Live. Love. Chevy: A Valentine's to Remember

My concept of Valentine's isn't the most conventional one.  I don't care for flowers, serenades, or rose petal trails.  My idea of a "romantic" evening is sharing culture, food, ideas, and riding in style.  The crew @chevytexan knew how to tug at my heart strings, by proposing an offer I could not refuse.  A week of Valentine's plans, and a 2012 Grand Sport Corvette convertible to show off in too!  No red-blooded American would turn that down.

Many of you know I already own an orange 2005 Corvette, it was REALLY nice to have two!

The first stop of my official #chevyvalentines itinerary was my first visit to the whimsical Pearl Farmers Market.  It's an absolute shame that one of the most popular food bloggers in San Antonio hadn't been (Hey, I live in the boonies, give me a break here! Haha!), but it was an experience I'll never forget.  Chilly weather aside, it didn't stop hundreds of patrons, and the booths were full of fresh foods, vendors who knew their products inside and out, live music that had everyone dancing at 10am, and the aroma of delectable chicken and waffles.  Oh, the band!  An awesome trio called the Vinyl 45's, specializing in fun, upbeat tunes from the 50s era.  The thing that got me the most, their very colorful instruments, including a stunning electric blue,  upright bass!

Everything is so festive, and everyone has beaming smiles on their faces.  That kind of enthusiasm is contagious, and it's heart-warming to see so many people sharing my love of food.  Once the Farmers Market starting shutting down for the day, I decided to take a stroll down the Riverwalk Expansion, and check out the funky architecture, and lovely landscaping.

That stroll sure did work up an appetite, and not a moment too soon!  A late lunch at La Gloria tucked right in between the Pearl complex and the Riverwalk expansion.  La Gloria is a tasty, Latino oasis with some peppy cocktails.

My date and I got to sample an array of tasty dishes, notably their Al Pastor tacos with a zesty pineapple salsa, ceviche-style seafood salad with avocado, crab and scallop, and flavorful grilled fish tacos!  Everything tastes fresh, bright, and far from what most San Antonians call "Mexican food," La Gloria is the real deal - you won't even find the obligatory rice and beans there!  Beautiful place, I can understand the hype completely.  The cocktails are made fresh as well, not a single store bought syrup or mixer to be seen, and it shows in the amazing flavor of their drinks. They remind me of something you would sip on poolside, or even while viewing a perfect blue ocean.  Even the ducks loved it, they would come up to guests seated outside, begging for scraps like a pup at the dinner table.  After such a great meal, we had to let the food settle, so I took a cruise around the city in that killer Grand Sport Corvette, here's a shot of the car when we made a stop on the far northwest side of town:

The grand finale of my #chevyvalentines week was a 5 course meal at Chef Jason Dady's Bin 555.  I've been to his restaurant once before, and I can really appreciate his subtle, and sometimes not-so-subtle, touches to his dishes.  I'm a fan, to say the least, but the 5 courses with wine pairings was just a block party in my mouth.  The tapas appetizer included roasted dates, stuffed with blue cheese and wrapped in prosciutto - the ultimate sweet and savory!  Why didn't I think of that??  Simple, delicious, and very clever.  The next course was a salad of greens, candied pecans, creamy bursts of velvety cheese, in a champagne vinaigrette.  Those candied pecans blew me away, kind of reminded me of my Mandarin Pecan Salad, on steroids, haha!  Third course was grilled octopus with braised oxtail, tomato coulis, and a dab of garlic aioli.  That octopus was nearly life-changing.  If someone took octopus to a legit Texas barbecue, that's what you would taste, Texas barbecue flavor, on a tender tentacle.  I just got a plethora of ideas!  I'm such a sucker for octopus (pun fully intended).

The amazing 3rd course of octopus!
The fourth course was a French classic, roasted chicken in mirepoix (aka: carrot, celery, onion) and potato.  I loved that they used chicken thigh for this dish, what self-respecting chef wouldn't?  The aspect of this dish that really won me over were the potatoes which had a touch of the mesquite, Texas barbecue smoke flavor.  Loved it!  And finally, as if that feast wasn't enough, it was time for the dessert course, a deconstructed cheesecake with blueberry jam and a candied lemon sauce accent.  Honestly, I could have eaten just the candied lemon sauce, it was the perfect combination of tangy and sweet,  You can imagine the slight difficulty trying to waddle out of there after that culinary experience, but I did, and managed to get one last shot of the Corvette:

I can't thank everyone enough!  Especially the girls @chevytexan, Lauren, Emily and Lindsay.  Also, Vicki from GM Communications in Irving, TX, and Scott from ESI.  Y'all are a class act, and can't imagine how much fun your work really is.  I appreciate the opportunity, and it's a memory I will never forget.  Thank you for sharing my love of food and Chevrolet with the perfect #chevyvalentines.

1 comment:

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