No News is Bad News. Join the SA Current Press Club.

El Chaparral is Helotes 

House call

 MJ: The top-shelf margarita with Cazadores was smooth and potent. The real test for a bar is how low they set the “bar” for their house version. It was sweet but better than I thought. I didn’t mind sharing. Or is that another way of saying I drank both of them?

MLH: I don’t have much to say here except that the combination of both merged into a truth serum, which was amusing.

Atmosphere (and Children of the Corn)

MJ: Nothing attracts a crowd like a crowd. At some point something had to initiate The Chap’s popularity. I can only wonder what it was. And what happened to all the taxidermy on the walls?

MLH: El Chaparral has been genuinely welcoming for both new (“Mulchies”) and old (“children of the corn”) Helotesians. I do miss the deer heads. The Helotes Country Club (“Lester’s”) probably has them now. I bet there is a word in German for this particular allure of elegiac entropy.

Main course

MJ: The menu had way too many enchilada options, as well as something random like chicken milanesa. The mole enchiladas were better than I expected: mild, not overly sharp. I think I see a trend. It’s like they’re ahead in the polls and don’t want to do something to lose their lead.

 MLH: OK, Mr. self-flagellating macrobiotic during the week, one can never have too many enchilada options. I judged the milanesa to be a suitable foil to the mole enchiladas. Dryness made the avocado-topped milanesa surprisingly second-rate, but the waiter eagerly brought us fresh limes to make it pleasant. The mole enchiladas, if you stuck with them, panned out. The portions are large, fortifiably (is this a word?) rich and dreamlike.

Final thoughts

MJ: The Chap’s a fun place, and the infamous refried beans are rich like chocolate. However, unless I was living in Helotes or on the way to horse racing at Bandera, I don’t see myself back here again any time soon.

MLH: Look at it like a Tex-Mex mom-and-pop Luby’s (I’m going to get shot, but I hope this translates). This is a place to top off a weekend visit or to reliably celebrate one of life’s milestones. I guess it wouldn’t appeal to people from Alamo Whites, where you have your overpriced Chain Quarry. I’ll be back with my family, which means you will, too. The lard-infused refried beans beckon us.


Order Up

El Chaparral
15103 Bandera
(210) 695-8302

The Skinny A mom-and-pop Tex-Mex Luby’s where you can reliably celebrate life’s milestones with friends and family

Don’t Miss The refried beans and top-shelf margaritas

11am-10pm Mon-Fri
8am-10pm Sat
8am-9pm Sun

Prices Entrées: $9-15, Margaritas: $6-9

San Antonio Current works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of San Antonio and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep San Antonio's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

October 21, 2020

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


© 2020 San Antonio Current

Website powered by Foundation