Apr 1, 2006 12:00 PM
SAN ANTONIO, often referred to as the northernmost city in Mexico, has long been the state's keeper of culinary tradition.
Mexican and US Southwestern fare, including barbecue, can be found in abundance throughout the city.
Originally a cast-off cut deemed appropriate only for ranch hands and vaqueros along the border (the lowly skirt steak faja actually means belt in Spanish), the fajita has barely reached the age of maturity in restaurant circles: cafes in the Rio Grande Valley began serving fajitas in the early 70s, and one source credits an Austin entrepreneur with introducing them at regional livestock shows and craft fairs at about the same time.
But it wasn't until decade's end that the dish really took off, and a good case can be made for San Antonio and restaurants on El Mercado's Produce Row as major instigators of the now-wildly popular platter.
Border-based culture has not been the only influence on San Antonio and South Texas foodways, however. The influx of German and Alsatian settlers that began in the mid-1800s also brought with them a taste for simple staples such as sauerkraut, potato salad and, of course, sausage. German brewmeisters, in fact, may have made the most enduring contribution to Texas culture of any ethnic group to date: the bringing of beer to a thirsty and thankful land.
The first brewery was established adjacent to the Alamo in 1855 by German immigrant barrel maker William Menger and his partner Charles Deegan, and it soon became so famous that orders came from all over Texas, and his men delivered the golden brew in wagon trains and even oxcarts. Other ethnic influences on San Antonio's plate are less obvious — until the city's numerous military bases are considered: for a city without a Chinatown there is a remarkable number of Oriental restaurants, such as Vietnamese, Thai, and, increasingly, Korean.
The variety is due in part to war brides, in part to tastes acquired by military personnel in service abroad, and even to Asians who first settled in South America, only to make the trek north from Chile or perhaps Peru.
2006 NTTC Annual Conference Exhibitors
|Exhibitor||Booth No.||See ad page|
|Allegheny Coupling Co||21|
|ArvinMeritor||36 & 60||11|
|Benesch, Friedlander Coplan & Aronoff LLP||41|
|Brenner Tank, LLC||49-50||18|
|C & B Transportation||35|
|Express Brake Int'l||39|
|Fort Vale Inc||16||19|
|Garner Environmental Services Inc||48|
|Girard Equipment Inc||4||13|
|Haldex Brake Products Corp||17||5|
|Heil Trailer International||45-46||Cover 2|
|Hilb Rogal & Hobbs Transportations||30|
|The Holland Group||31|
|J J Keller & Associates Inc||27|
|Mack Trucks Inc||33-34|
|Maddocks Systems Inc||53|
|Magtec Products Inc||42|
|National Tank Services||55|
|Polar Tank Truck LLC||23-24||Cover 4|
|Safety Pumping Systems||44||55|
|Salco Products Inc||56-57||10|
|Scully Signal Company||3|
|TAS Environmental Services LP||43|
|TMT Software Company||20|
|US Customs & Border Protection||58|
© 2013 Penton Media Inc.
Acceptable Use Policy blog comments powered by Disqus