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Medical Center, San Antonio

Just moved in and unpacked... I wish new towns came with a foodies guide, oh wait thats why I have chowhound!

Steer me in the right direction ch'ers! I am not picky, enjoy nicer "whole in the wall" joints to fine dining. Sushi, BBQ, steaks, American, tapas, French, real Italian (please no cheese and sauce drowned manicotti!), sandwich joints, seafood, microbrews and wine, Thai, bistro fare, and of course Mexican and Texmex!

Will try most anything, but for textural reasons I dislike mushrooms, my loss! Cheese is nearest and dearest to my heart, and I love good fresh produce, seafood, and meats to help me impress my hubbie when I cook at home (which is frequently!) He prefers grilling and mexican style cooking to knock my socks off!

So any restaruants you want to reccommend to me is appreciated. Close to medical center is fine, but we have no prob going downtown or anywhere that we can get to and back on 1 tank of gas, haha! Also would love to hear about farmers markets and any good butchers or fishmonger type places. Last but not least, which grocery do I go to? What exactly is the HEB?

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  1. I just left San Antonio for Dallas. After 31 years in SA I think I can reccommend a few restaurants. But beware, San Antonio is a chain restuarant town, plenty of Fridays, Chilijs and such (yuck), but (except for some great independently owned Mexican restaurants), a great lack of anything else.

    Anyway, here are my picks;

    Sampongs (Thai, Medical Center)
    Asia Kitchen (The Best Pad-Thai, Marback & 90)
    El Mirador (Fresh homemade soup on Saturdays before noon, downtown)
    Gulfo de Mexico (seafood, 2 locations)
    Piatas (Upscale, The Quarry area)
    Pisanos (Upscale Italian, 2 locations)
    Korean Rib House (The original on Ritterman)
    Goros Sushi (Happy hour M-F, 5-7, say Hi to Mike)
    Sandwhich de Paris (Medical Center, great crusty french bread)
    Bobs Smokehouse (The original, on Rigsby, also just S of downtown)
    BTW: The ONLY grocery choice is HEB!
    Central Market (HEB, Broadway, fesh sushi quality fish and much more)
    Aldos (THE choice for Italian in Medical Center area)
    Dry Dock (oysters, shrimp, Medical Center)
    Any Tacqueria on the West side with linoleium floors and picnic table seating)
    Guillermo's (pizza, subs, hwy 281)
    Florios Pizza (Broadway)
    Biga on The Banks (My favorite riverwalk upscale ($) dining)
    La Scala
    Don Pedros (Cabrito tacos, S.W. Military)

    Hope this helps.

    1. Hello --- welcome to our city,

      This topic thread may have the info you seek ( tons of recs... all kinds of foods):

      good luck & happy eating!

      1. I'm so sorry. Forgive me. I mis-read your question ----- Du-ooohhhh!!! I'm having a total Homer Simpson moment. I obviously need more coffee.

        Anyway, I hope you enjoy your new home. Although we are in Houston, we love to visit San Antonio... seems like a great town.

        1. Agree with most of bluesdaddy's suggestions, except Paesano's...too loud and too "manufactured". Piatti's now has a place in one of the hotels downtown, as well as a location in the Quarry. I don't live in SA, but take a group there for lunch on a monthly basis. The list below contains some of our favorites. We don't do chains (I'm in charge so I get to pick) and we don't do buffets. We've had hits and misses like everyone else, but overall, we're happy. SA is a great city with lots of good things to eat and scads of fun things to do.
          Sarika's Thai Medical center
          Grissini's Italian.... Quarry
          Aldaco's Mexican Sunset Station near downtown
          Azuca Latino South of downtown
          LeFritte Belgian/French South of downtown
          Silo American Cuisine......Loop 1604 and Old Austin Hwy.
          Bistro Vatel French Olmos Park area

          That said, there are a raft of restaurants opening or open in the Hwy281/Loop 1604 area...Meson, Bistro Thyme, Cafe Paladar are all worth a try...especially Bistro Thyme

          HEB is the only grocery in SA worth a flip......Central Mkt. is an upscale part of HEB

          Take Huebner to Bandera Rd. for Oriental markets, mainly "Tim's". There is a Latin/Mexican Market "Azeteca" , Southcross at Clark that gets noticed by our local newspaper foodies. The SA Express News "Taste" sections in the Wednesday edition is a good place to begin your quest for San Antonio eateries. Enjoy!!

          1 Reply
          1. re: amazinc

            I tried Sarika's Thai last night...
            I hate to bring bad news but it was horrible.
            My waiter was a moron - bringing me not one, but two filthy glasses for my water. I guess he didn't see fit to check the 2nd one after I complained the first time. Best he could do was mutter "Sorry 'bout that".
            The Vegetable Spring Rolls were frozen and then fried in oil that was too hot..causing the rolls to be way too brown and the insides internally combustable. Ten minutes of blowing and cooling made the edible.
            My special of jumbo curry shrimp sounded good. Nice spicy Red Curry with coconut milk, lemon grass and the usual yummy stuff...Well, shrimp were at least tender but the curry was completely flavorless and so much coconut milk was used for the sauce that I felt like I was eating a stick of fat. Oh, by the way, I didn't mention that it took longer to get this special than it did for 2 other tables to order and get their food. I saw one couple come in after me, order, receive their food and pay their check before I was served. Did my waiter check on what was up? No.....
            When the waiter asked what I thought, I said "very disappointing". I also told him that he needs to find another profession. I don't think he was bright enough to get it. I hope he doesn't breed.
            There are a lot of really good restaurants in SAT. Just not this one.

          2. This older thread mentions a few options near the Medical Center that might be of interest to you:


            1. Have been enjoying SA so far, despite the 100 degree temps. Dining choices are around, just seems like we have to look hard to find 'em. Some highlights have been:
              Francescas at Sunset in La Cantera for Bday dinner. Food and location/ambiance were unsurpassed. Choc dessert was best I've ever had. Trio of Tamales app also very good.
              Bistro Thyme, nice local type place, solid food, good service, a little difficult to find (in costco plaza). Lamb shank better than chops.
              Acenar, very trendy looking, surprisingly solid mexican food. Great garlic shrimp. Would love to go back at night for drinks in the lounge.
              Sushi Zushi had some innovative rolls, good service.
              Bin 555 was great, loved the food (except underseasoned, overcooked shrimp dish), highlight were generous wine flights and smores dessert.
              Chris Madrids- fun place for groups, great burgers and fries. Also tasty margaritas.
              Las Canarias- had lunch here, nice bistro food, good riverwalk place, esp for people watching, a little pricey.
              Madhatters- an awesome spot. Have taken several out of town guests and returned ourselves as well. Last trip (fathers day wkend) they were out of a lot, but still managed to shine.
              Ciao Lavenderia- Great italian spot. Pastas were amazing and lusciuos. Missing several wines, but upgraded to a diff bottle for same price
              Olmos Pharmacy- eh. Could see it as a fun local spot but dirty and slow slow service. Milkshakes were out of this world tho! Was hoping for more "kitsch"
              Mango sherbert at Menger Hotel- really really good. Apparently B Clintons choice in SA
              Amy's Icecream, a lot of fun, like marble slab but local. Great icecream.
              Whole Foods in quarry- love it. Cant stand the Heb. At least the one in med center. Only go there for yoplait yogurt. Lol
              Flying Saucer- Pretty good pub food, great beer selection.
              Haven't checked this thread in awhile so plan to try a thai place tomorrow in med center, and considering Biga or Boudros for a nice dinner in the upcoming week. Also want to get to Silos.

              2 Replies
              1. re: jme1beachbum

                Glad you're enjoying the local food scene, which has seen a vast improvement since we moved here in the early 80's. At that time there was Chez Ardid and La Louisiane (both long gone). Of the other old timers, we still find L'etoile, Ernesto's and Silo to be worth the drive from the NW side of town. Other newer favorites of ours are The Lodge(Castle Hills), Azuca, La Fritte, Sandbar, and Pesca (all 4 downtown-but definately worth the trip). Cafe Paladar is a loop 1604 favorite. First impression of Wildfish (1604) was great as well, can't say the same for Merchant's Grand Cafe (Alamo heights) though it might have been an off night.
                Would definately reccomend Pam's Patio (Wurzbach/Lochill Selma) for lunch. Our favorite medical center Thai is Jasmin (Medical Dr) with close sencond being Sompong's(Fred Rd).
                It goes without saying, that experiencing an evening at La Reve is a must do at some point!!

                1. re: Sam Spade

                  My husband has gone to SA for business several times recently, and he and his colleagues have really enjoyed Pam's Patio (which I suggested after seeing it on this and some other older threads). I don't think they are open for dinner every evening, though.

              2. My fiance and I just moved here and have slowly but surely started to find decent eateries. Nobody our age seems to be anywhere (late twenties)... but I guess they're probably in the downtown areas, not out here in the 'burbs with those of us who decided a good kitchen was more important than having a social life ;) We really liked Grissinis (quarry) and El Jarro De Arturo (up north). Google them for addresses... El Jarro makes the tortillas in a little booth in the center of the restaurant and has inventive, upscale Tex-mex menu items. More imaginative than many of the restaurants. Grissinis was just "good" italian. Better than any chain.