Puffy Taco, Decent food near Riverwalk San Antonio
Places in high-traffic tourist areas are often able to thrive based on location, marketing, and reputation rather than delicious chow, so your observation is not a surprise. Its popularity also engenders a lot of discussion about the Riverwalk, so many people's opinions are already out there.
These threads may not have caught your eye yet, but they have some good discussion of the Riverwalk area:
I was in San Antonio a few months ago and was really pleased with the food at Citrus, the restaurant at Hotel Valencia (http://hotelvalencia.com/pdfs/SA_Dinn...). The room service hamburger was the best my s/o and I've ever eaten, really. I'm thinking about calling and begging for the recipe. We were so impressed with the hamburger that we skipped other Riverwalk recommendations and had dinner at Citrus another night and had delicious swordfish and lamb. I would definitely recommend checking out this restaurant. To put it in perspective we had dinner at Le Reve another evening while in town (which was absolutely fantastic, I could go on and on about that meal), so Citrus had some tough competition to remain in my delicious memories of San Antonio, but it was really good food and on the Riverwalk to boot. (Note to those who might stay at the hotel: It's a lovely place to stay but the hallways wierdly smell of a heavy mesquite odor. It wasn't necessarily pleasant, and I still can't figure out why the smell so strong.)