When we were having dinner at Mixtli in San Antonio (which you know I did because you read that post already, right?!), we met a couple who should really have a food blog. They were bona fide foodies to the max — they even had best-of lists for restaurants in every major city they frequent.
I mentioned that on our last day in Texas, we were heading to the historic Pearl Brewery district. It took but a millisecond for both the husband and wife to suggest lunch options, but they quickly came to the consensus that we had to try CURED.
And after our hour-long river taxi ride from the Hyatt Regency to the Pearl Brewery stop, we found ourselves looking square at the place. So I wandered in with crossed fingers and asked if a lunch reservation would be possible, and it was.
Then we wandered around the Pearl for a few hours, spent way too much money in the wonderful shops on way too many fabulous things, before heading back to CURED to fill our bellies. And fill them we did.
The menu is interesting without being overwhelming. It’s this really accessible blend of southern comfort food fusion. (Think smoked pork gumbo, chicken and doughnuts, softshell and grits — and that’s just brunch.)
Portions are reasonable, and the prices are excellent considering the quality of food you’ll find on your plate at CURED. I mean, $26 for a six-selection charcuterie platter is remarkable. Especially one with homemade preserves and enough for two to share as a main dish. In fact, we were too full to have dessert, and that’s really not something I pass up very often.
Everything we tried — from the Pimm’s Cup cocktail to the barbecue shrimp to the crab salad, and most definitely the charcuterie — was full of rich, complex flavours. You can tell that everyone puts a lot of care into what they’re doing in the kitchen. The presentation is edited, like a well-decorated home.
Sitting in a restored brew house, you know it’s going to have a really chic look. I loved the décor. Including the hanging meat curing in the glass repository when you first walk in. (Sends a realistic message: this joint is all about the meat.) And this extends right to the bathrooms. Man, I love a great bathroom! CURED’s is gorgeous with hexagon tiles and matte brass finishings. The devil’s in the décor details, and they haven’t missed a beat anywhere.
Service was excellent. Our server was really knowledgeable about the entire menu — I know because I probably asked him about every dish — and convinced me to have the Pimm’s drink, which I’m so glad I did. And while our food came quickly,we weren’t rushed in the least.
CURED donates $1 from every charcuterie plate to charity (and selects a new charity every three months). That’s some nice stuff right there.
This is a come-as-you-are joint. We were in really casual touristy wear, but there were some families dressed in their Sunday best. On a Saturday. I did, however, take off my cowboy hat.
The tables are really close together. So close that I had to put my bags on the floor under my seat because my neighbour would have otherwise sat on them.