Of all the gin joints in the world, here’s one with real food. In the cellar of the Pearl Bottling House, music and cocktails are the backdrop for a medley of nibbles. Some are old standbys, like chips with chorizo queso, but others are more interesting, like the excellent “bucket” of fried quail with peppadew rémoulade. Flavor hits the high notes with the entrées, like juicy, spicy fried chicken (ask for two legs!) with sweet chile sauce. Burgers are meaty and large enough for two to share, decked out with caramelized onions, thick bacon, and Oaxacan and cheddar cheese. The butternut squash salad earned rave reviews from the vegetarians in our group. Food is served efficiently by friendly waiters (none of that too-cool-to-smile vibe here). Weekday happy hour sets are free (there’s a modest cover for weekends and for the main set), and there really isn’t a bad seat in the house, for food or music.
City: San Antonio