While the concept of farm-to-table hasn't quite caught fire yet in San Antonio, the fact is, for many people as well as restaurateurs, farm-to-table is the only way to go. There’s no doubt that while your farm-to-table choices are limited in the Alamo city, you can be sure that the ones we do have are nothing short of excellent.
The Clean Plate, which recently opened its doors, is at the top of this list, and you’ll see why. This small but cozy restaurant is dedicated to serving dishes made with locally sourced and often organic ingredients that are as delicious as they are wholesome. They are doing more than their part to support local farms, ranches and other specialized vendors. They have no interest in using ingredients that are mass produced.
Gua Bao made with pork belly — Photo courtesy of Kimberly Suta
Owners Chef Cat New and Melissa Polinard are passionate about the importance of utilizing local, sustainable ingredients. All of their proteins are locally sourced and humanely raised, while 95% of their produce is locally sourced. If that doesn’t impress you, the flavors certainly will!
Their lunch menu is small but diverse and very affordable. The Burger on a Brioche-Challah Bun with fries is a popular dish. It's made with local, grass-fed beef and served with your choice of cheese, grilled mushrooms, grilled onions or roasted poblano aioli, if you so choose.
If you happen to be a fan of Asian food, the Gua Bao is a must! Made with braised Asian pork belly (also local and pastured) and served with a side salad and lemongrass-infused basmati rice, it’s simply happiness in a bun. The fish tacos, which are ubiquitous in San Antonio, are an equally scrumptious option.
Spaghetti Bolognese, Teriyaki Stir Fry and even the homey, gooey goodness of their mac and cheese are all up for grabs at The Clean Plate. Be sure to ask about the specials of the day, such as the kale made with shallots and a white wine honey mustard sauce. Desserts, such as the almond and caramel-draped chocolate brownie, are made by a local bakery, Sol y Luna.
Located just a hop, skip and jump from the bustling downtown area, The Clean Plate will soon be accessible by trolley, if it isn’t already. Originally, they were only open for lunch, but by the time you read this article, they should also be available for dinner as well.
Call ahead or check out their website for more information. If it’s a beautiful, sunny day, they also have a little patio area where you can enjoy your meal. And you will!