October 28, 2016 Slideshows » Food & Drink

22 San Antonio Dishes We Love Right Now 

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We're compiling a list of our favorite 100 dishes in the city with the San Antonio 100. Here are 22 dishes that have made the list and that we recommend every San Antonian try at least once.
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Rise Up's Chocolate Açai Bowl
2202 Broadway, (210) 268-8009
Made to order inside the trailer, the bowl includes frozen açai berry puree, almond milk, almond butter, cacao, strawberries, agave and blueberries and is topped with granola, blueberries, strawberries, chia seeds, cacao nibs, coconut shreds and Happy Hemp seeds packed with omega 3s and 6s. — Jessica Elizarraras
Photo via Instagram, riseupsatx
Boudro's Legendary Tableside Guacamole
Boudro’s managing partner, Richard Higbie, says they serve 50,000 orders of their tableside guacamole per year. He also recalls, and I think he’s right, that the popular preparation first appeared about 1990 when the restaurant made a swing away from Southwestern cuisine to Texas with a touch of Cajun. So, let’s say, it’s been 25 years times 50,000 … even assuming it didn’t hit its popularity peak right away, that’s over a million servings. Holy guacamole! — Ron Bechtol
Photo courtesy of Boudro's
Liberty Bar's Pot Roast Sandwich
1111 S. Alamo St., (210) 227-1187, liberty-bar.com
Juicy pot roast accompanied by a spicy, yet smooth spread of coarse-ground mustard blended with their house-made mayo on your choice of their daily baked bread (we still can’t decide which of the white, sourdough and wheat is our favorite) was, and still is, heavenly. No lettuce or any other dressings, vegetable or otherwise, are present, nor required, and its perfection is in its simplicity.
Photo via Yelp, Mandye P.
The Eggs in Purgatory at Alchemy Kombucha and Culture
Though the dish is only available on their brunch menu, the pampered eggs are worth the special visit. The entrée, a vegetarian offering amidst a sea of other vegetable-centric dishes, comes in a shallow convex bowl, bearing two tremulous eggs swathed in an aromatic tomato sauce with brittle crostini on the side. — Mark Stenberg
Photo by Mark Stenberg
Brisket Nachos at the Pig Pen
106 Pershing Ave., (210) 267-9136, thepigpensa.com
What makes these nachos so great? My bet is the time spent making the brisket that the Smoke Shack has been smoking in since 2010. Covered in a special spice rub and smoked over hickory wood for a whole 12 hours, the brisket gives other barbecue joints in Texas a run for their money. Take that brisket, throw it on some seasoned chips and then top it with a house-made queso, fresh guacamole and pico de gallo, and you have one of the best 'cue dishes in San Antonio. — Erin Winch
Photo via Instagram, sa.veur.tx
Hot Joy’s Crab Fat Caramel Wings
1014 S. Alamo St., (210) 368-9324, hotjoysa.com In their smell, appearance, and presentation they are unlike any chicken you have ever tasted, but it is their taste you will remember. Deeply rich, crunchy, musty, and complex, you will either never want to see them again, or you will need them the next day. — Mark Stenberg
Photo via Instagram, hotjoysa
South Alamode's Pistachio Gelato
1420 S. Alamo St. #102, (210) 788-8000, southalamode.com
Savory and sweet, rich and creamy, it’s unlike any other cold treat in San Antonio. The other gelato flavors are also out-of-this-world good, but the pistachio has a loyal fanbase, myself included.
What makes South Alamode’s pistachio gelato so outstanding is, of course, the ingredients and how the gelato is made. Every batch of pistachio gelato is made with pistachios imported from Bronte, Sicily. These Italian-grown pistachios are then ground and toasted in-house and made into fresh pistachio paste. — Alexis Barnhart
Photo via Instagram, lexbarnhart
Chicken Fried Oysters from Bliss
I don’t know who the brave soul was who slurped down the first raw oyster. But we do know, or at least we assume, that it was a long time before the first chicken fried version appeared. Mark Bliss, who was dinner sous chef at the time (1992), says the inspiration came from a fried oyster dish at The Tarpon Inn in Port A and was taken forward from there by him, lunch sous chef David Garrido, and owner/chef Bruce Auden. “Its initial presentation was on the half shell as a kind of deconstructed Rockefeller,” says Bliss. Texas chicken fried steak meets Gulf Coast oyster under the same, crispy mantle. Minus the cream gravy, of course. — Ron Bechtol
Photo via jk32_oso<
Cured's Blue Ribbon Burger
The Blue Ribbon burger, as it is so aptly named, it one of the more popular menu items at Cured, second only to the charcuterie plates. One look at the generously sized burger and you will understand the popularity of the entrée. The burger is made with the best ingredients, cooked to perfection and served without veggies, to keep the meat the main star of the dish. The burger is available on the lunch menu, as well as during happy hour, but then becomes elusive once the restaurant switches over to their dinner menu at 6 p.m. — Erin Winch
Photo via Instagram, s.a.foodie
Handmade Noodles with Lamb at Kungfu Noodle
6733 Bandera Road, (210) 451-5586
At the small eatery on Bandera Road, the magic of handmade pasta is apparent. The broth is brick red, tinctured with kaleidoscopic dots of yellow oil. Alongside blanched baby bok choy, the gamey meat comes cubed in bites the size of dice, playfully reminiscent of brisket in its chew. Coiled at the bottom of the bowl, invisible until you ply for them, are the beautiful, flat beige noodles.
The broth is spicy, though tempered, and the contrasts of form between the bouncy nuggets of lamb, wilt and crunch (depending on where you’re biting) of the bok choy, and the waxy give of the pasta will make every bite a textural collage. — Mark Stenberg
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Cascabel's Soul-warming Goat Stew
Birria is not the kind of dish that finds itself on every Tomás, Ricardo y Enrique Mexican menu in town — despite our fair city playing host to numerous fine establishments from Jalisco and Michoacan, the savory stew’s most frequently cited birthplace. So, yes, you’ll have to seek it out. Vale la pena— it’s worth the effort. — Ron Bechtol
Photo via Instagram, lizapams
Panchos and Gringos' Steak and Egg Breakfast Sandwich
900 Nolan St., (210) 227-6700
Thin slices of prime rib, scrambled egg, and melted American cheese on a toasted ciabatta roll all work beautifully, all for $5.95. The bread is soft, but warm and the contents are all perfectly seasoned and portioned out.
If you really want to do yourself a favor, and possibly over-indulge a bit, order the steak and egg breakfast sandwich with a side of a bean and cheese taco. — Karah Carmack
Bakery Lorraine's Italian Sandwich
Te Italian is arguably the best lunch item at Bakery Lorraine. Served warm with ham, prosciutto, pepperoni, fontina, tomato aioli, and pickled giardiniera, this meaty delight packs just the slightest spiciness with an almost pizza-like flavor. The bread is one of their housemade items and can be purchased by the loaf for $6. The Italian comes with chips and a pickle for $10 and we can almost guarantee it will sustain you until dinner time. — Karah Carmack
Photo via Instagram, sanantoniofoodguy
Rosella's Avocado Toast
A tasty avocado filled with healthy fats atop a piece of slightly toasted bread is a dish that is while studying, as a late night snack, and especially to help cure a hangover after a night out. Rosella Coffee Co. serves up a delicious version of the toast, keeping their dish very simple, letting the flavors showcase themselves. — Erin Winch
Photo via Instagram, jesselizarraras
Falafel at Moshe's Golden Falafel
What's better than a healthy, vegan meal? How about your rabbi putting his stamp of approval on your Kosher lunch choice. One of the best bites in town, the falafel at Moshe’s, is the star player in any of the two entrée options at the local business. An entrée at Moshe’s Golden Falafel can consist of either a plate or a pita, both of which come with great Mediterranean sides and three freshly made falafel of your choice. While everything at the lunch spot is great, the ‘spicy red’ falafel stands out the most amidst the great flavors offered. The falafel is made with a traditional chickpea base and then mixed with a house made harissa. And If you haven’t had harissa before, you’re missing out. — Erin Winch
Photo via Instagram, jocelyn_u09
El Machito’s Cecina Asada
7300 Jones Maltsberger Road, (210) 314-3971
What makes the beef memorable is that succulence usually requires thickness; as the phrase goes, you “bite into” something. What the cecina asada de Yecapixtla accomplishes, though, is to produce that same tenderness, that same satisfying, carnal toothsomeness you get in bloody steak and roasted chicken, but in a thin, brown, unassuming slice of meat.
Served alongside nopalitos, guacamole, salsa, house-made corn tortillas, and two sides of your choosing, the tacos are a masterclass in harmony: cold and hot, crunchy and tender, fresh and aged. — Mark Stenberg
Chela's Chicken Cilantro Taco
5231 Broadway, Suite 117, (210) 218-5466
Sure, you can try an array of delicious combinations at Chela's, but the chicken cilantro seems to be one they're most proud of, and with good reason. The well portioned taco is served on a thick flour tortilla with a mixture of shredded chicken that's stewed in a cilantro-sour cream sauce along with fresh cilantro, and because of its creaminess, calls for no cheese. With the texture somewhat similar to a chicken salad, this taco is great on its own — but for those who enjoy something spicy, adding some jalapeños and pickled onions really takes it over the top. — Kara Carmack
picy Puntas de Puerco at Paloma Blanca
Dining at Paloma Blanca, the culinary darling of Alamo Heights that deftly celebrates Mexican cuisine, isn’t just an experience. It’s an exercise in indulgence. On a warm day, with a slight breeze, lunch on their patio, with a jalapeño martini in hand and guacamole prepared table-side is pretty much, as one is so often wont to say, absolute perfection. — Charlie Smith
Photo by Charlie Smith
Barbaro's Southern-inspired Pizza
While nearly every dish on the menu is a gem, we highly recommend those venturing into Barbaro’s interior for the first time to indulge in the smoked mozzarella, country ham, red onion, hot sauce and cilantro pie. It is the ideal balance of flavors sweet, salty, spicy and savory. The sauce, smeared delicately yet evenly on a thin crust and topped with the aforementioned accompaniments leaves little room for argument that nary a better pizza can be found. — Charlie Smith
Photo via Facebook, Barbao
B and D Ice House's Delicious Twist on Frito Pie
The chopped brisket Frito pie is a great spin on a classic comfort food. Typically topped with chili, the dive joint serves the corn chip topped with a juicy and excellently smoked chopped brisket, a healthy dose of cheese, sour cream and green onions and tomatoes. The combination is out of this world, the brisket, which is smoked in house, chopped into chunks, and then mixed with the B&D barbecue sauce, (but you can always add more). The brisket doused in the sauce mimics the chili, but the large cuts of smoked meat and the slightly spicy, slightly sweet sauce, make this dish so much better than its traditional counter part. — Erin Winch
Photo via Instagram, drinking.in.sa
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Mint Chocolate Cupcakes from Green
200 E. Grayson St., Suite 120, (210) 320-5865; and 10003 NW Military, Suite 2115, (210) 223-1249
The cupcake itself is a chocolate base made vegan-friendly by substituting the eggs that would typically act as a binding agent for applesauce. The replacement leaves you with a light, airy cupcake that fits perfectly with the mint cream that tops the base. The frosting is what makes the cupcake, the mint flavor is perfectly balanced, just a hint of it while not over-doing the taste or over-powering the chocolate bottom. — Erin Winch
Photo via Instagram, willsmiles
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Rise Up's Chocolate Açai Bowl
2202 Broadway, (210) 268-8009
Made to order inside the trailer, the bowl includes frozen açai berry puree, almond milk, almond butter, cacao, strawberries, agave and blueberries and is topped with granola, blueberries, strawberries, chia seeds, cacao nibs, coconut shreds and Happy Hemp seeds packed with omega 3s and 6s. — Jessica Elizarraras
Photo via Instagram, riseupsatx

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