Texas Hotels Rustle Up Some Grub for Holidays

Rosie Carbo's picture

Traveling to Texas for the holidays means dining on the best Mexican food and barbecue in the country. But during the Christmas season visitors to the Lone Star State can also feast on stellar seafood dishes.

At La Cantera Hill Country Resort SweetFire Kitchen restaurant, visitors can dine on shucked oysters on the half shell, marinated mussels, and savory salmon. Chef Jake Andrews has curated the most incredible, edible cuisine available at one of San Antonio’s best resort hotels.

Texas Hotels Rustle Up Some Grub for Holidays - here, at La Cantera Hill Country Resort SweetFire Kitchen restaurant

The “Christmas Day Feast” includes stations sure to please adults and children alike. Take the “carving station” featuring slow-roasted, free-range turkey. Rosemary and garlic infused roasted prime rib. How about turkey thigh roulade with a side of prickly-pear cranberry sauce?

Prime Rib. Texas Hotels Rustle Up Some Grub for Holidays - here, at La Cantera Hill Country Resort SweetFire Kitchen restaurant

Spend some time grazing on the house-made cheeses and excellent charcuterie selections, such as chicken liver parfait.  Lights and camera are all that are needed at the “action station,” which features made-to-order risotto.

Other delectable items at this station include house-cured bacon, roasted pumpkin, and more. Sweet potato au gratin and brioche and andouille stuffing top the list of hot, hot, haute entrees.

Vegans will savor a special salad of local greens and chicory, pumpkin spiced almonds, gorgonzola, and apple cider dressing. Andrews stressed that his menu items are locally sourced and homemade.

Chef Jake Andrews. From Texas Hotels Rustle Up Some Grub for Holidays - here, at La Cantera Hill Country Resort SweetFire Kitchen restaurant

Chef Jake Andrews

Reservations are required for SweetFire Restaurant’s Christmas Day Feast set for 11 am to 8 pm. Adults are $65 and children ages 5-12 are $25. To make reservations for eight or more, call (210)558-2479. Chef Andrews has also prepared a “Twas the Night Before Christmas” Buffet from 5 to 10 pm.

The feasting continues after Christmas at SweetFire Kitchen, where a Chef’s Four Course Tasting Menu from 5 to 11 pm New Year’s Eve. The price for adults is $65 and the price for children ages 5-13 is $25.  

Meanwhile, La Cantera Hill Country Resort’s Primero Bar/Restaurant will offer a Christmas Eve Prix Fixe menu from noon until closing. No reservations are necessary. Cost for adults is $45 and children 5-12 are $20. Contact the hotel for details at www.LaCanteraResort.com  or call (210) 558-6500.

This year, La Cantera resort launched a Christmas card effort aimed at benefitting Artpace, a local nonprofit arts organization. Visitors who drop into Henrietta’s, the hotel boutique and snack shop, can purchase a box of unique holiday cards. The custom-made “Celebrate the Whole Package” holiday cards were created by San Antonio artist and professor at Palo Alto College, Mark Hogensen. Look for the larger-than-life bright red bow on the card and the resort as a backdrop. For details, go to www.artpace.org or www.markhogensen.com 

Buche de Noel. Texas Hotels Rustle Up Some Grub for Holidays - here, at La Cantera Hill Country Resort SweetFire Kitchen restaurant

While La Cantera Hill Country, 1664 La Cantera Parkway, offers spectacular views in addition to haute cuisine, another hotel gearing up for the onslaught of visitors during this holiday season is the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort & Spa.

The resort’s Antlers Lodge restaurant will host a family-style dinner from 5:30 to 10:30 pm Christmas Day. Featured menu items include boar tamales, prime rib, ham, soups and salads. 

A selection of desserts is included in this special holiday menu. Senior citizen prices are $42, non-senior adults are $59 and children 6-12 are $22. Contact www.antlerslodgerestaurant.com  or call (210) 520-001.

The following is a brief list of special Christmas menu offerings at some of San Antonio’s other hotels and resorts. Many are situated along San Antonio’s famed River Walk and the historic Alamo mission complex.          

The Hotel Contessa’s Las Ramblas restaurant features a holiday brunch from 11 am to 2:30 pm Friday, Dec. 25. The lunch/breakfast menu includes smoked salmon, shrimp cocktail, prime rib and leg of lamb.

Breakfast items include omelets, pancakes, and more. The cost is $62 for adults and $22 for children 6-13. Children under the age of six dine for free. See http://www.thehotelcontessa.com/las_ramblas/ or call is (210) 298-8040.  

The Westin Hotel’s Zocca Cuisine d’Italia Christmas Buffet is from 10 am to 9 pm. Breakfast options run the gamut from made-to-order omelets to holiday pancakes. Made-to-order lunch items include pasta and hand-carved ham and beef. The price is $43 for adults and $21.50 for children 5-12.

Situated on the bustling River Walk, Zocca Special Christmas Dinner is from 4 to 10 pm. The special menu features prime rib with Brussel sprouts, soups, salads and buche de noel dessert. The cost is $47 for adults. For more information, go to www.zoccariverwalk.com or call (210) 444-6070.

Omni Hotel at the Colonnade is hosting an all-inclusive Christmas Day Brunch from 10:30 am to 3:30 pm in Omni’s Grand Ballroom. Indulge in an array of favorite breakfast items such as fruits, breads and omelets. Appetizing lunch items include Mexican pozole turkey style, porkopolipse (roasted hog), and Verzcruz-style cod fish.

This Christmas Brunch also offers carved-to-order beef, lamb, and seafood. Delectable desserts round out the fabulous menu, which includes coffee, tea, soft drinks, milk, mimosas, and sparkling Champagne!   

Uniformed military and Senior Citizens can take advantage of the special price of only $48 for this all-inclusive Christmas buffet. Aside from that, adults are $65 and children ages 5-11 are $25 each. Go to: www.omnihotels.com or call (210) 691-8888 for more information.


Texas Hotels Rustle Up Some Grub for Holidays - here, at La Cantera Hill Country Resort SweetFire Kitchen restaurant


Rosie Carbo is the Lifestyles Editor for Wandering Educators, and is a former newspaper reporter whose work has appeared in newspapers and magazines nationwide. Some of those publications include People magazine, The Dallas Morning News, The Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express-News. Some of her features were redistributed by The Associated Press early in her career as an award-winning Texas journalist.



All photos courtesy and copyright La Cantera Hill Country Resort SweetFire Kitchen