AAA Travel Tips / Beyond Tex Mex in San Antonio

Beyond Tex Mex in San Antonio

Courtesy of Botika
By AAA Travel Editor Laurie Sterbens
June 01, 2018
San Antonio's famed River Walk is a gold mine for visitors seeking to sample Tex Mex fare at its finest, but don’t be afraid to venture beyond burritos here! Head upriver to the historic Pearl Brewery complex, where you'll find restaurants offering unique culinary options ranging from Asian and Latin-influenced small plates to Southern comfort food and good ole' Texas barbecue.
Dishes at Botika restaurant in San Antonio, Texas
Courtesy of Botika
303 Pearl Pkwy.
AAA Inspector Rating
(210) 670-7684
This AAA Inspector Pick bills itself as “the crossroads between South Asia and South America,” featuring “Chifa” (Chinese-Peruvian) and “Nikkei” (Japanese-Peruvian) creations. Enjoy ceviche, seasonal miso or a spicy soba noodle salad in a fun, artsy atmosphere, which includes a sushi-ceviche bar, a cocktail lounge and indoor and outdoor seating. The Sunday brunch menu includes Botika’s take on fried chicken and waffles, with “Kaarage” Japanese-style chicken, quinoa waffles and spiced honey.
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Charcuterie at Cured restaurant in San Antonio, Texas
Courtesy of Cured
306 Pearl Pkwy.
AAA Inspector Rating
(210) 314-3929
This rustic New American eatery, a AAA Inspector Pick, is in the 1890s-era former administration building of the Pearl Brewing Company and decorated with original fixtures and furnishings. True to its name, Cured features house-made charcuterie aged from one to 12 months. Start with a sampling of cured meats along with a regional cheese selection, then move on to delicious small-plate offerings such as chicken-fried chicken livers with lemon aoli and pepper jelly and masa fried oysters with white gazpacho, chayote and Marcona almonds. An extensive beer menu includes small-batch and hard-to-find brews.
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Hanger steak and mustard greens from The Granary Cue & Brew in San Antonio, Texas
The Granary Cue & Brew/Robert J. Lerma
The Granary 'Cue & Brew
602 A Ave.
AAA Inspector Rating
(210) 228-0124
As the name suggests, barbecue and beer are the focus here. Lunchtime is traditional market-style barbecue. Dig into pulled pork, crispy pork riblets or quail with spicy, tangy sauces and sides such as fried green tomatoes and buttermilk coleslaw, and wash it all down with a house-crafted brew. The dinner menu features seasonal, responsibly sourced offerings such as the dry aged prime Flannery hanger steak with charred radish salad, mustard greens, radish butter and smoked bread crumbs.
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mini cupcakes with orange frosting
Olga Mendenhall/
Green Vegetarian Cuisine
200 E. Grayson St.
AAA Inspector Rating
(210) 320-5865
You may be in Texas, but it’s not all beef and barbecue here. Green Vegetarian Cuisine, a AAA Three Diamond restaurant, offers a full menu of vegetarian comfort food such as eggplant Parmesan and the “Fat Burger,” a chickpea-veggie patty with avocado, field greens, tomatoes and chipotle mayo. A “Fan Favorites” section of the menu includes meatless versions of fish & chips, “Chik-N Fried Chik-N” or “Chik-N Parmesan.” For dessert, dig into a yummy vegan cupcake, cookie or brownie.
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Dining room at Nao Latin Gastro Bar in San Antonio, Texas
Courtesy of Nao Latin Gastro Bar
Nao Latin Gastro Bar
312 Pearl Pkwy.
(210) 554-6484
This AAA Failed eatery is next to the Culinary Institute of America, and offers a contemporary menu prepared by students about to graduate from the CIA’s degree program, working under experienced chef-instructors in an open kitchen that allows diners to see the action. A seasonal menu includes flavorful offerings such as ancho Chilean sea bass with charred corn, zucchini and Mexican beer-battered onion rings and a Kobe beef strip loin with coal-roasted onion, poblano hash and chimichurri.
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Shrimp on fork with lemon
Southerleigh Fine Food & Brewery
136 E. Grayson St.
AAA Inspector Rating
(210) 455-5701
Located in the historic Pearl brewhouse, this AAA Three Diamond restaurant offers a seasonal menu of coastal-influenced Southern comfort food such as crispy fried half chicken with bacon-thyme red eye gravy or cracker crusted Gulf redfish and butter poached blue crab with lemon butter. Sides include Southern favorites such as cornbread, mashed potatoes and jalapeno cheddar grits. Southerleigh pays homage to its historic location with a rotating selection of house-made craft brews.
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Cauliflower dish
Supper American Eatery
136 E. Grayson St.
AAA Inspector Rating
(210) 448-8351
This AAA Four Diamond Inspector Pick offers a can’t-miss combination of a creative, seasonal New American menu, excellent service and fabulous location overlooking the San Antonio River and the Pearl Brewery complex. The menu changes according to the season and availability of ingredients. Recent dinner offerings include crispy smoked quail with creamed corn, potatoes and pickled onion relish and roasted cauliflower with warm spinach, canary lentils and sauce romesco.
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