Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Texas >
May 1, 2008 11:30 AM

graduation dinner in san antonio?

So, I'm graduating in a week and half (woo hoo!) so my family's coming down for my graduation.

Anyway, I don't really eat out a lot so I don't really know many good places to eat out at, so if anyone has any suggestions. It'll just me five people (Mom, Dad, sister, fiance, me).

Prefer no Mexican/Tex-mex (unless it's unique and different from other places and it's a must-eat place)
Prefer in the NW area (bordered by 281, 1604, 410, and bandera)
Must have parking
Cost $15 or less/pp

As for tastes in food:
My dad likes seafood and steak (but he'll eat anything)
My mom hates anything with cheese
My sister dislikes a lot of meat, she likes more carby type foods (pasta, etc)
Fiance and I generally prefer healthier choices but if it's unique we'll try anything.

So, any suggestions that will please everyone?

And also, my graduation is in the afternoon, so between that and dinner, we might have a few hours to kill, so what are some things we can do? I don't know if I want to deal with parking downtown or not, but I dunno what else to do. I'm thinking maybe the zoo, but I think it closes at 5?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. pasenos on 1604? that sounds like it fits the bill. I haven't been to the silo on 1604, but it may be more than you want to spend. Same with Reggianos, which is in stone oak. I love el chaparel on bandera, but it's outside 1604 on bandera.

    the shops at la cantera is a great place to wander around.

    1. If weather is nice (ie. not breezy as hell like it's been all year), try Pam's Patio Thu-Sat eve's only. You can see their evening menu at Poor weather means a cramped indoor area.

      Only food ideas I have to go with the things to do areas below include: Paloma Blanca (full range of Mexican Food, including nice choices for light eaters) and Beto's (Latin Amer. with really good desert empanadas). There's also a Paesanos near the Quarry. Formosa Gardens (410/Broadway area) would be a good choice for an affordable dress-up style Chinese dinner. The Barn Door (conventional steakhouse on New Branfels S of 410) is also good for celebrations big and small.

      Things to do: Japanese Tea Garden, just reopened recently, so call for hours of ops, but it used to be open in the early evenings. You should find a phone number somewhere from the SA parks link. Here's a link:

      Botanical gardens closes at 5 pm;

      The zoo may work for you, if you can get in before 5, you can stay til 6 (still winter hours).

      Witte Museum is hosting The Human Body, has extended hours til 8 I think, but maybe not the best appetizer.

      1. You're going to be hard-pressed to find a $15 pp place for dinner that's not a) a zoo b) a no-frills strip mall store-front or c) a haven for folks without enough cash after filling the tank. I'm pretty sure you won't get out the door of Paesano's for your ceiling [why eat there if you don't have a couple plates of the signature Shrimp Paesano]. But pizza can fill the bill, with a salad. I'd recommend Rome's Pizza ( on DeZavala. The pies aren't write-home-to-..., but they are good. They've built a good following with area residents, even though you eat off of paper plates. The salads are predominately iceberg, but the house dressing is good enough.
        Bring your own ambiance, and have a satisfying pie and salad for well under $15 a head.

        1 Reply
        1. re: YGBSM

          While paloma blanca and beto's are great ideas, they are NOT EVEN CLOSE to the area where they were looking. in fact they are ON THE OTHER SIDE OF TOWN.

          while the barn door is used to big parites, the food is god awful.

          Now, if you don't mind going to another area of town, I have plenty of suggestions. First on the List is Ciao Lavenderia. It's in Olmos Park, and it's gosh darned good italian. It's well within your price range.

          Paloma Blanca fits the bill, but it's mexican. it's really good mexican, but it's mexican, and you said you were not big fans.

          The liberty bar is a great spot, and i think it fits all of your demands. But it's not in the area you're looking for.