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Headed to San Antonio for Women's Final Four in April - Need 5 days of great food. Suggestions?

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foodieinraleigh Mar 21, 2010 04:16 PM

We are on our 3rd trip to the Women's Final Four. This year it is in San Antonio. We are looking for great food at any price, any venue: street food to fine dining, breakfast through late evening meals. Sports bars to watch the Men's FInal Four Games. What are the must eat places in San Antonio and the surrounding 50 mile area? We will have a car, so driving is not a problem. Chefs specializing in locally source ingredients is a plus. Any one have a suggestion for a late dinner on a Sunday evening? It is usually a challenge to find anything decent after the games on Sunday evening.

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  1. j
    Jaymes RE: foodieinraleigh Mar 21, 2010 06:30 PM

    It's hard to know where to start...

    Have you done any research on this board at all?

    1 Reply
    1. re: Jaymes
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      foodieinraleigh RE: Jaymes Mar 21, 2010 06:49 PM

      Seen quite a bit of discussion on BBQ and tex-mex. Looking for where the locals go for great food.

    2. d
      dcbbq RE: foodieinraleigh Mar 21, 2010 08:14 PM

      Drive to Luling to the City Market for lunch one day. (Get there early or late -- there will be a line) The brisket is what brisket hopes to be. Also good sausage and ribs. Also, it is a classic sort of Texas barbecue joint

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      City Market
      633 E Davis St, Luling, TX 78648

      1. j
        Jasper1 RE: foodieinraleigh Mar 23, 2010 11:45 PM

        Try the historic King William area of town close to downtown. There are some great restaurants there at a lower price than comparable River Walk restaurants but with equally good ambience. For good Tex-Mex try Rosario's or Tito's - both are open late. For a good brewhouse, try Blue Star, right on the river, and they often have live music playing into the night.

        1. k
          karenevans RE: foodieinraleigh Mar 25, 2010 02:01 PM

          Hi! We have some beautiful restaurants in San Antonio! The Fairmont Hotel has a new restaurant called Insignia-a Jason Dady Restaurant. The avacado and barbacoa pizza and the pralines with bacon are over the top. Be sure and go to La Fritte in Southtown. The mussels, frittes and hanger steak is to die for. If you can get to the Pearl Brewery and stop at The Sandbar you will love me. Go to Dolores del Rio for great country Italian food. Be sure and order the Spinach Salad and the linguini with baby clams. They have beautiful musicians and belly dancers and its a great hangout for locals. Boudros is somewhere you can have a great lunch with tableside guacamole and a shrimp and bacon sandwich or an awesome tuna salad with a prickly pear margarita. Be sure and go to Zinc's and sit on the patio and have incredible tapas and wine. Acenar has the most beautiful patio on the riverwalk and serves outstanding modern tex mex food. If you want the best mexican shrimp coctail go to the Mariachi Bar at Mi Tierra's and order it with a michilada. The Chart House at The Tower of The America's is beautiful. Be sure and ask them to seat you by a window. The restaurant revolves and they have great trout! The Little Rhine Steakhouse is beautiful and the food is wonderful. The patio is great. Mexican food. Go to Rosario's and get the shrimp tacos and the enchiladas verdes. Mexican Manhattan has really good nachos. Paloma Blanca has great tex mex enchiladas. If you need anymore info I am at Kevans@sachamber .org. Have a wonderful time in our beautiful city! Karen Evans! The Greater Chamber of Commerce 210-229-2127

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          Mexican Manhattan
          110 Soledad St, San Antonio, TX 78205

          8 Replies
          1. re: karenevans
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            foodieinraleigh RE: karenevans Mar 25, 2010 07:11 PM

            Thanks for the recommendations. Does anyone have any thoughts about:

            Los Barros - puffy tacos throwdown with Bobby Flay
            Casa Rio - Traditional mexican food.
            Salsa Moras - Breakfast and Lunch
            El Mirador - reviews all over the place
            Louie Mueller Barbecue in Taylor Tx
            Tip Top Cafe
            Azuza - Is this really good South American cuisine?
            Bin 555 - Is this a true tapas restaurant?
            Chris Madrids for burgers at lunch?
            The Cove for lunch?
            Fig Tree?
            Mi Tierra Cafe Y Panaderia for late night dining - Sunday night?
            Paloma Blanca

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            Casa Rio
            430 E Commerce St, San Antonio, TX 78205

            Tip Top Cafe
            2814 Fredericksburg Rd, San Antonio, TX 78201

            Bin 555
            555 W Bitters Rd Ste 110, San Antonio, TX 78216

            Fig Tree Restaurant
            515 E Villaret Blvd, San Antonio, TX 78221

            El Mirador Restaurant
            722 S Saint Marys St, San Antonio, TX 78205

            1. re: foodieinraleigh
              k
              karenevans RE: foodieinraleigh Mar 26, 2010 07:12 AM

              I would never go to Chris Madrids for a burger. But absoloutely The Cove or Bombay Bicycle Bar.

              1. re: foodieinraleigh
                s
                Sam Spade RE: foodieinraleigh Mar 26, 2010 09:59 AM

                Of the places you mentioned that I've been to:
                Los Barrios-wider variety than your usual tex-mex, recommended
                Casa Rio-great location, food is nothing to write home about-touristy
                Azuca-great latin fusion (not traditional) menu-highly recommended
                Bin 555-tapas with touches of molecular gastronomy, patio is delightful this time of year-highly recommended (also check out Las Ramblas at Hotel contessa for very good tapas menu)
                Chris madrids-overrated IMHO, Cove is much better
                Fig Tree-overpriced, wasn't tremendously impressed the only time we went. If I was doing a blowout dinner downtown it would be tasting menu at Biga
                Mi Tierra- open 24/7, it's more about the atmosphere than the food...cabrito is good!
                Paloma Blanca-one of our favorite mexican places, nice patio for lunch
                I'd definately recommend Chef Weissmans restaurants (Sandbar/ Sogno)at the Pearl-no reservations taken.

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                Las Ramblas
                306 W Market St, San Antonio, TX

                1. re: foodieinraleigh
                  b
                  Bulldozer RE: foodieinraleigh Mar 26, 2010 01:02 PM

                  I always go to El Mirador for breakfast when I'm in San Antonio. I would probably do Rosario's instead for dinner. You could also do a lot worse than Mi Tierra for a late dinner.

                  It's 115 miles to Louie Mueller. Don't get me wrong, LM is awesome, but so is City Market in Luling.

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                  City Market
                  633 E Davis St, Luling, TX 78648

                  El Mirador Restaurant
                  722 S Saint Marys St, San Antonio, TX 78205

                  1. re: Bulldozer
                    f
                    foodieinraleigh RE: Bulldozer Mar 28, 2010 09:21 AM

                    Any thoughts on Jacala or Ceilito Lindo?

                    1. re: foodieinraleigh
                      l
                      lillidalla RE: foodieinraleigh Mar 28, 2010 10:08 AM

                      Here's a recommendation for breakfast (in addition to those already mentioned): The Guenther House.... it's near the Riverwalk, but you'll need to drive. It's sort of upscale comfort food; the Belgian waffle with fresh strawberries and whipped cream is excellent. It's located on the grounds of the Old Pioneer Flour Mill, and it also has a neat gift shop. Here's a link: http://www.guentherhouse.com.

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                      Guenther House Restaurant
                      205 E Guenther, San Antonio, TX 78204

                      1. re: foodieinraleigh
                        s
                        saeyedoc RE: foodieinraleigh Mar 29, 2010 06:56 AM

                        Cielito Lindo is great, my favorite MX in SA. Amazing Chile Rellenos, Tampiquena Plate, Mole, Margs....

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                        Cielito Lindo Restaurant
                        31303 Fm 2920 Rd Ste A, Waller, TX 77484

                    2. re: foodieinraleigh
                      j
                      James Cristinian RE: foodieinraleigh Mar 29, 2010 01:27 PM

                      I second City Market in Luling, Acenar, and Boudro's. I'd also go to Lockhart after Luling and go to Smitty's for prime rib and the other meats. I'd get to Luling around 11 am and head to Lockhart. These places are meat market style, meaning you can order as little or as much as you want. I like the fish and chips at Waxie O'Connors on the river set in a pub imported from Ireland. Avoid Landry's and Joe's Crabshack, and while I've never been to Casa Rio, I've walked by it dozens of times and saw nothing interesting at all.

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                      City Market
                      633 E Davis St, Luling, TX 78648

                  2. f
                    foodieinraleigh RE: foodieinraleigh Apr 2, 2010 09:05 PM

                    Friday - April 2nd: When to Bin 555 this evening. The food was outstanding, unfortunately we got there a little late and could not sit out on the patio. We had the Oven-baked olives, Patatas Bravas (fried potatoes with a piquillo tomato sauce), sauted spinach catalan style, braised pork belly (tonights was a Thai theme with coconut sticky rice, curry and green mango) and a and the veal meatballs. Everything was outrageous and incredibly unique. There is nothing that we would not have had again, but the serving of the pork belly following the meatballs was a bit out of sync. Needed something in between to clear the palate. The was a defintite homerun. Hope our remaining 4 days worth of meals are as rememberable - in a good way.

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                    Bin 555 Restaurant and Wine Bar
                    555 W. Bitters Rd., San Antonio, TX 78216

                    Bin 555
                    555 W Bitters Rd Ste 110, San Antonio, TX 78216

                    1. postcardsfromsanantonio RE: foodieinraleigh Apr 6, 2010 12:15 PM

                      Maybe too late, but here are some recent great meals I have enjoyed in San Antonio:

                      The Cool Cafe, 123 Auditorium Circle: A crepe filled with spinach, mushrooms and liberal amounts of olive oil served with sweet and crisp roasted potatoes; huge chunks of salmon cooked shish-kabob-style and served over basmati rice; half-price wine on Sunday. Better hurry, because the new owners of the Havana Hotel seem inclined to want the Mediterranean cafe out of the way. Liz Lambert has completed work on the hotel to instill it with the same coolness factor as the San Jose in Austin, and I am happy to learn the great basement Bar will no longer be filled with dense clouds of cigar smoke. If Lambert can make a former “motor court” hip, she certainly should be able to make a building with the architectural bones of the Havana inviting. Did I mention the Cool Cafe knocks 50 percent off all wine on Sundays? Call first to be sure it has not been evicted: 210.224.2665.

                      Tre Trattoria, 4003 Broadway: Considering I have not been blogging long, it might arouse suspicion for me to mention this meal again. Sorry, but this is my vision of a perfect Saturday lunch for making a couple feel as though they are on vacation: grilled radicchio with lemon vinagrette; a pizza topped with goat cheese, pistachios and balsamic cippolini; and a bottle of A Mano Primitivo. One might think Jason and Crystal Dady were bribing me, but they would go broke if everyone who came in placed such a budget order. Price for two, including the bottle of wine: $41.30.

                      Azuca Nuevo Latino, 713 South Alamo: For a while, the kitchen seemed to suffer from attention-deficit as management focused on a northside location, but everything appears back on track. Few restaurants present food with more artistry. Would highly recommend garlicky tostones, tender grilled squid and the tropical fruit garden for dessert, much more decadent than it sounds. The caipirinha is a nice change from margaritas or mojitos.

                      The Filling Station Cafe, 701 South St. Mary’s Street: The place to grab a sandwich, such as the turkey habanero on rolls made in the teeninsiest kitchen. There might be all of three tables tucked inside, but there is additional seating outside. Have used Jon’s services several times to provide sandwiches for meetings, and everyone always raves.

                      Zinc Champagne, Wine & Spirits, 207 North Presa: The name immediately lets you know the beverage side of the menu is well-stocked; yet the bartenders do not complain about making something off-menu – such as what I have christened a “tequito,” a mojito with tequila instead of rum. Zinc is open during the week for lunch, but seems to be trying to keep that secret. Pears, goat cheese and pecans perk up a small Zinc salad, and the portobello patty melt with spinach, nopalitos and cheese is hearty fare. The sweet potato fries arriving on the same plate keep me from exploring the menu much farther, despite the high praise friends lavish on the Texas salmon salad with pearl couscous.

                      This is part of a much longer blog - "New York Times Making Amends" posted on wordpress.com under postcardsfromsanantonio on April 4 - that begins a rant about John Edge's article in the New York Times claiming Austin's breakfast tacos beat out San Antonio.

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                      Tre Trattoria
                      4003 Broadway St, San Antonio, TX 78209

                      Filling Station
                      701 S Saint Marys St, San Antonio, TX 78205

                      Azuca Cocina Latina
                      713 S Alamo St, San Antonio, TX 78205

                      Zinc Champagne & Wine Bar
                      207 North Presa Street, San Antonio, TX 78205

                      Cool Cafe
                      123 Auditorium Cir, San Antonio, TX 78205

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: postcardsfromsanantonio
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                        foodieinraleigh RE: postcardsfromsanantonio Apr 11, 2010 03:05 PM

                        Here is a recap of our trip to San Antonio. I am extremely happy that we had a car to get out of the riverwalk area. The food in the riverwalk area was not rememberable. As mentioned above the food at Bin555 was outstanding.
                        Breakfast:
                        Guenther House - The pancakes of the day (almond) were great, the biscuits and gravy did not meet up to the standards of North Carolina.
                        El Mirador: Excellent overall. We had the Don Julian's Favorite - fresh Machacado with scrambled eggs and the chilaquiles.

                        Lunch :
                        Ceiiito Lindo - Wow - this was incredible. The Guacamole molajete was excellent with the queso fresco. The Doraditas de res were outstanding, great dish with shredded beaf and hot / sweet habenero peppers. The enfrijoles (chicken) was also noteworthy.
                        Two Brother BBQ - the ribs were outstanding, but the brisket was dry and a disappointment.
                        City Market in Luling - this was worth the drive. Beware - this place is cash only! The ribs, beef brisket and pinto beans were scrumptious. The smoke jalapeno peppers were better than Two Brothers. Potato salad was better than most - didn"t taste like it was made the day before and sat in the refrigerator.
                        Dinner:
                        Casa Rio on the River - great location, great early evening meal before the men's final four. Food was mediocre - average for even Raleigh NC
                        Paesonos on Riverwalk - good for a meal at 10:30pm on a Sunday evening but not much else can be said.
                        Azuca Neuvo Latino: Another great meal. The grill calamari was very unique since it was served cut lengthwise with an olive relish. The black bean soup was very authentic, the tortilla soup was ok. The Pork Tender Carioca (pork tenderloin) was great but the Brazillian Feijoada (pork shank with black beans, wilted spinach and fresh oranges) was unbelievable! Lots of food. Wish we lived locally so we could have taken a doggy bag home.

                        Thanks again.

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                        Casa Rio
                        430 E Commerce St, San Antonio, TX 78205

                        City Market
                        633 E Davis St, Luling, TX 78648

                        Guenther House Restaurant
                        205 E Guenther, San Antonio, TX 78204

                        El Mirador Restaurant
                        722 S Saint Marys St, San Antonio, TX 78205

                        1. re: foodieinraleigh
                          j
                          Jaymes RE: foodieinraleigh Apr 11, 2010 04:18 PM

                          Thanks so much for getting back with us. Glad you made the drive out to Luling. That's pretty typically Texas so it's nice you got a taste.

                          True that they only take cash. But if I recall correctly, they do have an ATM machine. If not, there's for sure one at the store next door.

                        2. re: postcardsfromsanantonio
                          c
                          coolcafe RE: postcardsfromsanantonio Apr 13, 2010 03:25 PM

                          In behalf from all of us at Cool Cafe downtown we want to let everyone know that we are still open and here to stay and yes we do have 50% wine bottles and crafes(1liter Mimosas,Sangria,Margaritas) on Sunday ,so came on over and enjoy a good meal and pleasant atmosphere!!!Thank You Cool Cafe

                        3. c
                          CindyS RE: foodieinraleigh Sep 18, 2010 09:00 AM

                          I'm in San Antonio to sing with the opera, and we're staying on the Riverwalk. Having broken my toe, a lot of walking isn't possible, and though we do have a car, since I'm here primarily to work and have to adhere to rehearsal/performance schedules, it just turns out to be best to stay downtown. This becomes a problem for getting fed --- especially inexpensive, relatively healthy food with vegetarian options for my husband. I travel a lot, and while I love food and certainly enjoy some indulgences, I have to be very careful not to overdo it.

                          I'd seen Cool Cafe over next to the Municipal Auditorium and was eager to try it --- we've now eaten there three times and probably will at least twice more, since it's not only convenient but has plenty of delicious and healthy options. Great atmosphere, friendly service. And belly-dancing!

                          On our first visit, we started the mierza-ghasmi (roasted eggplant with tomato and garlic, served with pita). The pita is amazing --- hot, fresh, soft, perfect. The eggplant was creamy and flavorful, a nice start to the meal. I opted for a traditional lamb gyro with house salad (my one complaint is that they could use real kalamata olives instead of those nasty canned black olives) and my husband, on recommendation of our enthusiastic waitress, had the California sandwich, which he loved. Everything was very fresh and flavorful. We went all out and had dessert, too: he had the tres leches cheescake ---fabulous, creamy, lovely caramel flavors --- and I was adventurous with the Citrus Height Crepe. The combination of Lemon, Kiwi, Coconut, Caramel, and Espresso sounds odd, but it was fantastic, though I would have preferred for the lemon flavor to reside in the zest grated on top rather than slices of the fruit itself inside the crepe --- that was a bit overwhelming.

                          On our second visit, my husband got the Zabzi Polo Mahi, (Smoked Salmon, Fresh Basil, Parsley, Spinach, Garlic and Green Onions over basmati rice). The salmon was cut in very thin slices, almost like prosciutto, and it made for a light but terrifically savory dish. I had the Rolo pasta (Chicken Breast Sautéed in Balsamic Vinegar Capers and Fresh Basil in Tomato Sauce), also on the light side with a delicious sauce. Our garlic bread was cold when we got it, and the waiter quickly replaced it with a fresh dish, piping hot and broiled to perfection.

                          On our most recent visit, we shared the falafel appetizer while enjoying Meghan's belly-dancing on the covered patio --- a lovely place to sit in the rain --- and it was delicious and perfectly portioned for two. Hubby went back to the California sandwich and I got the Alaska Crepe (Smoked Salmon, Red Onions, Capers, Spinach, Dijon, and Dill Havarti Cheese) --- so good, and I would love to have it for breakfast, too!

                          We haven't been disappointed once with food, service, or atmosphere here. I highly recommend the Cool Cafe!
                          sound

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                          Cool Cafe
                          123 Auditorium Cir, San Antonio, TX 78205

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