Helpful ReplyHot!Messin' with Texas

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2012/05/17 19:21:54 (permalink)

Messin' with Texas

Although this is a new trip report, this is actually a physical continuation of this  trip report .
Although the report title is appropriate, I think it would be cool if I was able to replace it with just a tune as the title to this report.
There are many songs that just remind me of Texas and this is one that comes to mind right now.
I landed in San Antonio, considering the two hour flight and that I'm now two hours ahead based on the time difference and then getting my rental it was just after 3pm when I arrived at my lunch stop.

Chris Madrid's
Famous for their bean burgers which have been previously discussed, I wondered if this was going to be another regional  variation of a burger that didn't excite me. 

I thought there would be waitress service when I walked in but there isn't, ordering, is cafeteria style-you order at the counter which is located in separate room from the dining area and you take your own food to the table.
I told the counter lady this was my first time at Chris Madrid's and I never had a bean burger before. She recommended their salsa which is in a separate dispenser at the counter.

When my meal arrived I could only look in amazement. This was truly one helluva superb burger. I ordered the "macho" size of course. For those who don't know what a bean burger is, it's a San Antonio Specialty loaded with cheese that envelops refried beans and tortilla chips hidden underneath. The salsa was the missing link to this gut busting burger. The burger came with fresh cut fries, however I was so enthralled with the burger I forgot to  get a photo.
After lunch, I headed to downtown to check into my hotel which was charging an $18 a day parking fee. Since I wasn't planning on leaving the confines of downtown I decided to park a few blocks away in a parking lot for $8. (I later discovered that evening  just a block away there were 10 hour parking meters in effect til 6pm for 25 cents an hour.
After relaxing for a bit to prepare for my 4 1/2 mile roundtrip walk to my dinner stop, I began my walk through the southtown neighborhood, a revitalized urban area just south of downtown with shops, restaurants and residences. 
Passing through La Villita, a block of historic buildings with touristy shops and restaurants I noticed a big block party was going on. Without realizing it I  arrived in town just in time for fiesta week- basically a huge big block party all over downtown with concession stands, bands and other entertainment. Unfortunately they were charging $10 just to walk through La Villita but was told it would be free to walk about in the morning before the festivities begin.
My first stop was Blue Star Brewing in Southtown. I got the refreshing Belgian Country Ale and the alcohol infused King William Ale.
Finally with another mile or so to walk, I arrived at my dinner stop

Piedras Negras De Noche
Unfortunately the restaurant underwent a damaging fire a few years back and moved into an abandoned pizza hut next door. The original structure with a "closed for renovations" sign is still intact next door.
The restaurant itself was vibrant with both Anglo and Mexican folks.
And you know the place is going to be special when there's goat on the menu

The salsa was really good but I don't remember anything memorable about their tortilla chips.

Now that I'm in Texas I ordered their Fajitas. Although the menu noted that the order is for two, the waitress indicated that they can curtail it for a single diner. I didn't realize I was ordering a beef/chicken combo, but that's what came to my table- I guess I should have specified I was looking for beef only.
 The parade of accoutrements made my way to the table

(home made tortillas)

(pico de gallo)

(lettuce, tomato and guac)

(rice and beans)
can anyone tell the difference between the beans served in Arizona and the Tex Mex style beans?

and this steaming plate of beef and chicken fajita strips.

Voila! The finished product.
The fajitas were fantastic, much better that what I enjoyed in Oklahoma City two years ago.  
Piedras Negras De Noche is certainly a hidden gem far enough away from the tourist trap downtown river walk area.
As I  took the two mile walk back to downtown I took a photo of the Rivewalk beneath me

All of that walking on top of two big meals (and two craft brews) tired me out- I walked back to my hotel for the evening.
much more to come but not til' early next week.
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