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Rosie

San Antonio - Merged topics

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Muchas gracias! Did see the puffy taco throwdown with Bobby Flay. Not enough days... but will go back some time. Intrigued by the CIA's program down there.


Mark A. Bauman

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Muchas gracias! Did see the puffy taco throwdown with Bobby Flay. Not enough days... but will go back some time. Intrigued by the CIA's program down there.

Flemings makes great steaks. :rolleyes:


Cooking is chemistry, baking is alchemy.

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Because of a crazy schedule and a long day of travel getting there, my food opportunities were shaped more by the hotel concierges than eG or PM advice.

Having been delayed for 8 hours by a balky fuel filter on United, I arrived hungry and ready to eat the first taco put in front of me, which turned out to be at Rio Rio, which was not bad but not much good either (it and my run/jog/walk/limp the next morning,) proved my intolerance for Mexican cooking and country music. A passable chimichanga with un-passable guacamole and a bottle of Texas Bock ran me $16.18 with tip.

The next AM, I had a hankering for huevos rancheros, and ignoring or contravening Therese's advice, I ate real food (rather than just pastries as advised) at Mi Tierra – mistake, but hey, I scratched the itch to the tune of $10 with tip. But the next AM, I limped over and took back to my hotel back Therese’s faves – a Leche Quemada and Dulce de Naranja – unfortunately only in pumpkin and squash, and the leche was incredible. $3.24 plus a Starbucks doppio at $2.16.

Then for lunch I couldn’t pass up sitting with the other tourists on the Riverwalk at Luciano’s having oversized portions of Caesar salad (awful) and a supposed child’s portion of pizza Margarita (soggy crust, poor ingredients) with a decent house Chianti and an ristretto espresso for $44.95. It was a most bizarre experience; a pan pipe band doing Christmas songs as a hired crew put up a Christmas tree (November 2nd?) jarring me as had those of Gheorghe Zamfir, waking me up every morning on a Galapagos tour boat; a charming waitress named Nuvia (which means rain cloud) who accommodated to my every need (no, get your mind outa the gutter); and sunny warm weather and the setting way over-rode the miserable food.

My next meal was a forced/command performance at Las Canarias which I looked forward to with dread; 16 people; few choices; far way. Well, it wasn’t nearly as bad as I feared. The food, esp. my steak (cooked black-blue) was perfection, I mean, really good, the coq au vin, pas mal de tout and the tarte tatin and crème caramel pretty fine. Plus others reported that the pea soup, salmon and chocolate desserts were good. But, but, but…….the courses took forever to appear, the boss’s wife never got her 1st and they didn’t seem to give a damn about that or anything else (in addition, the amuse-bouche and escargots salad were pathetic). The bill, I dunno, the Boss picked it up. Go? I’d say yes, but kinda remind them to get you “to the Church on time.”

For lunch the next day, heeding Therese’s and other eG members’ advice – I went to the oddly-named, oddly, because I thought Shilo(h) was where we beat these Southern folks into the ground in 1862, not vice-versa. Anyway, Shilo’s, specializing in “German meat” was OK. Therese had advised me to order the tongue, but the Reuben sandwich was speaking to me, so I had it. The black bread was very good, the melted cheese terrific, the sauerkraut for the USA - perfect, the spicy mustard - spicy and the pickle second only to my gold standard at Zabar’s. My bill = $22.26 after the tip. Ah, John, aren’t you leaving something out? Yes, well, the corned beef was the most pathetic I’ve ever had, it tasted like recently-defrosted deli meat at a Safeway. I later learned why, upon ordering some deli meat for the zillion hour airplane trip back to the East Coast tmrw, during which even First Class upgrading (using miles) would get me dreadful food. This paragon of deli’s, serving up (I thought - foolish me) home/store cured meats, actually just peddled the crap from Hormel. Their demon barber/butcher of Fleet Street looked half-stoned as he cut my meat, however, the hard salami was quite nice (and certainly better than the airplane steak) but the beef tongue impressed less.

OK. Now altho’ Colette calls me a searcher-out of blame, I’m really very cool, calme, zen, like my idol, Nicolas S., but my last night I went to a place decried not described by my friend and advisor Therese, as the best Mex place near my hotel downtown. And it probably is/was. The Casa Rio is smack on the river, has hundreds of tables and mariachis (whom I hate) all over, plus a Mexican bag piper (as Dave Barry says, I’m not making this up,) upstairs. What I really wanted was some mole on some birdy thing but I couldn’t find it anywhere I looked. So I settled for pollo asada/asado with lotsa hot sauce. The good news: the chips, like they have been here all week, taste of real corn, or at least real corn spray; the guacamole was good but underspiced; the salad was fine; but the red beans, not refried but in a bouillon, were sublime. So with a larme of Merlot the bill was $30.18 with tip.


Edited by John Talbott (log)

John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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Oh dear, very bad news about Shilo's. I was last there a couple of years ago and so far as I could tell the tongue was very clearly of non-commercial provenance.

Glad to hear that at least the leche quemada was reasonable. Best option at Casa Rio (and all sorts of dive-y places in San Antonio, actually) is tamales. This area is doesn't do mole, or at least I've never seen it.


Can you pee in the ocean?

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Actually had a decent mole-dark, chocolate like mole on chicken recently during my trip to SA at El Mirador. I believe the server said they had a cook from Oaxaca.


Mark A. Bauman

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What's the smoking situation like at Liberty Bar? I'm in town next week and it sounds like the kind of place it would be fun to take my colleagues to for dinner, but not if we're all going to come out smelling like smoke...


Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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Anyone know of any great bakeries around town?

Or any place that makes a specialty dessert you would die for?

maybe like best pie or best cake or cupcake? (flying saucers pie is my favorite in Houston)

I googled Nadler's so im about to go try that place... Any suggestions would be great!

-Thanks Duc

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Anyone know of any great bakeries around town?

Or any place that makes a specialty dessert you would die for?

maybe like best pie or best cake or cupcake? (flying saucers pie is my favorite in Houston)

I googled Nadler's so im about to go try that place... Any suggestions would be great!

-Thanks Duc

Best lemon tart I've ever had:

Sol y Luna

4421 De Zavala Road

(210)492-5777

Tell them Aaron says hello.

I've been curious for a long time about Nadler's myself. Just have never made it over there. Would also like to try Janie's Pie Factory (http://www.janiespiefactory.com/) on of these days. For Mexican bakeries, I like Bedoy's on Hildebrand, and -- I almost hate to admit it -- Mi Tierra downtown.

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I just moved into the San Antonio area right outside of Randolph AFB in Converse, and I was wondering if there were any suggestions of where to eat aorund this area. I would appreciate any recommendation anybody had.

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I just moved into the San Antonio area right outside of Randolph AFB in Converse, and I was wondering if there were any suggestions of where to eat aorund this area.  I would appreciate any recommendation anybody had.

You can get to Lockhart in just over an hour or Luling in even less time. BBQ awaits.

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Just tried for a reservation at Le Reve first week end in June--they are closed to open a new Italian venture in the old Pearl Beer Brewery--no reservations, but maybe an adventure --the chef is incredable--Le Reve will re open--he will now have three in San Antonio.


Cooking is chemistry, baking is alchemy.

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Just tried for a reservation at Le Reve first week end in June--they are closed to open a new Italian venture in the old Pearl Beer Brewery--no reservations, but maybe an adventure --the chef is incredable--Le Reve will re open--he will now have three in San Antonio.

Good to hear that place's (Il Sogno, I think it's going to be called) opening is not far off.

Even his burger joint is quite good, in my opinion.

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I will be in San Antonio this fall. Are there any suggestions for a kid friendly lunch spot near the Alamo or the botanical garden? Simple food is a plus.

What about ice cream shops? How is the new CIA campus bakery?

Dan


"Salt is born of the purest of parents: the sun and the sea." --Pythagoras.

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. . . Are there any suggestions for a kid friendly lunch spot near the Alamo or the botanical garden? Simple food is a plus.

What about ice cream shops?

DanM: Can’t help with kid-friendly dining, but there is a Haagen-Dazs shop next to the Alamo gardens.

We just returned from a 3-day trip to SA. Fruit empanadas at the Mi Tierra bakery were incredible, even the next morning, and carnitas from the restaurant were wonderfully crisp-tender and succulent.

Monterey was interesting, which was exactly what I was looking for that evening. Curried roasted cauliflower with salted grapes was fantastic. I ordered pickled seasonal vegetables and got kimchi, nothing wrong with it but not what I was expecting. Chicken liver mousse with tomato jam was good, but overly sweet to my taste and not enough bread. Tomato salad was quite good but outstanding backyard tomatoes have spoiled us this year. Like I said – not everything worked, but all was interesting.

We drove about 45 minutes out of town to enjoy a meat-laden lunch at Coopers in New Braunfels. Pork loin was the best I have ever eaten by a long stretch, and the beef ribs were fantastic.

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Interesting to read the progression over the years on this thread...

Liberty bar has moved from Josephine St to south of downtown. La Reve is no more. There are a lot of great places and many many average restaurants in San Antonio. Haha I thought everyone knew what a "puffy" was! If you want great Mexican you need to hit a hole in the wall not a big overpriced place like Mi Tierra. But in their defence the location is great for tourists, are open 24 hours, have a bakery and a bar. Most mom and pop joints are open early and are closed by 3pm.

I mostly cook at home and avoid paying at restaurants. What I will drive for is Vietnamese. Large population and you can get a decent bowl of Pho just about anywhere though there are a couple exceptional places: Vietnam and Pho Cong Ly. As far as I'm concerned both of these restaurants set the bar for ethnic Pho and fried spring rolls- not the puny finger-sized but the big crispy rolls that are served cut into large bite-sized portions with lettuce, basil, cilantro and nam plah.

Every one forgets about poor old San Antonio- but it's in the top ten for size and in the top 5 for ethnic diversity for the nation.

I do think our plentiful BBQ is not up to par, but I guess Rudy's "Worst BBQ in Texas" is worth a trip out north of town. Mine is better. :raz:

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Any updated San Antonio recommendations, particularly places downtown? I'm going to be in town for a day or so next month.


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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Downtown! Sounds like business...

I'd stay and eat here if possible: http://www.thefairmo...nio.com/dining/

Believe it or not this guy used to EC at the above location many years ago over a different restaurant... http://www.biga.com/menus.html Eat there.

An extremely short cab-ride or nice stroll away from the Riverwalk and the convention center is a No Reservations-grade location: http://www.liberty-bar.com/

Just a wee bit further is: http://www.foodisbliss.com/bliss.php

Ultimately, if I could only hit one place it would be the Liberty Bar. If I was alone I'd eat at the bar and have a few beers. Otherwise get a table. Enjoy some bread and butter. Bottle of wine...

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Awesome, thanks. I've got time to hit Tre Trattoria and Biga for dinner and Liberty for lunch: I could stand one more lunch option in that general vicinity, if you've got any other ideas.


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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Perfect, thanks again. I'm looking forward to the trip, I've never been to SA.


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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