It has been awhile since my article on Eating My Way Through Austin, Texas, but I’ve been thinking about the Lone Star State a lot recently, and this time I have my sights set on the Alamo City. San Antonio is located just about an hour or so (depending on traffic) south of Austin. It has its own international airport, a beautiful downtown River Walk, a lot of history, a bunch of friendly folks, and--from what I hear--a thriving restaurant scene.
I’m a sucker for old-fashioned diners, so maybe I would start at a place called Jim’s. Actually, there are several places called Jim’s. It’s a local chain of old-fashioned diners, complete with all-day breakfasts, club sandwiches, chicken fried steak dinners, coffee and pies. I’d probably try to visit a few different locations during my stay in San Antonio because I hear that some locations are more old-timey inside than others. The first time I eat at a Jim’s I’ll probably look at a Tex-Mex breakfast--maybe a plate of Migas or an order of breakfast tacos. I also have my eye on the chicken fried steak, but I hear I need to visit a place called Alamo Cafe for that local favorite.
Jim’s serves burgers, and I love diner’s burgers, but I’m told that Chester’s Hamburgers is a requirement. There are three locations in San Antonio, but I’d probably like to stop by the one on Pat Booker Road. That location is right next to an Air Force Base, and I expect it would have a cool fighter-pilot Top Gun vibe. A girl can hope, anyway. I’ve been advised to go straight for the double cheeseburger, fries, and milkshake, but have you seen their bottled beer selection? It’s amazing. I’d be tempted to skip the shake and go for the suds.
For breakfast another day I think I’ll stop in to Maria’s Cafe on Nogalitos, south of downtown. While Maria’s is quite far from the Chester’s I’m planning to visit for lunch the day before, I gather that San Antonio is much like Los Angeles--one giant sprawling city. I hear that Maria’s has some of the best breakfast tacos in the world, so I definitely want to try those.
Another Tex-Mex specialty I need to have is enchiladas. There are so many places to choose from, but I can envision a lunch or dinner as such: I’d like to start off with something called a Dos-a-Rita, which is a bottle of Dos XX beer served upside down in a frozen margarita. As an appetizer I’d want chips, salsa, and chili con queso, which is a melted cheese dip with chili peppers and ground beef. Once I was feeling a buzz, I’d like to move on to a hot plate of enchiladas, rice, refried beans, and melted cheese all over the place. Hopefully someone else at the table would order sizzling fajitas because I want to try those, too. There are so many restaurants to choose from--from Mama’s Cafe to El Mirador to The Original Mexican Restaurant to Rosario’s Mexican Cafe Y Cantina. And that’s just a handful of names among a sea of options.
Speaking of seas, I hear that Sea Island Shrimp House is a local favorite for fast-and-easy seafood. That sounds like it could make for an appealing pit stop, although I also want to try the fast-barbeque chain called Bill Miller’s. I hear they have great breakfast tacos (so many breakfast taco options in this part of Texas!), but for lunch you have to get the Po-Boy brisket sandwich and a large iced sweet tea. From everything I’ve heard, Bill Miller’s has the best sweet tea in San Antonio.
There’s two more places I’d really like to try:
The first is for a fancy dinner: Bohanan’s Prime Steaks and Seafood. It’s said that Bohanan’s will serve me the best steak I’ve eaten in my entire life, and their cocktail program was influential in launching a major mixology scene in San Antonio in the late 2000s.
And then I’d want to go out with a bang at an Asian fusion restaurant called Hot Joy. Named after a Rocket from the Crypt song, this restaurant has the most amazing menu. I have my eye on their famous Twice Fried Chicken Wings, the Tater Tot Chat, and the Fried Brussels Sprouts.
I’m going to go shopping online for comfortable sandals now, because I’m going to need them to walk off all the food I eat when I go to San Antonio.