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It’s Going to a Hot Time at Hot Wells on June 3 | SavorSA

Heard about this last year but didn't make it. Looks like one of the few opportunities to enter the Hot Wells ruins right off the San Antonio river...and sample great food from some of SA's culinary stars.

May 12, 2015
Sam Spade in Texas

Should I skip Hot Joy?

I haven't been since the article came out, would definitely suggest reservations (via e-mail only) for evening. We personally enjoy the vibe a teeny little bit more at Monterey (around the corner-from the same folks). You might also look at Feast (a bit more touristy, less hipsterish) next door to HJ. My recommendation is that all three are definitely worth trying!

Apr 17, 2015
Sam Spade in Texas

Federicksburg and Texas Hill Country

In re. Vaudeville supper club...it's $75 PP + beverages. Recall that they had a wine pairing option that pushed cost over three figures. We had a very nice dinner in their basement location instead. Cranky Frank's BBQ has some of the best ribs we've had, nothing fancy about location.

Apr 17, 2015
Sam Spade in Texas

BEST mexican food in San Antonio - San Antonians only!

Tex-mex and Mexican are probably the cuisines we dine out the least at (slightly ahead of dead-last, Italian)probably because we've perfected our own tweaks on the staple entrees (enchiladas, tacos, fajitas etc)and prefer the homemade versions.
That being said, we invariably have guests who insist on it as part of the San Antonio experience; in that case I'd veer towards Guajillo or El Mirasol for dinner and the closest Jalisco or Las Palapas for breakfast/lunch.
On a side note, Texas Monthly had an interesting article on the long goodbye of "true" tex-mex:

Mar 26, 2015
Sam Spade in Texas

Wall Street Journal article

From a realistic point of view it's nearly always the same half dozen "SA regulars" posting on this board along with those out-of-towners too lazy to search out the multiple threads thoroughly addressing BBQ and tex-mex as if that was all SA has to offer.
Had a small sampling of Southerleigh's creations at the Paella Challenge and am looking forward to their opening (two or three weeks depending on who you asked).

Best Authentic Tex-mex/BBQ/hole-in-the-wall a cheap cab ride away from convention center

B&D Icehouse has market style cue at lunch, sandwiches at dinner. Granary is similar (laid back lunch, fancy pants come dinnertime) at a higher pricepoint. Azuca is latin fusion, not tex-mex. Rosarios is my tex-mec rec for downtown (stay away from market square and riverwalk places). Tuk tuk and Hot Joy if you're partial to Asian, otherwise Monterey, Feast for your #2. All those are walkable from convention center except Granary. The Southtown Freetail doesn't have food FYI.

Feb 25, 2015
Sam Spade in Texas

Help me make a simple/tasty MEZCAL cocktail!

One of the better Mezcal cocktails I've had:

Arcade Midtown Kitchen’s Men Without Women

1 1/2 ounces mescal (Fidencio Classico)
1/2 ounce tequila (Dulce Vida Reposado)
1/2 ounce maraschino (Luxardo)
1/2 ounce lime juice
1/2 ounce honey syrup (2:1 mix)
1 egg yolk
1/8 ounce Fernet Branca
Lime wheel, for garnish

Combine mescal, tequila, maraschino, lime juice, honey syrup and egg yolk together. Shake. Then add ice. Strain into coupe glass. Float Fernet Branca on top. Garnish with lime wheel.

Makes 1 cocktail.

From Arcade Midtown Kitchen (Chris Ware), San Antonio

Feb 13, 2015
Sam Spade in Spirits

whole animal

The "hache-A-bay" (aka faux-French pronunciation of HEB) in Alamo Heights is the only one in SA.

4821 Broadway Street, San Antonio, TX 78209
Phone:(210) 368-8600

Feb 09, 2015
Sam Spade in Texas

2 days from Chicago

Would take Rosario's over Acenar or Mi Tierra any day unless you want to be surrounded by tourists (you'll get some there too, just not as many). Taco taco might not be cab-worthy imho. The Granary (at the Pearl complex- a short cab ride or river taxi)has "up$cale" BBQ in the evening, lunch is the way God intended, i.e counter service on a tray, and cheaper too! Also B&D icehouse in Southtown, though they sometimes sell out their meat selections by evening. There is BBQ on the riverwalk, it's just NOT good 'cue.

Feb 09, 2015
Sam Spade in Texas

Solo Dinner San Antonio

+1 on all of saeyedoc's great recommendations. I do recall there being overflow bar seating along the big kitchen window at Gwendolyn, but it's most definitely a date night place. The ramen place (Kimura)next door, from the same chef, has bar service.

Feb 09, 2015
Sam Spade in Texas

Anyone else over Guy Fierri?

Love it!! Coming soon to FN?: Tops and Bottoms with GF

Texas Itinerary Help

Just as an FYI re. Franklins, and this is based on a couple visits in 2014, though they don't open the doors until 11 folks are lining up around 8. We were 30-40ish in line and it was well past noon before we were served, ate, and were out the door.

Jan 22, 2015
Sam Spade in Texas

San Antonio - casual, hole in the wall, just yummy food

Thai Dee
El Cebiche de Waldito (Peruvian)
Tacos and tex-mex are literally everywhere. Take a look at some of the older threads here.

Jan 14, 2015
Sam Spade in Texas

Urbanspoon...end of the road? Rebranding? And what is "Zomato"?

A message from the CEO posted in the Urbanspoon prime lounge yesterday:
Hi Primes,
As you've heard, Urbanspoon has been acquired by Zomato. The news today broke a bit earlier than we had planned. We had intended to give you a heads up before the media were allowed to post.
Now that the secret is out, we’re excited to talk with you about the future. We will be reaching out to you individually to get your perspectives and introduce you to Zomato. Indeed, in several cities throughout the US, Zomato has already posted positions that may be of interest to some of you.
We have a lot of details to work out over the next few weeks. My team just learned about this last week, so please bear with us as we figure out how to merge the companies and our capabilities as effectively as possible.

Followed by this headline from Zomato's official blog:
1 day ago
It might seem crazy but…
…we just acquired Urbanspoon.


Jan 14, 2015
Sam Spade in Food Media & News

Overnight trip to San Antonio

Glad you enjoyed, lots more to try on your next visit! And thanks for posting a follow-up, it makes "SA regulars" here see their input is appreciated.

Nov 10, 2014
Sam Spade in Texas

Buc'ees - what's up with this place ???

The recurring phrase I keep hearing here and elsewhere is "clean restrooms".
Interestingly, the corporation had briefly flirted with a "Chick-fil-A style" issue during primary season this year, before it was revealed the owners had previously hedged their bets when spreading political contributions around.

Nov 09, 2014
Sam Spade in Texas


Finally got around to trying it last month. Drum, duck and ravioli were all good. Wish they gave one the option of ordering po-boys or other lunch selections (even with price inflation) at dinner.
Just saw on SavorSA that Brian West has jumped back into the kitchen at Tribeca. Any opinions on that place or Folc? Also curious about what Mixtli has going on with the Mezcaleria...is it going into the same space?

Nov 06, 2014
Sam Spade in Texas

Rapper Snoop Dogg backs cachaça brand

Wondering what the $$ numbers are like for the entire portfolio of "celebrity branded" liquors?

Nov 04, 2014
Sam Spade in Spirits

Overnight trip to San Antonio

All but Sustenio are close to downtown. Sustenio is beyond the outer loop (1604) and has had multiple chef/concept changes to the point I've become ambivalent about it. Look at the Pearl places (Nao, Tuk-tuk, Cured, Arcade, and Weissman's couple spots) as well. I'd add Monterey, Kimura, and Saveurs to your list also.

Nov 04, 2014
Sam Spade in Texas

Help a Boston CH Have Great Food in TX !

Agree with saeyedoc on posting in DFW/HOU/ATX boards. Will throw my 2 cents on ATX reccomendations:
Barley Swine, Odd Duck, Foreign & Domestic, Qui, Contigo have all been very good in last couple years.

Oct 22, 2014
Sam Spade in Texas

Marfa, Ft Davis...any recent opinions?

It's been a few years since we last visited and were wondering if anything new has popped up.
2 days in Ft Davis, 3 in Marfa. We loved Cochineal the last time we were there, but recent reviews are mixed. Is Maiya's worth a shot?
We love Indian Lodge, but the resto there was very disappointing. Any opinions on Blue Mountain Bistro in FD?

Oct 22, 2014
Sam Spade in Texas

San Antonio guidance

Service setup is the same (counter ordering). Meats are perhaps a tad pricier at 2 Bros and I'd say SmokeShack beats them hands down on the sides. We end up going to 2 Bros way more often just cause they're close even though I'd say say Smokeshack is more to my liking for brisket/ribs. That being said, the outdoor patio at 2 Bros is quite nice this time of year and there is a nice playspace if you have kiddos.

Oct 22, 2014
Sam Spade in Texas

San Antonio guidance

2 Bros is same menu all day. Order at the counter, no frills, pretty limited beverage selection (no taps. Granary is similar at lunch (+ small but good tap selections, but they get all fancy pants come dinner service with prices to match. You might give B&D (also from Jason Dady) on South Alamo a shot at lunch also, their smoker doesn't run all day though- when they're out, they're out.

Oct 20, 2014
Sam Spade in Texas

Beaumont/Port Arthur

Went to Floyd's for lunch at least a couple years ago on a cross-country trip, mainly because it was easily accessible from IH-10. Not awesomely great Cajun food, not bad either. For what it's worth, recent crowdsourced reviews aren't that great.

Oct 02, 2014
Sam Spade in Texas

San Antonio guidance

There's at least three bike-share stations in Southtown that would leave you within 3-4 blocks of most food spots in that part of town. South Alamo bridge over the river is still out to cars, but walkable/bikeable if you're interested in Blue Star places as well.
I understand the allure of Market Square and Mi Tierra, but....don't expect great food. Las Canarias, and Luke both kind of have the "hotel restaurant" vibe. Never been to Bella, Biga and Bliss are both consistently excellent.

Sep 24, 2014
Sam Spade in Texas

First time in San Antonio / Riverwalk

+1 on the suggestions from bronwen and saeyedoc. Bliss would be a bit of a stroll, as would the Pearl locations; albeit without the scenic aspect. Haven't been in the last year, but you might consider Gwendolyn also in your "splurge" list. Depends on what you're looking for, as they're all (the three B's) quite different.

Sep 22, 2014
Sam Spade in Texas

San Antonio Culinaria Restaurant Week

Good luck on getting a SA-centric board here! I pestered them a bit 3-4 years ago to no avail.
For what it's worth, SavorSA has a list of places extending their Restaurant week menus through this weekend.

San Antonio (Far North West)

Haven't been to that quadrant of SA on a regular basis in years, but recall it being a culinary desert. I do recall the HHC restaurant(Antlers?)being good back in the 20th century.
I would heartily endorse 90% of the places in the mySA link above, but ALL would entail a bit (~16 miles) of a drive, albeit on the freeway and against traffic at dinnertime.

Aug 06, 2014
Sam Spade in Texas

Restaurant Advice in San Antonio (Good SteakHouse and Chinese)

Very impressed with initial visit to Smoke Shack.
Two Bros is great if you have kids in tow-outdoor playground. Actually liked B&D Icehouse(from Dady)a little better-very limited indoor seating though and their "market service" menu doesn't run all day like two bros.
Granary (at the Pearl) does good 'cue also...if only they'd decide on being a "joint" (like they are at lunch) or a pricey BBQ fusion like they are at dinner.

Jul 26, 2014
Sam Spade in Texas

Restaurant Advice in San Antonio (Good SteakHouse and Chinese)

+1 on Frederick's, totally skipped my mind as we haven't been in a while. Still scratching my head over Minnie's- all the trouble AKW went to in redoing it, and it didn't last long at all. There seemed to be a good crowd every time we went....

Jul 24, 2014
Sam Spade in Texas