Beto Gonzales is a working graphic and fine artist from San Antonio.
A semi-regular Current contributor, he is a graduate of the San Antonio College visual-arts program and UT Austin. His work will be featured alongside that of Julia Barbosa Landois in an exhibition at the UTSA Satellite Space at Blue Star in July. He currently keeps Best of SA favorite the Witte Museum’s design in line.
— Sarah Fisch
807 Mission Rd.
Relocated to SA from East Texas in 1731, Mission Concepción isn’t as showy as some of her sister missions along the San Antonio River, but it’s one of the best-preserved. Her ancient archways and symmetrical bell towers are a welcoming site for sore travelers’ eyes. Just a short trot up Theo Street from the rio; you’ll soon be able to visit Concepción via a new-and-improved Mission Trail.
4711 Pecan Valley Dr.
The Trap is like an unopened time capsule or virgin grassland, with cover bands that display the best of SA musicianship — incredible chops, a lack of pretension, and an adherence to local music tradition, like an informal guild system in which paying homage to the masters is still a respected practice. The drinks are modestly priced, the atmosphere is friendly, and there are pool tables for those inclined. If you’re interested in seeing a perfect crystallization of San Antonio rock culture, call ahead to make sure a cover band is playing. A Current Bar Tab favorite.
Winner of the Current’s 2007 barbecue survey, the Smokehouse upholds slow-smoked Texas authenticity, and its sausage and brisket accordingly draw a rainbow coalition of diners. The coal-dark meaty lumps they call short ribs are lean yet pull-apart tender. The brisket is super-flavorful, but a little dry. However, it’s the sort of dry we happen to love — the butt end of a well-smoked brisket that has that amazing flavor and crusty crunch on the edges. The sausage is also the best we’ve had in town.
Little Red Barn Steakhouse
1836 S. Hackberry
The long-lived Little Red Barn is San Antonio’s go-to source for an unironic homage to chuckwagon culture. You’ll love the cowgirl uniforms, the for-real Texas roadhouse décor, and the hefty portions of reasonably priced beef.
Patty’s Taco House
2422 S. Hackberry
A neighborhood favorite. Patty’s menudo, caldos, and generally reliable Tex-Mex draw a SRO lunch crowd.
306 E. Mitchell
Club Movida may have a meat-market reputation thanks to its name, but it’s much more than a hookup joint. Older family members can slowly scoot across the dance floor while the younger generations throw their game around in the back corners. This place is TCB all the way — live Tejano and Conjunto music blast from the stage and Bud Light is littered across just about every table.?
The Other Woman
1123 Fair Ave.
The draw at yet another Current Bar Tab favorite, the Other Woman, is the high-stakes karaoke (an excellent taco truck, often parked out front, is also a plus) and a lively crowd that’s uncommonly diverse, even for Southeast SA.
Mr. and Mrs. G’s Home Cooking
2222 S. WW White
While “homey” describes some restaurants, Mr. and Mrs. G’s may be the archetype. Your grandmother may have pink gingham curtains, too, but she probably doesn’t have a Kool-Aid machine next to her cash register. Food is served cafeteria-style; behind the glass-fronted serving line are fried and baked chicken, tender and juicy; smothered steak swimming in onions and gravy; pork chops both fried and smothered, as well as meatloaf and ham hocks. Of the accompanying vegetables and starches, most notable are the yams, sweet with brown sugar. Reward yourself with one of the house-made desserts.
Big Lou’s Pizza
2048 S. WW White
The (almost) 4-foot pizza, served in a friendly bar-like atmosphere, has become a pilgrimage destination for hardcore foodies, but the rich, buttery crust and generous cheese topping are delicious on the human-size pies, too.
Bill Miller Bar-B-Q #1
2750 Bill Miller Ln.
Bill Miller Bar-B-Q numero uno has the breakfast menu and a drive-thru, plus the crackly fried chicken and el-cheapo savory chopped-brisket sandwich that elevate this homegrown chain above the Mickey D’s of the world. Get three jalapeños for a dollar and a bucket of sweet tea to perfect your picnic lunch.
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