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Boston Hound needs San Antonio recommendations

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Hey all!
I originally posted this on the Austin Board, and a kind and knowledgable CHer explained that SA postings are here on the Texas page! So here goes (several of the suggestions were from folks on the Austin page, so I look to San Antonians for the best places in their own town.
We like all kinds of food, but have plenty of choices for "ethnic" (Asian, Italian, etc) food here in Boston. We're looking for what makes SA special. We'll be driving down from Austin, and have searched here and found lots of recent suggestions for that trip (thank you Jaymes, et al). We can go fancy if the place warrants it, but we love "hole in the wall" type places, too. Mainly, the food has to be great. A good bar wins extra points. We're also seeking good German food! I'll post for that separately!

Poochinator (on the Austin board) gave me some suggestions for places near the Riverwalk, but I can't find any other posts about those places, unless I'm looking in the wrong place! Please chime in about any of these, and make some more for your favorite places in SA! but I've yet to find more CH posts about the following:
La Gloria, Ocho, Esquire Tavern, Ostra

And from other sources their food "cred" is unknown. I trust CHers above most others):

Acenar, Biga on the Banks, Boudro's, The Fig Tree, Las Canarias, Luke (worth it?), Tommy Moore's, Josephine Street Cafe, Auden's, Shilo's Deli

And, since I haven't gotten any other responses regarding German, I'll post separately for that.

Thanks again, all! We'll be down on Thursday! Can't wait--we've been inundated with snows and blizzard conditions here in Boston! Looking forward to some Texas sunshine!

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  1. Nao- restaurant at The Culinary Institute- pan Latin food, excellent
    La Gloria- also at the Pearl Complex where Nao is, good take on upscale street food
    Luke- Hit or miss, I've have good meals and not so good, one of the better options on or near the riverwalk. Has a German influence.
    Most locals don't go downtown much, so difficult to get riverwalk recs. Not much action on this chowhound board either.

    1. Austin/San Antonio/Hill Country: Free advice, we say, is worth what you paid for it...so here goes. You are traveling from what is perhaps the # 3 U.S. Dining Mecca to what might be # 20; not a great formula for exquisite dining. Might be best to seek the best examples of that region's grub. (And your premise was seemingly in keeping with that admonition, Hill Country having been settled by Germans, and all) I've lived 2yrs in the center of the Hill Country and have yet to get a sniff of good German food. Had a bunch of pedestrian GF in touristy Fredericksburg. No VG GF. I like Mi Tierra in the market area off DT SA; fun place, good Mexican food. I like the migas for breakfast. At night you get the mariachis and the margaritas. In Austin, I like Guero's Taco Bar on South Congress; funky bar-restaurant in an old industrial space; fave nice dinner in Austin: Fonda San Miguel; fave lunch: Threadgill's, good chicken fried steak; Austin is hippest town in Texas, so lotsa new, exotic food venues, but the three above are long-time local standouts; Most Texas of All Grub? Barbeque! Two great standouts in Austin: Franklin BBQ and JMueller BBQ; little towns around also have great BBQ; I spot 'em on the map and time my trip; Snow's in Lexington (used to be open only Saturdays); City Market in Luling; Kreuz Market in Lockart; Louie Mueller in Taylor. "Look for the stack of firewood and the smoking pit out back; if no such, keep driving." Alsatian in Castroville used to be VG Alsatian; no more; The Nest in F'burg is VG, best in Hill Country, but not GF, and not BBQ. Fine dining. If staying near central Austin, fun to stroll down The Drag (4th), live music, bars.

      1 Reply
      1. re: dickgrub

        Hi Dick!
        What is the #3 dining Mecca, and what is #20? (Is #3 Boston or Austin?) No matter--we're not looking for exquisite dining. In fact, among all the comments and controversy about the "Best" BBQ, part of me thinks, whether I go to Smitty's or Blacks, it's going to be VERY GOOD, and light years ahead of what we have here in Boston. I'm going to take Jaymes' idea, and do a lot of sampling.
        Many thanks for the other suggestions!
        Lisa

      2. Lgalen, you can drive to Lockhart and eat BBQ at Kreutz's Black's and Smitty's.You can also go to Luling and eat at City Market for BBQ.
        East of San Antonio is Cibolo.You can go to Harmon's BBQ or Catelano's for italian food.Thinking of maybe getting a calzone there this weekend. They aren't fancy places ,but i like the food and they have been there a long time.
        From Austin take IH35 South to San Antonio and get off at the exit for FM1103.Go and follow it south .You will hit the intersection with Main Street.Turn left down Main St. and follow it.Both restaurants will be on your left had side right by the train tracks.Both get local business especially from Randolph AFB. If you stay on 1103 instead of going down Main Street,you hit FM78.Right there is La Tortillita and Las Cabanas(Haven't tried yet) and Cielolito Station. Las Cabanas is located in the old log building that was once Pat's Place.It sits back from the road near the Cibolo-Wells Fargo Bank. If you turn right on FM78 and decide to follow it to San Antonio,you will come to Kirby and the Bavarian Haus restaurant.
        Another place that's good is Bracken Cafe in Bracken ,Texas.It has a website. Food is good there.They and Harmon's have websites. In garden Ridge is Caparelli's.The food is good,but service last time left a lot to be desired. It's on FM3009 on your left hand side by the intersection with Nacogdoches Road which will also take you to the Bracken Cafe.
        If you follow Nacogdoches into San Antonio near the Walmart is a mexican place called Los Generales it's good and popular.They at times even have live music.
        In Schertz there are several places like Encanto Grill(website) Abel's Diner(no website) Garcia's Mexican Restaurant,etc.Abell's has been here for i guess 20 years or so.It's just home cooking.The best way to go there is to get off at the 3009 exit and go up aways and turn into the Walmart parking lot.Then drive through the parking lot and get onto the access road and follow it.It's on your right hand side.Encanto Grill is in a plaza by the Walmart and easier to get to.

        Also if you go up 3009 you can take a trip to natural Bridge Caverns and Wild Life Ranch. Just a little ways up is The Vineyard.This is above Garden Ridge.
        There is out in Bulverde a place on Obst Road called Tejas Steakhouse.They also have a rodeo arena out there and sell smoked meats.They too have a website.
        Haven't been to La Gloria,etc.yet.There is also in San Antonio Rolando's Super Tacos ,so named because they are huge.

        Oh I know another place above Boerne.It's called PoPo's Family Restaurant.You have to go IH10 West and follow it till you come to the Welfare-Nelson City exit. It is in the old Nelson City dancehall.Great food.If you follow the road it should take you to Welfare and the Welfare Cafe another popular place.I think both have websites.
        Went to POPO's with some friends when my sister and her hubby came from New York for a visit.The food is very good and they make it fresh. Nice atmosphere.
        La Tortillita has daily specials and is always packed. Another place i have eaten is el Jalisco in Schertz down on 3009 next to the papa John's . most of the places i mentioned really aren't that fancy at the least the places near me in Schertz.
        Oh I forgot another place,it's Blake's in McQueeny.You can get off I35 South in New Braunfels at the FM725 exit and head south to Mc Queeny.It will be on your right hand side.
        Haven't been there but know people who have and it gets good reviews. If you then hit FM78 you can either go left into Seguin ,or turn right to hit San Antonio.There are restaurant's in Seguin. There's Craig's Grll which has gotten some good reviews and there is also El Ranchito on Texas Hwy 123 which I ate that was good.
        New Braunfels also has some good ones.
        You might want to check out the Grist Mill in Gruene,near New Braunfels. You can look in the shops and antique stores or stay at the Gruene mansion Bed and Breakfast.The Grist Mill was just that.Good food and you have a view of the Guadalupe River.They have a website.
        You can in New Braunfels walk around Landa Park which is nice.

        1. Pretty sure from reading all your posts that you don't have time this trip but, if you're visiting family and you're going to be making repeat visits to this part of our fair state, the charming little town of Wimberley is located between San Antonio and Austin, and makes a nice stop to view the history, eat at the restaurants, shop at the boutiques and galleries, buy gifts and pies and gourmet foodstuffs.

          In particular, those pies. We never leave Wimberley without several, including some for our neighbors, who always put in their orders when they know we're going.

          http://www.wimberleypie.com/

          http://www.wimberley.org/