After 22 years in the air force, Water 2 Wine–founder John McFadden established his first custom winery in San Antonio seven years ago. Already the business has spread as far as Milwaukee to the north and Denver to the west, bringing the country's vinophiles more than 100 wines, each of which are fermented on site and available for tastings every day. Those who want to get more involved in the crafting process may sign up to make their own wine and steep themselves in each step of the operation, from selecting the grape varieties, beginning the fermentation process, withstanding a wait of about 45 days, and finally christening their creation by smashing a tiny boat against the bottle. All custom-made wines are plastered with personalized labels made from one of Water 2 Wine’s templates or images that customers design from the ground up.
Vino 100 serves cheeses and imaginative pasta dishes in its cozy storefront, with live entertainment on Thursdays and Fridays. Start off a meal with a cheese plate, bedecked with one to four types of dairy ($9/one cheese, $20/four). Choose from brie, fontina, Brazos Valley–smoked gouda, and a Brazos Valley cheese of the month. Small plates such as the artichoke dip with crab and spinach ($12) or the goat cheese with raspberry-chipotle sauce ($6) whet appetites and fill bellies to half capacity. Send hunger packing with a stick and bindle by ordering a filling entree such as the truffle-oil mac 'n' cheese ($8), brimming with four italian cheeses, black-forest ham, egg noodles, and a dusting of smoked gruyere. Or try a savory shrimp-and-sausage cheesecake ($12), crowned with a crawfish rémoulade instead of traditional whipped cream and cookies. Polish off the meal with delectable dessert ($6 each), such as the s'mores panini, a combination of marshmallow fluff, graham crackers, and Nutella, encased in a ciabatta bun and grilled to gooey goodness. Stay alert by downing an affogato, a scoop of vanilla-bean ice cream topped with espresso, ensuring you never again fall asleep during an all-cymbal band recital.
Once upon a time there were three friends?Bill, Michael, and Brendan?who loved three simple things: food, drink, and sports. They decided to combine their passions into a business where visitors could share in their enjoyment. Thus, they founded Third Base, a sports bar that began offering drink specials, classic bar food, and endlessly televised sports as soon as it opened. The community enjoyed the establishment so much, the owners soon expanded, opening two additional locations.
Each Third Base location boasts all the amenities locals have come to expect from the proprietors. In addition to numerous flat-screen TVs that bathe the dining rooms in a technicolor glow, sports action is also beamed to the relaxing patios. Drink specials include cocktails and beers, though there are also creative signature drinks like a frozen sangria-laced margarita. The kitchen serves up such treats as a black-and-blue burger, tilapia tacos, wings in eight different sauces, blackened salmon, and decadent milk shakes. On special occasions, Third Base plays host to events that range from crayfish boils to live music to tailgates that celebrate the invention of beer cozies.
The Penalty Box Sports Bar and Grill rewards rabid sports fans and their hungry companions with platefuls of familiar fried favorites alongside a nightly roster of festivities. Pre-game first pitches or State of the Union addresses with a basket of mild, hot, or raspberry chipotle wings ($10.79) and fried pickles ($5.29), before the main event: a half-pound all-beef burger ($6.99) with meat toppers such as avocado, bacon, and swiss cheese ($.50 each). Warm the bench with a crispy chicken-fried steak ($9.49) or a fried-shrimp basket ($8.49), both served up with Texas toast, a house salad, and fries. Monday-night munchers can storm the stage with a mouthful of potatoes on karaoke night, and Tuesday’s Texas hold 'em poker pleases card sharks and pathological liars. Live music on Saturday night and trivia on Wednesdays, plus weekly horseshoes contests and beer-pong tournaments, entertain during commercial breaks on the eatery’s sports-tuned flat-screen TVs.