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Feb 25, 2008 07:26 PM

where to eat one night san antonio...

well I'm not going to eat at the riverwalk thanks to all the negative comments on this board. My dad and I will be in town for the Spurs vs Utah game wed next month. We will have a car and some time on our hands. where should we eat dinner?...anything goes...also the next day is Taco Taco worth a lunch stop(my dad loves tacos)?

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  1. Liberity Bar is a fun place to eat that is not too fancy. The food is very tasty, and the wine list is great.

    9 Replies
      1. re: kevin25

        I know you said anything goes, but what type of food are you looking for? How much do you want to spend? How far do you want to drive? Casual or fancy?

        On the riverwalk, there's boudro's, which is excellent. it's the only place I reccomend people on the riverwalk go, although I hear great things about pesca in the watermark and Las Canarias,across the river.

        I also hear that both Biga on the Banks and Le Reve are amazing (mostly le reve, but biga, too.) both places are v. expensive and require some dressing up.

        To give you an idea, I had a business thing at the international buidling, where Biga is, last week. I stopped to look at the menu, to see what they were serving new these days. Most entrees were well into the mid $30 range. That's just entree.

        Look, I'm not knocking Biga. I bet they do an amazing job. But, being a local, I don't want to drive downtown, find parking (valet?), walk, deal with the crowds, and pay that much for dinner. There are plenty of good places in this town (like the liberty bar!)

        Now, if you're staying downtown... and mid $30 entrees are in your price range... or if want to splurge... and have nice clothes... I'd say dive into biga at least.

        Le Reve is a whole different animal. In my wildest dreams, I'd eat there. But I'm not that rich. I can't drop that kinda cash on dinner. I'd love to! I just can't.

        1. re: radiowh0re

          my dad and I are staying at the westin. we have a car and don't mind driving at all. We will have BC cloths. Not tie and jacket with us. We like all types of food. Mexican is high on my list. steaks on my dads. Money wise $20-30 an entree is ok with us. He doesn't drink but I like a nice cocktail or some vino. thanks radiowhOre.

          1. re: kevin25

            For Le Reve, a jacket is a requirement, I believe. Bigs is probably a place that requirs nice clothes (As in, not jeans.) I bet business casual is acceptable.

            For steaks, try bohannas. It's on houston st, which is downtown. It's not a chain. But, It's steakhouse prices.

            as for mexican, it's hard to swing a dead cat in this town without finding a pretty darmed good tex-mex place. If you're downtown, roasrios, la fonda on main, el mirasol, and paloma blanca are all v.close and v.good.

            the liberty bar has great food and a v.good winelist.

            I know there isn't a whole lot of talk about Bin 555 on this board, but it's great tapas and great wine. Every time I go there, I wonder why I don't go there more often.

            It's not texmex and it's not steak.. so it might not be on your list. but it is a great wine bar with great food. The suggestion may be good for someone else on the list.

            1. re: radiowh0re

              El Mirasol is outstanding. They have a lobster quesadilla that I still dream about. Watch out for their margaritas, they are extremely potent!

          2. re: radiowh0re

            Biga's on the Bank is very good. LeReve is stunningly good. No real comparison. La Reve is classic French. Menu is here:


            Biga's is kind of Nouvelle American. A bit of regional influence. But if you don't mind formal dining, the food at Le Reve is to die for.

            As for dress, I'd go coat and tie at LeReve or at least dress slacks and a sports coat. I've gone in blue jeans, a starched white shirt, and a sports coat at Biga's and was fine.

            1. re: Mike C. Miller

              I wasn't trying to compare the food. The comparrison I was making was... they're both upscale restaurants on the riverwalk. (well, kinda. le reve is by the greyhound station.)

              The original poster made a comment that he was avoiding the riverwalk restaurants, because there was no good food. I was explaining that... yes... there is good food downtown. Boudro's is v.good. and I was explaining that I've heard good things about le reve and biga... although i have not been to either because they're expensive, downtown, and require dressy clothes.

              biga... from the menu i read... was america... a bit on the soutwestern tip.

              le reve is well known for it's french slow-cooking cuisine.

              1. re: radiowh0re

                I had a bad experience at Biga's on the Banks a couple of weeks ago. The best thing I sampled all night was the chicken-fried oyster appetizer. The cornbread (from the bread basket) was pretty good and was judged the better of the two bread options. An appetizer of smoked-salmon nachos did nothing for me or anyone else at the table. The concept sounded better than the dish tasted. For a main course, I ordered the halibut, which came out overcooked and underseasoned. The green beans and roasted potatoes that came on the side were very buttery, but not particularly interesting. A steak-loving friend ordered the ribeye and left half of it (and two of the onion rings) on the plate. Of the main courses ordered by our group, only a dish of spicy "barbeque" salmon over some sort of greens generated good reviews. Service that night was slow and aloof. We had to inquire several times about the whereabouts of our MIA server. Management was, however, very solicitous of regulars and huge groups. This meal was a business dinner for a very important guest, who was extremely displeased with the situation.

                I hadn't been to Biga's in a long time because my last meal there was similarly unimpressive—apart from the fried oysters. I doubt I'll be back anytime soon. And I certainly won't risk it when I want a dining experience that will impress an out-of-state visitor.

        2. re: mergar

          Just tried Liberty Bar last night. It was good, not great. Location was a little shady, building a little dumpy, but yet charming. I would recommend you avoid the bathrooms. Here is my summary:
          Fresh bread selection was nice, 3 types sliced from rustic loafs. Fromage plate, large $11. Nice presentation- 4 cheeses, almonds, dried fruit, fig paste and crackers. Cheese was quite cold though, like it was straight out of the fridge. I got the venison sausage with grilled potatoes. I liked that it was something different. The sausage was good, lots of flavor. Potatoes were very bland. Hubbie got the Ribeye, ordered it medium, got it well. He also had the potatoes, and some oddly placed guacomole, we weren't sure what it was for exactly, but used it to give the potatoes some substance. Service was pretty good, although our food came out a little to fast, we hadn't even finished 1/2 of cheese plate.

        3. Liberty Bar - at 281 & Josephine is great food.

          for Mexican, I recommend El Mirador, not as upscale as Rosarios, but very authentic and delicious food.

          Also, for local color and a good breakfast, try Madhatter's Tea -

          1. I prefer to have breakfast rather than lunch at Taco Taco. You mentioned that you didn't want riverwalk restaurants- yet so many of the posters keep suggesting riverwalk restaurants. We have great restaurants in town that AREN'T on the riverwalk. You are staying very close to one of my favorite mexican restaurants- El Chaparral. Just go west on 1604, take Bandera Road exit, go north about 2? miles. Restaurant is on the left. Also- if you want to dine in at the hotel there is a nice restaurant on site, Francesca's at Sunset, which as the name implies has very pretty views especially at sunset..They have a vertical Caesar salad that's fun to try at least once, nice wine list,. There are also two wonderful Italian restaurants- Paesenos at NWmilitary/1604 (except the last time I was there the service was just not up to par) and Reggianos- which is at Stone Oak & 1604- and has great food. Silo is also in the Ventura plaza right at 1604- and almost always impresses- and is local/non chain. The Liberty Bar is probably the farthest from your hotel- but is close to downtown/game- and as other posters have stated- is a nice choice.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Tamra

              Oh. I figured he was staying at the westin riverwalk.

              If, in fact, it's the westin la cantera, then definatly go to el chaparral for the fajitas and the beans. go to floore's for a beer. go to the scenic loop cafe. go to the original rudy's. go to fralo's pizza.

              If you're staying at the westin on the riverwalk, don't. that's a LONG drive.

              1. re: Tamra

                CAn you tell me more about Silo. Thinking about taking MIL tonight. Thanks!

              2. las canarias is an all time favorite for us. avoid the little rhein--good atmosphere but food not as good as it should have been.

                4 Replies
                1. re: hellpaso

                  hi all we have switched to the Sheraton Gunter does that help? thanks

                  1. re: kevin25

                    That's downtown- so forget the other suggestions- as the other poster said it's too far- there are other choices closer to town that you would be happy with.

                  2. re: hellpaso

                    Wow- we just had lunch at Las canarias on the Riverwalk (in Mansion hotel) and it was really great! Lunch ran us $50 with 2 entrees, 2 glasses of wine, tax & tip. I had ribeye open face sandwich, with horseradish mayo, beefsteak tomato and gorgonzola- YUM! Hubbie had the crab cakes and corn salad/relish. Also very good, flavor, texture, etc. Loaded with crab (not too bready, yeah!) Service was smooth,, friendly, and efficient. Highly reccommend :)

                    1. re: jme1beachbum

                      MI Tierra at the Mercado is, of course, touristy but it is San Antonio 101 and is a beautiful place, very memorable. I always take guests there and they love it - if you don't eat there, have a margarita in the bar.