It’s hard to imagine, but Off The Menu is turning one year old this week. In our first year of posts, we have explored some of ATKG’s favorite margaritas, taken a look at some great recipes, learned a bit about the magic of wine, and we have gotten to meet some of the best and brightest of the hospitality and culinary scene in San Antonio and the surrounding areas. And we are just getting started!
In case you haven’t had the chance to look around at the restaurant scene these days, San Antonio is a food city. Our fair city is getting national attention for the high quality of food and service that can be found here. In thinking about the future of Off The Menu, I have to pause and think about all of the deep food history that’s gotten San Antonio to where it is today. To that end, let’s take a swing through some of the historic eateries that have made, and are still making, San Antonio a great place to live and eat.
You can’t get any more iconic in San Antonio than The Barn Door Restaurant and Meat Market. Opened in 1953, this steak house has been serving up southern comfort food, sizzling steaks, and fantastic desserts to San Antonio families young and old. As a little kid I remember my grandparents taking us there for a family meal. I was especially fond of the homemade rolls and butter.
Tourism is one San Antonio’s biggest industries, and anyone who comes here knows that the first place to stop on the Riverwalk is Casa Rio. This landmark Mexican food restaurant was one of the first businesses to open its doors literally on the river in 1946. Since then, thousands of hungry patrons have passed through the big oak doors and enjoyed some of the best the city has to offer.
If your tastes run to the sea, Sea Island Shrimp House is the choice for you. The Anthony family has been in the restaurant business since 1912. The first Sea Island opened in 1965 on Rector St. behind North Star Mall, and it is still serving up some of the best sea food in town. My personal favorites are the fried shrimp and fish platter, and the gumbo. Now with six locations in San Antonio and one in New Braunfels, there are plenty of chances to catch a great meal.
It started with a watermelon stand next to a bike rental rack in Brackenridge Park. Seventy years later G. Jim Hasslocher’s vision of great food at low prices has grown into Frontier Enterprises. Frontier is the company responsible for Jim’s, The Magic Time Machine, La Fonda Alamo Heights, and Frontier Burger – all of which are awesome. I have fond memories of going to Jim’s for breakfast on the way to school. I usually ended up eating way too much and wishing for a nap sometime during first period, but it was totally worth it.
While this list is filled with great food and impeccable hospitality, it is certainly not comprehensive. There are many more fantastic places in this great city where you can fill your belly and have a great experience too. I’m not sure about you, but I am definitely looking forward to another fifty plus years of restaurants in San Antonio. If you have a favorite historic spot you enjoy, I would love to hear about it. Drop me an email at the link below!