Everywhere San Antonio Chef Nicola Blaque Eats on Her Days Off
Follow her lead to breakfast sandwiches, perfect carnitas and “Tin Can Nachos”
San Antonio is known as a Tex-Mex haven, where you can find some of the country’s best tacos, enchiladas and other delicious staples. But the sprawling city is home to a variety of cuisines, from Asian to Caribbean.
For the latter, put your trust in Nicola Blaque. The Jamaica-born chef served 10 years in the U.S. Army before beginning her culinary career. She moved from Hawaii to San Antonio to pursue a degree at the Culinary Institute of America, eventually opening her first restaurant, Mi Roti, which serves Caribbean street foods at the Pearl’s Bottling Department food hall. Next came The Jerk Shack, a Jamaican-inspired restaurant that has received a steady drumbeat of national and local acclaim since opening in 2018. Try the jerk chicken or the wings, and you’ll quickly see why.
Blaque is busy running her two restaurants, but when she gets out of her kitchens, she makes sure to eat well at other spots around town. These are five of Blaque’s favorite restaurants in San Antonio, starting with breakfast sandwiches and ending with ramen and drinks.
“My favorite breakfast to eat is at Wild Barley Kitchen Co. They have some of the best breakfast sandwiches and bagels in the city. Everything is made fresh and the fast service is a huge plus.”
“I don’t usually eat lunch, but if I do, my first choice is Carnitas Don Raúl. That juicy mix of lean and fatty pork is just amazing. I love getting mine with the queso tortillas and guacamole topped with their green salsa. That alone is enough to sit you down for a few hours.”
“Lucy Cooper’s Texas Ice House has a great vibe and menu. I love snacking on their appetizers, especially the Tin Can Nachos. They’re my favorite because it reminds me of being a kid and throwing all the toppings on my nachos.”
“Godai Sushi is a great dinner spot to try. After leaving Hawaii, I realized good sushi is super hard to find in San Antonio, but since I discovered Godai Sushi, it’s been the only place I eat sushi at! The owner, Goro, still rolls every roll. Every time I go, I just tell them to give me the chef’s special. I’ve never had a bad roll.”
“I don’t usually drink, but if I do, I have to go to The Cherrity Bar. It’s a local bar/ramen shop with profits going towards local charities. You can get amazing and creative cocktails with some of the best ramen in the city.”
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