Two Reasons Downtown is making Great Culinary Strides

Monday 06th, June 2016 / 10:09 Written by
Two Reasons Downtown is making Great Culinary Strides
Downtown San Antonio Continues to make Great Culinary Strides Thanks to Unique Local Shops like Estate Coffee Company and Salt & Oak

Big culinary strides were made last month to downtown San Antonio when two local shops opened a shared space on east Houston St. Brian Labarbera and Ben Annotti, two local entrepreneurs, have set up business in a space located at 1320 E. Houston St, #101 to display their culinary talents.

Salt & Oak, a quality goods store and Ben’s brain child, contains an aromatic blend of spices & salts, condiments, sauces, honey, cocktail makings & tools and much more. This boutique retail shop offers so many different artisan and small batch food and drink items, you will have to stop by and scour the shelves yourself to really see what’s inside.

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culinary strides

Ben’s space also has an interactive mixing area where you will most likely find him mixing up seasonings and rubs for both professional and want-to-be chefs needing a special blend for their next creation.

culinary strides

“Come in, tell me what you’re cooking and I will put together a blend just for you to meet your tastes and requirements,” says Ben. Where else do you get that service?

Ben, a former chef himself, said he has always liked to create his own blends to go with whatever he was cooking. It’s kind of his niche, if you will. He also likes finding new and different quality goods from creative makers all over the globe and sharing them with others. Be the first in your circle to whip up a Oaxacan Old Fashioned or cook a meal for friends incorporating Chili Pepper Infused Hot Honey or Bluegrass Soy Sauce.

While I was there I asked his suggestions about a seasoning for salmon I was cooking for friends. He quickly pulled several jars off the shelf and had me smell them. I immediately knew which one I wanted.

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Ben can ship his goods all over the world, so go ahead and order some of that special sauce, cocktail mix or blended-just-for-you seasoning.

He can also put together a one of a kind gift box for that special someone. Just tell him their tastes and likes and he will put it together. I’m thinking this will make Father’s Day shopping a breeze. You can email Ben at info@oakandsalt.com

culinary strides

Location: 1320 E Houston St, San Antonio, TX 78205

**Note: When coming to visit, if the train is stuck on the tracks you can take the underpass on Nolan St. which is one block over.

Phone:

Hours:

Monday – Closed

Tues – Sat  9am – 4pm

Sun  9am – 2pm

http://oakandsalt.com/

Estate Coffee Company, owned and run by Brian, occupies the other half of the space in the building. Estate Coffee operates it’s own coffee roaster where customers can watch (and smell) coffee beans being roasted. People will also have a chance to get educated about the roasting process and about the farmers Estate Coffee works with.

culinary strides

The space also contains a boutique coffee bar where Brian and his staff create artisan espresso drinks, cold brews, pour overs, teas and a unique house made chai. They also have coffee cocktails on the menu, a non-alcoholic version of their cocktail counterparts.

With Texas weather heating up, you should try the cold brew Mint Julep made with cold brew coffee (a less acidic coffee than hot coffee), mint julep simple syrup, muddled mint, Topo Chico and Woodford reserve mint infused sugar from Oak & Salt across the room.

culinary strides

My personal favorite today was the Honey Lavender Latte made with Gretchon’s Bee Ranch honey from Seguin, TX (infused with lavender), espresso and milk. This makes a sweet pick-me-up in the middle of the day.

culinary strides

Brian believes that sourcing the best coffees from family owned importers and quality ingredients from Oak & Salt will create wonderful unique beverages customers will want to come back for. I tend to agree after trying these special Estate Coffee drinks.

Estate Coffee Company has several different types of coffee beans for sale too. You can purchase 8 oz. packages of Nebilger Valley – from Papua New Guinea, Nyeri Othaya Peaberry – from Kenya and several others to take home. They will even grind the beans for your brewing method. Shop Estate Coffee’s small retail corner where you can get a coffee cup, bag or T-Shirt to take home along with your new favorite coffee.

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Yes, these two entrepreneurs are helping San Antonio make great culinary strides in the downtown landscape.

**Full Disclosure: I received product in exchange for my review.  All opinions in this post are totally mine.

Location: 1320 E Houston St, San Antonio, TX 78205

**Note: When coming to visit, if the train is stuck on the tracks you can take the underpass on Nolan St. which is one block over.

Phone:  (210) 667-4347

Hours:

Monday – Fri  7am – 4pm

Sat  8am – 4pm

Sun  8am – 2pm

https://www.estatecoffeecompany.com/

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