October 28, 2016

22 San Antonio Dishes We Love Right Now

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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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<
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 entr&eacute;e. 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. &#151; Erin Winch
Photo via Instagram, s.a.foodie
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&#146;re biting) of the bok choy, and the waxy give of the pasta will make every bite a textural collage. &#151; Mark Stenberg
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