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San Antonio Italian/Mexican/BBQ

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So glad I found this site (in People magazine of all places)! Going to San Antonio from May 7th-12th and interested in Italian, Mexican & of course, BBQ - all moderately priced. Just read all the postings about BBQ in the Austin area and we intend to get there to try some combination of Kreuz', Meuller's, Opie's & City Market. But, is there any great BBQ in San Antonio itself (been to Bob's Smokehouse)? Likewise on Italian (been to Piccolo's?)and authentic Mexican. I get the feeling that we should avoid the Riverwalk? Oh, one other thing - maybe a dumb question, but why do the BBQ joints close so early (e.g. open 10 a.m. - 7 p.m.)? Thanks!

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    Chris Cangiano

    My decidedly partial listing of reccomendations for restaurants in San Antonio is as follows:

    Mexican:
    Mi Tierra (located in the Market District downtown always an excellent choice and always open);

    La Fogato (On Vance Jackson Rd. The first Mexican restaurant I went to in San Antonio and still one of my favorites. Lovely outside dining area)

    Italian:
    Biga (I forget the location but the few I times I went there the food was always good)

    BBQ:
    County Line (always good BBQ)

    I would also reccomend that you try the following:

    Josphine Steak House (On Josephine Street; great steaks and great Texas feel); and

    Chris Madrids' [on Blanco. Great for lunch (Burgers, fries, nachos, fried jalepenos). Madrids' burger "The Macho" is a local legend and if you eat it you get a free bumper sticker. Locals line up to eat there. It is a real slice of Americana].

    Although it has been a few years since I have been back to San Antonio I have been told by my friends there that these places are still very good. Enjoy your trip.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Chris Cangiano
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      Laurie Bozek

      Thanks for the suggestions! We'll let you know what transpires.

      1. re: Chris Cangiano

        Do not agree on Mi Tierra. Decent food but overpriced since it is tourist city. La Fogata is very good but we think Tomatillo's on Broadway near the Witte Museum is one of the best.

        County Line is overrated but not bad. The best ones are in Austin in the hills and one on the lake. For barbeque, try the original Rudy's on I-10 near the Dominion golf course (and where David Robinson lives). Do not try the other chain Rudy's like near Sea World. Other great barbeque is at Tom's Ribs on the 410 loop near the intersection of I-10 west.

        Chris Madrid's has the reputation but it is a pain to get seating unless you like watching people eat while you wait for a seat and then like people watching you to finish your food so someone else can sit down. Poor restaurant management with zero crowd control. Much better is Willie's on 281 north of 410 loop and they have outside seating with a sandbox play area shaded for the kids. Also Chesters on I-10 west at Wurzbach. Excellent food and cold beer at both locations. For the best burgers in S.A. you would have to go to Little Hipps on McCullough near downtown. Incredible burgers with a kick back attitude. They have crowds but know how to handle it so you are not hassled like Chris Madrid's.

        For Italian food, you would have to go to Austin to Mezzaluna downtown. Or to Dallas or Houston. We do not have great Italian food. Missing link here.

        1. re: JC

          Just got back from my first trip to San Antonio. Had incredible food. I have to disagree with your comment on Chris Madrids. There were 3 large rooms:one bar room, one large dining room and one waiting room where you place/pick up your order and pay. There were no lines in the dining room. Perhaps it's been remodeled? They had fresh cut fries and the best burger ever. Also went to Little Hipps. We had to wait outside until a table opened up. Even then, we were seated near the inside line and felt like we were much too close to those in line. Went to Taco Taco for breakfast. Tiny restaurant, great fresh authentic Mexican breakfasts.