In Rio Life: Two Days and Dinners on the River in San Antonio

San Antonio was an unexpected delight.  Topside is an inviting and gracious historic town dotted with century-old buildings. And down the stately stairways a river idyll awaits.

Ahead of the trip, I dithered around the myriad hotel options. It was hard to choose. Luckily, I found what I think must be the jewel in San Antonio’s crown: The Mokara. Upon our arrival, we splurged on a river view upgrade. Magical!

viewfrom-mokara

From the welcoming cup of coconut horchata in the lobby to the graciously appointed room to the genuine hospitality received from every staff member, our stay was perfect.

mokara-sa

We could have gazed out of our balcony window forever. But, of course, man does not live by bed alone. Where to eat?

Our first reservation was at Boudro’s. At first glance, its taco-shaped umbrellas lining the River Walk appeared unremarkable. But as we settled in and chatted with the couple next to us, we learned that this was their third meal at Boudro’s in four days. And when our server appeared with a cart to prepare guacamole for us table-side, we began to catch on. We live in California. We know our way around an avocado. But this was, by far, the best guacamole we’ve ever tasted!

guac-cart-sa

And we’re not the only ones to think so. Boudro’s gets so many requests for their guacamole recipe that they’ve posted it on their web site:

Boudro’s Guacamole Recipe

Freshly prepared at your table with diced avocado, roasted tomato and serrano pepper, cilantro and fresh lime and orange juices. Serves two.

Ingredients

Juice of 1/4 of an orange
Juice of 1/2 a lime
1 avocado seeded and scooped out of skin
2 tablespoons roasted and charred Roma tomatoes, diced
1 roasted Serrano pepper, seeded and diced
1 tablespoon medium dice red onions
1 teaspoon chopped cilantro
coarse ground salt to taste (sea salt is better)
Directions

Squeeze juices into bowl. Add avocado and coarsely chop. Add onions, roasted tomato, serrano and cilantro fold into avocado mixture. Add salt (more is better). Result should be crudely chopped not mashed. That’s it, enjoy!

guacamole-boudros

The guacamole was a hard act to follow, but their Texas Filet of Sirloin & Frites with Fire fries, fried jalapeños and plantains with chimichurri sauce was a revelation that made me want to stay deep in the heart of Texas forever.

steak-boudros

One of the buildings in San Antonio brimming with history is the Menger Hotel. Among its storied guests was Teddy Roosevelt, who is said to have recruited his Rough Riders in the Menger Bar. According to the Legends of America web site:

“It was here, in the Menger Bar, that Roosevelt recruited hard-living cowboys fresh from the Chisholm Trail, to his detachment of Rough Riders. Reportedly, Teddy would sit at the bar and as the cowboys came in, he would jovially offer them a free drink (or several) as he worked his recruiting strategy upon the unsuspecting cowpoke. Many sobered up the next morning to find themselves on their way to basic military training at Fort Sam Houston before joining in the Spanish American War.”

menger-sign

If it was good enough for Teddy, it was good enough for us, so on our second evening, we went over to take a look. Designed in 1887 as a facsimile of London’s House of Lords Pub, the room is composed completely of mahogany:

mahoganymenger

We ordered a drink and toasted to Teddy after the bartender showed us the bullet holes in the paneling purportedly shot by Roosevelt during his recruitment efforts.

Then we made our way back to the River Walk to dine on the terrace at the elegant Las Canarias:

lascanarias

lascanariassign

The view was sublime:

viewtablelascanarias

We ordered from the tasting menu. Starters were Corn Chowder for me and Shrimp Cocktail for the CE:

souplascanarias

shrimplascanarias

For my main course, I chose the Bacon-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin that was accompanied by a divine Farro Risotto, Collard Greens and Brandy Apple Compote:

dinnerlascanarias

I dared not taste dessert after all that, but the CE and his enviable metabolism enjoyed the Creme Brûlée:

cremebruleelascanarias

All this fun and food and I haven’t even gotten to the reason we came to San Antonio. Next post: remembering The Alamo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

About polloplayer

Empty nester searching for meaning of life through the occasional chicken epiphany.
This entry was posted in All Things Poultry and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to In Rio Life: Two Days and Dinners on the River in San Antonio

  1. Katherine says:

    well now i’m craving guacamole and french fries, which is a decidedly bizarre combo…

  2. Jean Gutsche says:

    I want to go to San Antonio!

  3. dizzyguy says:

    The food was just fabulous and to have it along the Riverwalk made it even more special. Very tough to admit some silly Texans can beat us Santa Barbarians at the old guacamole game, but there it is. So don’t try 3 card monte on the streets of NYC and avoid heads up guac play against anyone wearing an Alamo baseball cap.

  4. Julia says:

    You should be commissioned to write San Antonio’s travel guides. You’ve easily convinced me to put it on my travel wish short list!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s