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Aug 18, 2010 05:25 PM

daughter beginning college in San Antonio; need some go-to places for foodie parents

open-minded . . . now living in Austin, but transplanted Californian.

Looking forward to your advice!

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  1. Liberty Bar: A quintessential South Texas bistro with a flair all its own. Beauty and Charm is the motto, classics to perfection is the name of the game. Hard to describe the appeal... just go!
    Olorosa: seasonal cuisine in a hot part of Southtown. Really unique to the SA culinary scene.
    Boudro's: The only restaurant on the River Walk you need to know about. (Oh, and Biga.)
    Zinc Wine Bar: Owned by Boudro's, serves basically the same food but slightly more casual... at a third of the price. Kitchen is open until midnight, watch the mad rush of downtown service people ordering the phenomenal hamburgers at 11:50p. They have happy hour from 4-7, and from 11-midnight. Great place.
    Taco Haven: Try the Ralphie's Special. I simply adore this place for classic Tex-Mex that isn't drowned in grease, a la Blanco Cafe.

    Just a start...

    Taco Haven
    3119 S Gevers St, San Antonio, TX 78210

    Blanco Cafe
    5525 Blanco At Oblate Rd, San Antonio, TX 78201

    South Texas Cafe
    Highway 77, Harlingen, TX 78550

    1. Any of Andrew Weissman's restaurants: Osteria Il Sogno, Sandbar, Bigz burgers
      Any of Jason Dady's rests: Bin 555, Two Bros BBQ, Tre Trattoria, Lodge at Castle Hills
      For Mexican, current faves are Ceilito Lindo, La Gloria, Guajillos

      Tre Trattoria
      4003 Broadway St, San Antonio, TX 78209

      La Gloria
      1001 37th St, Snyder, TX 79549

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

      2 Replies
      1. re: saeyedoc

        awesome suggestions; thanks.

        Anyone know of a pizzeria named Dough? Read some good things about it in TX Monthly.

        1. re: ricodanles

          Forgot about that one! Excellent, was there for lunch yesterday for the umpteenth time. Had the Calzone which was great.
          Some of the best pizza I've had anywhere, everything else on the menu very high quality also.
          If you like chinese, there are a small handful of places that are close to authentic. Just found out recently that Phoenix Cafe delivers to my house, had some last night.

      2. Restaurant Insignia, another Jason Dady kitchen, at the Fairmont hotel downtown. I think it's a sleeper, but one of my favorites :

        Tre Trattoria Downtown
        401 S. Alamo, San Antonio, TX 78205

        3 Replies
        1. re: producerat

          Have to check that one out, just don't go downtown much, too much of a pain to park, hate using Valet service.

          1. re: saeyedoc

            just back from college move-in day in San Antonio. Quick food report:

            Thursday dinner at Bin 555. While a bit more out of the way than I expected, it was worth the trip. Very nice menu, with variety of tapas-style plates. Reasonably priced, with diversity in meats, fish, veggies, in all, an excellent menu. A little disappointed in the relatively low level of server expertise -- made it hard to get recommendations. But our guessing did the trick nonetheless. I would definitely return. (The only somewhat strange aspect of the restaurant is that it is divided roughly in half between two rooms, one kept somewhat dark and other brightly lit. So, the basic experience will differ depending on where you are sat).

            Friday dinner at Dough's, a pizzeria/italian restaurant. Terrific. Had the heads-on shrimp appetizer, a wonderful caprese salad, and a margharita pizza with oak roasted mushrooms. Food was excellent, service was first-rate with good advice (including, impressively, being steered away from daily wine special to something less expensive, but very good).

            Saturday morning brunch at Taco Taco. San Antonio institution, from what I gather. I thought it was pretty good, but I would continue to search around for other, first-rate Tex Mex. I had the Barbacoa plate, which was served a tad cold, and a bowl of Menudo (pretty decent).

            Looking forward to other San Antonio restaurant adventures, per the good suggestions above. Thanks.

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

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

            1. re: ricodanles

              If you have the chance to get out to the Rim (across IH-10 from the Shops at La Cantera), try a little sandwich shop called Cosi. You can check out their web-site for the menu. I found the combinations creative and delicious. Interesting and not the usual fare.

              Also, if you are driving around, there's Pam's Patio Kitchen on Wurzbach. This is a popular spot for outdoor lunches, with lots of homemade items.

              If you prefer a server and a tablecloth, try Frederick's on NW Military at Heubner. We had excellent chef prepared foods with attentive service there. These are not downtown spots, but if you want to get out and explore, I feel they are worth the effort.

              Pam's Patio Kitchen
              11826 Wurzbach Rd, San Antonio, TX 78230

              17503 La Cantera Pkwy Ste 108, San Antonio, TX 78257

        2. Be sure to try Damiel Vatel's superb Bistro Vatel in Olmos Park. There is also an Italian
          restaurant in the same building that's getting good reviews. If you like the downtown area,
          try LeFrite on South Alamo as well as Azuca, a few doors away. Where is the college? There
          may be other treasures closer than these mentioned. Another poster mentions Weismann's
          restaurants, but no one told you two are in the new Pearl Brewery Complex, along with LaGloria...great Mexican "street food". A trip to the complex is a treat. Terrific food, the new CIA's Cuisine of the Americas cooking school, as well as Melissa Guerra's grand Mexican kitchen utensil/ ingredient/cookbook/jewelry....well, you get the idea. Love the shop.

          Bistro Vatel
          218 E Olmos Dr, San Antonio, TX 78212

          1 Reply
          1. re: amazinc

            Went to the Pearl Brewery complex recently. Enjoyed LaGloria and also Andrew Weismann's seafood restaurant., Sandbar. Impressive complex; hope restaurants and shops can make a go of it in today's troubled economy.
            Happily, just five minutes from college.

            Looking forward to going to places on Santone's list.

          2. We live in Austin. We like Silo - Elevated Cuisine. There are two locations.

            Silo Restaurant
            1133 Austin Hwy, San Antonio, TX 78209