Vacation Days: San Antonio, August 2015

Friday, September 4, 2015
Last month I went away for a long weekend to San Antonio to attend the wedding of a close family friend. I managed to get some major food time in, so of course I'd like to share it with you all!

First order of business:

I arrived just in time for lunch, so my parents and I went straight to The Esquire Tavern on the River Walk. This historic tavern opened in 1933 to celebrate the end of Prohibition. It's divey inside, yet swanky, with puffy booths, exposed concrete walls, and taxidermed animals scattered throughout. Because we are Ogonoskys, the three of us started off with martinis, which to be honest weren't the greatest. Apparently the vermouth they use comes sweetened, so if you don't ask for UNsweetened vermouth, you get the sweetened kind by default, which I'm not used to (nor a fan of). I still drank mine, but would have preferred it unsweetened.

The food though, was much better! We started off with the tacos con papas: MASHED POTATOES (omg.), chili coleslaw, and salsa verde inside three crispy taco shells. Yes, they were absolutely as incredible and sinful as they sound! For my entree I ordered the grilled pimento cheese sandwich with avocado, and it was pretty good - Incredibly melty and gooey, which hit the spot. The chili salt fries weren't my favorite fries ever, but they were a unique departure from the norm.

The wedding was at the St. Anthony Hotel, which is also where we stayed. And it was lovely.

Our first night there I had dinner with my parents and friends Lindsey and Caleb at Citrus, located on the River Walk in the Valencia Hotel. While the food was extremely good, we were a little confused to find that the ONLY option we had for dinner was to dine off of their San Antonio Restaurant Weeks menu, which was a set of family style dishes. When we made our reservations, we were not informed of this. This was a little disconcerting since we had a high maintenance vegetarian in our group (me. I'm talking about me.), and sharing plates from a small [meat heavy] menu can be tricky. Fortunately it did all work out, and everything I ate (Texas watermelon salad, crispy tofu and vegetables in a Thai basil lemongrass broth, a side of sauteed vegetables, and assorted ice cream) was wonderful. Especially the tofu with vegetables - It was creamy, thick, zingy, indulgent, and lovely!

My parents have decided to build a house to retire in out in New Braunfels, so we (my parents, my sister Emily, and Emily's boyfriend Danny) spent Saturday morning looking at their beautiful land, followed by a trip to the super cool, historic Pearl District for lunch at Boiler House. We started off with a burrata appetizer. The toast served with it was smokey, fluffy, and exceptionally good, but the burrata itself - while tasty - was comical in that there hardly was any! The toast to burrata ratio was absurd. We were technically there for brunch, and since there weren't really any veg-friendly savory entrees, I pieced together a meal of their zucchini, quinoa, and golden raisins side dish, as well as the young beets, feta, oregano, and olive oil plate. Both were playful and flavorful, and served as a great, light lunch to have before the wedding. Overall it was a decent meal, but I'd probably try a different restaurant out next time.

I didn't take pics at the wedding because I was obviously cutting a rug on the dance for the whole time.

The next morning my parents and I had breakfast at the St. Anthony on their lovely, airy, enclosed patio before heading back home!

While none of the meals I had completely blew my socks off as a whole, Esquire Tavern's tacos con papas and Citrus' crispy tofu and vegetables were total rockstar dishes and far and away the major standouts of the trip!

Until next time, San Antonio/NewBraunfels/Hill Country!

(Next month. I'll be there next month.)


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