason to go outside 1604 and I’ll make it happen!  Also, I try to support local businesses as much as possible, so expect a lot of that too.

From time to time, you may also see me write about other things like traveling to other awesome cities (I LOVE NYC!) and other fun things going on in and around San Antonio.

So, that’s it.  Let’s see how this goes and let’s have fun!

 

– C