Austin Vacation Recap: Day Four–San Antonio

If you missed the last installment, click here!

I’m finally wrapping up the last day of my Austin vacation recaps!  And I saved the BEST for last….foodie wise.

On my last day of vacation, I went down to San Antonio to see my friend, Ben.  I told Ben that it was too bad he’d been out of town that weekend.  It would have been fun for him to come up to Austin for us to do the Austin Eats Food Tours to go to 7 restaurants/bars, like a bar crawl for foodies.

When I arrived in San Antonio at 10 am, Ben had a plan!  He’d come with his own version of the San Antonio Four Tour for us!  And we were going to at least 8 places to show Austin what’s up.  How awesome is Ben!!?!

So the gluttony and good times began…with a few hiccups since this was a Monday.  Why are a lot of restaurants closed on Mondays??!?!  (Note to self:  remember to go to that car wash/laundromat/restaurant place & that martini bar on the Riverwalk…on a non-Monday!)

San Antonio Food Tour Stop # 1:  Lulu’s

Lulu’s has been featured on Man vs. Food, so I was already stoked about going.  And since it was still early, breakfast was in order.  Breakfast in the form of coffee and their famous 3 POUND cinnamon roll.  What?!

We dominated that 3 lb roll!  Ha…no, we barely made a dent in it.  We had to pace ourselves, people!

This part was the BEST part of the cinnamon roll.  Do you see that frosting OOZING out?!  Sugar heaven!!

San Antonio Food Tour Stop # 2:  Rosario’s

Rosario’s a Mexican restaurant in the Blue Star Arts district.  It’s said to have some of the best Mexican food in the city.  I loved the vibe there!  It was also my first time having a prickly pear margarita!  (Oh yeah it was after 11 am by then, so it was okay to start drinking….and drinking….and drinking.  😉  )

For our lunch…or 1st lunch, Ben & I split an order of ceviche and the pork tip tacos in a chile cascabel sauce.  (My stomach just growled.)

I’d never tried ceviche before.  And I probably won’t again.  No, it wasn’t bad…just not my thing.  There was a lot of cilantro on it and I’m not a fan of cilantro.

These pork tacos though……OH.MY.GOD.  Love!  I wanted to lick the remaining sauce off of the foil.  I didn’t though.  I’m classy.

San Antonio Food Tour Stop #3:  Madhatters Tea House

After Rosario’s, we needed a non-food destination.  Well, that and the next two places we tried were closed.  So, we walked over to Madhatters.

It’s a quaint place.  I was excited about the variety of teas.

J:  I’ll have the cinnamon plum tea!
Cashier:  We’re out of that one.
J:  Okay, I’ll have the Blackberry Sage.
Cashier:  Out of that too.
J: Wow…the Raspberry Quince?
Cashier:  We’re out of all of the black teas.

What the heck!?  Are tea delivery trucks closed on Mondays too?


I do love the individual pots that the tea came in.  They have a hodge podge of different cups to chose from too.

San Antonio Food Tour Stop #4: Paesano’s

After tea time, we were off to go down to the Riverwalk.

Hey the Alamo!  See, we didn’t just eat & drink all day.  No, we totally did but I figured that I should take a picture of the Alamo at least.  :)  (I’ve already been to San Antonio and been to the Alamo, etc.  I’m not completely uncultured.)

Some important corner that Ben pointed out…..?  The original border of the missions in San Antonio…?  Let’s go with that one.

We walked around a bit and then we headed to Paesano’s Riverwalk.  We sat outside and enjoyed the weather and the Riverwalk.  Loved Paesano’s!  Our waiter was super nice.

We had the antipasto sampler of giant calamari, shrimp, and Parmesan crusted artichoke hearts.  We also split a bottle of red wine.

Okay, see the food in the middle that looks similar to chicken strips.  That’s the GIANT CALAMARI!  I never even heard of giant calamari.  I’ve only had the little bits with tentacles.  Giant calamari is amazingly delicious!!!!  I need more now.  My favorite of the sauces was the basil aioli.

We stayed at Paesano’s for quite awhile since we had a bottle of wine to get through and it was very chill there.

At some point throughout the day, I admitted to Ben that I didn’t like cilantro, olives, guacamole, and scallops.  Bleck to all of those.  I think Ben was ready to revoke my foodie card…especially after I told him that I didn’t know what Kolaches were.  (It’s just a danish, Ben!)

After wine, you need to power up with a double espresso.

San Antonio Food Tour Stop #5:  Mi Tierra Restaurant & Bakery

Next up, we left the Riverwalk to head to the Market Square.  The Market Square is the largest Mexican market in the US with a 3 block outdoor plaza of restaurants, shops, and produce stands.  (source)


Mi Tierra is open 24 hours a day and hangs Christmas lights all year round.  They have strolling musicians in the restaurant/bar.


And the bakery counter was always jumping with a line of customers.


At Mi Tierra, we were still so full from Paesano’s.  Our food tour turned into more of a drinking tour for awhile.  I had a margarita at Mi Tierra and Ben had a beer.

San Antonio Food Tour Stop #6:  Stonewerks

After Mi Tierra, we were off again…top down this time.

Whilst riding in a convertible as a tourist, always have your ponytail holder handy.  And have your camera ready to take random pictures of things as you whiz by them.

The Emily Morgan Hotel….it’s haunted  I can’t believe that I even remember what this picture was of!

We headed over to the Quarry to have drinks at Stonewerks.  There’s not to much to relay on this one.  We sat on the patio and had a beer or two.  By this point, I couldn’t hang with margaritas or wine anymore.

Stonewerks seemed like a nice patio for an after-work happy hour if you lived/worked in the area.


San Antonio Food Tour Stop #7:  The Friendly Spot

We tried to go to The Friendly Spot earlier in the afternoon, but they don’t open to 3 pm.  So we headed back over there around 7 pm to have another beer.  Amstel Light for me…and I have no clue what Ben had!  Some sort of fancy pants IPA, I’m sure.


I loved the vibe of The Friendly Spot.  It’s super chill.  They had one of those inflatable big screen TV’s on so you could sit outside and watch sports while having a beer.  And oddly, there’s a playground inside the gates so your kids can play while you get plastered.  Brilliant.


I especially loved the chairs.  My grandpa used to have chairs like this outside in his backyard.

San Antonio Food Tour Stop #8:  Tomatillo’s


Can I just say that I was beat by this point?  But I HAD to rally go to to Tomatillo’s.  Ben said they have the best queso.  And there is always room for queso….even at 9 pm at night when you started at 10 am.

We split a chicken quesadilla and ordered a bowl of queso/chips.  Holy crap!!!!!  BEST.QUESO.EVER.  I wanted to bathe in it.  It was SO flippin’ good.  I don’t know if they just add a bunch of butter to it or what, but it was so creamy & delicious.  Love love love love!!!  I’m so happy that we powered through and ended on a high note.

I had an awesome day with Ben!  It was a great way for him to show me the city.

To recap, we went from the Blue Star Arts district, to the Riverwalk, to the Market Square, to the Quarry, back to the Arts district, and finally Downtown.  It was a day of devouring:  cinnamon roll, ceviche, pork tacos, GIANT calamari, artichoke hearts, shrimp, chips & queso, and a chicken quesadilla.  Washed down with:  coffee, tea, 2 glasses of red wine, 2 margaritas, 3 beers….and some water.  😉

I can’t decide if I’m really hungry after writing all this or full from thinking about it!!