San Antonio Tex Mex
We live in Austin, and are meeting friends who are in town from San Francisco for a conference in San Antonio near the Riverwalk. Any suggestions on good tex mex where they could get a good taco/tamale combination plate with a good margarita? Are there some favorite local spots that folks could recommend? We are willing to drive away from the Riverwalk if its worthwhile, though our friends will be staying at the Hilton. We will sacrifice ambience for food quality, but the place would at least need to look pretty clean. Also if there are good BBQ suggestions for tourists that would be great as well. Thanks in advance! I love this board - so helpful
It's pretty much all Tex Mex here - I suggest Mi Tierra, La Margarita - in the Mercado, Casa Rio, Mexican Manhattan, Budro's - Riverwalk, Rosario's, El Mirador, Tito's - Southtown. There are fancy restaurants and casual ones, and good margaritas are everywhere (try a tuna margarita)
Mi Tierra IS an experience. Loud, huge, great bar. La Fogata is very nice. I've been there twice and always like it. It's on Vance Jackson. I can also recommend Chacho's - fun, funky, very busy. They all make good margaritas, I live in New Orleans, and good margaritas are hard to come by but most good MExican restaurants in San ANtonio make good ones.
Ugggg. Chacho's is drunk late night college food (they use Everclear in their Margarita's- effective but not good per say). A better bet would be- Los Barrios for authentic Mexican food, Rosario's for salsa and enchiladas verde (ad salsa dancing!), Alamo Cafe for homemade tortillas and fajitas, and the place off Hildebrandt and 35 (turn towards downtown SA from the highway) with burglar bars and a picture of a dude with a mustache painted on the wall for awesome, big as your arm, eat with a fork tacos. I think the place is called Juan's but I left SA in 2004 so I'm not sure. Taco's Tacos is good for breakfast tacos as is any place recommended by Texas Monthly Taco expedition...
My first inclination would be Rosario's on S. Alamo. It's not strict tex-mex (whatever strict tex-mex means), but they have great ritas on the rocks and pretty good food. I've had good and mediocre experiences with the chicken mole (good was near-perfect tender, mediocre found an over done, lifeless breast). The ritas have always satisfied. If you are going on the weekend, take a cab from the hotel, as parking is severely limited at all times. The room is large and loud, and the wait can be 30+ minutes. I don't think you'll find a strict taco/tamal combo plate, but between two or three people, you can order what meets the fancy and then share.
I'm sure someone will mention Mi Tierra, so I won't bother, except to say that it's the Disneyland of SA tex-mex. If your San Fran friends would take you to Pier 39 for a quintessential SF food experience, then you'll be comfortable with Mi Tierra. Otherwise, put it on your option E list.
One last place that comes to mind is Chacho's. Although I've never been there, I've heard they make a killer rita. I'd assume the menu provides standard tex-mex combo plates.
All of the above restaurants can be googled, and if need be, append "san antonio" to narrow your search.