San Antonio: First Meal, Last Meal, and Coffee In-between
I am writing on the airplane ride back from Austin, Texas. My BFF and I spent a few days in San Antonio and Austin, my two favorite cities in Texas. Our first meal upon arrival in San Antonio was the best meal of the entire trip at a restaurant called Cured located in the Pearl District. Cured got its name not only because of their housemade chauchuterie, but because the Chef who opened up the restaurant was thankfully cured of cancer.
Our server first brought us an amuse bouche of lamb chili. I’ve never had chili made with lamb meat. The chili flavors were really nice, but I felt it was a little gamey. I was thinking that if this chili was made with pork, it would be off the hook.
We couldn’t dine at a restaurant named Cured without having their cured meats which have been cured anywhere from 30 days to 12 months. We selected three items — chicken liver pate, jalapeño sausage, and lamb citrus terrine. The generous plate was complimented with pickled carrots and cucumbers, mustards, and delicious crackers.
The menu at Cured is listed in categories and each category has items of various sized proportions. We each selected two of the smaller dishes. My first dish was the beet, avocado, and citrus salad which came with a citrus vinaigrette and was topped with a beet crackling. I was not feeling like I was in Texas. It was an excellent salad and I not only loved the idea of the beet crackling, but it worked really well.
I also chose the smoked pork gumbo which came with Heritage hog, andouille sausage, and okra. This was topped on fluffy white rice. The gumbo overall was a little on the salty side.
My BFF ordered the fried chicken livers. These were perfectly crispy and laid on top of a lemon pepper jelly. The savory fried livers with the sweet tangy jelly was superb.
She also ordered one of her favorite things, the bone marrow soup. The server poured the soup which also had caramelized Brussels sprouts and root vegetables. I tried a taste and thought it had great flavor.
We were both intrigued with the pork butter and corn bread and decided on ordering this side dish as well. This may sound a little over the top, but it was so good. I sort of felt like I was eating a mini savory cupcake. My kinda cupcake!
For dessert we shared the chocolate tarragon ganache with hazelnut mousse with bitter orange ice cream. This was quite rich and we got through about half of it. Although beautifully presented, I was not impressed with this particular dessert. I may have selected the wrong one.
Our last meal was lunch at Boudro’s. This Tex-Mex restaurant is located on the Riverwalk. We both have fond memories of eating there a few years ago when our friend took us there. The waiters all prepare delicious guacamole table side.
But it’s really the prickly pear margaritas that we were coming back for. The fuchsia color of the prickly pear is pretty and the drink is delightful. If I wasn’t driving to Austin, I would’ve liked another.
We both were looking for something on the lighter side so we each ordered the chicken and tortilla caldo. This comforting chicken soup was topped with tortilla chips, avocado, queso fresco, and cilantro. This soup really hit the spot for me.
I was happy to have found the local coffee shop in San Antonio called Local Coffee. They recently began to roast their own beans as well. For me, the key to good coffee is fresh roasted beans, a good espresso machine, and a barista that cares about each cup. I found that at Local Coffee. It was not close to where we were staying, but we made an effort to go there twice.
Those were my highlights of San Antonio. Stay tuned next week to see what I ate in Austin.