Fast Eddie’s 2nd Annual Hot Dog Eating Competition

Fast Eddie’s 2nd Annual Hot Dog Eating Competition takes place this Tuesday July 3 at all locations. Photo: Fast Eddie’s, used with permission.

Attention all foodies: Fast Eddie’s Annual Hot Dog Eating contest is back. This Tuesday July 3, head over to Fast Eddie’s or Eddy’s Tavern from 11a.m. to 11p.m. for the 2nd Annual Hot Dog Eating Competition. (Fast Eddie’s, 2018)

Fee is only $5 to compete for the grand prize. There will cash prizes for the winners and a month of FREE pool in July. Come out and enjoy the fun, and $2.75 Bud Light brews and $4 Will Turkey. Event will be at all Fast Eddie’s Billiards & Sports Bar locations nationwide.

San Antonio locations:

9910 W Loop 1604 N Suite 113
San Antonio, TX

7616 Culebra Rd #103
San Antonio, TX

502 Embassy Oaks
San Antonio, TX


Willie Nelson’s 4th of July Picnic

This year’s Willie Nelson’s 4th of July Picnic is set for Wednesday July 4. Photo: Circuit of the Americas, used with permission.

Live Nation, C3 Presents and Circuit of The Americas (COTA) recently announced the performance order for the 45th edition of Willie’s 4th of July Picnic on Wednesday, July 4, 2018. This year’s 4th of July Picnic will once again feature two stages: the main Austin360 Amphitheater stage and the Honor Flight Grand Plaza Stage. The all-day event celebrating America’s birthday features performances starting at 11:30a.m. on the Honor Flight Stage. This year’s picnic is excited to announce a very special guest to present the fireworks display to commemorate the show and to celebrate America’s birthday. (Circuit of the Americas, 2018)

Honor Flight Grand Plaza Stage (listed in order of performance):
David Allan Coe, Yellow Feather, Raelyn Nelson Band, Folk Uke, Particle Kid, Gene Watson, Johnny Bush, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Billy Joe Shaver, Asleep at The Wheel

Pavilion Stage (Austin360 Amphitheater – listed in order of performance):
Jamestown Revival, The Wild Feathers, Lukas Nelson and Promise of The Real, Margo Price, Edie Brickell & New Bohemians, Ryan Bingham, The Head and The Heart, Sturgill Simpson, Willie Nelson & Family

The Grand Plaza will have picnic tables where fans can eat, drink, celebrate and watch their favorite artists, as well as a shopping area featuring a wide variety of Texas-based vendors.

Tickets are priced at $99.50 for the GA Pit Section and Reserved Seat Section in front of the stage. Reserved bowl tickets are $52.50–$99.50 and $42.50 for H-E-B General Admission Lawn. All tickets are available for purchase at Ticketmaster, Circuit of the Americas, or by phone at 1-800-745-3000.

Standard parking lots at Circuit of The Americas open at 10a.m. and gates to the Austin360 Amphitheater open at 11a.m. Standard parking is included in the price of the ticket. Premium parking, bus parking, RV parking, as well as campsites are also available to buy at the time tickets are purchased.

As the event is scheduled to run for approximately 13 hours, venue management is extending the opportunity for patrons to bring in one (1) 1-quart-sized clear plastic bag with food, per person, for Willie Nelson’s 4th of July Picnic. Standard venue policy allows patrons to bring in one (1) 20 oz. factory-sealed water bottle, per person.

Willie Nelson’s 4th of July Picnic will be broadcast live on Willie Nelson’s exclusive SiriusXM channel, Willie’s Roadhouse, Channel 59 on SiriusXM radios and streaming live on the new SiriusXM mobile app and SiriusXM connected devices and speakers. In addition to live sets, the broadcast will include backstage interviews hosted by Willie’s Roadhouse and Outlaw Country DJs Dallas Wayne and Willie’s daughter, Paula Nelson.

Circuit of the Americas
9201 Circuit of the Americas Blvd
Austin, TX 78617

Kitchen Remodeling From the Floors Up at O’Krent Floors

Kitchen Remodeling From the Floors Up will be held on Tuesday July 10 at O’Krent Floors. Photo: O’Krent Floors, used with permission.

For anyone interested in kitchen remodeling ideas, on Tuesday July 10 from 11:30a.m. to 1p.m., O’Krent Floors and Swiff-Train Company is hosting a Virtuoso Builders Seminar. ‘Kitchen Remodeling, From the Floors Up’ is an informative and fun event that will give guests an in-depth look at all flooring options available for the ultimate kitchen remodeling project. They will gain valuable information on current trends in flooring options, kitchen dos and don’ts and how to find the right remodeler for the job. Bring your questions and come hungry; lunch will be provided. Since this is a limited seating event, RSVP must be in by Friday July 6. Email Molly Sowry or call at (210) 525-8750. (O’Krent Floors, 2018)

O’Krent Floors
2075 N Loop 1604 E (At Gold Canyon)
San Antonio, TX 78232
(210) 227-7387

Culinary Monographs at Hotel Emma to celebrate Ole, San Antonio

Hotel Emma is hosting Culinary Monographs this summer to honor Spain’s most beloved flavors.

Olé, San Antonio is in full swing at the Pearl and Hotel Emma is joining in the celebration by hosting Culinary Monographs. These are six delicious, immersive experiences that will honor the most beloved flavors of Spain: olive oil, jamón (Spanish ham), tinned fish, salt and spices, wine and sherry and cheese, to help celebrate San Antonio’s Tricentennial. (Hotel Emma, 2018)

These culinary monographs will take place every two weeks, beginning on Wednesday/Thursday from June through September, each offering a look into the history, craftsmanship and diversity of flavor and utility of each product.

Each monograph includes a ticketed Monograph Session facilitated by experts and makers of the individual product. Guests will enjoy, depending on theme, a deep dive into the culture, economy and trends of the product and an expertly guided tasting opportunity. There will be an open-to-the-public Casual Tasting at Larder, where the fine grocery store at Hotel Emma will support each monograph with a multi-day tasting of the highlighted product. Tapas tastings will be held at Sternewirth, the main bar at Hotel Emma, which will create a special tapas dish highlighting the product at play. There will also be a Dinner at Supper series, where Chef John Brand will create a special tasting menu highlighting the various uses, applications and flavors of the spotlighted product. Monograph Sessions and Dinner at Supper will be ticketed events, while Tapas will be a menu option for Sternewirth guests and tastings at Larder will be free and open to the public. More information on these event is available online.

Upcoming Culinary Monographs:

  • June 27 – Olive Oil
  • July 11 – Spain’s Great Match
  • July 25 – Salt & Spices
  • August 8 – Tinned Fish
  • August 22 – Jamón
  • September 6 – Cheese

In honor of San Antonio’s Tricentennial, Hotel Emma is also offering a special rate now through September 16, 2018. The special ‘300 years, 300 dollars’ features rates starting at $300, plus complimentary valet parking.

Hotel Emma
136 E Grayson
San Antonio, TX 78215
(210) 448-8300

Theater review: ‘Assassins’ at the Cellar Theater

‘Assassins’ is now playing at the Cellar Theater through Sunday July 1. Photo courtesy of The Public Theater of San Antonio, used with permission.

Now playing through Sunday July 1 at The Public Theater of San Antonio’s Cellar Theatre is ‘Assassins’ and there are only four more chances to catch this intense and thought-provoking production. Upcoming showtimes are Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30p.m. and Sunday at 2p.m. but all performances are sold out. With music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by John Weidman, it is based on an idea by Charles Gilbert, Jr. Directed by George Green, this controversial musical boldly transcends time as the assassins justify their actions with wit, humor and a sense of understanding.

The setting in ‘Assassins’ is an abandoned amusement park/carnival complete with shooting gallery signs and stuffed animals. A murderous carnival shooting gallery takes center stage and appropriately features men and women who have, successfully or not, attempted to assassinate Presidents of the United States. As they are introduced, the proprietor, as a solutions to their problems, entices them to “C’mere and shoot a President.” Once they are all gathered, “Hail to the Chief” signals Abraham Lincoln’s appearance offstage and John Wilkes Booth disappears and a shot rings out. The Balladeer, a personification of the American Dream, appears and begins to tell Booth’s story. Eventually, each assassin’s story, and the reasoning behind their intentions, is revealed. While the focus is on the individuals, there is a much deeper message and the bigger question remains about what draws a person to violence. (“Something Just Broke”) It ends as the assassins gather once more at the shooting range and after they load their guns, they open fire on the audience. (“Finale: Everybody’s Got the Right”)

Cast includes Chris Berry as John Wilkes Booth, Brendan Brady as Balladeer/Lee Harvey Oswald, Tyles Askins as The Proprietor, Brian Hodges as Charles Guiteau, Robby Vance as Leon Czolgosz, Jacob Crisp as Guiseppe Zangara, James R Welch as John Hinckley, Jeremy Whittington as Sam Byck, Rosa Gardner as Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme, Corina Zars as Sara Jane Moore and Erin Urick as Emma Goldman.

With few exceptions, like “Sweeney Todd,” musicals do not usually deal with murder and violence, but there is more to ‘Assassins’ than just gun violence. It is a disturbing look at how far some people are willing to go to achieve their own version of happiness, be it wealth, infamy or love. Chris Berry does an outstanding job bringing John Wilkes Booth to life and his presence onstage is commanding. Likewise, Rosa Gardner is excellent as Squeaky Fromme but Jeremy Whittington’s deranged portrayal of hijacker and attempted assassin Sam Byck, Santa Clause suit and all, brings the chilling factor up a notch. The lighting brilliantly changes to red when the scenes turn violent. The Cellar Theater is a small and intimate space and sometimes the action and volume can get overwhelming. Overall, ‘Assassins’ is a dark, often comedic look at crime, violence and conspiracies in America and is sure to open up a dialogue about the subject. Since it contains real people and real crimes, it is a must-see and appeals to fans of true crime stories. Due to adult themes and language, it is not suitable for all audience members

Book review: ‘An Outlaw Makes It Home’ by Eli Jaxon-Bear

Eli Jaxon-Bear’s new memoir “An Outlaw Makes It Home” is the author’s most recent book.  Courtesy photo, used with permission.

Eli Jaxon-Bear is an American spiritual teacher and author who worked as a mail boy, dishwasher, steel-worker, teacher and organic farmer. He was a community organizer with VISTA in Chicago and Detroit and was in a doctoral program at the Graduate School of International Studies in Denver, Colorado. He founded and teaches through The Leela Foundation, a non-profit organization supporting world peace and freedom through universal Self-realization. He has written “Wake Up and Roar,” “Sudden Awakening” and “From Fixation to Freedom.” “An Outlaw Makes It Home: The Awakening of a Spiritual Revolutionary,” his new book, is a memoir that recounts his life from a young man involved in a civil rights march in Alabama to his search for fulfillment in Japan and Morocco.


Courtesy photo, used with permission.


“An Outlaw Makes It Home” begins as the author shares his earliest childhood memory that influenced his life and character for years to come. The neighborhood kids were beating up his friend Mark and he decided to intervene, but it made the matter worse when one of them got hurt and his friends retaliated. “Now I was terrified of violence, of hurting someone else again, and of being hurt again myself…I credit this handicap with keeping me from a successful superficial life. It drove me to despair and beyond.”

The entire book is divided into six parts: Call to Adventure, Crossing the Threshold, The Abyss, The Odyssey, The Kingdom Appears and Freedom. The first two parts chronicle his activities during the civil rights era the Vietnam War. From there, his adventurous and nomadic life takes him across the world in search of happiness and fulfillment and eventually he discovers spiritual awakening alongside his wife and constant companion. The attached pictures chronicle his life from childhood to the file the FBI opened on him and the times spent with spiritual leaders in Japan and China.

This deeply personal and insightful memoir is an excellent example of a life spent in pursuit of a meaningful life. At an early age, he decided that he was solely responsible for his life and did not let family or friends influence him and instead took control of his own destiny, for better or worse. He faced life head-on despite the dangers he faced, including violence and drug experimentation. The language is easy to understand as he welcomes the reader along on a rollercoaster ride of emotions and adventures.

One standout part is in Part I Chapter 4: Which Side Are You On when he was in Montgomery when Dr Martin Luther King gave his “I Have a Dream” speech and the chilly experience afterwards when the Klan moved in on the gathered crowds. “We were shocked into stillness by the horror of what we were now seeing. Riding towards us…. came the Klan. The only sound we heard was the clip-clopping of the [horses’] hooves.” The other is on Part III: Chapter 12 Dying for Life when he describes in vivid detail his experience when he took LSD on his 25th birthday. “An Outlaw Makes It Home” by Eli Jaxon-Bear is a fascinating read that combines the turbulent era of the 60s and 70s with spiritual awakening and enlightenment. It has something for everyone and is recommended for readers interested in a first-person account of a life’s journey from troubled teen to spiritual adult.

*A copy of this book was given for an honest review. The opinions expressed in this article are solely the author’s.

Pluckers Wing Bar opens first San Antonio location in July

Pluckers Wing Bar is opening its first San Antonio location in Selma on July 9. Photo: Pluckers Wing Bar, used with permission.

Due to popular demand, Pluckers Wing Bar is expanding to San Antonio.  Known as Texas’ favorite sports bar and wing restaurant, Pluckers is thrilled to announce the official opening of its first San Antonio area location in Selma on Monday, July 9. It will be open daily from 11a.m. to 12a.m. (Pluckers Wing Bar, 2018)

Pluckers is known for its famous wings served with a choice of more than 20 homemade sauces. It has the perfect combination of homemade food and atmosphere for sports fans to keep up with their favorite sports teams and games. The new Selma location will feature the iconic Pluckers menu, including fan favorites like Fried Pickles, Holy Macaroni – fried macaroni and cheese, the Bypass Burger topped with bacon, cheddar, grilled onions and jalapeños, and the Buffalo Chicken Sandwich – fried chicken breast tossed in wing sauce topped with a choice of ranch or blue cheese dressing. Pluckers will offer their famous wings, available in bone, boneless or grilled and paired with signature sauces like Buffalo, Spicy BBQ and Spicy Ranch, along with such unique flavors as Ginger Peach Sriracha, Gochujang and Spicy Mandarin. For daredevils, there is also ‘Fire in the Hole,’ a contest that requires the participant to finish 25 wings covered in the hottest “Fire in the Hole” sauce. The winner joins the famous Pluckers Wall of Flame.

Once open, the new restaurant will offer Pluckers’ signature rewards program, Pluckers Club, for just $10 until July 22. Pluckers Club members enjoy a variety of rewards, including, but not limited to, free birthday meals, invitations to exclusive events, food and drink specials and more. After July 22, Pluckers Club memberships will cost $20.

A second San Antonio location is coming soon at the Landmark Development at the Southeast Corner of 1604 and I-10 and is slated to open in spring 2019.

“We are fired up about opening our first San Antonio location and ready to get to work serving the best wings in Texas. We look forward to seeing all of the amazing people who have traveled to visit our stores across the state and to introducing ourselves to our first-time customers.” – Dave Paul, Pluckers Co-Founder

Pluckers Wing Bar
14881 IH-35 North
Selma, TX 78154

New specials at Bakery Lorraine at the RIM

Bakery Lorraine now has Pastry Happy Hour and mimosa carafes at the RIM location only.  Photo: Bakery Lorraine, used with permission.

Bakery Lorraine, a local favorite and nationally recognized pastry shop famous for its colorful macarons and exquisite French pastries, recently opened its third location in San Antonio. Located at the RIM shopping center, Bakery Lorraine offers pastries, breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner. This location also offers beer and wine service and now has Pastry Happy Hour and mimosa carafes. (Bakery Lorraine, 2018)

Pastry Happy Hour will be available Monday through Friday from 3p.m. to 6p.m. Guests will be offered a complimentary coffee with the purchase of a pastry and Bakery Lorraine will now feature mimosa carafes to the menu at the RIM location only. The carafes will be available with freshly squeezed orange juice or grapefruit juice for $18 and will be available from open to close daily except for Sunday, which will begin serving at 10a.m.

Both specials are exclusive to the RIM location and will not be available at the Medical Center or Pearl locations.

Owned by chefs Anne Ng, Jeremy Mandrell and operator Charlie Biedenharn, Bakery Lorraine has quickly become a sensation in San Antonio. It was named one of the best new bakeries in the U.S. by Food & Wine and CNN’s Eatocracy blog, as well as one of the “13 Destination Bakeries” by Conde Nast Traveler.

Bakery Lorraine
17503 La Cantera Pkwy #108
San Antonio, TX 78253
(210) 415-4066

Independence Brewing Co releases Native Texan

Native Texan is now available in stores.  Photo: Independence Brewing Co., used with permission.

Independence Brewing Co., an Austin-based brewing company, announces the release of Native Texan, a brand-new addition to the brewery’s seasonal roster of craft beer. The Independence brewing team sought to create a beer original in taste and style and one that would satisfy the taste buds of the German and Czech immigrants who settled in Central Texas over 180 years ago. The brew’s flavor profile is reflected in the use of 100% German pilsner malt, famed Augustiner yeast and a carefully proportioned selection of both German and Czech noble hops. (Independence Brewing Co., 2018)

Native Texan is a beer made by and for the people of the Lone Star State. It is a pilsner as German as the heritage of the Hill Country, as bright as the state’s “Friday Night Lights,” as clear as the West Texas sky and as smooth as an East Texan drawl. As it has been picked up by several Texas-born brands: Whole Foods Market, Buc-ee’s, HEB and Central Market, it is now available in stores across Texas. Native Texan is a versatile brew that can be enjoyed with a carefully curated cheese plate or a handful of Beaver Nuggets. Beer enthusiasts will soon find large displays of Native Texan in grocery stores and gas stations as Independence Day approaches.

Perfect for the summer season, Native Texan has an ABV of 5% making it highly sessionable during the scorching heat. Drinking the beer will bring back memories of days spent on the water and evenings spent on the porch swing, watching the bluebonnets bloom and the sun set, all reminders of why people fall in love with the Lone Star State in the first place.

“With this beer we wanted to give a big shout out to all Texans, near and far, who are proud to be from here—or who got here as fast as they could,” – Amy Cartwright, co-founder of Independence.

June events for Ole, San Antonio at Pearl

Ole, San Antonio begins on Friday June 15 and runs through Sunday September 16 at Pearl. Photo: Pearl, used with permission.

To celebrate San Antonio’s Tricentennial and its Spanish heritage, Pearl announces Olé, San Antonio: When San Antonio Meets Spain. This summer-long celebration will take place from Friday June 15 to Sunday September 16 to commemorate the city’s 300th anniversary. There will be events and activities related to four main pillars: gastronomy, music and dance, arts and architecture. Events will include new programming while also incorporating existing Pearl activities. Tickets are now on sale for select performances along with a VIP Olé Ticket Package, which includes reserved seating, complementary valet parking, and more. (Pearl, 2018)

The entire Pearl neighborhood will come together to create experiences and memories unique to Olé. Restaurants will feature Spanish menus and chef collaboration dinners, retailers will feature specially curated Spanish items and Pearl Park will feature performances and parades which showcase San Antonio’s connection to Spain.

On June 21, the official opening day of Olé, Pearl kicks off with Dia Mundial de la Tapa (International Day of the Tapa) with chefs from 10 different regions of Spain, Flamenco in the Park with Primitivo Daza and Company, and the launch of Tapas Tuesday at Pearl restaurants.

Recurring Events:
Galería Olé
Beginning in June, Pearl’s pop-up shop site will be transformed into Galería Olé, a one-stop shop for the Summer of Spain. Time: Tuesday through Friday, 2p.m. to 6p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, 10a.m. to 6p.m. Location: Suite 110 at Pearl (behind Local Coffee)

Tapas Tuesdays: Taste Spain at Pearl
Every Tuesday during Olé, San Antonio, select Pearl restaurants and bars will embrace the Spanish tapa. Multiple locations. Check participating restaurants and bars for details.

Spanish Sipping Thursdays: Sip Spain at Pearl
Tour Pearl every Thursday evening during Olé, San Antonio and experience unique Spanish wines, cava sangrias and sherries. Must try: the official drink of summer: the Spanish Gin. Multiple locations. Check participating restaurants and bars for details.

June Events:
June 15 through August 15 (free event)
Photography Exhibition
Beatrix Molnar: ALMA
Time: Tuesday through Friday, 2p.m to 6p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 10a.m. to 6p.m. Location: Galería Olé

June 21 (ticketed event)
Dia Mundial de la Tapa
A journey through the cultural and culinary diversity of Spain with its most recognized and universal concept: Ticket price includes an extensive sampling of tapas—showcasing the food and flavors of Spain—with wine tastings from various regions of Spain and a cava tasting bar. Time: 5:30p.m. to 8p.m. Location: Pearl Stable Tickets: $100

June 21 (free event)
Flamenco in The Park: Primitivo Daza and Company
Time: 7:30p.m. to 9p.m. Location: Pearl Park

June 23 (ticketed event)
Flamenco Tablao: Primitivo Daza and Chef Johnny Hernandez
Doors open at 11a.m. and performance begins at 11:30 a.m.
The Entertainment: Primitivo and his dance company, Pure Flamenco.
The Fare: Chef Johnny Hernandez creates a brunch worthy of the occasion—complete with a Paella cooking demonstration. Location: Pearl Stable Tickets: $125

June 23 (ticketed event)
Flamenco Tablao: Primitivo Daza and Chef Johnny Hernandez
Doors open at 6p.m. and performance begins at 6:30p.m.
The Entertainment: Primitivo and his dance company, Pure Flamenco
The Fare: Chef Johnny Hernandez creates a dinner worthy of the occasion—complete with a Paella cooking demonstration. Location: Pearl Stable Tickets: $150

June 26 (ticketed event)
Intercambio Dinner Series: Chefs Patxi Zumarraga and Steve McHugh Time: 6p.m. Location: Cured
Contact restaurant for reservations and details.

June 27 (ticketed event):
Gastronomy Monograph Series: Olive Oil
The Day of Olive Oil
Multiple sessions throughout the day. Supper Dinner: 8:30p.m. to 11p.m. Location: Hotel Emma Tickets: $25 for sessions and $50 for dinner at Supper

June 27 (free event)
Sound Cream Sunset Sessions – Olé Edition: DJ Riobamba
Sound Cream Sunset Sessions is a weekly dance party and DJ showcase, featuring every genre from Cuban salsa to House, mixed by locals and guest DJs from across the country. Time: 5:30p.m. to 9p.m. Location: Pearl Park

June 29 (free event) Canciones: Sounds of Spain and South Texas Las Migas and Azul Barrientos
Canciones is a free concert series dedicated to Texas music from a South Texas sensibility. Time: 5:30p.m. to 8:30p.m. Location: Pearl Park

June 30 (free event) Cabezudos Parade
A mainstay in Spanish festivals and parades are Cabezudos (“giants” or “big heads”), which feature large papier-mâché heads paired with ornate costumes—often inspired by religious figures and popular culture. The Tricentennial-inspired Cabezudos Parade will debut at the Pearl Farmers Market and culminate in a live performance by Volcán, the 13-piece Indie-Latin Orchestra based in South Texas. Parade starts at 10a.m. and live music from 11:30a.m. to 1p.m. Location: Pearl Farmers Market and Pearl Park