Appease your appetite in the Alamo city

January 1, 2008

You will definitely enjoy dining in San Antonio if you enjoy Mexican food. Even if that's not your favorite fare, there are delicious dining spots at every corner that include Italian, French, American and more.

You will definitely enjoy dining in San Antonio if you enjoy Mexican food. Even if that's not your favorite fare, there are delicious dining spots at every corner that include Italian, French, American and more.

Many restaurants listed below are found in the area of the River Walk, where many out-of-towners are likely to be found in the evening. But don't let location dictate every meal; check out the great restaurants in the Southtown area (the area just south of downtown) and around Broadway (starting a few blocks south of Hildebrand).

AMERICAN

Clean lines, high ceilings, gleaming wood floors, and lots of harem-like draperies set the scene for chef/owner Bruce Auden's consistently interesting cuisine. The starters, for example, cross a few continents, combining Texas and Asia in spring-style rolls filled with minced venison, buffalo, ostrich and pheasant accompanied by two spicy dipping sauces. The bone-on tenderloin steak with beer-battered onion rings and habanero ketchup raises cuisine to new heights, and the variations on a theme in the Paseo de Chocolate dessert will send you happily into sugar shock, international-style.

Boudro's
421 E. Commerce St./River Walk Downtown
Phone: (210) 224-8484
http://www.boudros.com/
Reservations strongly recommended
Price: $$$

The kitchen here uses fresh local ingredients - Gulf Coast seafood, Texas beef, Hill Country produce - and the preparations and presentations do them justice. The setting is also out of the ordinary, boasting a turn-of-the-century limestone building with hardwood floors and a handmade mesquite bar. You might start with the guacamole, prepared tableside and served with tostadas, or the pan-fried Texas crab cakes. The prime rib, blackened on a pecan-wood grill, is deservedly popular, as is the pork chop with sun-dried cherry and chili marmalade. The food may be innovative, but portions are hearty nevertheless.

Cappy's
5011 Broadway
Behind the Twig Book Store
Broadway/Alamo Heights
Phone: (210) 828-9669
http://www.sawhost.com/cappy/
Reservations recommended
Price: $$$

Cappy's is set in an unusual broken-brick structure dating back to the late 1930s. But there's nothing outdated about this cheerful, light-filled place - high, wood-beam ceilings, hanging plants, colorful work by local artists - or its romantic, tree-shaded outdoor patio. The enticing smell of a wood-burning grill (not mesquite, but the somewhat milder live oak) gives a hint of some of the house specialties: the peppercorn-crusted prime tenderloin or slow-roasted Italian chicken with porcini mushrooms. Cappyccino's is an offshoot of Cappy's down the block with a great by-the-glass wine list and a more casual Southwest menu.

Chris Madrid's Nachos and Burgers
1900 Blanco Road
Monte Vista/Olmos Park
Phone: (210)735-3552
http://www.chrismadrids.com/
Reservations not accepted
Price: $

It's hard to drop much money at this funky gas-station-turned-burger-joint, but you might lose your shirt - over the years, folks have taken to signing their tees and hanging them on the walls. An even more popular tradition is trying to eat the macho burger, as huge as its name and topped with cheese and jalapeños. The casual atmosphere and down-home cooking keep the large outdoor patio filled.