San Antonio - Best...
I am traveling to San Antonio for the first time soon for a long weekend. I am from out of state and am looking forward to some of the local cuisine. I will be staying on the Riverwalk but from what I understand, I don't believe I want to eat there. I will have a car, so getting around will not be a problem. I have done several searches and some of the results were a bit scattered and old. If you SAT chowhounders could help me out, I would be grateful.
1. Looking for the best Tex-Mex in town. Please do not send me across town to visit your local utility Tex-Mex, I am looking for the place that everyone drives across town to get to.
2. Looking for the best authentic Mexican.
3. Puffy Tacos - Does anywhere stand out for these?
3. Barbeque: Anywhere within 50 mile radius that is worth the drive.
1) Tom's Ribs was excellent ... it's also closed.
2) Rudy's BBQ is a travesty compared to the BBQ you can get in Lockhart ... UNLESS your idea of BBQ is goop that hides the flavor of mediocre meat. But good BBQ is also a big debate in TX ... LOTS written on Chowhound on the best BBQ places. As the great philosopher once said ... everyone has a nether orifice & an opinion, and not everyone will appreciate yours (or mine). So, for the best BBQ, you'll just have to read what's posted & see if you can find a consensus. But 50 miles is a good radius to find several places.
3) Plenty of TexMex here ... most of mediocre quality ... a few excellent ... also a lot posted on that.
4) Very few authentic Mexican-Mexican here ... they've mainly been Americanized OR Texanized. I'm fond of El Siete Mares for Mx Seafood ... but also plenty posted & some good suggestions in this thread
Chris Madrid's is good for big sloppy greasy type of hamburger ... pretty authentic local ambiance. A line forms before they open & it's full within 30 min at lunch time. But it IS just a hamburger.
For ethnic lunch ... I'd recommend Los Antojitos (330 Culebra ... just to the W of downtown) ... tiny parking lot ... go early ... crowded at lunch. HRS M-Sa 07-15 Cash Only. But it IS a Mom operation ... most of the larger Mex restaurants listed in this thread will have larger menus & have a fancier ambiance.
Luling City Market for BBQ ... is in Luling ... not Lockhart BUT I have friends in Luling who drive to Lockhart for BBQ ... if that says anything to you.
The biggest advantage of Mi Tierra is that it's open 24/7. Otherwise, it doesn't blow my socks off ... OTOH ... if it's close, it might be convenient.
In that area of town I kinda prefer their sister restaurant a hundred yards away, La Margarita ... for the cabrito and for the ambiance.
Have a nice visit.
can't help with the other items, but we're in san antonio right now and found a REALLY outstanding bbq joint called dinky's. i'm planning on posting separately about it, but haven't gotten around to it yet. we tried the ribs (really tender, but still held to the bone, and none of that jerky-like surface that tells me it has been held too long), sausage (made in-house... couldn't stop eating it when i was already full), brisket (husband loved it... said it wasn't overly lean, which he thought gave it more flavor), and the chopped beef (so good, the baby dropped some on the floor and got down and ate it before i could stop him... and nobody in the restaurant could blame him). their bbq sauce (served on the side, meat is not pre-coated) was exactly as i like it... a perfect balance of spicy and sweet without being too thick or gunky. oh, and the husband loved that the sliced brisket sandwich was served on buttered texas toast, not plain hamburger buns. the beans and potato salad do their job, though i wouldn't write home about them.
it is a tiny joint and not easy to find, but we're hoping to head back before our vacation ends to try out their breakfast offerings. at that point, i'll do a full-blown review.
Dinky's BBQ House
114 N Weidner Rd Ste B, San Antonio, TX 78233
We had some excellent wet brisket at Rudy's in New Braunfels about a month ago. I wasn't impressed with the prime rib though. I would definitely go back for more when in the area. I was shocked because I quit stopping at Rudy's in Boerne because I didn't like it very well. NB is just about 30 miles from the River Walk. Lots of interesting things to see in NB.
I didn't care for Los Barrios very much.
Best BBQ in the area is about a 50 mile drive - Smitty's BBQ in Lockhart, TX. Take I10E (towards Houston), take the Luling exit, north on 183 thru Luling to Lockhart. Smitty's is on the left - it's been rated as some of the best BBQ in Texas for a long time. There are several other BBQ places there also - Kreuz Market, and Luling City Market, that are also worth trying. The food is well worth the trip.
You're right -- the best BBQ in the area (and some might argue, anywhere) is about 50 miles away, but not necessarily Smitty's. More accurately, the Luling/Lockhart area, with some votes for Taylor, which is a bit further. I tried both Black's and Smitty's in Lockhart, and thought Black's was much better. However, based upon this (more recent) thread, there seems to be a lot of day-to-day variance, as well as differing opinions: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/327386
As someone pointed out in that thread, Luling City Market is actually a Houston knockoff -- you probably mean City Market in Luling, not Lockhart.
I have heard of a restaurant south of austin that mey be close enough that is supposed to be a a coold texas bbq experience called the Salt lick, Rachel Ray went when in TX. not sure of quality, but I would love to go sometime,
2. not that the food is AMAZING, but mi tierra's in the market area of San Antonio is a FUN expierience and great for hangover food on Sunday morning!!!! If you are in San Antonio and are going out for the night check out Howl at the moon on the Riverwalk, giant singalong. HAVE FUN
To be fair, I haven't been to Tom's Ribs or Texas Pride in about 5 years. The reason is that neither seemed to be the quality they had been before that. Not that the food was bad, it just wasn't great at either place anymore.
Authentic Mexican, not Tex Mex, is not easy to find. I'd suggest Guajillos, on the north side at Loop 410 and Blanco Road. Another is Jacala Mexican Restaurant, at 606 West Avenue. Guajillos is definitelyd *not* Tex-Mex.
1. Los Barrios - Blanco Rd south of Basse.
2. Los Barrios' puffy tacos are really good, and she won a throw-down against Bobby Flay for them. Henry's Puffy Tacos probably beats them for flavor and authenticity, though.
3. Unfortunately, San Antonio doesn't have any really GREAT BBQ places. There are two within your radius that are truly worth the drive. One is Lone Star BBQ in Lakehills, due west of San Antonio inside Medina County. It is at the intersection of Park Road 37 and FM 1283.
Another is in exactly the opposite direction, in Cibolo Texas, and is Harmon's BBQ. Easily Googled and worth the trip.