Want to be a professor for lunch? Try the Skyline atop Trinity University’s Coates Building.  Although about half the 20 or so tables are reserved by faculty at the school, a little-known secret is anyone can eat there. The view is an unbroken vista looking south on downtown San Antonio.

Lunch is a fresh, well-prepared buffet served from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. for $6.99 ($4.99 if you have only soup and salad). We passed on the cream of mushroom and opted for mulligatawny, a rich, peppery Indian broth with chicken cubes and cabbage, and sprinkled coconut. I had the chicken fricassee with thyme, while my dining companion chose the chicken enchiladas. We had large salads as a separate course, with fresh spinach, marinated mushrooms, pasta with broccoli, and a half dozen other choices. While my companion polished off the rice pudding with chocolate sprinkles for dessert, I had a big slice of spice cake.

Great meal, great view, great price, and you soak up all that heady intellectual atmosphere. You may be able to land a window table (reservations at 210-999-7464), but there are no bad seats in this house. And there’s a frequent-diners’ card: 10 meals earns a freebie. Visitor parking in first lot on north side of Stadium Drive.

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