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Jun 18, 2010 01:08 PM

Confused about San Antonio

I moved here a year ago and expected there to be good mexican and tex mex everywhere, but the good stuff must be hidden somewhere. A recurring answer I always get to Where are the good tacos? is to go to a place called Las Palapas. They are some of the worst tacos I've ever had. Everyone here also seems to love bean and cheese tacos. And when you order chorizo and egg you wind up getting chorizo colored eggs with no chorizo in sight. What makes it worse is that the people here seem to love the food so it most likely will never be fixed. Maybe it's because I'm from Houston and am used to good food but still c'mon. They also have this hilarious chain of drive thru BBQ called Bill Miller that is not unlike dog food. People recommend Bill Miller to me a lot. Please tell me that everyone is just playing a prank on the new guy.

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  1. Look through some of the posts here.
    Bill Miller is only ok for fried chicken, everything else is garbage IMO.
    Good BBQ at Two Bros.
    Try Taco Taco on Hildebrand and McCullough for tacos.
    I guess alot of people here don't know what good food is.

    Taco Taco Cafe
    145 E Hildebrand Ave, San Antonio, TX 78212

    1. I don't like Las Palapas either. Bill Miller's is just gross. I can't imagine anyone recommending it. I liked Tip Top Cafe but I didn't try their mexican dishes. Chester's has wonderful burgers. I'm going to get over to Lulu's one of these days. We just "pass through" SATX often so we don't get to explore much.

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

      1. Wait a minute...

        You're coming from Houston and you think San Antonio's BBQ is awful? I'd happily trade San Antonio's BBQ choices for Houston's. I haven't had a decent bite of brisket since I moved here.

        The worst barbecue in the entire world is Goode Co. It makes Bill Miller look like he just won the Royal. And frankly, any city that supports Goode Co. well enough to let it stay open doesn't deserve decent barbecue. So maybe that's why the BBQ Gods have denied any to Houston.

        You're much better off in San Antonio. If nothing else, Luling is just a hop, skip and pot of beans away from you.

        San Antonio is a large and diverse city. I'm sure if you just put your mind to it, you'll find plenty of good food. The only thing that I think San Antonio doesn't do as well as Houston is Asian/Vietnamese. As for Mexican, I'm not sure what you are searching for. "Mexican" means different things to different people, but if you're looking for the real thing, find a Mexican neighborhood where no tourist would ever go. San Antonio does host a lot of visitors and that affects the sorts of restaurants that cater to them.

        And just one more word of advice. I don't know how old you are, or how many times you've relocated to a new city, and I don't know how many such moves are in your future. But I'm 65 and I've moved over 40 different times. One thing I learned very early on is that when you get to a new city, you have two choices: You can dwell on what you left behind and whine and pout about that; or, you can get out there and discover what's new and wonderful to like in the new place.

        For example, if you think you can't find any good barbecue or Mexican food in San Antonio, you should try to find some in Fairbanks, Alaska.

        Which, of course, you cannot.

        So, in my case, I could have sat up there for three years whining and pouting.

        Or I could have filled up daily on fresh crab and salmon and halibut and reindeer dogs.

        Guess which one I thought was the better choice.

        Like the old song says, "If you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with."

        8 Replies
        1. re: Jaymes

          Good advice, Jaymes. Not just for SA, but life advice.

          There are two types of people, those who bloom and those who wilt where they're planted. The choice to bloom is always yours.

          (Also, anyone who says "at least I know what good food is" isn't likely to be steered to one's favorite places, IMO. No one wants to risk being just another jerk who doesn't know what "good food" is when you go at it that way.)

          1. re: shanagain

            Boy, you're right about not wanting to risk recommending something you like to somebody that says up front that "at least I know what good food is." I've tried that a time or two in my life and gotten a verbal smack upside the head for my trouble.

            And since we're talking about barbecue, I will say that since I moved to Houston, I've been severely disappointed in the brisket here. So (although I'm continuing to search) I've been concentrating on redirecting my barbecue fondness for brisket over to ribs, chicken, pulled pork, etc.

            And then once a month, driving over to Luling to bring back a whole brisket and some hot links for the freezer.

            Whatever works, right?

          2. re: Jaymes

            Your point about Alaska and mexican food makes no sense here. I'm in San Antonio. The food of choice here is Tex Mex and Mexican. That's what I'm looking for and it's not out of line to expect there to be good Tex Mex everywhere in what is probably considered the Tex Mex capitol. And if you honestly think Bill Miller is better than Goode Co. then I think you should move back to San Antonio. You'd love it here. You seem to share the same tastes in food. I'll save you some flour tortillas filled with beans and cheddar cheese.

            1. re: tacohands

              I believe Jaymes has a point. If you're expecting to find Tex-Mex and Mexican (a further explanation of what you mean would help here) you found in Houston, you'll be sorely disappointed. Perhaps you'll find a restaurant run by the owner of your favorite Houston TM/Mexican spot here with transplanted employees that share your views on every last dish you enjoyed in your native land, but that's clearly unlikely.

              As Jaymes suggested, embrace the opportunity to discover new food to love instead of expecting the city where you live now to give you what it can't simply because it's a different place.

              1. re: agoodbite

                I'm not sure what you mean about discovering new food. I haven't moved to Russia. Houston = Tacos , San Antonio = Tacos (Mathematical explanation) Do you mean just learn to accept an inferior version of Houston food? And look, I'm sorry that my original post was so negative it's just that asking locals gets you nowhere in this town.

                1. re: tacohands

                  I said nothing of finding new food. Just try to find something you like. You can't have the same tacos in San Antonio that you had in Houston. That's a simple matter of fact. All you need is a slight shift in your expectations. San Antonio might be a hard nut to crack, but it's yours for the taking.

                  1. re: agoodbite

                    "As Jaymes suggested, embrace the opportunity to discover new food."
                    "I said nothing of finding new food."
                    You crack me up. I did have some damn good tacos last night from a truck.

            2. re: Jaymes

              Far be it from me to argue with Jaymes, but there are gems in Houston. Virgie's has teh best ribs in Texas, in my experience, and some good brisket. I've had both very good and regretable at Goode Co.
              Jaymes is dead on re going to Luling. The City Market is truly, truly outstanding. You really can't do better overall in Texas. If you want barbecue, go there

              At Bill Miller, the potatoes are really, really good.

              And while the fish inAlaska is superb, reindeer dogs just a really bad idea.

              City Market
              633 E Davis St, Luling, TX 78648

            3. There are TONS of good local neighborhood Tex-Mex places all over SA. Go out early in the morning, and look at where the cars are. That's how you find the good Tex-Mex!

              1. Youre going to have to scout out the small neighborhood joints. I have no idea what part of town you're in. I have shared your frustration with Chorizo/egg tacos around here. Frankly, I usually make my own. My favorite breakfast places are Oblate cafe on NW military (near West Ave) for the chilaquiles and machacado and Taco Port on Ramsey for the carne guisada. For heaven's sake, stay OUT of Las Palapas and B Miller's!

                Taco Port Restaurant
                427 E Ramsey Rd, San Antonio, TX 78216

                3 Replies
                1. re: bbq ninja

                  I've eaten at Bill Miller's but haven't tried the Barbeque Station or Grady's yet.Bill Millers is close by,one in Universal City and one right here in Schertz.
                  It does in a pinch since I won't be able to get to luling or lockhart for bbq until i go on vacation.I did hear that Home of da Smoke out on USHWy 87 outside of the Adkins-Lone Oak area was good.Harmon's in Cibolo has good smoked catfish and baked potatoes loaded with brisket.They even do a steak night, the third Thursday of each month. Cibolo and Schertz are east of you.I like El Jalisco on FM 3009 right next to the Papa John's.In fact they are expanding the restaurant ,it's that popular.
                  haven't eaten at Texas Pride BBQ in ages,.They are out in the Adkins -St.Hedwig area and have a website.They have a biker night on Thursdays and a fish fry with live music on Friday nights. out in that same area is Aurora's Cafe.
                  They have good food or did.Again years since i have been out there.
                  Picante Grill and La Fonda on Main have some different dishs from the usual tex mex stuff around here. Another is La Calasa in Alamo Heights. These have websites.
                  Maybe you need to ask some of your hispanic co workers where they go to eat mexican food.There are places on the south and west sides you can go, but don't know of their names right now.You could check out Rolando's Super Tacos they have various locations in towm.
                  You can make your out chorizo and egg tacos. Go to H.E.B. and buy the San Manuel brand's pretty good,lots of meat. You can also make your own chorizo con papa(chorizo and potato)tacos as well.
                  Harmons has a website, but Aurora's does not, nor does El Jalisco.
                  Another place popular out here is Abel's Diner in Schertz.been there for years out on the I-35 Acess road.

                  Picante Grill
                  3810 Broadway St, San Antonio, TX 78209

                  Super Taco
                  2200 US Highway 281, Marble Falls, TX 78654

                  El Jalisco
                  12555 Nacogdoches Rd, San Antonio, TX 78217

                  Abel's Diner
                  17605 Interstate 35 N Ste 1, Schertz, TX 78154

                  La Fonda
                  12006 Socorro Rd, San Elizario, TX 79849

                  1. re: HollyDolly

                    La Calesa is gone

                    La Calesa
                    210 Florella Dr, Tornillo, TX 79853

                    1. re: bbq ninja

                      Is La Calesa gone? Never seemed to see anyone at it when i would drive by,which wasn't very often.

                      La Calesa
                      210 Florella Dr, Tornillo, TX 79853