The San Antonio Summer Art & Jazz Festival ushers in summer with its three-day explosion of outdoor music, art and food. Ears watch the sonorous stylings of bands hailing from all over Texas from the comfort of covered VIP seating while enjoying refreshments and, on Saturday and Sunday evenings, tucking into a full dinner. After flexing fingers around forks, attendees can browse art stalls showcasing the talents of local painters, craftsmen and highly trained paintbrushes. In addition to a mental scrapbook's worth of memories, patrons leave with swag including a souvenir badge, autographed posters, and a jazz pin.
A San Antonio mainstay since 1890, Boehler’s continues to whip up a menu bedecked with inspired takes on comfort classics while surrounding guests in the allure of a historical eating establishment. The white-fish-and-salmon ceviche marinates in lemon and lime juice before diving into a sea of avocado and pico de gallo, and a risotto-stuffed banana-peppers appetizer warms taste buds when risotto flowers are in season. Chefs steep the signature Boehler’s Fried Chicken in buttermilk, jalapeños, and garlic for 36 hours before frying them to golden perfection, and merge beef and chorizo with green chile, provolone cheese, and poblano-green-chile sauce to form a fiery Southwestern meatloaf. Much like falling down a ski slope of granulated sugar, the Guinness Chocolate Car Bomb ($6.95) fills faces with sweetness, bombarding taste buds with cocoa drenched in Bailey’s & Jameson Irish Whiskey sauce.
When he's not gigging at renowned venues such as CBGB or the Bowery Ballroom, Pancho Garza preps others to do the same at Alamo Rock School. Likewise, Pancho's fellow instructors channel years of teaching and performing experience to help students aged 8–17 improve their guitar, bass-guitar, drums, piano, or singing skills.
Weekly one-on-one lessons are the bedrock of Alamo's rock club, whose weekend jam sessions give students the opportunity to play with fellow musicians. Private lessons pair with group rehearsals at the school's summer camp and rock performance sessions, which culminate in a live show at a local venue. Designed for musicians 18 and older, the adult rock program similarly whisks students out of their grownup forts made of utility bills to the stage.
Texas de Brazil blends the steak-centric cuisine of Texas with the traditional churrasco method of slow-roasting meat over an open flame grill to form a luscious meaty mélange. The full dinner ($39.99) marches out a cavalcade of choice cuts, allowing diners to welcome continuous windfalls of flavorful proteins. Brandish your table's provided card, green on one side, red on the other, and it will function as a meat traffic light that summons servers to either send stacks of seasoned beef, pork, or lamb skewers or halt plate traffic like a decorated culinary crossing guard. Or feel free to substitute greens for the grill by stepping into the sprawling salad-bar conga line ($24.99), two-stepping through toothsome goodies such as imported cheeses, steamed asparagus, and dozens of other hors d'oeuvres.
Albert Friedrich poured the first foamer at The Buckhorn Saloon in 1881. Early in his bartending days, Friedrich began accepting horns and antlers in exchange for whiskey and beer, leading to a unique collection now exhibited in The Buckhorn Museum. The historic tavern claims that Teddy Roosevelt once recruited Rough Riders from among its patrons, and it is also rumored as the place where Pancho Villa plotted the Mexican Revolution. An original handcrafted marble-and-cherry-wood back bar and other historic furnishings still reside in the saloon, where guests now swig locally brewed beers and challenge each other to taser duels. Visitors come face to face with the taxidermal heads and other artifacts from more than 520 species, including a 1,056-pound black marlin and a prehistoric irish-elk skull and antlers. The museum also lays claims to a preserved whitetail deer and the rattlesnake rattle artwork of Friedrich’s wife, which guests can show to their own pet snakes as a cautionary example of what happens to misbehaving reptiles.
Adjacent to The Buckhorn Museum, The Texas Ranger Museum houses Texas Ranger paraphernalia such as sawed-off shotguns, badges, and photographs. At Ranger Town, young whippersnappers delight in glimpses of life during turn-of-the-century San Antonio, as depicted by a re-created jail, smith, and telegraph office, as well as the Bonnie and Clyde exhibit, where a '34 Ford V8 Deluxe sits anxiously awaiting its next adventure. On their way out, visitors can drop in at a museum gift shop that traces its own origins to 1920, when it was a curios store.