The restaurant scene is changing quickly. When I grew up, it was a family event to go to a restaurant and sit down to talk about our days. I would tell my mother and father about the kids on the playground who cheated us out of the football victory at recess. It was quaint. But as meals change, it is still important to take a moment to sit back and “carpe diem.”
As a certified college student (the promised certificate is in the mail), I eat what I can when I can. I am always on the go, and the way I eat needs to take a break from that mentality. The outdoor eating area introduces a slow-paced solution to a person always on the go. The idea of eating outdoors is not a huge innovation, the places in San Antonio are the innovation.
The Block is across the street from University Oaks, right by those really nice apartments with the $5 coffee place below. The Block is dog-friendly, even cat-friendly if you look hard enough. The variety of food is always on a rotation. The issue is, I can never figure out the rotation. Nevertheless, the food is good.
Here are a couple of foods I would recommend trying.
The first thing I ate at The Block was a fish quesadilla from Mr. Fish Taco truck. It was alright. I decided to give the area another try on a different occasion out with friends. If the Twisted Tradition food truck ever makes it back to The Block rotation, you must try the fig and truffle grilled cheese sandwich; it’s amazing. The garlic aioli sauce that comes with the sandwich is better used for fries, but the flavor is fantastic.
Chela’s is always recommended for tacos. It seemed as if the food truck was cemented into the back corner of The Block bar, but lately it has disappeared.
My recommendation to fill the void in your heart is not to go looking for another taco. Think of Chela’s as the “one that got away.” Instead, I suggest you try the shrimp patty burger at Curb.
I know what you are thinking, and, yes, a shrimp patty was not my first choice on the menu. I heard that little voice in the pit of my stomach that said, “Sam, it’s shrimp. You’re going to like it.” I could try and argue with that little voice, but I don’t need the person behind me fearing for her safety as the gentleman in front of her orally debates his stomach. I ordered the burger. If I ever see another menu with a shrimp patty burger, I really can’t imagine it comparing to the food at Curb. Shrimp patties are going to become a thing, just be on the lookout for the next trendy spot to have them.
Want to explore San Antonio?
Of course there are other outdoor eateries around the city. But the question is, are they really worth the adventure? If you are looking to watch a Spurs game and enjoy an adult beverage with a rowdy crew, check out The Friendly Spot.
The Friendly Spot
The Friendly Spot is full of those odd looking porcelain chairs you might find in a junkyard and matching tables. But the atmosphere is exactly as the name suggests. If you are a Golden State Warriors fan, this may not be the best place to watch the game. However, that does not discount their chili cheese fries and selection of beverages. If you are a Spurs fan, you will fit right in with this rag-tag group of hooligans.
The Friendly Spot does not have much to offer in the direction of food, although it does maintain a small kitchen for limited hours.
That being said, S Alamo St is also home to some of the greatest food eateries in San Antonio. Sit back, cheer for the silver and black, and high-five the guy next to you as Ginobli scores one basket closer to retirement.
The Block and The Friendly Spot share a rowdy atmosphere, which is great for a night out with your friends. But what outdoor venue is the best for serving customers who just want to take a moment to sit back and watch time evolve around them? The poetic answer would be one of Claude Monet’s paintings, but in San Antonio, we have the outdoor bar and eatery Luxury.
This spot is right along the Riverwalk. What is better than outdoor seating poised to watch quiet traffic move along the river? How about doing just that, but the outdoor seating involves a swinging bench and dim lighting to match the sunset? Luxury is not a place to pregame with your best friends before a rager. Instead, Luxury is the place to sit down, take it slow and think about how great it is to be in the land of the living.
If you think this doesn’t sound like your pace, order a burger from them. Stat. The ramshackled food station sits behind a wall of various junkyard grade metal sheets. Not to worry, the food gives diners a chance to sit back and chill. Have you ever had a burger so greasy and tasty, you stopped long enough to really look
at your significant other? What about fried chicken that moves through your body and feeds your soul? Try the food, for I can only use human words of my plebian ancestors. Feel divine with a stomach full of Luxury’s cuisine.
If you weren’t hungry by the end of this article, I have truly failed in conveying my thoughts as a food journalist. Outdoor eating is the solace in a busy world and constantly moving community. Take some time to explore San Antonio and enjoy the company of others.