San Diego Made My Belly Happy

A few weeks ago, Zach and I visited San Diego, California for our summer vacation.  We had planned our trip around Fourth of July because we love fireworks and dressing up in red, white and blue everything.  San Diego has one of the largest Independence Day firework shows in the country, Big Bay Boom, which we were excited to see!

We were also ready to try some great food, especially fish tacos, while we were in town.  We do not eat corn and grains on a regular basis, but vacation is a treat for us.  We still don’t go crazy (at this point, our bellies couldn’t handle a week full of grains and starchy food), but we make sure to try some of the food we haven’t had in some time.  I don’t know about you, but I think vacation and food go hand in hand.  I think you get a better idea of the culture and people of a city by trying local food and seeing the differences and similarities from the food you have at home.  When I am on vacation, I want to get to know the city as best I can in the short amount of time I spend there.

We used Yelp to find places that others had enjoyed and we tried to go by recommendations from friends as well.  Some places that people suggested had wait times that were insane.  I love trying great food, but I also don’t want to waste my vacation waiting in line.  We picked places we thought we would enjoy and I can honestly say we loved the majority of the restaurants we tried.

Below you will find a list of where we ate on our trip.  If you plan on going to San Diego anytime soon, I hope this helps you out a bit.  If you aren’t planning on traveling to San Diego, you should, but I still hope you enjoy reading a bit more about our trip there.


Fish Tacos

South Beach Bar & Grille – Our favorite of the fish tacos we tried!  Go on Taco Tuesday.  They have $2.75 tacos all day (excluding the lobster).  It is a large, two story building that with a second story patio. It has the laid back feel of bar, but definitely isn’t serving everyday bar food.  We each had four tacos and loved every bite (don’t judge us, we spent over ten hours walking around the San Diego Zoo before this dinner and probably could have ate more).  Also, we had a great view of the ocean and quick service.  Seriously, go here!

South Beach Bar & Grille Menu photo
The menu! Between the two of us, we tried one of each taco except for the lobster. Oh, and I am wearing a San Diego Zoo bucket hat…don’t judge.
Photo by Zach C.
Fish tacos at South Beach Bar & Grille
So much goodness!
Photo by Steph H.
South Beach Bar & Grille / 5059 Newport Ave #104, San Diego, CA  92107 / 619-226-4577

Pacific Beach Fish Shop – This was a more hip, slightly more expensive fish taco place but it didn’t disappoint.  It was pretty small and super packed, but you order when you walk in and we thankfully found a place to sit quickly.  I loved the atmosphere here.  It was bright, modern and relaxed.  The food was terrific and we enjoyed that you can customize to your liking (you pick your fish, marinade and style).

Pacific Beach Fish Tacos
Aren’t they pretty?
Photo by Zach C.
Pacific Beach sides
They had plenty of options for sides, including veggies and coleslaw!
Photo by Steph H.
Pacific Beach Fish Shop / 1775 Garnet Ave, San Diego, CA  92109 / 858-483-4746

World Famous – We split a fish taco plate here because it was more of a second lunch or snack. We were trying to fit in as many restaurants as we could on our last day.  Thankfully we went at an off time, before the dinner rush, because apparently they were completely booked for the evening.  It wasn’t my favorite of the fish tacos we tried, but I still enjoyed it and the restaurant is right on the boardwalk in Pacific Beach so I understand the popularity.

World Famous food
Getting ready for more food!!
Photo by Steph H.
World Famous taco
We got the basic fish taco plate here. Fried fish and lots of toppings.
Photo by Zach C.
World Famous / 711 Pacific Beach Drive, San Diego, CA  92109 / 858-272-3100

Coffee & Breakfast

Fig Tree Café (Hillcrest location)– We ate breakfast at our rental most days to save time and money, but we wanted to try at least one breakfast spot.  The omelets at Fig Tree were awesome and full of meat and veggies.  We were pleased that they happily substituted the side of potatoes for veggies.  It is always nice when restaurants cater to those with diets outside the norm and don’t make a big deal about substitutions.

Fig Tree Cafe omelet
Who doesn’t love a great omelet for breakfast?
Photo by Zach C.
Fig Tree Cafe logo
I like their logo. Simple and pretty, like the food and the restaurant!
Photo by Zach C.
Fig Tree Cafe Hillcrest / 416 University Ave, San Diego, CA  92103 / 619-298-2010

Jungle Java (at the San Diego Zoo) – If you are at the San Diego Zoo, this is the first coffee shop near the front entrance.  Believe me, you will need the coffee to get through the entire zoo in a day (and really comfortable shoes).

Jungle Java / San Diego Zoo / 619-231-1515

Kona Coffee Co – I honestly assumed this was a big chain that must not be in places I had traveled.  After an extensive Google search for this post, I think they are a local coffee shop that did a terrific job with their menu and logo.  Nonetheless, we loved the iced coffee here and should have gone back for more.  It had a rich flavor and was cheap!  I couldn’t find a website or Facebook link, but the contact information is below.

Kona Coffee Co / 3995 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA  92103 / 619-298-5662

Twiggs Coffeehouse – This was our last stop in San Diego on our way out of town.  We needed coffee for the road and while on vacation became obsessed with iced coffee.  I felt like everyone was drinking cold brew or iced coffee and stayed away from the hot coffee in San Diego.  The coffee was tasty here and the store was inviting, bright and calming inside.

Twiggs Coffeehouse / 4590 Park Blvd, San Diego, CA  92116 / 619-296-0616


Hodad’s (Ocean Beach location) – All you need to know about Hodad’s is that is possibly ruined many future burgers and onion rings for me.  Believe all the hype because people aren’t lying.  DELICIOUS and the people who work there are chill and friendly.  Plus, they have really cool Hodad’s clothing and such.  Don’t go to San Diego without eating here. Thanks for being awesome, Hodad’s!!

Inside of Hodad's
There were plenty of things on the wall to distract me while anxiously awaiting the food! It was a quick wait thankfully.
Photo by Zach C.
Burger and Onion Rings
Lettuce wrapped burger and delicious onion rings!
Photo by Zach C.
Inside the Guido Burger…soooooooo good.
Photo by Steph H.
Hodad’s Ocean Beach / 5010 Newport Ave, San Diego, CA  92107 / 619-224-4623

Ralphs (Downtown San Diego) – Yes, we ate at a grocery store while on vacation.  We were downtown on Fourth of July and we walked around to multiple restaurants we wanted to try and they were all closed.  I still don’t understand why downtown area restaurants would be closed for lunch on such a tourist heavy day, but oh well.  I’m not going to lie, I was a bit annoyed we were going to eat here at first, but the salad bar was terrific and very fresh.  It also wasn’t nearly as expensive as many other grocery store salad bars.  Plus, I had never seen a Ralphs before and it was a pretty nice grocery store (HEB still has my heart though).

Ralphs Grocery Store / 101 G St, San Diego, CA  92101 / 619-595-1581

Sabertooth Grill (at the San Diego Zoo) – We weren’t expecting much because food at tourist locations is never outstanding and usually geared towards parents who just need their kids to eat something.  We weren’t at the zoo for the food anyway, but it was pretty good!  It wasn’t as expensive as I thought it may be, used locally grown ingredients and they sold salads.

Sabertooth Grill / San Diego Zoo / 760-747-8702


Soltan Banoo – A small, but packed, Persian restaurant in University Heights area that had terrific specials and great service.  I don’t think I had tried Persian food before this and I loved it.  It was so flavorful.  We ate here for dinner on our first night in town and it started our time in San Diego off very well.

chicken kabob
Zach tried the Chicken Kabob plate. They substituted the rice for a pretty salad.
Photo by Zach C.
Ghalieh Mahi
I ordered the special of the day, Ghalieh Mahi. It was salmon and parsley and other delicious things. I truly loved it.
Photo by Zach C.
Soltan Banoo / 4645 Park Blvd, San Diego, CA  92116 / 619-298-2801

High Tide Bottle Shop & Kitchen – We needed something quick after a day at Coronado Beach, plus we wanted to try a local pizza place while we were in town.  We chose High Tide because they had pizza by the slice, was inexpensive and had good reviews on Yelp.  It was a good choice!  They had about five pizzas to choose from (although you could order a whole pizza from a list of many more options) and it didn’t taste like it had been sitting all day.  Who doesn’t love a big, greasy slice of pizza?  It was tasty!

Zach tried a slice of the Great White and a slice of the Bonfire BBQ.
Photo by Zach C.
I tried the Great White and a good ol’ Pepperoni slice.
Photo by Zach C.
High Tide Bottle Shop & Kitchen / 933 Orange Ave, Coronado, CA  92118 / 619-435-1380

Bahn Thai – This was a hipster Thai restaurant that served on paper plates, which I thought was hilarious.  It was near our rental and packed every time we drove by.  On our last night, we ordered takeout here as our second dinner of the evening (trying to pack in as much as we could)!  Zach isn’t the biggest fan of Thai food, but he loved it.  I ordered curry and I always love curry, so I wasn’t disappointed.

Curry to go for a late night snack!
Photo by Steph H.
Bahn Thai / 4646 Park Blvd, San Diego, CA  92116 / 619-299-6363

Greek Island Cafe – This was also a Fourth of July stop.  It was mostly chosen because it was right near the pier at Seaport Village we planned on sitting at for the fireworks.  It was quick and simple.

Greek Island Cafe / 879 W Harbor Dr, San Diego, CA  92101 / 619-239-5216


Fiji Yogurt (Hillcrest location) – We love frozen yogurt and ice cream more than anything.  This was a local place and they had no sugar added options (for future reference, you will notice that Zach and I don’t eat added sugar).  It wasn’t your typical froyo place, mostly because it didn’t look like your typical yogurt place.  To me, it was a combination of a living room, art gallery and bright kitchen, that happened to have frozen yogurt machines.  I loved that about it.  The yogurt was so great that we got a quart to take back to our rental and we finished it before we left San Diego two days later.

Fiji Yogurt / 1010 University Avenue #C-103, San Diego, CA  92103 / 619-297-0850

Lighthouse Ice Cream – They had a line out the door when we first went by one evening, so we went two days later after lunch at Hodad’s.  They had two no sugar added options and both were terrific.  Ice cream makes me so happy.

Lighthouse Ice Cream / 5059 Newport Ave #102, San Diego, CA  92107 / 619-222-8600

Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt – Menchie’s is our favorite yogurt chain.  If there is a Menchie’s in a city we are visiting, we are going to try it out.  It is always good.  We went to two locations while in San Diego, because we are obsessed.

Menchie’s Mission Valley / 1620 Camino De La Reina, San Diego, CA  92108 / 619-450-6294
Menchie’s Sports Arena / 3225 Sports Arena Blvd, San Diego, CA  92110 / 619-221-5944

Ghirardelli (Gaslamp Quarter location) – After a long Fourth of July looking for places to eat, we happened to walk by this on our way to the car.  We both NEEDED a scoop of vanilla with strawberry topping (well, we probably didn’t need it, but it hit the spot after a long day).

Ghirardelli Chocolate / 643 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA  92101 / 619-234-2449


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Behind the Savor is Back

Hello Friends! I know you haven’t seen a post from Behind the Savor in quite some time. After I finished my graduate program, I took a break from writing to determine what I wanted to do with my graduate degree, start teaching which did not work out as expected (long story for another post), start a new job and figure out what I may want to write about now that I have a bit more freedom. One of my resolutions for 2016 was to get the blog started back up in some form or fashion. I miss writing and, more than that, I think I need it to calm my mind sometimes.

It is nice to know that I do not have to stick to the original requirements I set up for Behind the Savor. Although I loved my graduate capstone project, I want to go a bit outside of showcasing restaurants and interviewing people about food and culture. I want to share with you a bit about how my boyfriend, Zach, and I plan our meals for the week, what we eat and why we eat. I have been trying my hand at creating some grain free dessert recipes that I would love to share as well. Finally, I want to add in some of the fun stuff Zach and I do and the places we go.

There is always somethFing to be thankful for.

In the end, the concept is still similar to my initial project.  The catch phrase for Behind the Savor was and still is, “because it’s not just about the food…” which is true.  Food plays a huge role in life.  It keeps you alive, it is enjoyable and it makes or breaks events.  People care about food.  I care about food.  The reason we care is not only because something tastes good.  I care about the type of food I eat, what I put into my body, the places I eat and the people I eat with.  We care because food is more than what you eat.  What is behind the food matters.

So, I hope you enjoy seeing a bit more of my writing soon. I think my first post will be highlighting our recent trip to San Diego, because we ate a ton of great food and enjoyed every bit of our trip.

Happy to be back!


OrderUp for Steph! [VIDEO]

Have you ever wanted a burger that was fast, but didn’t taste like fast food?  Well, I know a place where you can get that burger…and some fries, a cookie and maybe even a beer.  OrderUp!

My friend Margaret introduced me to OrderUp while I was in college, I would guess around eight years ago.  It was convenient and an easy place to go and catch up over an inexpensive dinner.  Plus, the food has always been great.  Over the years, the menu has changed a bit.  They used to have an even larger menu including pizzas, but now they specialize in burgers and fries, and also add delicious homemade cookies, milkshakes, salads, breakfast items and tacos to the menu.

Some of the tasty options at OrderUp!

On any given day that you walk into OrderUp, you will see a wide variety of people inside.  Alamo Heights High School students, families with their kids, college students from the area, moms doing lunch, adults and older folks – the restaurants caters to everyone.  It is a casual restaurant, so you don’t have to get dressed up to go and can bring your whole family.  They play cool, hip music, but not so loudly that you can’t have a great conversation with whoever you are with and on Friday nights they have live music.

OrderUp uses local meat, organic veggies, and just generally super-fresh ingredients.  Plus, they have healthy options, such as bun-less burgers wrapped in lettuce and you can even ask for the tacos to be lettuce wrapped instead of the tortilla.   This is something I appreciate because I try to eat low-carb.  When you think of food that is fresh and healthy, you do not normally think fast and inexpensive, but somehow OrderUp figured all of this out!  It’s pretty amazing that you can get a fresh made chicken sandwich with fries in under ten minutes for less than $10.  You can see why I have been a fan for so long.

I go to OrderUp at least once every two weeks.  The reason I keep coming back is simple – the food is delicious and quick, the atmosphere is relaxed and fun and I have a lot of options.  I really think word-of-mouth means a lot about the quality of a restaurant.  I didn’t stumble upon OrderUp, I was introduced to it and I have since introduced many of my friends.  I really think that OrderUp has a following because people really want to bring others here to show off the restaurant and relax with friends or family.

I have tried many, many items on the menu and you really can’t go wrong with anything on the menu.  I am a big fan of the superclub chicken salad and the bbq chickenburger.  Zach loves the la bamba burger and the superclub chickenburger.  They have so many options, there is no way you won’t find something you like.

I had the chance to interview David, the owner and creator of OrderUp.  He loves food, he loves San Antonio and Alamo Heights and his passion for using the best ingredients and catering to the customer is obvious.  If you aren’t going to OrderUp solely based on the fact that I told you the food is outstanding and inexpensive, you should be going because the people who own and work there actually care about what they are serving you.  Don’t miss out on a great meal and try OrderUp as soon as you can!

Episode three of Behind the Savor is all about fresh, fast and fun food at OrderUp!

999 E. Basse Road, Suite 193
San Antonio, TX 78209

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Episode 2 – Blanco BBQ [VIDEO]

When I first decided that I actually needed to interview people at local restaurants, I came up with a list of a few restaurants that I knew had fun atmospheres and good food.  Blanco BBQ was on my initial list and they were the first restaurant to respond to my emails regarding my project.

I chose Blanco BBQ because I have been there multiple times with large groups of friends.  We always enjoyed the food, but we loved the atmosphere as well.  I can remember walking in after leaving the pool on a hot summer day.  My friends and I looked sweaty and smelled of sunscreen, but we felt comfortable hanging out on the back patio at Blanco BBQ, watching my friends kids run around the playground and enjoying some tasty food. You can just be you at Blanco BBQ and not feel out-of-place because the restaurant has a relaxed, country feel to it.

Blanco BBQ is newer to San Antonio, considering it was opened in 2013.  People in the area quickly started making it their go-to barbeque joint.  The parking lot is often crowded, especially on the weekends.  Zach and I were there for four hours on a Saturday afternoon and there was a steady crowd coming and going the majority of the time we were there.  They even had live music in the evening, which makes for an even better dinner.

While we were filming, everyone from customers to the management and employees at Blanco BBQ were very friendly.  Roxanne, the general manager, was working hard to make sure that even though the restaurant was crowded, people were getting their food quickly and accurately.  One thing I can definitely say about Roxanne is that she works hard and is not afraid to get her hands dirty.  The rest of the employees are friendly and get their jobs done, from what I could tell.

The food at Blanco BBQ has continued to get better since their opening in 2013.  On the day we filmed, we ate dinner after interviewing customers.  I had a two meat combo, with turkey and chopped BBQ.  My sides were green beans and coleslaw.  Zach also got the two meat combo, with lean brisket, chopped BBQ, broccoli and coleslaw.

I am definitely a fan of the turkey at Blanco BBQ because it is usually moist with good flavor.  I enjoyed the chopped BBQ because it was not covered in barbeque sauce and had a great, peppery flavor to it.  The coleslaw is delicious because it perfectly combines a creamy, tangy crunch.  The green beans are cooked with beef and taste smoky.  Zach enjoyed his meal as well and we both appreciate that they have healthy side options, like steamed broccoli.

The video posted below gives you a better glimpse of the atmosphere, food and customers at Blanco BBQ.  Round up some friends and family and go give it a try sometime soon!

PS: A big thanks to Blanco BBQ General Manager, Roxanne, and owner, Steve, for allowing me to spend a few hours on a busy Saturday filming at the restaurant.

Blanco BBQ
13259 Blanco Road
San Antonio, TX  78216

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OH MY PORKCHOP…the delightful meals during Culinaria San Antonio Restaurant Week, Winter Edition

Get ready for a long post people.  The end of January marked the time for the first ever winter edition of Culinaria San Antonio Restaurant Week and although I’ve had over a month to recover, my belly is still happy about a certain pork chop.

I have previously made sure that I hit up a few restaurants during San Antonio Restaurant Week in the past, so I was excited to hear that Culinaria decided that there should be two weeks throughout the year, the Winter and Summer editions.

If you have not heard of Culinaria, you should check out their website and see what a great organization they are.  Here is a short description of Culinaria from their website:

Culinaria is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to benefiting the San Antonio community and promoting San Antonio as an ideal wine and food destination.  By way of providing culinary scholarships and aid to San Antonio’s chefs enduring personal hardships through our Chefs 4 Chefs programs, Culinaria has long promoted its support of the community.  Culinaria is ever-growing and trying to find new ways to enrich San Antonio, and its next big endeavor in aiding the San Antonio community will take form in the Culinaria Urban Farm.  The purpose of the Urban Farm will be to hone in on true nutritional values and education to promote a farm-to-table diet.

Awesome, right?  For a foodie who loves my city and the growth we are having, Culinaria is a dream come true.

There were fifty-one restaurants that participated in the first winter edition.  The restaurants varied in type of cuisine, location around the city, and normal price-tag.  The fun part of Restaurant Week is that each restaurant participating has a special menu and price during the event, so I was able to try a few restaurants that I have previously avoided due to price.  Depending on the tier of the restaurant, you can walk away spending $10-$15 for lunch or $25-$35 for dinner.  All include a few courses, so you are definitely getting a great deal.  You can view a full list of the restaurants that participated online.

Zach and I chose to try out Oaks Crossing Restaurant & Bar, Wildfish Seafood Grille, Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille, and one restaurant that I will talk about a bit later.

I often try to stay away from chain restaurants and my capstone project is specifically about local restaurants that are not national chains.  But, for Restaurant Week, I was not filming for the project and thought that trying some smaller, national chains would be fun.  So I had a mix of local restaurants and chains, to get me some perspective.

We started our journey at Oaks Crossing Restaurant & Bar, the restaurant at the H-E-B at Wilderness Oaks.  The lunch menu included a salad, one meat BBQ plate, and a dream float for dessert.  I had the Caesar salad, brisket plate with brisket beans and coleslaw.  Zach had the garden salad, and chose the same plate.  We both had the dream float, of course.

Dream Float
Dream Float

The salad was huge and the Caesar dressing was outstanding.  It was not too thick, but still creamy and had a strong flavor.  The brisket beans had a tomato flavor and were slightly spicy.  The brisket was cooked well, and although it was not as lean as I normally like, I really enjoyed it.  The coleslaw was saucy and had a somewhat citrusy taste to it.  The Dream Shake was super sweet!  It was pineapple soft serve with orange juice.  It turned into a slush type drink right away and was definitely a fun, sweet treat.

Ceasar Salad
Ceasar Salad
BBQ Plate
BBQ Plate

I was impressed with Oaks Crossing.  I guess it makes sense that a restaurant in a grocery store would have interesting recipes and a lot of flavors to their food.  The restaurant itself is also really casual and often has live music.  They have a pretty large bar and the menu has much more than BBQ.  The service was on point, people inside and on the outside patio seemed to be enjoying themselves, and you could bring your whole family and feel comfortable.  Why not grab a bite to eat before you go grocery shopping?

Part two of our restaurant week adventure was Wildfish Seafood Grille.  Wildfish is a national chain, although there are only three restaurants in three different states, one of which is in San Antonio, Texas.  See, our city is becoming a place where small national chains can grow!  I had been wanting to try Wildfish because it is trendy and a bit fancy.  Who doesn’t like putting on some nice clothes and eating in a dimly lit seafood restaurant every now and then?

First I would like to point out that the place was packed on a Monday night!  The bar in the middle of the restaurant had an extremely massive metal structure above it that looked like a fish skeleton.  The restaurant was dimly lit and people in their mid-twenties and up surrounded the bar with nice looking cocktails in hand.  They did have TV’s around the bar playing the Spurs, so it still had a more casual vibe than many “fancy” restaurants do.  It was a crowd that I usually do not feel comfortable around.  Mostly business people or older people and you could tell many parties were actually business type meetings of some kind.

Feeling Fancy
Feeling Fancy

Zach and I each got a $35 dinner.  I chose the crispy salt & pepper shrimp for my appetizer, Scottish salmon for my main course, and hot “Bananas Foster” butter cake for dessert.  Yummmmmm.  Zach decided on the Iceberg BLT for his appetizer, the beef filet medallions with gulf shrimp “scampi style” for the main course, and Belgian dark chocolate mousse for dessert.  Again, yummmmm.

Wildfish Food
Bread, Appetizers and Main Courses

Everything was delicious.  The shrimp were spicy and came with a great sauce and fresh veggies.  They served a very large piece of salmon and it was cooked perfectly.  The sauce on top was a mustard vineggrette and it was the perfect bit of acid on top of the fatty fish.  I literally could not stop myself from eating the entire dessert.  They lit it on fire when it reached the table and it came with butter pecan ice cream.  I try to stay away from sugar to be healthy, but I decided I did not care this evening because it was too good.  Go there for the food!

Mmmm, dessert!!

Part three of our journey took us to Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille.  Another national chain, but again on a small scale.  They have twelve restaurants, ten of which are in Texas.  This restaurant was so much fun!  I honestly expected to be around a bunch of people with their noses in the air and service that was great, but boring.  I thought wrong.  Although the restaurant has the look of a uppity place, including dark, decorative wood, white tablecloths, and chandeliers that actually made it bright inside, it still had a great energy where I could fit in, at least for the evening.  The service was great.  Our server cracked jokes and made us feel comfortable.  It was loud inside because there were a ton of people talking and laughing.  I felt like I could actually talk at a normal level and I could see everyone around me, unlike my experience at Wildfish.

The dinner was $35 and three courses.  Compared to their normal menu, this was steal.  Zach and I both got the wedge salad for our first course.   I got Perry’s Famous pork chop for my second course because I had heard many great things about it.  Zach got the grilled salmon.  All meals came with the dessert trio for the third course.

Wedge Salad
Wedge Salad
Dessert Trio
Dessert Trio

The wedge salad came with buttermilk vinaigrette dressing, instead of the usual blue cheese or ranch dressing.  I promise you, this was one of my favorite salad dressings I have ever had.  The dessert trio included a vanilla bean crème brulee, a Grand Marnier chocolate truffle and praline cheesecake.  I was not a huge fan of the crème brulee, but I enjoyed both other mini desserts.

pork chop

I did not mention my pork chop above because it deserves a separate paragraph.  OH MY PORKCHOP!!!  If you have not been to Perry’s, you must go and get this pork chop.  If you do not like pork chops, I still think you should try it because it is unlike anything I have ever seen or tasted.  It seriously was one of the best meals I can remember having.  It was gigantic, MASSIVE, insanely huge!  I honestly do not understand why they call it a pork chop without an “s” at the end because I think it was four pork chops.  It was like a pork chop cake and had multiple flavors and multiple parts of meat and sweetness and smokiness, and deliciousness…I may have lost my mind a bit.  I know I got a great deal, but go spend some money on this if you have a bit of money to spend.  Also, they apparently have lunch specials on Friday and some other special on Sunday, so it actually can be very affordable.  It was outstanding!

We tried one other place during Restaurant Week, but I will not say the name.  We had horrible service and although the food was ok, I will not be returning for that reason.  But I also will not let that one experience ruin the beauty that was Culinaria San Antonio Restaurant Week Winter Edition.  Zach and I had a great time trying places that we had not been to yet and we had some wonderful food!  I also learned not to judge a restaurant before trying it out.  I may usually prefer more casual restaurants where I can be myself, but Perry’s was the best of both worlds because it was not casual, but I could still be me there.

Don’t forget to take advantage of the Summer Edition of Culinaria San Antonio Restaurant Week, August 15-29, 2015.

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Update Time!

Hello Behind the Savor friends.  I’m sorry that I have been absent from the blogosphere for some time.

Turns out, working full-time, going to classes for my alternative certification for teaching, being in a ton of weddings (it’s my age bracket apparently), and generally just trying to have a life make working on a graduate capstone project very difficult.  I know this is not supposed to be easy and I know maintaining a blog takes a decent amount of effort, so I am now ready to do whatever I can to make Behind the Savor terrific!

Steph eating
I was happy it was pretty outside and that I had good food in my belly!

Over the last few months I have been busy doing some other important business, but I also was working on research for my capstone project, eating at some cool, fun, interesting restaurants, and getting some great interviews from around San Antonio.  Zach (my partner in crime, boyfriend, and the guy filming everything) and I have filmed at Blanco BBQ and OrderUp and gotten some great interviews.  We hope to have those videos up for you sometime shortly.

Zach filming
Zach filming, while eating, at Blanco BBQ

I also hope to get a few more restaurant film sessions sometime soon.  I need to have a Tex-Mex restaurant in the mix, because what would San Antonio be without Tex-Mex food?  The answer is…boring!!  And maybe a restaurant at the Pearl or Southtown area because, in general, those areas are hip and new to San Antonio and bring a different feel to our city, which is great for the growth of good ol’ SA.

I’ve already learned even more about communication than I thought I would from this project.  Talking to owners of local restaurants is interesting because they are not all the same.  Some restaurants have media or PR representative who speak to me regarding setting up interviews.  Some restaurants leave it to the general manager, and some I was able to immediately contact the owner and tell them about the project.

There have been a few setbacks.  We filmed at Luminaria downtown, but it didn’t turn out like we wanted.  For now, those interviews are on the back burner as far as a posted video goes, mostly due to the abundance of noise and huge crowds of people.  We wanted to film at a local farmers market, but it’s been pretty ugly weather outside every time we have planned to do so – I’m hoping the weather becomes more like San Antonio sometime soon!

Talking to people at the restaurants has been fun and sometimes a bit nerve racking.  You never know what someone is going to say or how they are going to say it.  You also cannot always tell who would be interested in being interviewed in the first place – I have been turned down a decent amount, but the people who do say yes have had some killer answers to my questions and really care about my project, which is what matters.

So, I’m back in the game people.  I hope you enjoy what is coming and what we learn together about food and culture in San Antonio.  Have an awesome week!


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Episode 1: Dia De Los Muertos and The Cove

Last weekend was Day of the Dead, or Dia De Los Muertos, and San Antonio had celebrations around the city.  One was called Muertos Fest and was held at La Villita.  As we drove through downtown, it was obvious the city was in celebration mode…although I feel that we usually are in some way. There often seems to be an event going on centered around food and culture.

Walking up to La Villita, you could smell the aroma of fried food and hear Spanish music playing.  Thankfully, it was a beautiful day outside because the sun was shining, but it wasn’t too hot.  There was a mix of people at the event: young and old, families, groups of young people, different races, San Antonio residents and people just visiting.  Everyone seemed to be having a good time shopping, dancing, eating, and watching performances.  Many were standing in line to get some sort of snack or meal.

We met some really fun and interesting people at the event and were able to get a few interviews from individuals who had great opinions on the food and culture of San Antonio.

When it started to get dark, we decided to head to The Cove to check out the food and ambiance.  I had sent out a link on Facebook for a survey regarding favorite restaurants in San Antonio and The Cove was listed five times.  I have always wanted to give The Cove a try, but had yet to make it out there. We went and I loved it!  The food was great, but the atmosphere is what hooked me.  There were so many types of people there, but all for the same reason.  It has an extremely relaxed vibe, you do not feel rushed or feel like you have to be on your best behavior, and the people around were friendly.

Check out the video below to get a taste of the interviews at Muertos Fest, as well as a review of The Cove with some pictures of the tasty food!

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Welcome to Behind the Savor!

Hi everyone and thanks for stopping by! My name is Stephanie, but everyone calls me Steph, and I live in the great city of San Antonio, where I was born and raised. I love the Spurs, I love my city and its culture and I really (REALLY) love food and sitting down to have a good meal with friends and family. I’m getting my Master’s degree in Communication Arts and had the opportunity to intern with another blog, SA FlavorThis experience helped me realize that I love to write and learn more about food, events and culture, especially within San Antonio.

Behind the Savor is not meant to be a food blog that discusses the taste of food at restaurants necessarily and we will not feature articles or videos that are purely our opinions of food. Our blog/vlog is going to be an interesting look into the opinions of the people of San Antonio, customers at popular restaurants, the ideas of chefs and owners, the atmospheres that make people want to return time after time, and the warmth and love that is shared during a meal. What is behind the food, fun, culture and taste of the food in San Antonio and beyond that makes a restaurant, the city and meals in general special? We will document what people feel and think about the food and culture of San Antonio and elsewhere through video interviews, blog posts and pictures. I promise, you are going to love it!

The blog/vlog will be used as my graduate capstone project and the interviews and information gathered over the next few months will be compiled and used for that purpose. This study will seek to determine how food and culture connect and contribute to the identity of San Antonio by researching how San Antonio residents relate food and culture through conversation.  There are a lot of interesting books and articles that link food, communication, culture and identity, but there is nothing specific on San Antonio. In my opinion, San Antonio is a unique place and I am passionate on researching a bit about the people in our city and the how food connects with communication. Think about how many times a day you discuss food with coworkers, family and/or friends. Often, I would assume, unless you don’t enjoy eating and, in that case, I have no idea how we can be friends.  Think about how many meals you enjoy because of the food, but also because of the conversation you had throughout the meal.  Think about the city you live in and why food is a large part of the community identity. Food leads to conversation, which creates identity, and culture influences both of these things.

So I hope you enjoy Behind the Savor and getting a glimpse into San Antonio. Look out for nterviews of San Antonio residents.  I will talk to you soon!

Follow Behind the Savor on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram to keep updated on the interesting people we meet while enjoying some tasty food!