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The Fast Foodie 

El Bohio
1127 Harry Wurzbach
11am-10pm 7 days a week; Lunch buffet 11am-2pm Mon-Fri)
As I was driving on Harry Wurzbach in search of a new restaurant called El Bohio, I was finally able to understand the impact of Fort Sam Houston on San Antonio in a grander sense. Napoleon once said “C’est la soupe qui fait le soldat,” which in more recognizable words translates to, “An army marches on its stomach.” Not coincidentally, a ragtag army of international restaurants encircle the base and keep the diverse Fort Sam community well fed. One can find Chinese, Vietnamese, Italian, Argentinean, Thai, Korean, Greek, and yes, Puerto Rican food. (There are ancillary businesses that serve the neighborhood in other ways, such as military-themed bars, street walkers, drug dealers, and tattoo parlors, but that’s for another time ... )

El Bohio looks to have replaced a Korean barbecue restaurant judging by the vent hoods above several of the tables, but that was a minor detail compared to the vibrant salsa music and natural light bouncing around the interior. My experience with Puerto Rican food is limited, so I was excited to see what El Bohio had to offer on their $5.99 lunch buffet.

The small selection included white rice and fried rice with pigeon peas, carne guisada (not the Tex-Mex version), and pollo guisada. As I spooned through the guisadas I wasn’t able to find any chunk of meat that I recognized. This distinct uncertainty killed my hunger. Perhaps I was too late to the buffet? Nonetheless, it made me want to put my plate down and try another option. Disappointed, I ordered another plate, the pollo asada — a few pieces of dark chicken served with white rice and tostones (plantains). The plantains were crunchy and the chicken, though salty, pulled off the bone very easily. I can’t endorse this plate strongly but it was a marked improvement from my existential crisis at the buffet.

I would suggest ordering from the menu at El Bohio, but perhaps I just had bad luck, or arrived after the buffet was picked over. I would feel happy to have gotten it all wrong.

— Mark Jones

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