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Celebrate Southwest’s Big 4-0 and Win Your Own Dish Trip to San Antonio!

Explorer B

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of Southwest Airlines (a.k.a. the LUV airline), we (our social media guru Amy, our camera guys Jason and Gary, and me) decided to make a special Dish Trip to San Antonio, one of the first cities Southwest provided service to as part of the airline's Texas Triangle service approach.  We explored a few local favorites that our new friend and local food writer Garrett, owner of An Average Joe suggested. He met us with a few of his friends to check out some of his favorite spots. After we landed and checked into our rooms at the beautiful Marriott Rivercenter, we went to Hofbrau & Beergarden to experience something called a “Dos-a-rita”—a bottle of Dos Equis flipped over into a giant frozen margarita.  Doesn’t that sound good?  (We loved it so much we used some of our favorite beer from Philly, Victory Brewing Company’Summer Love Ale, to make our own version, which tasted like a grapefruit margarita.  Warning: the combination of tequila and a beer will give you a great buzz for your buck, so make sure you have a designated driver after one of these beauties. Our next stop was to the open-24-hours Chachos (7870 Callaghan Road) to experience the King Kong Nachos! This mega plate of nachos is the size of a pizza and looks like a cheesy Bundt cake before the cheese is melted in the oven. Our friend Garrett says that when you order the King Kong you have to sit furthest away from the counter so that you can count the number of people gasping while you are making your, way back to your seat.  Boy, was he right! With an impressive salsa bar full of creamy, savory, and fruity condiment choices, you can easily pick at this nacho plate of four meats, two cheeses, and a cheese dipping sauce for hours. We started the next day with Breakfast at Blanco Cafe (pronounced “Blank-O”) at the original location (1720 Blanco Road). They are known in San Antonio for the best enchiladas, breakfast, and delicious tortillas. Our server showed us how locals prefer to eat their breakfast, spreading butter on the hot tortillas, then filling them with their version of country sausage, fried egg (with a tomato sauce a la huevos racheros), and beans.  We were also lucky enough to get a taste of their famous enchiladas, and all I can say is, I know why locals call them the BEST! After breakfast, we headed over to the Pearl Farmers Market at The Pearl Brewery (200 East Grayson Street), which used to be the location for a brewery and is now a culinary and cultural destination and a historical gathering place. Unfortunately, the market was closed when we got there, but we learned that they do offer tours of the property every Saturday at 10:00 a.m. and noon. (Good to know for the next time I’m in town!). The tours cover details of the market including vendors as well as the restaurants, the Culinary Institute of America, and the other buildings on the property. Our lunch stop, La Gloria (Spanish for “the heavens”), was also located on the Pearl Brewery property (100 East Grayson Street). As award-winning Chef Johnny Hernandez says, "No hace falta morir para llegar a la Gloria" ("You don’t have to die to go to heaven"), and his resulting restaurant certainly takes you there, showcasing the authentic foods of Mexico in a polished but casual atmosphere. The space has garage doors that open up onto a patio with a bar overlooking a picturesque part of the North River, to give a nod to the former brewery’s ice house that was situated on this location and had doors that opened to load ice for beer delivery. We tried some of the Chef’s favorites, including queso, (a hot, bubbling cheese that is so rich and indulgent you’ll actually thank him for any weight gained) panuchos (gorditas made with masa filled with black beans and topped with various toppings) and vibrant, flavorful ceviches. Of course, we couldn’t forget to try their bold fruit drinks and juices like the Champereña, a delightful concoction of rum, sugar cane syrup, lime, orange juice, and fresh fruit.  This was truly a vacation in a meal, proving that there is no need to travel to Mexico when you have a culinary passport at La Gloria. We spent the afternoon exploring the Riverwalk and all the culinary nooks and crannies of the city.  We stopped into Schilo’s Delicatessen (424 East Commerce Street), a German-influenced spot where we had creamy, homemade root beer with strong vanilla accents and deviled eggs (full egg sandwiched together) that our PA Dutch Dish Tripper Amy Strauss fell in love with.  Then we explored the King William district and got a quick bite of cilantro cream enchiladas from Tito’s (955 South Alamo Street) and a local beer sampler from Blue Star Brewing Company (1414 South Alamo Street), giving gifts of Victory’s Summer Love all along the way. We had just enough time to work up an appetite for dinner, and we loved the Spanish and Latin flavors at Sazo’s Latin Grill (101 Bowie Street, inside the Marriott Rivercenter Hotel).  After a full day of eating, the light and refreshing Sazo salad with hearts of palm and a tasty jalapeño dressing was a welcome taste after a spicy day of eats. I couldn’t get enough of the crab salad lettuce wraps with mango, lump crab, avocado, and a cool and creamy dressing on the side.  Our video guy, Gary, loved their steak (he still talks about it) and I went a bit “figgy” (see video for that lame reference) over the desserts, especially the flan. Of course, before we left San Antonio we had to “Remember The Alamo.” If you watch the end of our video, you’ll see how well my memory worked after a Dos-a-rita.  This, of course, is the shrine to Texas liberty and celebrates the 175th anniversary of the Battle of the Alamo, and it’s a must-see, especially lit up at night in historic downtown under the San Antonio stars. And the best thing about this Dish Trip? To top it off, we’ve working with Southwest so one of our lucky readers who is also celebrating 40 years of LUV can win their own Dish Trip, featuring highlights from our San Antonio Dish Trip. How do you win this fabulous trip?  Submit a fun and creative 200 word or less story about you and your significant other who have been together for 40 years and why you should win along with a photo to So, what does the lucky winner get? Two roundtrip tickets on Southwest Airlines to San Antonio, two nights suite accommodations at the San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter, lunch at La Gloria Restaurant, a Foodie Tour at Pearl Farmers Market, dinner at Sazo’s Latin Grill, a riverboat cruise, and a tour of the Alamo. We hope that our lucky winner finds their Dish Trip adventure to San Antonio as tasty as we did, and we can’t wait to hear what they eat!  Good luck to those entering the contest and as always, follow us on Twitter @dishtrip or friend us on Facebook for more dining details in a city near you.  Thanks for reading and watching—we’ll see you on the next Dish Trip! OFFICIAL RULES Southwest Airlines – 40 Years of LUV Contest. 1.       To Enter:  No purchase or obligation necessary.  Contest runs July 27, 2011, from 2:00 pm CST – August 3, 2011 at 11:59 pm CST.  To enter without purchase or obligation, submit a fun and creative 200 word or less story about you and your significant other who have been together for 40 years and why you should win along with a photo to  All entries become property of the sponsor and will not be returned.  Entries limited to one (1) per person.  Anonymous entries will be considered invalid.  You warrant your story and photo will not be sexually explicit, unnecessarily violent or derogatory.  It cannot promote drugs, alcohol, or firearms.  It cannot contain trademarks, logos or copyrighted materials owned by others. 2.       Selection of Winner: On or about August 10, 2011 at 5 pm CST, members of the Southwest Airlines Emerging Media Team will review all eligible entries received and choose a winner.  The judges will be judging on the following qualities: ·         Creativity and Originality: 55% ·         Entertaining: 25% ·         Rules: 20% Read and complied with the official rules. Prizes are guaranteed to be awarded.  Odds of winning will depend on the total number of eligible entries received. 3.       Prize: One (1) Grand Prize to consist of two (2) roundtrip tickets on Southwest Airlines from the closest airport to winner's residence served by Southwest Airlines to San Antonio International Airport good for 12 months (subject to Southwest Airlines terms and conditions; certain restrictions may apply), two (2) night-stay, double occupancy at the San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter Hotel based on hotel’s availability and dinner at Sazo’s Latin Grill for the winner and their guest, lunch for two (2) at La Gloria Restaurant in San Antonio, foodie tour for two (2) at Pearl Farmers Market, a riverboat cruise tour in San Antonio, a tour of the Alamo in San Antonio for two (2).  APV for Southwest Airlines tickets is $800, APV for two night San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter Hotel stay and dinner at Sazo’s Latin Grill for two is $2,500, APV for lunch for two at La Gloria Restaurant is $150, APV for foodie tour for two at Pearl Farmers Market is $0, APV for riverboat cruise tour is $16, and APV for Alamo tour is $0.  Grand Prize tickets are non-transferable, and winner and their guest will be filmed during the progressive dinner for use on Southwest Airlines’ internal and external communication channels.  4.       Eligibility:  Contest open to all legal US residents, 21 years and older as of July 27, 2011.  Employees of Southwest Airlines Co., AirTran Airways, Inc. and their advertising and promotions agencies, and their immediate families (spouse and parents, children and siblings and their spouses) and individuals living in the same households of such employees are ineligible.  Void where prohibited or restricted by law.  Contest subject to all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations.  By participating, entrants agree to these official rules and accept decisions of the Sponsor as final.  Void in Puerto Rico and where prohibited by law. The promotion is offered in the United States only and shall only be construed and evaluated according to United States law.  Do not proceed in this site if you are not located in the United States. 5.       To Claim Prize: Potential winner only will be notified by Southwest Airlines via e-mail.  Unclaimed or undeliverable prize will be forfeited and awarded to an alternate winner.  Prize is not transferable or redeemable for cash.  Prize is guaranteed to be awarded.  Acceptance of prize constitutes permission (except where prohibited) to use winner's name, hometown and likeness for purposes of advertising, promotion and publicity in any media without additional compensation.  Winner and their guest must execute and return any required affidavit of eligibility and/or liability/publicity release within one (1) day of notification attempt or prize will be forfeited and an alternate winner may be chosen. If a potential winner cannot be contacted, fails to sign and return the required affidavit of eligibility and liability/publicity release within the required time period, or if a prize or prize notification is returned as undeliverable, potential winner forfeits prize. 6.       Limitation of Liability: Sponsor and their affiliated entities, are not responsible for printing or typographical errors in any related materials; stolen, fraudulent, entries or mail; or transactions that are processed or lost due to computer or electronic malfunction.  Winner is solely responsible for payment of all federal, state, and local taxes on prize and for any travel or other expenses not specifically mentioned in prize description.  Sponsor reserves the right to cancel or modify Contest if fraud or technical failure to compromise the integrity of the Contest as determined by Sponsor in its sole discretion.  This Contest offer is being made exclusively by Sponsor. Sponsor not responsible for technical, hardware, software or telephone failures of any kind, lost or unavailable network connections or fraud, incomplete, garbled or delayed computer transmission whether caused by Sponsor, user, or by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the promotion or by any technical or human error which may occur in the process of submissions which may limit a participants ability to participate in this promotion. 7.       Winner's List: To request a Winner's Name List, send a self addressed stamped return envelope, after August 10, 2011, to Southwest Airlines Emerging Media.  All requests must be received by July 22, 2011.  Utah and Washington residents may omit return postage. 8.       Sponsor: Southwest Airlines Co., P.O. Box 36611, Dallas, TX.  75235-1611