San Antonio / La Manison area
I'll be visiting SA, from Seattle, next week and am staying at the La Manison on the River Walk. No car. Yes, I know it's touristy and that's ok, there's not much choice in the matter. This board has given some good options for BBQ/TexMex and for upper-scale places which will come in very handy. However, there's got to be some decent places in the mid-range, $10-$20, that give me more options. Pick your brains and let me know. I eat pretty much everything (not fast food and not chains) so long as the focus is on the food and not tourist dollars. I'll give a review once I return. Thanks!
I just spent a few days there last weekend, for the first time. Some of the highlights of our trip, eating wise, included:
Dinner at Rosario's: The salsa was amazing. Very different from other salsas I've ever had, as it had a real nice smoky flavor. They keep the bottles of salsa on the table filled which was a nice touch. Didn't have to ask for more. Only about a 10 minute walk south on Alamo from your hotel.
Breakfast at Geunther House: This place is a bit of a walk. Its about 10 minutes past Rosarios. The breakfast was amazing though, and the setting is beautiful. I got the biscuits with gravy...best I've ever had. Also got the cinnamon role which was huge and also very tasty. The walk takes you through the King William neighborhood which has beautiful houses.
Shilos German Deli: This place is only a block or two from your hotel. We stopped there for breakfast before we left. I wish I had known about the place before that because it would have been a great place for an inexpensive lunch or dinner. The breakfast was good too. Try the pea soup, and the spicy mustard on the table. I had to buy some of the mustard to bring home with me it was so good.
Mi Tierra Bakery: If you make it to the mercado, the bakery at Mi Tierra has amazing coffee. Pair it with a churro, and you have a great snack. We also ate lunch there. It was good as well, but I liked Rosario's better. If you eat at Mi Tierra, I highly recommend the Carne Asada tacos. They were excellent.
Boudros: This place is on the river walk, and makes some amazing table side guacamole. I also enjoyed their mojitos. We went for dinner one night and got steaks, which were ok, but not amazing. We did enjoy the veggie enchiladas though. If nothing else, just go for some guac and a drink.
Jim Cullem's Landing: This place is also on the river walk, and is a great place to have a drink and listen to some Jazz. We didn't eat there but really enjoyed a Sunday night, sitting outside by the river with some drinks listening to live jazz.
We also ate at La Margarita at the Mercado. That was pretty good too, but not as good as Rosario's. If you do end up there, I recommend the Fajitas. Very tasty.
I think that about covers the high points of our trip food-wise.
Unfortunatly, down on the riverwalk, mid-priced entrees that are outstanding are few and far between.
El Mirador is jus south of downtown, and pretty darmed good. I'll second that one.
and... a note on the king william area, listed above. It is TOTALLY worth a stroll. On the map,find King Willam street... and wander south. the Mansions are gatsby-esque. Great place for a walk.
You're going to be a short walk from the King William neighborhood, where some great options about. Tell your concierge to get you to South Alamo and St. Mary's and you'll be in good shape.
La Frite bistro is great French.
Rosario's, el Mirador, Tito's and Cascabel are great Mexican (the latter is my favorite in town, but I feel funny posting too much on them, but oh, the cochinita pibil).
A little farther down is the Blue Star Brewery (the food is middling but the beer is good and the atmosphere is fun).
And even farther down (you'd probably need a car or cab for this one) is La Tuna, which is best described as Tex-Mex eclectic. They do a lamb sandwich with mango chutney that makes my mouth water now in the remembering.
Also, a neat little sandwich shop right off Durango, think it's called the Filling Station, where everything is fresh-made and good.
Bar America, right off South Alamo, is a chill place to get a beer.
re: Bring Back the Stein
Also in this neighborhood is La Focaccia (Italian) at Alamo and St. Mary's. I know Italian isn't what folks typically go for in SA but it is terrific and fairly authentic food.
I have been to Rosario's; while the salsa was out of this world, I was fairly underwhelmed by the rest of the meal. Still, it wasn't bad; I'd probably go back.