San Antonio: Whiskey Cake

First things first, if the restaurant is the name sake of the cake they sell, get the cake. I passed on it the first time I went and now I know better. I even order it to come at the same time I get my food so that 1 – I’m sure to get it before they run out 2 – I make sure I eat some before I’m too full. I’m a very strategic eater. Whiskey Cake has a couple of locations in Texas and one just happens to be not too far from my house serving up fresh, local and delicious food.

Home grown and home made is Whiskey Cake’s thing, and it’s a thing well done. Their small garden outside is packed with herbs, flowers and occasional veggies that the gardener tends to and hauls it’s bounty in (big or small) daily for mostly the bar tender and whatever they can use it for that day. Obviously it can’t support the entire restaurant but farms throughout Texas do a good job of that. The servers always know about where your food comes from and even about the last minute chef additions to the menu.

We wanted a small sample of local cheeses and meats so we opted for their cheese board. Picoso and Cafetero cheeses, cured ham, honey, pickled onions, pimento cheese, stone ground mustard and a strawberry sauce. Both of those cheese are Texas babies and new to me. The picoso is spicy and creamy, made with a few different types of chiles and the Cafetero with cow’s milk, ground coffee, butter, black pepper. So interesting and worth a try. These type of appetizers are a great food-experience investment: you get a lot of taste with little to no risk and for real….it’s just fun to play the “what pairs better with what” game.

This is now a major craving generator for me. This toffee torte is moist, perfectly dense and drenched in rich bourbon sauce, topped with pecans and fresh whipped cream. The cake just soaks up all the caramel-y goodness of the sauce and is good to the point where your stomach never gives the signal to stop eating it. I’ll be honest, I ate more cake than anything else that night. Whiskey Cake will also give you your whipped cream in a separate bowl, you know, so you can heap on a new scoop for every bite you take.

I’ve sampled a few things on their menu and have never been disappointed. I would however say that you should ask the knowledgable servers about things you aren’t sure about. And don’t order a giant arugula salad if you don’t like the taste of peppery greens, type of thing. Food can still be good, and just not your thing. So ask. I opted to try their turkey burger today which I’ll be honest, I’m always nervous about. I have this thing where I feel like if a place can do a good veggie or turkey burger, then they’re legit. Most places don’t bother and they usually come out of a freezer. This is one I’ll come back for. Super moist and flavorful to boot! Also those chips we’re crispy, salty, toasted potato goodness.

You know those days where you feel like you should choose something a little healthier or lighter but still really want something deep fried and buttery? I feel like thats always my battle! It’s nice when places have an option where you can have it all and this salad fit the bill. Spinach, gem lettuce, lolla rossa, vermont white cheddar, spiced pecans, apples, red grapes with buttermilk vinaigrette. And a hearty portion of plump, juicy, crunchy, excellent fried chicken. Win win.

If you’re willing to brave the crowds at La Cantera, a stop here is worth your time. And then you have a massive outdoor mall to walk it off. Don’t forget the cake!

Whiskey Cake (15900 Via La Cantera #21200, San Antonio, TX 78256 // 210.236.8095)

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