Bin 555 San Antonio
I ate at Bin 555 in San Antonio the other day and had one of the best sandwichs I've had in a while. Thier Thai Steak Sandwich is amazing. It is sliced steak cooked to order on a large nice pita folded with argula and mint with a peanut sauce and vinegrette. It was heavenly and the fries that came with it were mighty tasty too. They seemed to have sea salt and some kind of fresh herb on fresh hand cut fries. Has anyone else had anything else good here I should try?
Lot's of good things. Risotto, crab napolean, scallops,...it's fun trying lots of small plates. Their 55 wines for $55 list is an amazing bargain, most of them retail for $35-40.
There are lots of mentions of this place on Chowhound, but the "relevance" search brought up only this one with the name in the title. So, since I am bowled over, and my taste buds are reeling and craving more more more while my stomach is saying "ENOUGH" I decided to write a review.
Service was sketchy - but the food was superlative. It was everything I love - nuanced yet pronounced flavors and textures (is that an oxymoron) - add a comfy environment, reasonable prices and top it off with the fact that everything was really, really, delicious. This is a rare occasion - I'm trying to decide if it was just my mood, but no - I'm pretty sure this is one of the best "upscale" meals I have had in Texas (Uchi notwithstanding).
Mixed greens salad - the greens were fresh, the orange vinaigrette was so good I didn't mind that the salad was slightly overdressed - shaved fennel was flavorless (like they had been saved in water) but the thin sliced radishes added a great peppery tang. Just yummy. Goat cheese - a little smooshed and scattered, but good.
Patatas Bravas - this was a wonderful, unique take on the standard Spanish tapa. They sliced the starchy potatoes in rounds and fried them - then dusted them with spices (heavy on the comino) - then sat them in a pool of the most absolutely earth-movingly delicious pool of spicy tomato goodness, with the most sublime dollop of aiolli on top. The crunch of the potatoes, the spice, the silken aiolli and the mix of the flavors....absolutely intoxicating.
Steak Tartare - this was rough cut, with red and yellow peppers and scallions mixed in rather than the usual capers and onions. The traditional raw egg yolk was replaced by a miraculous, captivating, savory yet feathery cream of white cheddar cheese. This is their take on a philly cheesesteak, tartare style, and I was very skeptical....but it was an incredible amalgamation of cooked and raw, sharp and mild - and the little salty crisp bread/wafer that came with this dish was the perfect light scoop for the mouthful.
The crispy skinned bass with carrot leek puree and saffron espuma - I have been SO OVER foams since like 2005, but this was a truly inspired application...saffron itself is such an olfactory ingredient....having this foam, so intensely flavored yet so surreal in application, over crunchy bass skin and firm/moist/flavorful white flesh...with this sweet savory puree....this was a wonder. Truly amazing. First class stuff.
The naan - I wish they offered this at the beginning - I ordered it later feeling the need for some carbs, thinking it would be a throwaway - and it was incredible - some kind of spice salt mixture that wasn't overwhelming but was addictive....I have one piece left and I am trying to get through this review before I grab it and shove it down my gullet.
Oh - I had the Spanish flight of wine - 5 fairly generous "taste" pours of a cava, two whites, two reds. Nice, but as I get to know their dishes and by-the-glass offerings, I'm excited to make my own little pairing.
555 W Bitters Rd Ste 110, San Antonio, TX 78216
Thanks for the writeup. I'm in SA right now and found hardly any detail on what exactly is so good about Bin555. You've convinced me to try and stop by there tomorrow night. Patatas bravas and the skinned bass sound outstanding.
How much was the overall damage and whats the average price per plate? Can you go into more detail about portion sizes too? I will likely gonna be alone so would you suggest this place for a solo diner?
I was alone - no nice dark booths to tuck into, but I had a decent two-top near a window and felt comfortable. The prices are amazing - the salad was around $4.00, tartare (oh man, this is the one that has kept me reeling all day) was SEVEN DOLLARS. I think the bass was 13.50. I can eat, but I'm not a "tuck into an enormous chicken fried steak" kind of gal, and I was STUFFED. The tartare and fish were generous, but not huge, and together, they were too much for me to take on after the salad and with the patatas. My total for too much sublime food for one gal to eat and a 5 glass flight was 50. Amazing.
I'm planning on going again next Monday, ordering the naan and seeing if they will give it to me with that insane brava sauce and aiolli. Then the salad, then EITHER the fish or the tartare....OR the crispy sweetbread tacos I haven't tried yet...I have a feeling I am going to be a regular, and I don't even live in SA.