Taste of San Antonio

2015/02/23

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We took off the other week for a nice long weekend in San Antonio. Nick’s mom rents a carriage house every year in the beautiful king williams neighborhood and invited us to visit this year. It was so great to get out of this blistering cold for a bit. We experienced our first flight with a toddler on our laps. And I don’t mean to brag, but we nailed it. That kid was a dream on the flight there and on the way back it was looking a little dicey but then he fell asleep for almost the entire flight.

Once in Texas the weather wasn’t as warm as expected, but it a couple days later it was mid 70s and sunny. We spent a lot of time wandering around the riverwalk downtown and in the neighborhoods near our place. But when it comes to travel there’s only one thing I really focus on, food (and drinks). Here are some tasty stand outs from our trip…

Bakery Lorraine – My mother in law had a box of macaroons waiting for me upon arrival, because she is smart, and they were amazing – so of course I had to go back for more. Bakery Lorraine is located in the Pearl area. So we went down early Saturday morning for the farmer’s market. I had to restrain myself from ordering every baked good in sight and settled on a croissant and a homemade poptart. Yes I’m serious. It was one of the best things I’ve ever had… ever. I was skeptical because sometimes homemade versions of food like that can taste too healthy, you know, like the organic offbrand version. But they nailed it. If they made a brown sugar cinnamon version I would be on the next flight out.

Local Coffee – in the same area right across from the bakery is this coffee shop. They made a mean cortado and nick’s normally over complicated decaf iced concoction was perfect without needing to provide instruction. Plus they were not pretentious like so many baristas these days.

The Friendly Spot – if we lived in San Antonio this is where we would be when we weren’t sleeping. It’s all outdoors – a large gravel lot with perfectly rusted patio furniture, huge selection of beer, good simple snack & meal options, a fenced in playground for kids,  a movie screen for when the Spurs are playing, and is dog friendly. It’s pretty much the best thing ever and had us looking at real estate to start our own version. Seriously, drinking outdoors with a family/pet friendly aspect (but not annoyingly so), is the BEST.

Feast – Hip and modern decor, good cocktails, good small plates. Not the greatest spot for a toddler, but they were pretty accommodating. We went for dinner, although I heard the had a great brunch. Great place for a small group of friends to share a meal.

The Esquire – In our short time in San Antonio we were close to becoming regulars here. Although we never had dinner here, we did split a dessert (the date loaf) one night and it was amazing. The cocktails were all amazing. And between the two of us we had a lot of them. Vacation + babysitter = lots of drinks. Great atmosphere and staff. We really enjoyed sitting out on the balcony and people watching. Plus its the oldest bar on the riverwalk, so there is your history lesson. You’re welcome.

Bella on the River – For our official date night nick picked this restaurant. Initially I wasn’t optimistic because there were some major reservation issues and they weren’t handling it very well. But after I got over that, thanks to a heavily poured glass of chianti, we enjoyed a really great meal. Very classic Italian, nothing over the top, just fresh ingredients cooked well. Nick splurged and ordered a steak with foie gras, again – vacation, and I opted for one of the specials which was a lemony langoustine dish.

The Monterey – We went here for brunch. It reminded me of home. A really cool patio space with random furniture and decor, music blaring, and laid back staff that didn’t seem to mind a kid wandering around. I had a simple egg, bacon, biscuit meal. The egg was cooked well (egg snob here), bacon was crisp, biscuit was huge and so delicious, plus it came with honey butter and jam. Most importantly, the Bloody Mary was perfect.

 

photograph: The Alamo – our only visit was on accident at night. But were told there is an exhibit across from the alamo narrated by Phil Collins, yes that Phil Collins.

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