Peggy Howe and Paul Sartory are no strangers to hard work. After a career as a chef instructor with the Culinary Institute of America, which brought him to San Antonio, Chef Paul wanted something more. It helped he’s married to Peggy, a wiz at rehabbing historic homes. The two combined their passions and set out to work on opening Outlaw Kitchen — a live-work restaurant — eight years in the making.
When Outlaw Kitchen finally opened in September of 2017 inside half of the couple’s Alta Vista home, it became an immediate hit with neighbors and friends. The concept bucks menus and traditional restaurant culture. Instead, a visit to Outlaw Kitchen means guests choose from one of two entrees, one of which is always vegetarian, both always exquisitely satisfying.
“I used to be vegetarian for a long time,” Peggy said. "At first, Paul didn’t want to do it, but he caved.”
Outlaw Kitchen began carrying HighWheel Betty just as it celebrated its first anniversary, though they didn’t set foot at Dorćol Distilling + Brewing Co. until this July.
“We were on our way to Dorćol, but we hadn’t had dinner, and so we stopped at Il Forno and tried it there,” Peggy said.
They were looking for a specific brew to pair with their eclectic menu that often spans cultures and continents within the same week. Betty’s often used for braises or batters, or for appetizer pairings that simply call for a crisp, refreshing beer such as their fresh spring rolls, or Jamaican goat curry.
Peggy likes to share the story of Boyan visiting for dinner and watching the staff zip by one evening. She said, "We told him, everyone loves the beer! And he goes, "you people are the only ones drinking the beer!”
But it’s not just the “quenching and quaffing” qualities of Betty that keep Peggy and Paul happy.
“Randy and Boyan are consistent and passionate about what they do. We love having them here. It’s always professional and efficient,” Paul said. “There’s no messing around.”
Peggy reiterated Paul’s praise for the guys, saying “They come in and we're all busy and it's very much appreciated that they're so professional. Here's your check. Here's your invoice. That's it!”
Now two years in, Outlaw Kitchen functions as a well oiled machine. Even as newcomers find the restaurant on weekends. They’re often bewildered by the small neighborhood spot with the deeply curated beer and wine list and succinct menu offerings.
“They come in and they want the story,” Peggy said. “We eventually win them over. They’re here to relax. We’re a relaxed group around here.”
The soft-spoken Paul, who spends the evenings peeking out of his kitchen window, said, “It’s a very communal thing. They’re all virtually eating the same thing.”