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Mar 12, 2012 08:44 PM

SA Lunch - Urban Taco or La Gloria?

Urban Taco - menu is intriguing, but is it any good??
La Gloria - tourist trap?

I'll be in town next week (I'll post my itinerary soon for feedback), but trying to fill in a lunchtime hole righ now.


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  1. I've never been to either of those places and the reason why is there is a good bit of negative vibe about both of those places on sites like Yelp and Urban Spoon. I have actually been to the Pearl Brewery, seen La Gloria and checked the menu and then decided not to hit it because the prices seemed whack. They charge like $5 for a taco and $8 for a torta. I gess only rich people can afford Mexican Street Food, lol.

    But I didnt just post to talk about places I haven't been to, lol. I wanted to recommend El Mirasol for some upscale Mexican since it seems like that's what you're looking for. I do like it better for dinner just because they have a more expanded menu but it's a good lunch spot, too.

    Other places you might consider for luch are Betos (on Broadway near Alamo Hghts) or Taco Taco - on Hildebrand in Midtown. Betos might be a little more upscale than average and Taco Taco is definitely a hole in the wall but with really good flour tortillas.

    I know there are many many people who will disagree with me but, having lived in many major cities, I don't find that upscale dining (any cuisine) is something that San Antonio does particularly well.

    4 Replies
    1. re: San Antonio Sam

      Thanks! You have pretty much confirmed my suspicions. I think contemporary Mexican might be a more accurate description of what I'm looking for. It doesn't have to be highbrow, but does need to have a decent Tequila selection. What I think I have discovered is that I prefer lighter, often more contemporary Mexincan fare (Cal-Mex?) to the heaviness of Tex-Mex (probably sacrilege to say on this board, I know). I'll be in San Antonio, so maybe I just need to suck it up! I will definitely look into El Mirasol.

      1. re: San Antonio Sam

        San Antonio Sam has succinctly covered the two problems with San Antonio restaurant-wise. One is that $5 for a taco is considered something for "rich people" which leads to there being a lack of any sort of upscale dining because no one will pay for food here! La Gloria's menu is very interesting and you are paying for a chef who does a bit more than serve up breakfast tacos. The bottom line here is always money and that is why there are so few restaurateurs willing to go out on a limb in San Antonio.

        1. re: bronwen

          Very true - San Antonio has got to be the most price-sensitive city on the planet. Not just food but everything. In addition to being an opinionated fatso, I am also a landlord and one of the first lessons I learned about San Antonio is that tenants will pack up and move over a $50 rent increase.

          I personally have no problem paying for food that I think is worth it. I didn't happen to think La Gloria seemed worth it but I totally 100% agree with your assessment - it's a huge problem for the San Antonio restaurant scene.

          *part of what bugged me about La Gloria, btw, was just the irony of it all. I have been to Mexico and eaten streetfood - it's supposed to be cheap! The other thing was that one of my favorite streetfoods from Guadalajara is the Torta Ahogada and thier menu calls it a pork sandwich dipped in Chipotle sauce . .which is absolutely incorrect and I would never go to such a place just on that principal alone.

          1. re: San Antonio Sam

            Thank you for sharing my point of view San Antonio Sam! Before this I lived in New Orleans where the criteria was - which place would be the most fun to eat at right now, before that San Francisco which was - which part of town should we eat in, before that New York where you would go to the latest "in" place so it is strange to me to mention somewhere to go out to in San Antonio and be asked about the price right off the bat!

      2. I think Urban and La Gloria both have great food, they are just higher priced than I usually like to spend on lunch. My wife loves Urban Taco.

        1. We don't carry any straight to US market tequilas like Patron. Our tequila list is a boutique selection of tequilas that is considered to have a long tradition in the tequila culture. We were the first modern Mexican restaurant in Texas to carry true Mexican culinary traditions through our menu. Made from scratch. You can check out photos of our food and our menus on our Facebook page at

          1 Reply
          1. re: UrbanTaco

            Even better [to the tequila]! I think we are just going to have to check it out and decide for ourselves. I love your menu!

          2. On my last visit to San Antonio I visited La Gloria and was extremely happy. I was glad that I had some friends who live in the city and had been before as they explained that the trick is ordering multiple things from the menu.

            I am a huge ceviche fan and theirs was fantastic. The freshness was beyond compare which is something I do not always find when it comes to ceviche, even though it should be. My favorite was their ceviche verde. We also enjoyed the marinated pork panucho.

            I think what I enjoyed the most was how fresh all of their food was. Not being from San Antonio I guess I do not possess the price aversion that many of you say the locals do. We had a table full of excellent food, enjoyed some nice cold beer and in the end it was more than reasonable. I will definitely return on my next visit.

            1. Well we've decided to try Urban Taco, all were intrigued by their menu. It seems that most negatives were about cost and we didn't really have an aversion to that. Not because it's no object, but it just didn't seem that out of whack to us (even if it is tacos). I'll be sure to report back!