Sunday, May 21, 2017

Three Days on the Riverwalk in San Antonio--Restaurant Recap

Recently, I spent a few days in San Antonio at a conference. I stayed at the Menger hotel which is right beside the Alamo. The famous Riverwalk was just a block away. The Rivercenter mall was next door. There were many, many choices of places to eat during my stay. Below is a list of the places I patronized. Sometimes alone, sometimes with a friend or with colleagues. Breakfast each day consisted of snacks I brought from home. Though I did go over my per diem for meals two out of three days there, it was worth it. Enjoy!

Day One--

Lunch at Schilo's Delicatessen 
424 E. Commerce 78205
(210) 223-6692
Schnitzel and sauerkraut

Schilo's Deli (interior)
Pastrami on rye
Me and a friend hoped to make it to Schilo's in time to have breakfast/brunch but alas we arrived at 11am so we had lunch instead. They are an institution in San Antonio. Only accessible at street level, they serve German inspired meals along with traditional breakfast and lunch entrees. I ordered schnitzel and sauerkraut and my companion had a pastrami on rye. The place was slammed but the food came out quickly. My schnitzel had good flavor but was on the dry side. They are famous for their house-made root beer. I didn't have any but it looked creamy and refreshing.

Wishing I had made it back to try breakfast. Next time!

Dinner at Boudro's Texas Bistro
Reservations highly recommended.
 421 E. Commerce 78205
(210) 224-8484

Prickly Pear Margarita
Guacamole made tableside
Boudro's is my favorite restaurant on the Riverwalk. It is small space and very popular, make your reservations in advance. They are well-known for their guacamole for two that they make table side ($11). I noticed they use oranges instead of just limes.  It is some of the best guacamole ever. Served with tortilla chips.

Boudro's serves a lovely margarita with prickly pear syrup the makes the drink a vibrant pink. The food is southwestern inspired with a bit of a Louisiana twist.

For my entree, I had shrimp and crab enchiladas ($24) topped with a cream sauce. It was delicious and what I almost always order. The seafood is fresh. You can just tell. Sides were black beans and a wild rice pilaf.

My advice is that you ask for a table inside. I find all the foot traffic going by the outdoor tables annoying and not worth the view of the river.

Shrimp and crab enchiladas
The service is professional and efficient. I don't know how the servers wind their way around all the close tables but they make it look easy. The prices don't seem to be as inflated due to location as many of the other places on the Riverwalk which is a plus. Most entrees were around $30.

Day Two--
Lunch at Fogo de Chao Brazilian Steakhouse
849 E Commerce St #393 78205
(210) 227-1700 

Selections from the market table
My sister and I went to Foge de Chao because neither of us had ever been to a churrascaria before. You know the places with all the roasted meats on skewers. We had both been attending a conference at the nearby San Antonio Convention Center. The place was impressive. We chose to have the full experience which at $35 for lunch was not an inexpensive proposition but since it was our first time to try a Brazilian steakhouse we had to go for it. We could have easily made a satisfying meal out of the market table "salad bar".

I have to apologize in advance for not having any pictures of the meat. Google it because the variety is astounding. Also, there is not one single server assigned to your table. All the servers check on you, which can get a bit overwhelming if the place isn't crowded.

Caramelized bananas and polenta
We started off at the market table for salads, cured meats, cheeses, carrot ginger soup, beans, cold vegetables, and all sorts of other goodies. Once you are ready for the meats you turn over a card on your table and the meats start to arrive. You have a small utensil to get the meat as the server is cutting it off the large skewer. They served cheesy gluten free rolls called Pão de Queijo (pure heaven, my sister fell in love!), garlic mashed potatoes, polenta, and caramelized bananas along with the meat course. It was really much too much food. We both knew our husbands would have loved to have gone there with us. When I go again, I'll probably just have the market table. I felt guilty about all the uneaten meat on my plate.

Dinner was at  Maria Mia Mexican Cantina--Located in the Rivercenter Mall. A tourist trap with slow service, inflated prices, and bland food. I only ate there because I wasn't very hungry from the huge lunch and it was close to my hotel. Plus, I planned to do some shopping at Macy's after dinner. If you can't tell, I do not recommend it.

Day Three--
Vampire taco
Lunch at the Yard House 
849 E. Commerce St 78205
(210) 354-3844

The Yard House is a chain but I had never been to one before. They have a very eclectic and large menu. This one is located on second level beside the Rivercenter mall but it didn't feel like a mall restaurant. I ordered a vampire style street taco with carnitas, bacon chorizo, chipotle crema, guacamole, roasted garlic, and cilantro. Vampire style means that cheese is put on the tortilla and then grilled so that it melts into the tortilla. It was very good but the carnitas were a little to fatty for my taste. It also wasn't very big for $6.50 (no sides).

Moo shu eggrolls
I also ordered the moo shu eggrolls which were excellent. The had chicken, chili cream cheese, carrots, green onions, cilantro, and spinach. However, the price at $10.50 was high. Service was attentive and friendly. It would be worth it to go back and try some of there other intriguing menu items. Maybe prices are lower in the less tourist heavy locations?

They advertise that they have the largest selection of beer on draft. They certainly have a huge number of food items.

Dinner at the Fig Tree
Reservations highly recommended--dinner service only
 515 Villita St. 78205
 (210) 224-1976

Appetizers; escargot, quail legs, etc...
My last dinner of the trip was at a french restaurant in La Vilita called the Fig Tree. Very elegant. The type of place to impress a date or propose. This was a group dinner so I am not certain that everything we ate was on the regular menu. We ate inside but they have table on the inviting outdoor terrace. Dinner service only.

We started with a selection of appetizers; quail legs wrapped in bacon, escargot in pastry, boiled shrimp, crab on toast points, and stuffed mushrooms. The snails have a mushroom type texture to them and with all the garlic, they also taste like garlic butter sauteed mushrooms. We then were served cream of cauliflower soup and a field green salad.

Cream of cauliflower soup
For my entree I choose the petit filet with grilled shrimp. The side dishes were asparagus and mashed potatoes. The steak was just a little overcooked. I had ordered medium and it came out closer to medium-well. The sauce helped keep the steak from being too dry.

Vanilla creme brulee was dessert. The sugar crust on top was done perfectly.
Petit filet and grilled shrimp in wine reduction

Service was impeccable. They didn't skip a beat, even though the group had about 25 people spread across four or five tables. I have no idea how much it all cost but I would guess easily $90-$100 a person for the complete meal.

1 comment:

  1. Great job Elizabeth. I gavent been to San Antonio in forever. Now i really want to go.