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San Antonio

Going to San Antonio, November 16 for 3 days. First time visit. Any restaurants that are not to be missed.

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  1. Los Barrios. Get the nachos that come with the chimmichuri sauce. Buy a couple jars to take home...

    1 Reply
    1. re: green56

      Second for Los Barrios. Maybe Henry's Puffy Tacos for an excellent rendition of the local treat now famous nationally. Harmon's BBQ out in Cibolo.

    2. Try Bistro Vatel - Great Duck Confit
      Liberty Bar - Texas, Interior Mexican
      El Mirador - Best Mex I've had.
      Jeruselum Grill - Great Middle Eastern
      If you have a good sized budget Le Reve is outstanding and Biga is very good.

      2 Replies
      1. I am also going in the fall and would like to have steak one night. Ideas on this and original post appreciated.

        1 Reply
        1. For Texas BBQ try Rudy's or Tom's Ribs. (or better yet, eat at both).

          1 Reply
          1. re: TigerPaw2154

            Tom's has closed, Rudy's is alright for a chain. Check out BBQ Station for the real deal. If you can hit the road there are some fabulous BBQ joints within an hour of SA. Salt Lick outside Austin. In Lockhart TX there's Kreuz, Smitty's and Black's, all top notch.

            1. On that note, I'm gonna be stuck at the Crowne Plaza in San Antonio in October. It's "conveniently" located along the Riverwalk so I wouldn't be surprised if my options are limited. Does anyone have any ideas? High probability I won't have a car so I may suck it up and take a cab ride somewhere on one night.

              4 Replies
              1. re: air

                Crown Plaza is on the riverwalk. You can walk across most of the downtown area in addition to the riverwalk, I never had any problems tooling around on foot. Unless you are wanting to venture out for hill country bbq, that would be a hefty cab fare.

                I saw a Mortons rec, you will need reservations on weekends for sure, but well worth the visit if you are wanting a steak. I like the filet oscar, huge lump crab meat all buttery delicious with a velvety hollandaise sauce. Good wine selection and wonderful service. Located a skip from the Alamo. Santa Anna would have wanted it that way.

                Other recs for the tourista: Mi Tierra, not so much for the food... its ok, but for the wonderful bar and mariachi experience. Touristy and fun in the Mercado area. I usually end my weekends there with a small breakfast (love a Mexican breakfast) and few handmade Bloody Mary's. The absolute best and they chase the demons stuck in your gulliver from the night before.

                Boudros has always done well by me. I recall last time having a polenta (freaking love polenta) with wild mushrooms, goat cheese, tomatoes and a demi glace. Seafood is the mainstay here, but they have nice looking steaks (didn't have one) and wonderful lamb chops (did have).

                Zuni Grill used to be good, if not spirited, haven't been in a long while, so others will have to confirm. But they make a perfect margarita, and a cactus pear rita.

                I leave you with a Boudreaux joke (boudros reminds me of these silly cajun things): Boudreaux and Thibodaux were driving on the highway, on their way to go bear hunting. They come upon this fork in the road, where there was a sign that said, "Bear Left". They turned around and went home.

                  1. re: DallasDude

                    Thanks for the tips, fyi this is going to be a business trip, I'm there during the week. Boudros sounds like a definite yes. El Mirador and Azuca both sound good and getting there by streetcar looks easy enough. I'm not planning on doing a late dinner so it shouldn't be any problems right?

                    Poking around downtown, I also read that Druther's Cafe has a location a couple blocks south of my hotel, so I'll definitely hit that for lunch.

                    Couple more questions:
                    1. Hopefully this Crowne Plaza will have happy hour, otherwise, any ideas?
                    2. Where is the new Marriott? I'm curious about the new location of Augies Barbed Wire Smokehouse in downtown.

                    1. re: air

                      It has been a while for me and san antonio, and bars have a habit of coming and going. I will list a few in walking distance that should still and wlays be there.

                      Cohiba: Beneath Havana on River Walk, think cool jazz, smooth martinis, and great cigars.

                      Menger Hotel Bar: Been around for ages and hosted 1000s of well known guests, including Carrie Nation and her axe. Even Roosevelt and the Rough Riders drank there. So should still be around. Drink in the hostory and a nice whiskey, I like Knob Creek on the rocks.

                      Dirty Nell's Irish Pub: Its one of those peanut floor, Guiness pouring type of places. Good black and tan. Piano player doing traditional Irish songs. A friend (David) that is from there but lives here says Waxy O'Connors is a better Irish pub and on the river.

                      I know some other places but just by sight. For instance theres a barbecue place on a send floor on the river. Across the street (away from the river) is an underground pub. I loved that place and have no clue what the name was. It was a locals hang out.

                1. I'll say it again....the trolley system in SA is perfect for you. Take it from your hotel and go to the South Alamo Street area for super food....LeFritte, (French/Belgian) Azuca, (Latin) Rosario's (fun Tex/Mex)...or to the Sunset Station for great Mexican food at Aldaco's & to the Guenther House for the best "Texas" breakfast you'll ever have!
                  Enjoy your stay and I hope the weather cools off for you. It's been killer hot!!

                    1. The Lodge at Castle Hills would be a quick cab ride and a not to be missed restaurant for the foodie. It has a cool and funky-elegant atmosphere in a restored 1920's mansion.

                      1. Bistro Vatel - a perfect bistro
                        Liberty Bar - this cannot be missed, especially since it will be closing next year for
                        the new venture @ St. Scholastica
                        for Mexican: Rosarios's (fun & more trendy); Los Barrios (well crafted and more sedate)
                        La Paloma Blanca (elegant interior food); El Mirador (traditional, great soups)
                        Le Reve has closed
                        I'm not a fan of MiTierra food BUT having some of their pan dulce (Mexican sweet breads) and an adult beverage in the outdoor seating at El Mercado is great.
                        Azucar & the Menger Bar - great bar, locals and tourists

                        If you have the time, please do walk along the Riverwalk, especially the new extension
                        to the museum. It is just amazing, especially at dusk or early nighttime.

                        Also if you have time, the Southwest Craft Center Sw School of Art & Craft is great to wander through and it does have a restaurant - the Copper Kitchen - open for lunch.
                        The gallery is perfect for gifts.

                        1. 10-28-09

                          Riverwalk update...CountyLine bbq is now on the riverwalk on the Rivercenter Mall side...And Ruth's Chris is in St. Paul Sq.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: SAguy

                            I see the County Line BBQ has moved. i think years ago they were in a different location. My sister and i ate there years ago, but we really weren't impressed to much with the food. Ate years ago at Zuni Grill,but not sure how it is now. I have heard of Boudros for years. I think most locals consider Mi Tierra more of a tourist place, but you did get some good suggestions. Me i hardly ever go downton unless for family who come from out of town to visit.

                            County Line
                            111 W Crockett St Ste 104, San Antonio, TX 78205

                            1. re: HollyDolly

                              Visit Schilo's at 424 E Commerce St. A german delicatessen with breakfast, lunch, & dinner. This is my concept of a chowhound restaurant. October 23 Papa Fritz breakfast because it included a bratwurst for a meat. Very good bratwurst. They have 3 german beers on tap & cheap food. Looking forward to a return visit for lunch and/or dinner.

                              Mi Tierra has excellent bakery products.

                          2. And I'd strongly suggest to anyone visiting San Antonio that they rent a car one morning and drive the half-hour to forty-five minutes or so (depending upon traffic and what part of San Antonio you're in) east on I10 to Luling and their City Market, where you can sample some of that legendary Texas barbecue. Get there about 11 am or so to be sure they haven't run out of brisket "off the high side," hot links, and ribs.

                            A quintessential and sublime Texas experience you'll not soon forget.

                            1. We just visited San Antonio from Alabama. Our best meal was at Il Sogno (Italian) at the former Pearl Brewery location at the end of the River Walk extension past the museum. They don't take reservations. We went for Sunday lunch and had no problem, but I guess that is not an option for you. The River Walk water taxis stop running at 9 so you might need a cab back. The lunch menu is limited and less expensive. No website. I should have taken a picture of the menu so I could post it. We had the off the menu special, which was great! Not sure during the week what would be offered but you could try calling them. If you go at night you should probably try to go early. Riding up there on the river taxi took a while (probably more than an hour), going through the lock, etc. so plan accordingly. I liked Rosarios and Azuca as well. By the time you get there Sandbar will be open at the Pearl Brewery as well if you want seafood. We stayed away from the River Walk restaurants and didn't try any barbeque.

                              On the River Restaurant
                              919 W 2nd St, Freeport, TX 77541

                              To Go Cafe
                              14498 Bellaire Blvd, Houston, TX 77083