Thursday, July 13, 2006

Weekend in San Antonio

Last weekend, Michelle and I went to SA on Saturday, spent the night, and picked Emily up from the National Youth Gathering on Sunday.

The first thing we did was eat some great Mexican food at Los Barrios. Texas Monthly and Texas Highways said that's where the locals eat, which is a good sign. It's known for the TexMex cheese enchiladas with chili sauce, so I decided to try them. They were fabulous! I've stopped ordering these in restaurants because I can't stand the canned sauce they use. But this was obviously homemade chili and very yummy. Michelle chose the puffy tacos, a San Antonio specialty, and judged them very good. But our favorite dish was an appetizer you rarely see outside Mexico: carrot, cucumber, and jicama strips marinated in lime juice and sprinkled with a great (not hot) chili powder. And Michelle highly recommends the chimichurri sauce! The atmosphere is very nice. Don't miss this place!! 4223 Blanco, 210-732-6071, http://cityguide.aol.com/sanantonio/
dining/ venue.adp?sbid=109238176.
Future dishes to try include the enfrijoladas (folded tortillas with bean sauce) and the enchilada sampler with all 5 signature enchiladas.


Next we went to the McNay Museum.
(http://www.mcnayart.org/) The building and grounds are beautiful, especially the inner courtyard with tiled fountain, lush plants, and sculptures by Charles Umlauf and Renoir.

We checked out the Impressionist and Latin American collections--impressive for such a small museum. But the big surprise was the "Walk #1" exhibit by Ernesto Pujol. The exhibit consisted of photos of Pujol dressed in a monk's robe in a Civil War-era cemetery in Charleston interspersed with painted distressed mirrors with words like walk, waters, war, true, and the like. It was beautiful and a pleasant surprise.
http://www.mcnayart.org/exhibitions.html

We went to Stamp Antonio, of course, to feed my craft habit.
(http://www.stampantonio.com) Their selection is extensive and there are hundreds of beautiful cards on display.

We stayed at the Fairfield Inn Airport/North Star Mall. Although the staff were very nice, the property is pretty bare bones for the rates they charge. Of course, we got the next-to-last available room, so demand must be there.

For dinner, we decided to try another Texas Monthly recommendation, Casa Sol, 9938 San Pedro. It was very casual and just average TexMex food. Don't bother.

Next morning, we hit El Mercado and did a bit of shopping. Then we headed to the Crockett Hotel to pick up Emily. Kids and adults were waiting around to leave and planned on heading to a restaurant in NW San Antonio for lunch...together. Michelle and I decided to ditch that plan, packed up Emily and headed out in search for, you guessed it, Mexican food.

We saw a restaurant in a strip center on Loop 1604 with "homemade tortillas" painted on the front window and one car outside, so we decided to give it a try. What a find! It's a little mom-and-pop place called El Tejano. We had green chicken enchiladas, made fresh to order without cheese for Michelle and chicken puffy tacos that were sublime. Even better than Los Barrios! Let's support this place to keep it open:
http://www.mytravelguide.com/
restaurants/ profile-51522005-
United_States_Texas_San_Antonio_
El_Tejano_Mexican_Restaurant.html

Do you have a favorite place in San Antonio? Please post a comment.

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