San Antonio’s Full Belly Cafe and Bar reopens next week

Full Belly Cafe and Bar will reopen on Monday October 5. Photo: Full Belly Cafe and Bar, used with permission.

Full Belly Cafe and Bar had been open for only 32 days when restaurants across the state were closed in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19. Throughout the mandated closure and subsequent citywide reopening phases, Chef Owners Blade Haddock and James Moore closely monitored cases in the area and weighed the risks of reopening with the possibility of having to close once again. Ultimately, the hospitality veterans determined that reopening would not be an option until they could do so with confidence that the science and data determined a safe environment. (Full Belly Cafe and Bar, 2020)

Throughout the closure, Haddock and Moore have been dedicated to evolving the contemporary American restaurant for reopening, including updated hours and new takeout options. When patrons return on Monday October 5, they will have the option to dine inside the restaurant or be seated on the newly completed covered outdoor patio, which features a fresh 16-foot mural. Reservations will be accepted and walk-ins are always welcome.

Takeout will be available with a curbside pickup option plus cocktails, beer and wine to-go. Signature Drinks, including Full Belly’s Margarita and Maker’s Mark Old Fashioned, will come with all ingredients premixed and ready to be blended or poured over ice to enjoy in the included glassware. Takeaway wine is offered by the bottle, six-pack or case from Full Belly’s eclectic wine list, which is designed to match the menu. Takeout orders can be placed by calling the restaurant at (210) 236-5374.

In addition to seasonal American cuisine with a global spin, freshly baked pastries and a specialty coffee menu are also available for dine-in or to-go. Favorites include Pastry Chef Deanna Lansing’s signature “Belly Puffs,” a cross between a croissant and a cream puff filled with mascarpone Chantilly cream.

Diners can look forward to a menu of chef-forward, sweet and savory items from the daytime menu seven days a week and dinner menu service Wednesday through Saturday. There will be all-day happy hour specials every day as well. Business hours as noted: Sunday Through Tuesday 9a.m. to 3p.m., Wednesday and Thursday 9a.m. to 9p.m. and Friday and Saturday 9a.m. to 10p.m. 

Full Belly adheres to the Texas Restaurant Association’s Texas Restaurant Promise and follows the CDC guidelines for safety and sanitation. Per San Antonio mandate, face coverings are required when not seated and the restaurant will operate with required social distancing at a maximum of 75 percent capacity.

Founded in San Antonio by veteran restaurateurs Blade Haddock and James Moore, Full Belly Cafe and Bar is a contemporary American restaurant with a global spin. Embracing its motto to “Feed your Soul. Fill your Belly,” Full Belly offers a variety of hearty, seasonal dishes alongside an extensive chef influenced bar program and specialty coffee menu for a complete dining experience.

Full Belly Cafe and Bar

427 North Loop 1604 West #202

San Antonio, TX  78232

(210) 236-5374

“We’ve been so moved by the support we’ve received from the community, industry leaders and family and friends, checking in and eagerly awaiting our return. We always said that when it was safe to return, we’d pick the ball back up and run with it, and that’s just what we intend to do.” – James Moore, Full Belly’s Executive Chef Partner


Celebrate National Taco Day at Taco Cabana

Taco Cabana is offering $1 tacos in celebration of National Taco Day. Photo: Taco Cabana, used with permission.

This weekend, in celebration of National Taco Day, Taco Cabana is offering a selection of its popular tacos for only $1. This offer is valid on Sunday, October 4, 2020 only. Guests can enjoy their choice of the classic bean and cheese, shredded chicken or ground beef tacos this weekend. $1 tacos are available in restaurant, drive-thru, via mobile order through the MyTC! App and for curbside pick-up. (Taco Cabana, 2020)

Taco Cabana, a subsidiary of Fiesta Restaurant Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: FRGI), was founded in 1978. The brand specializes in Tex-Mex-inspired food including fajitas, quesadillas, flautas, enchiladas, burritos, tacos, flour tortillas and a selection of made-from-scratch salsas and sauces. Restaurants feature open-display cooking, a selection of beer and tequila margaritas, patio dining and drive-thru windows. As of Jan. 1, 2020, Taco Cabana operates 146 company-owned restaurants in Texas.

Independence Brewing Co releases beer to spark voter engagement

Independence Brewing Co announced the release of Freak Power, a new blood orange hefeweizen. Photo: Julia Keim, used with permission.

Ahead of its sixteenth anniversary, Independence Brewing Co. announced the release of Freak Power, a new blood orange hefeweizen named in honor of Hunter S. Thompson’s groundbreaking campaign for sheriff of Aspen in 1970. The beer will debut just in time to kick off the voter registration period for Texas residents ahead of the 2020 presidential election. Just as Thompson created the “Freak Power Party” to inspire fellow “freaks” to vote, Independence Brewing aims to inspire the inner freak in all of us to participate in our democracy.  (Independence Brewing Co., 2020)

Freak Power is part of Independence Brewing’s upcoming initiative to help spread political awareness and civic engagement among eligible voters in markets where their beer is sold. As part of the Freak Power rollout, team members will be deputized as volunteer voter registrars for Travis County and the South Austin brewery will host voter registration drives ahead of Texas state elections on November 3, 2020. In addition to the brewery’s efforts in Austin, Independence Brewing’s sales representatives throughout the state will organize promotional events at local bars and retailers and assist on-site voter registration.

The recipe for Freak Power is a twist on the classic Bavarian hefeweizen, balancing the sweet clove esters with the citrusy tang of blood orange. The result is a hef that starts like a traditional German wheat beer and ends with a crisp finish that does not linger too long on the palate. It pairs best with light, starchy, and lemony foods, and at 5.4% ABV, Freak Power is an ideal candidate to engage and mobilize voters of all stripes without clouding their judgment.

The seasonal brew is available through November at the taproom and at local retailers throughout Texas. The can will be easy to spot, too. Bright pink and orange graphics against a matte-black backdrop will make this beer a standout on store shelves. 

Independence Brewing Co. is a local craft beer brewery and taproom located in Southeast Austin, Texas. Founded by Amy & Rob Cartwright in 2004, Independence Brewing Co. has grown from a small mom, pop, and dog operation to a team of 40 people producing more than 17 thousand barrels a year with distribution throughout Texas, Arkansas, and Colorado. Independence Brewing Co. is now one of the largest, longest-standing, and most beloved breweries in Central Texas.

Independence’s core lineup includes Austin Amber, Native Texan Pilsner, Power & Light Session IPA, Redbud Berliner Weisse, Convict Hill Oatmeal Stout, and the brand’s top-selling beer, Stash IPA. These beers and several seasonal/limited releases are available to be enjoyed in a laid-back, industrial-style tasting room with views of the beer-making process set to live music from local musicians. Birds Barbershop offers beers exclusively from Independence Brewing Co. in all nine of their locations across Texas.

“Now, more than ever, we need to encourage each other to speak up and enact change. The 2020 election is a critical moment for our nation and will set the political agenda for the coming years. With Freak Power, we sought to create something that ignites enthusiasm the way Hunter S. Thompson did back in 1970.” – Amy Cartwright, President and Co-Founder of Independence Brewing Co.

Banned Books Week 2020 September 27 – October 3

‘The Absolute True Diary of a Part-Time Indian’ by Sherman Alexie tops the list of the Top 100 Most Banned and Challenged Books for 2010-2019. Photo: google

This year, Banned Books Week is from September 27 through October 3. Banned Books Week is an annual awareness campaign promoted by the American Library Association and Amnesty International, that celebrates the freedom to read, draws attention to banned and challenged books and highlights persecuted individuals.

According to the American Library Association, “The Absolute True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” by Sherman Alexie ranks #1 in the list of the Top 100 Most Banned and Challenged Books for 2010-2019.

Bestselling author Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot. “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian,” which is based on the author’s own experiences, with poignant drawings by Ellen Forney, reflect the character’s art, chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he was destined to live.

Book review: ‘The Punk Rock of Business’ by Jeremy Dale

Jeremy Dale has over 20 years’ experience in the consumer electronics industry and until 2017, he was Corporate Vice President of Microsoft’s worldwide retail channel. Prior to that, he was CMO at Motorola during the RAZR heyday. Jeremy is now CEO of an exciting start-up business in the global football and entertainment sector where he is applying his philosophy. Jeremy owns a BAFTA for the launch of Pokémon, he was named 35th in the UK’s Marketing Power 100 and he was listed in Total Films 100 Most Influential People in the Movies. In his book “The Punk Rock of Business: Applying a Punk Rock Attitude in the Modern Business Era,” Dale offers guidelines to transform business from average to innovation through a mindset rooted in punk rock principles.

In the Foreword, “The Punk Rock of Business” Jeremy Dale explains how punk rock attitude can save the mediocrity of business.  According to him, what society needs is pure, unadulterated business leadership which echoes many of the attributes of punk. Punk rockers had a cause – they wanted authenticity and refused to conform. Because of this, they created a dramatic change that shook society to its core. The author wants readers to apply this concept to the business world.  “Applying a punk rock attitude in business is for those who want to make a difference, who love to dare greatly, who strive for excellence-characteristics that are far too rare.” His goal is to motivate like-minded businesspeople to be more punk. The book is divided into: The Eight Elements of Punk Rock Business: Element 1: Have a Cause, Element 2: Build a Movement, Element 3: Create New and Radically Different Ideas, Element 4: Drive Speed and Action, Element 5: Say It as It Is, Element 6: Be Authentic, Element 7: Put Yourself Out There, Element 8: Reject Conformity and The Key Requirements to Implementing a Punk Rock Attitude in Business. At the end of each element, there is a ‘Key Lessons’ section that summarizes the section’s ideas, a ‘So What Are You Going to Do About It’ section where readers can write down any thoughts and a final section that gives one more viewpoint on the element.

Business manuals are easy to come by nowadays, but “The Punk Rock of Business” is geared towards the modern thinker. It inspires businesspeople to achieve incredible things and not settle for the status quo, regardless of where they are in their careers.  Written in plain and easy to understand language, the topics are informative and straightforward.  The interactive portions have the reader jot down thoughts, ideas and actions to be taken, making the book easy to navigate. The stories keep the lessons fresh and entertaining. Standout chapter is Element 8: Reject Conformity, the section titled ‘It’s Okay to Ruffle a Few Feathers’ which includes the concept of standing up for what you believe in and not caring about keeping everyone happy because that is not your job. Most of the advice is useful for any age but will resonate with the younger generation who is familiar with punk and its no nonsense, in your face attitude.  “The Punk Rock of Business” is a modern business guide that will challenge all types of businesspeople to reassess their goals and their approach to business in general and is recommended for readers who strive for a more meaningful career.

“….this book is primarily for people of action, passionate people who aren’t prepared to accept the status quo, who want to change the world-or at least their world.”

*The author received a copy of this book for an honest review. The views and opinions expressed here belong solely to her.

Virtual BUDDY WALK to benefit Down Syndrome Association of South Texas

This year’s BUDDY WALK is set for Saturday October 17. Courtesy photo, used with permission.

Like so many non-profit organizations this year, the Down Syndrome Association of South Texas (DSASTX) is reworking event plans to respect the safety of the community and COVID compliance.  As a result, the 20th annual BUDDY WALK will be held virtually on Saturday, October 17.  This year’s participants will be asked to walk in their own neighborhoods, at their own pace and post videos and photos online to show support for DSASTX. (Down Syndrome Association of South Texas, 2020)

With income down 62 percent this year, the BUDDY WALK is critically important. Sponsorships, as well as individuals forming teams ‘walking’ to honor a loved one with Down syndrome, raise much needed funds. The goal is to raise $200,000. Registration fee is $10; if you cannot participate but would like to donate to the Down Syndrome Association of South Texas, please select the DONATE button online. Down Syndrome affects more than 1,275 families in San Antonio and surrounding areas and the DSASTX is there to assist with support groups, educational programs, fun activities and more.

The Down Syndrome Association of South Texas is determined to empower and support individuals with Down Syndrome and their families in South Texas.  The goals are to help give access to resources, provide engagement opportunities in the community and assist with progress toward self-actualization. It also provides lifelong services and support that optimizes well-being, develops rewarding relationships and fosters inclusion in the community. For additional information, please visit Down Syndrome Association of South Texas and follow @DSASTX on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

“We are honored to have Kym’s Angels Foundation as our presenting sponsor. We share similar programming goals and with support from sponsors like Kym’s Angels we are able to provide virtual activities for those home-bound during these difficult times.”  – Brian Lopez, executive director for Down Syndrome Association of South Texas.

Celebrate National Drink a Beer Day this Monday September 28

Local businesses have ways to celebrate National Drink a Beer Day this Monday September 28. Photo: Twang, used with permission.

This Monday September 28 is National Drink a Beer Day and nowadays it is more important than ever to celebrate the little things. Local favorites are offering ways to partake in the holiday, whether at home or safely out on the town. (EVO Entertainment, Twang, Lone Star Brewing, Southerleigh, 2020)

EVO Entertainment

EVO’s Schertz location is the place to grab a brew and have some socially distanced fun. The movie theater and entertainment complex offers a wide variety of local, craft, and domestic beers for guests to enjoy, including flights to sip from while patrons bowl or catch a film. EVO is dedicated to operating safely to help prevent the spread of COVID-19; safety procedures are available online.


Based in San Antonio, Texas, Twang Partners Ltd. is a family-owned and operated creator and manufacturer of premium-flavored salts, sugars and seasonings and credited as being “The original beer salt.” In addition to their wide array of beer salts, Twang also recently launched a premium Michelada mix ideal for mixing with Mexican-style lagers. The Michelada mix is available at HEBs throughout Texas and on Twang online. 

Das Bier Y’all 

Lone Star Brewing recently announced the latest seasonal beer in the beloved family of Lone Star Beers: Das Bier Y’all – The New Taste of Classic Texas. Das Bier Y’all is a classic German-style kölsch with a peachy twist, brewed to honor the German heritage of the Lone Star State and its enduring cultural influence that remains prevalent in Texas today. The beer is now available for purchase in select locations throughout Texas for a limited time through early Spring 2021. Das Bier Y’all will be available throughout Texas, with six-packs available at a suggested retail price of $7.99. Beer lovers can use Lone Star’s beer finder to find a store selling nearest to them. 


Located in the former brewhouse of the Pearl Brewery, Southerleigh Fine Food & Brewery has been credited with bringing brewing back to Pearl. In addition to rich, indulgent dishes highlighting the best of Texan and Gulf Coast flavors, Southerleigh offers brews made in house. Southerleigh’s drafts are unique and perfect for celebrating a holiday dedicated to drinking beer.

Briscoe Western Art Museum’s fall exhibit: Visual Voices: Contemporary Chickasaw Art

Brenda Kingery Pow Wow. Photo: Briscoe Western Art Museum, used with permission.

The Briscoe Western Art Museum is giving everyone a modern view of Native American art and showcasing stories of the West that go far beyond boots and spurs during its fall exhibition, VISUAL VOICES:  Contemporary Chickasaw Art. The traveling exhibition, which includes 15 Chickasaw artists and almost 60 artworks, will be on display at the museum from Friday September 25, 2020, through Monday January 18, 2021. The public was invited to enjoy a first view of the exhibition during its opening reception on Thursday, September 24 and there will also be a virtual curator’s talk on Saturday, September 26. (Briscoe Western Art Museum, 2020)

Featuring the artworks of present-day Chickasaw painters, potters, sculptors, metalsmiths and weavers, the exhibition tells a beautiful and compelling contemporary visual story. From oil and watercolor paintings to textiles and metals, glass and bronze, the artworks are unique, intrinsically Southeastern in design and distinctive among contemporary tribal artists. Chickasaw artists featured in the exhibition include Brenda Kingery, Brent Greenwood, Daniel Worcester, Billy Hensley, Margaret Roach Wheeler, Norma Howard, Maya Stewart, Lisa Hudson, Dustin Mater, Paul C. Moore, Tyra Shackleford, Erin Shaw, Lokosh (Joshua D. Hinson), Joanna Underwood Blackburn and Kristen Dorsey.

Featured in the exhibition, Dustin Mater’s “Cosmic Warrior II”, a 2015 mixed media work that includes acrylic on molded plastic, as well as rabbit fur, deer antler and black lip oyster shell, is the stunning stormtrooper helmet that goes beyond anything George Lucas ever envisioned. And is definitely not a typical Native American headdress.

VISUAL VOICES Virtual Curator’s Talk

Saturday, September 26, 11a.m. – Noon

Join Ryan Badger, the Briscoe’s Curator of Education, and VISUAL VOICES: Contemporary Chickasaw Art curators, Dr. Manuela Well-Off-Man and Karen Whitecotton as they discuss VISUAL VOICES. Well-Off-Man, chief curator of the Institute of American Indian Arts Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, and Whitecotton (Citizen Potawatomi), the director of collections at the Oklahoma Museum of Popular Culture, will discuss the background of the VISUAL VOICES exhibition as it closes out its national tour at the Briscoe. Tickets are free for museum members and $10 for nonmembers. Briscoe members please RSVP by phone: 210.299.4499 or email:

VISUAL VOICES: Contemporary Chickasaw Art is made possible by a grant provided by the Chickasaw Nation, guidance from the Chickasaw Artist Board and assistance from First Americans Museum. This exhibition is also made possible with funding from Humanities Texas and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) as part of the federal CARES Act. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this exhibition do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The museum’s health and safety protocols require temperature checks and that both staff and guests wear masks. Additional sanitizing and cleaning protocols are observed throughout the day and both visitor services and the museum store feature plexiglass shields for additional protection.

Museum hours are 10a.m. through 3p.m. seven days a week. The Briscoe is located on the south end of the River Walk, near the Arneson River Theatre and La Villita, with convenient parking at the Riverbend Garage directly adjacent to the museum or one of many downtown surface lots. Museum hours, parking and admission details are available online.

Pumpkin Spice Roundup – chefs create locally made pumpkin treats

Pumpkin Spice Boba Tea from Bao’d Up. Photo: Julia Keim, used with permission.

Local chefs celebrate Autumn by taking pumpkin spice season to a whole new level. Get cozy and check out some of these locally-made pumpkin spice creations. (Bao’d Up, EVO Entertainment Group, Bakery Lorraine, 2020)

The Pumpkin Pie Bao is made with pumpkin purée, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and pecans all inside a Chinese pumpkin steamed bun. Bao buns are known for being light, fluffy and soft. The filling inside this bao is reminiscent of a freshly-baked pumpkin pie. Ting Lin, Executive Chef and Co-Owner of Bao’d Up, is a first-generation Chinese immigrant who is passionate about adapting traditional Chinese dishes like bao to the American palate in interesting and fun ways. Available for contact-less pick-up and delivery at all four Bao’d Up locations today thru November 30.

Pumpkin Spice Boba Tea is a new favorite fall drink. The creamy iced treat is perfect for a crisp fall day. Shaken with pumpkin syrup and spices, this boba tea is the perfect marriage of Chinese and American favorites, which just happens to be Bao’d Up’s specialty. Available for contact-less pick-up and delivery at all four Bao’d Up locations today thru November 30.

Bao’d Up is a minority-owned Chinese chain with four locations in and around the Austin area. The concept specializes in Bao or Baozi, which is a famous food category in many Asian countries. Bao’d Up uses a variety of different fillings and experiment with new ways of cooking the bao. Co-founded by tech entrepreneur Alex Wu and Chef Ting Lin, the first location opened in Central Austin’s Mueller Aldrich district on July 25, 2017. The restaurant quickly became popular for its fast-casual business model and technology-driven service platforms, including contact-free food lockers.

EVO Entertainment’s Pumpkin Spiked Shake has returned to all open locations for a limited time through Monday, November 30, 2020. The Pumpkin Spiked Shake was the result of a collaborative effort from EVO’s culinary team that returns each fall to the delight of customers. The boozy shake includes vodka and Baileys Pumpkin Spice liqueur and is available for $10.50; a non-alcoholic version of the shake is available for $8.50. 

EVO Entertainment Group® is an Austin based out-of-home entertainment operator comprised of a number of innovative brands including EVO® Entertainment, EVO® Cinemas, and EVO® Concerts. Since its launch in 2014, EVO® has gained a reputation as a leader in innovation, as well as one of the fastest-growing independent cinema circuits in the country. EVO® Entertainment Group currently employs over 1,000 team members and entertains nearly 3 million guests annually.

San Antonio’s nationally-recognized Bakery Lorraine just released their pumpkin spice macaron for Fall 2020. The shell of the macarons are seasoned with a house-made pumpkin spice blend and topped with roasted pumpkin seeds. Between the shells is an irresistible cream cheese buttercream that makes the macarons reminiscent of a pumpkin roulade. The fall-time treat will be available at all four locations of Bakery Lorraine, which stretch across both Austin and San Antonio.  

Bakery Lorraine is a San Antonio favorite and nationally recognized pastry shop famous for its colorful macarons and exquisite French pastries. Owned by chefs Anne Ng, Jeremy Mandrell, and operator Charlie Biedenharn, Bakery Lorraine was named one of the best new bakeries in the U.S. by Food & Wine and CNN’s Eatocracyblog, as well as one of the “13 Destination Bakeries” by Conde Nast Traveler. Bakery Lorraine has three locations in San Antonio including one in the Historic Pearl district, one in San Antonio’s Medical Center, and one in San Antonio’s RIM shopping center, including now an Austin location at Domain NORTHSIDE.

Book release: ‘The Resurrection of Fulgencio Ramirez’ by Rudy Ruiz

‘The Resurrection of Fulgencio Ramirez’ is the new release from Rudy Ruiz. Photo: google

Rudy Ruiz is a writer, advocate and social entrepreneur.  The award-winning author’s short fiction has received several awards,  including four International Latino Book Awards for his short-story collection “Seven for the Revolution” and the 2017 Gulf Coast Prize in Fiction. His stories have been published in the Notre Dame Review, Ninth Letter, Gulf Coast and New Texas. A native of the US-Mexico border, he earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Harvard, and now resides in San Antonio with his wife and children. Ruiz is also a regular special contributor to CNN and co-founder of Interlex, an advertising and marketing agency. His new book “The Resurrection of Fulgencio Ramirez” weaves together the past and present as Fulgencio strives to succeed in America, break a mystical family curse, and win back Carolina’s love after their doomed youthful romance. It was just released this week.

Set in the 1950, in “The Resurrection of Fulgencio Ramirez,” tensions remain high in the border town of La Frontera, Texas.  Yet amidst the discord, young love blooms at first sight between Fulgencio Ramirez, the son of impoverished immigrants and Carolina Mendelssohn, the local pharmacist’s daughter. But their bonds will be undone by a force more powerful than they could have known. Thirty years after their first fateful encounter, Fulgencio Ramirez, RPh, is conducting his daily ritual of reading the local obituaries in his cramped pharmacy office. After nearly a quarter of a century of waiting, Fulgencio sees the news he has been hoping for: his nemesis, the husband of Carolina Mendelssohn, has died. “The Resurrection of Fulgencio Ramirez” offers a vision of how the past has divided us and how the future could unite us.