San Antonio - The Granary Brew & Que, Lick Ice Cream.

We have only spent a day here and we got questioned by a local as to 'why on earth we would bother visiting San Antonio'. I think a day trip would be quite sufficient.

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Before we got here people kept saying ' you must go on the river walk that runs through the city.' Maybe the USA is just not very used to having canals and streams inland so, to have a river running through the centre is thoroughly interesting. To us it was a really smelly, quite scary and at the time, swelteringly hot concrete path that followed a small river for a few miles, although there were turtles which is a massive bonus when disappointment is rife.

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 No words, only good feelings

No words, only good feelings

Having walked the whole city centre within a few hours, we give in and start looking for food. The main stretch of this place is full of tourist restaurants and bars but walking for 40 minutes towards the outskirts can bring you to 'Old Pearl Brewery' district. You will find an oasis of independent shops and cafes that feel a million miles away from any tourist tat. Walking around I can smell meat smoking but all I can see is what looks like your typical southern house with a wraparound porch. As it turns out, this is home to 'The Granary Que & Brew'. A restaurant that smokes their own responsibly sourced meats and has an in house brewery, serving a selection of inventive ales. Always follow your noses people.

My brown ale smells like a dark treacle and Is far too easy to drink. Today's special on the meat front is a pastrami rib...holy moly! I've had my fare share of pastrami over the years but seeing it served on the rib is something I haven't come across before. It was everything I hoped it would be and more. Blushing pink tender meat with a mosaic like peppercorn crust and a depth of flavour that can only come from long hours of brining, drying and cooking. This is one of the best dishes I have ever had the pleasure of eating! Georgia is munching away on her pulled pork which is sandwiched between homemade buttermilk bread slices. Fresh rosemary sprigs and chilli give the meat a little kick of heat without burning the mouth. These guys do an awesome looking dinner menu and I'd be back just for the home brews alone.

 Lick ice creams for dessert

Lick ice creams for dessert

Dessert is taken at 'Lick Honest Ice Creams' . The milk and cream come from a little family owned dairy and they make every other ingredient by hand, skipping all the artificial rubbish that's around these days. Their flavours are incredibly inventive.. Goat's cheese, thyme and honey. Dark chocolate, olive oil and sea salt. Carrots and tarragon? My choice involves a coconut milk ice cream with house made avocado curd. The lady behind the counter asks if I have tried it before as it is one of their stranger flavours but I'm not fazed. Avocado works great in desserts as it's subtle flavour can be influenced by sweet or savoury ingredients. Steve's cone is filled with 'Licks' take on a Texas sheet cake. Rich chocolate ice cream with a chocolate pecan icing spiralling through it.

We have heard exciting news that New Orleans is having lots of rain and thunderstorms. I can't tell you how happy this makes us. I can't remember what cold feels like. Missing England.

G & S xxx