Riverwalk Eats: A Day in Downtown San Antonio

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Photo by Brooke Viggiano
Note to self: Prickly pears are bright-pink.
My fiance Dave and I took our first trip to San Antonio over the weekend to celebrate our birthdays (we're a day and a year apart -- luckily, I can take solace in the fact that the old man will always be one year older than me). We left Houston on a rainy Saturday morning for some clear skies in San Antonio and sort of winged our day from there. After checking into our hotel right on the city's famous Riverwalk, we grabbed our sunglasses and headed out for some lunch on the river.

Wanting nothing to do with chains like The Hard Rock, Rainforest Cafe, or Hooters (okay, maybe that last one was just me, but I'm pretty sure my man is partial to Twin Peaks anyway), we settled on Boudros, a Texas-style bistro right on the waterfront.

To start, we ordered two Prickly Pear Margaritas, people-watching while waiting for our drinks to arrive. Before we knew it, two bright-pink margaritas were placed before us (oh yeah, I forgot prickly pears were pink -- my bad, Dave). Welcoming all of the hoots and hollers from the passersby, we sipped on our fluorescent drinks made from tequila, triple sec, fresh lime and prickly cactus puree. The sweet, tangy margs were a perfect way to start the day.

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Photo by Brooke Viggiano
Next, we ordered the Gulf Coast Seacakes ($9.50) and the Smoked Shrimp and Pepper Bacon Club Sandwich ($10.50). Both seafood items were delightful; we gobbled up the sweet lump crab cakes served with roasted corn and jicama slaw over top a spicy serrano aioli in about 2.5 seconds. The giant shrimp club took a bit longer to eat (but not that much longer). The lightly toasted brioche piled high with applewood-smoked bacon, smoked shrimp, and "South Padre" Island dressing (a kicked up version of Thousand Island) was fantastic as well, and served with a slaw. We topped our sandwich off and scooped up any remnants with the crisp, homemade vegetables chips served on the side.

Happy and full, we went on to explore some more of downtown San Antonio, hitting up the Alamo and enjoying our day on the river.

After a lot of walking (and a bit of resting), we were ready for our 9:30 reservations at Bohanan's Prime Steaks and Seafood, one of the city's top-rated fine-dining restaurants that also happened to be conveniently located around the corner from out hotel. We entered the dimly lit lounge with hardwood floors and were greeted by an accommodating concierge. After looking up our reservation, he welcomed us and led us up the elevator to a romantic, white-cloth restaurant, where our table for two sat covered in rose petals for our birthdays. These guys were good.

Even though the restaurant, boasting a "Texas spirit with Old World charm," was bustling, our server arrived immediately to assist us with our menu and wine selections. We settled on a Cabernet blend as we drooled over the rest of the menu. Keeping it simple, we ended up with an identical meal of soups and steaks, with a potato and veg to split (it's a steakhouse - if it ain't broke, don't fix it).

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Photo by Brooke Viggiano
I've been so happy loving you...
Next, came the highlight of my trip; the most amazing French Onion Soup ($8.95) that I have ever laid my tastebuds on. Loaded with flavor, the soup's rich, slow-simmered veal stock is what really got me. It's pure velvet, almost as though it were a sauce and not a stock at all, but still light enough to make me want to devour an entire crock of it. The soup, stocked with creamy, caramelized onions and thick, housemade croutons, came topped with glorious amounts of three different aged cheeses, broiled to just the right crisp. Remember the Jesse and the Rippers smash hit "Forever"? That about sums up my feelings on this soup. I still dream about it at night.

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Photo by Brooke Viggiano
Not to be outdone, our seven-ounce Filets ($37.95) each arrived with beautiful cross-hatched sears and perfect, tender, medium-rare pink flesh. The Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes, complete with a towering potato crisp, and Sautéed Spinach (both $7.95), light and delicate in garlic and olive oil, made wonderful companions. The entire meal at this Old World steakhouse was a class act.

We finished off our meal with a Cuban cigar and two Irish coffees in the outside lounge downstairs. The perfect end to a perfect birthday trip.



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15 comments
Katherine
Katherine

My husband and I were recently in San Antonio visiting relatives and were told about Boudros. We went and were very pleased with the food. I ate their wood grilled Atlantic salmon, and my husband got the blackened prime rib. Every time we visit San antonio we are on the look out for great restaurants they seem to be everywhere. We found a site www.sanantoniobestrestaurant.c... while looking for Italian food and found a place called Aldos Restorante Italiano. The food was also great along with the service we recieved. We will be dining there again when we visit in the near future.

Houstess
Houstess

Wow, $38 for a 7 ounce filet.

Ted Samsel
Ted Samsel

The Riverwalk is not San Antonio.

try it
try it

Boudros the best black and blue New York strip you'll ever eat.

Christina Uticone
Christina Uticone

STILL haven't been to SA after 2 years in TX. Must visit--good piece.

Jeff in Seabrook
Jeff in Seabrook

If you want to try something off the Riverwalk, I recommend Rosario's on South Alamo Street.  Try the lengua - you won't be disappointed.

Terry Alexander
Terry Alexander

My wife and I have a Riverwalk tradition. We like to try and find the perfect margarita. Start at one end and try to make a stop at each bar and try one then move on. It changes each visit and we have never crowned a winner. Funny how we never even make it to the other end. But damn it's fun. The search continues...TA

Rex McCall
Rex McCall

Second the onion soup at Bohanon's. We were there Christmas Eve and enjoyed the steaks. You should have tried the Pommes Frites fried in duck fat. Marvelous!!

jasonE
jasonE

Nice post - my wife and I were in SA earlier this month and had some good food on the Riverwalk - we'll have to go back and try these spots!  BTW, he can be glad that he'll always be with a younger woman ;)

Txjboy
Txjboy

My wife and I had a wonderful dining experience at Bohanan's last May for our anniversary.  Looking forward to returning there some day soon.  We stayed at the Hyatt Hill Country Resort and loved it!

Joanna
Joanna

I enjoyed reading this very much. And incidentally my husband and I are two years and one day apart.

ShitThrowingMonkey
ShitThrowingMonkey

One time eating at Rosario's I saw the entire family/staff of Huynh eating there :)  Small world.

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