On the road again….we couldn’t wait to get on the road again – okay we will not embarrass ourselves by trying to do a bit of Willie Nelson here. But, it was time for us to hit the road again and head up I-10; this time going west! Next stop, San Antonio!
We had to make the most visited city in Texas our next stop; that’s right it beat out Austin and Dallas. People genuinely love this city for The Alamo, the Riverwalk, the historic missions, and let’s not forget for the San Antonio Spurs. San Antonio is a city that we’ve visited all of our lives and as adults we thoroughly enjoy hitting the road for this quick two-hour getaway several times a year. This time we would be visiting for our readers and decided to focus on the culinary and imbibe scene.
Once again we rolled out in style, since GM (General Motors) sponsored the cars for our summer road tour. This time we sported a 2014 Buick Verano in Luxo Blue Metallic. This beauty was perfect for us and this trip – comfortable and luxurious. We stayed in the heart of the city, right on the Riverwalk at Hotel Valencia, one of the sexiest hotels in Texas. This hotel embodies Urban Swank on our most stylish day, modern and sleek with old-world charm. The mystery and allure of this boutique hotel also makes it a good spot for a romantic weekend.
Given our short stint in the city, we wanted to make sure our culinary choices were well rounded. In two days, minus a few bars we visited, our dining experiences included the following:
Arcade Midtown Kitchen – Located in the happening Pearl Brewery District, this was the perfect Thursday night hang out spot equipped with classic cocktails and creative menu selections. A great cocktail menu really says a lot about a restaurant and we were excited to see the seasonal cocktail menu that boasted several strong contenders across several categories: Vintage, Modern, Barrel-Aged, and when in doubt, the Bartender’s Choice. Cocktails were flowing that night and we ordered several rounds and some just for the cool names; who wouldn’t order a Penicillin or Men Without Women? No other word than “eclectic” will describe the menu that Chef Jesse Perez has put together. You get a little bit of everything including the Chile and Lime Calamari (a must try), Grilled 12 oz. Rib-eye with Jalapeno-Lime, and their take on “Shrimp & Beans”.
La Fonda On Main – When Friday came around, we had Mexican food on the brain. Being Houstonians, we know our Tex-Mex and we knew just the place to get our fix. La Fonda On Main is the oldest Mexican restaurant in San Antonio. Located in a historic area, this restaurant has become a staple in the community for over 80 years. Even though the restaurant has gone through a slight restoration, it has maintained much of the original architecture. First up and with no hesitation, we ordered margaritas! You come to expect no less than the freshest ingredients when it comes to this cocktail, and that is exactly what we got. We even got a glimpse of the bartender cutting away behind the bar. The menu is mostly Tex-Mex (Enchiladas and Oak-Grilled Fajitas) but they do have a few authentic dishes from Mexico as well like the fish of the day, Veracruz-Style. With that said, we have one requirement. Don’t leave without ordering the Queso Fundido with duck. It will change your life.
Citrus – Our stuffed bellies couldn’t keep us away from this spot. Since we were staying at Hotel Valencia, we couldn’t pass up a chance to partake in a meal at Citrus. Located on the main level of the hotel, the Citrus restaurant overlooks the Riverwalk. The menu is contemporary and prides itself on the use of local ingredients. The prix fixe three-course or four-course menu is available every day, which is a plus. At a price of $50 and $60, respectively, this is a steal. With items like Blackmore Wagyu Beef Carpaccio, Grilled & Slow Braised Oxtail Sope, and Buttered Black Grouper, you are surely in for a tasty evening. And before we forget, don’t sleep on the stone milled blue grits. They will become the reason for your next visit.
Tre Trattoria – We ended our weekend with checking out the restaurant of one of our favorite chefs. Chef Jason Dady is the “man” in San Antonio, and with 5 restaurants in the area, his title of “Best Local Chef in San Antonio 2013”, is well deserved. We stopped by for brunch before we hit the road on Saturday and we will state for the record that this was the best meal of the weekend. There are two locations of Tre Trattoria, one downtown (located on the first floor of the Fairmount Hotel) and one in Alamo Heights; we opted for the downtown location. We literally had our fill of the entire brunch menu and nothing we had was mediocre – from the Crispy Duck Confit with Fried Egg, to the Pan Seared Gnocchi, and the Green Eggs & Ham made with pesto scrambled eggs and salumi. There was a train going straight to heaven and we were on it. Our favorite cocktail was the Italian Mojito, and another great thing about the brunch…the $1 mimosas! Get there now.
Did you think we were kidding when we said this trip was all about the culinary and imbibe scene?!?! This historic city has many fun and exciting things to do and offer. All that’s required is a tank of gas, your mind-set on having a good time, along with you and insert__ (your girls/boys, your plus one) or bring the whole family.