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Where are the SA foodies getting their information?

i
idyllicnereid Aug 31, 2011 08:43 AM

As much as I wish SA had it's own board I'm asking this question within the context of the texas board. Even if we had our own board I realize that we'd still be fielding questions like "where's the best tex-mex", "Where's the best places to eat on the riverwalk", etc.

There are great SA finds that I've discovered through Chowhound, but I find myself going to other sources for information on the SA culinary scene. I was curious whether fellow SA hounds use some of these sites as well.

Urban Spoon (http://www.urbanspoon.com/c/39/San-Antonio-restaurants.html): great for general info, websites, menus, and photos, reviews are hit or miss. Wish you could filter out every single fast food chain featured. Most of the food blogs I follow I found there.

Open Table (http://www.opentable.com/start.aspx?m=19&mn=85): great for making reservations, unfortunately a lot of great SA spots are not on OT

SavorSA (http://www.savorsa.com/): great reviews, some info on openings and closings, great coverage of restaurant week

SA current (http://sacurrent.com/dining): great reviews, but you have to filter through coverage of the club scene to find them

Express News: does anyone even read the paper anymore?

CulinariaSA (http://culinariasa.org/wine-festival/home/): great information on events, but that's pretty much it.

City-data (http://www.city-data.com/forum/san-antonio/281065-new-restaurant-openings-closings-san-antonio.html): If you need to know where the latest Popeyes has opened, it's great. There was a 2011 restaurant week thread this year so it's not a total loss.

Zagat (http://www.zagat.com/c/san_antonio-tx)/Fearless Critic (http://www.fearlesscritic.com/sananto... Full functionality requires a paid subscription, not sure if I want to go there.

Food blogs: You have to find the good ones yourself and there's a lot of junk out there.

Twitter: great for last minute info on specials and it's the best place for info on Weissman's places

Facebook: Nothing you can't find on twitter other than photos.

Are there any other sources I'm missing here?

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  1. s
    saeyedoc Aug 31, 2011 08:54 AM

    Unfortunately, this board is mostly tourists asking the same questions over and over. Very few locals regularly post. I learn about new places mostly by word of mouth or the Express news (yes, I do read it every day).

    4 Replies
    1. re: saeyedoc
      s
      Sam Spade Aug 31, 2011 06:52 PM

      Totally agree with you about the endless tourist questions, but then I must admit to posting similiar inquiries on other CH boards.There's some great finds here once in a while (Sichuan, Cebiche de Waldito).
      Don't know if I'm missing something by not getting the paper anymore. The online version leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to restaurant coverage.It seems they still have Sandbar on Pecan Street and Club Cohiba at the Havana ( http://events.mysanantonio.com/search... )

      1. re: Sam Spade
        s
        saeyedoc Sep 1, 2011 07:31 AM

        The paper gives me something to do while drinking my morning coffee and eating breakfast. There is a review in the taste section on Sunday and some information on new places and one's that have closed.

      2. re: saeyedoc
        b
        bronwen Sep 1, 2011 08:07 AM

        I read the paper every day too. The TASTE section of the Sunday paper has very good updates on the food scene.

        1. re: bronwen
          s
          Sam Spade Sep 1, 2011 09:30 AM

          Sounds like I should start picking up EN on Sundays again. Fearless Critic ($10/year) seems to be a good value so far. It's not ALL white tablecloth but they're not reviewing every single Mickey D's or taqueria like urbanspoon. That being said, not sure what to make of about their top 5 iranking:
          By FOOD-Sandbar, Dough, Sogno, Lodge, Biga
          By FEEL-Biga, The Esquire, Dough, Sogno, Lodge
          By $$-Bohanans, Kirby, Mortons, Fig Tree, Little Rhein
          Any feedback on food at the Esquire? I thought it was just a bar. Also curious about the Monterrey but was waiting for cooler weather=could be a while!

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

      3. a
        amazinc Sep 3, 2011 06:10 AM

        Still read the Exp-News, particularly, Sunday's "Taste", but it is a much paler version than the old Wednesday's issue. Miss the restaurant listings with addresses. Other than the paper, Savor SA is my best bet for restaurant info. (BTW, did you read about the Lodge to close at the end of the year?) I rely on saeyedoc, Sam Spade and bronwen to give me great useful info. from the "eaters" point of view. Thanks!

        1 Reply
        1. re: amazinc
          s
          Sam Spade Sep 4, 2011 07:13 AM

          I'm really surprised this thread is still going, even if everyone but OP is a regular.I've lived in SA over 30 years but didn't consider myself much of a foodie until the last 10. The "scene"" in SA has definately changed for the better in that time. As much as we hate to see The Lodge go (we lived close and thus went often), I wouldn't be surprised to find out Dady's got something else in the works. Stephan Pyles is supposed to be opening something in that place acrosss from the Rim too, Weissman's "luxury"(in a shipping container?) coming soon also.
          When I think about places I'm still frequenting that were around in 1980, can't overlook Ernesto's , even if he's never tweaked his menu(mex/seafood). A real character, with a great place-he must be doing something right to still be here after all this time.

        2. i
          idyllicnereid Sep 4, 2011 07:28 AM

          It will be sad to see the Lodge go, my family's been going there for special occasions and just because for years.

          I also forgot to add yelp.com to my list of food sources. It's not food specific, but it's one of the first results you get from googling a restaurant. Just curious does anyone here also post on yelp and/or urbanspoon?

          1 Reply
          1. re: idyllicnereid
            s
            Sam Spade Sep 5, 2011 08:25 AM

            No on Yelp, yes on urbanspoon (jsw).

          2. DERECKSWIFEY Sep 5, 2011 07:49 PM

            This is going to sound ridiculous but I have found several hot spots on DDD, and man vs. food. Especially when it's more about atmosphere then haute cuisine. I'd also warn you against a lot of the publications that rate restaurants. I've worked in several 4 and 5 star restaurants that didn't feel like they were getting enough press so they simple purchased a spot on so and so's top 10 list or "best of san antonio". I know several San Antonio fine dining options that have done just that. Do we have any SA food bloggers?! I went to a convention in Austin a year or so ago and the only local blogger I met was packing up for Pennsylvania and whined the entire day about San Antonio being behind the times food wise. She's a little right and a little wrong. Would be nice to read someone who is snapping pics nightly of SA eats.

            3 Replies
            1. re: DERECKSWIFEY
              s
              San Antonio Sam Sep 7, 2011 01:00 PM

              Noooooo! Just say no to DDD. Everytime they feature a place, the lines get longer, the service gets worse and the quality of food goes down. I would also love to know what the criteria is for getting on that show because it definitely has nothing to do with being a good restaurant. Some of those places are almost as bad as Guy's own.

              1. re: San Antonio Sam
                s
                saeyedoc Sep 8, 2011 07:05 AM

                They were at Dough, which is not a diner, drive-in or dive. It was hard to get in there before, now it's ridiculous. Same with Tip-top, not worth the wait.

                1. re: San Antonio Sam
                  DERECKSWIFEY Sep 8, 2011 01:07 PM

                  Also Texas Pride Barbecue. It was fantastic the first time I went and I keep trying to take family there when they are in town and it's never been as good as that first time! And do they really have to put 3 movie size posters of Guy on every wall?!

                  -----
                  Texas Pride Barbecue
                  2980 E Loop 1604 S, Adkins, TX 78101

              2. s
                San Antonio Sam Sep 7, 2011 12:57 PM

                I have been wondering the same thing! In California, I relied on Yelp but so many places in SA are missing from Yelp that I stopped using it and switched to Urban Spoon. Urban Spoon is fairly complete but I agree with the OP - not the most reliable source of reviews and do we really need to review every single Bill Miller location?

                I also wanted to add that there was a member here called MPH who had a lot of great posts about San Antonio. http://www.chow.com/profile/10608?tag...

                I have gotten as much info from those posts as almost any other source.

                San Antonio is a great food town - I don't know why there aren't more bloggers and, especially, why we have to be lumped in with all of Texas on CH. Frankly . .I'd read CH a lot more if there was a SA board.

                5 Replies
                1. re: San Antonio Sam
                  DERECKSWIFEY Sep 8, 2011 01:09 PM

                  What SA food blogs are you even reading? I dont know of anything besides SavorSa and I dont know if I consider that a blog. it's certainly not a personal blog.

                  1. re: DERECKSWIFEY
                    s
                    San Antonio Sam Sep 8, 2011 01:30 PM

                    There's nothing I read on a regular basis but, ya - savorsa and also www.sanantoniojoe.com.

                    1. re: DERECKSWIFEY
                      k
                      katerpillrgrl Sep 12, 2011 11:27 AM

                      Another small blog is www.sanantonioeats.weebly.com. I am the writer for it but I haven't been able to be active for a few months.....discretionary income issues. Trying to save so not as much money to explore great dining in SA. Regardless, I am still very involved with the culinary scene in SA and plan to keep it going.

                      ....and just as a side note, I love SA's dining options. They may not have some options other large cities have but we are getting there, and I personally am proud to be there to encourage the growth of the culinary industry in SA.

                      1. re: katerpillrgrl
                        s
                        Sam Spade Sep 14, 2011 07:56 AM

                        Sorry that your site is not up at present. Agree with you that dining scene here is improving, especially compared to 10-15 years ago, but get disheartened at times when places like Lodge and Oloroso can't survive, but there's big buzz about a new Cheesecake Factory at La Cantera.
                        I thought I saw a quote from Jason Dady somewhere (re Lodge closure) that "fine dining is on life support". Not sure if he was referencing just his predicament or musing about SA fine dining in general. Thoughts???

                        1. re: Sam Spade
                          s
                          San Antonio Sam Sep 14, 2011 08:04 AM

                          I took Dady's comment to be in regards to the economy in general. I was recently living in Southern California and upscale places there are struggling, too.

                  2. i
                    idyllicnereid Sep 8, 2011 10:05 AM

                    So I'm curious do you think people would appreciate a SA food aggregator?

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: idyllicnereid
                      s
                      Sam Spade Sep 9, 2011 05:11 AM

                      It would be nice to have a "one stop source"" for food info, asuming there's enough content being generated. Wondering what content generators (bloggers? CH posters? EN reviewers? SavorSA, etc etc) take would be on being "aggregated".?
                      I can imagine some bloggers would appreciate an increase in site traffic, not sure what the CH, EN, or urbanspoon take would be on lifting reviews.
                      An older CH thread of possible interest ( http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/708212 )has been revived as well. And not entirely off-topic, wondering what effect Googles acquisition of Zagat will be in the long run.

                      1. re: idyllicnereid
                        f
                        flysqrlgrl Sep 9, 2011 08:13 AM

                        Not being in the area, but from San Antonio, I can tell you that the sources I rely on the most are the local food bloggers. In DC, just about everyone is a food blogger (well, they did a survey and I guess most of them are 20-30 single women...like myself), but I like those sources more because while the photography isn't always great, you get more honest opinions about the food and service.

                        How did I build up my food blog library? I use Google Reader, and set up RSS feeds for all the blogs related to DC food. Then, as I read through them, I check out all the links and sources that they post from—I've found at least 5 great blogs from other blogs, it's really the best way to build your base. It took about a year before I had a solid list of 30 something blogs.

                        idyllicnereid, you should consider starting your own blog/aggregator for SA---even if it's not original posts, you can repost all the SA specific items and create a new source for people to search from!

                        1. re: flysqrlgrl
                          c
                          Correctcat Sep 9, 2011 08:53 AM

                          So wait... where is the best place to eat on the riverwalk? Kidding!

                          As a homesick Texan living up in NYC though, a great SA food blog would be especially appreciated when I make my quarterly+ a year returns home. I find I'm mostly going to the old haunts that are still around... but even those are dying out (the Lodge?!? Say it ain't so!), so having a good, reliable and well-rounded SA blog would be very helpful and much needed. Even better if you could get a few different writers, as everyone has different tastes and opinions.

                          NYC and a couple other big cities have menupages.com which like yelp/urban spoon/ etc I take the reviews with a grain of salt but it's especially helpful when you just want to see the menu and get a feel for the place based off recent reviews, but with with that I'll still reference a restaurant against yelp/urban spoon and any other local specific pubs. How can we go about getting a menupages in Texas/SA?

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