Zinc – upscale lounge

6 03 2008

My wife and I are not into the club scene at all. We do enjoy an occasional drink, but don’t enjoy the places that normally serve them as they cater to decadent youth focused on competitive imbibing. Not so with Zinc, located in the heart of downtown San Antonio within a short walk of the Riverwalk or the Alamo. This place has a more elegant and upscale feel than many other places do. The clientele seems different, too. At least when I’ve visited, the patrons are more subdued, enjoying the company of a small group of friends. Although the tv’s are usually showing a game, the volume is normally muted so as not to compete with the music or conversation. This is not the type of place you will need to raise your voice at to be heard.

The menu is lengthy with a good selection of wines, spirits, and specialty mixed drinks. Although I’ve never had their food, they also offer panini’s, pizza’s, and a couple of desserts as well. There is ample seating in the main bar area, as well as the adjoining lounge. On nice evenings, the outdoor courtyard is an excellent place to relax.

If you want to get away from the ordinary and step into a relaxing, adult environment, make sure to visit Zinc.

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Boudro’s on the Riverwalk

6 03 2008

I wish I had gotten the jump on San Antonio’s Express News review of Boudro’s, but sometimes life gets too busy and things go by the wayside. However, I have pictures! Here’s my two cents on a recent visit.

Boudro’s prime ribWhereas the writer of that article did not mind being shoehorned into her table, that is the first thing I noticed when my wife and I met my parents and my aunt and uncle at Boudro’s this past weekend. I expected this upscale restaurant to be crowded (this is on San Antonio’s Riverwalk, after all), but I’ve never seen a more worthy attempt at cramming tables and chairs into such tight spots. The small table couldn’t hold all of our dishes at once, the guacamole cart just would not fit between my uncle’s chair and our neighbor, and I think I actually rubbed hair with the person sitting behind me several times. Yes, it was also loud, but you sit so close to your tablemates that it doesn’t really matter.

My first impression was not good, and neither was my second. Read the rest of this entry »





Cappyccino’s: casual, upscale, fun bar & bistro

6 03 2008

Cappy’s restaurant was opened in 1977 by Cappy and Suzy Lawton as one of the first establishments intended to revitalize the Alamo Heights area of San Antonio. Alamo Heights is an older, more affluent neighborhood that is a beautiful place to live and work. In 1996, the Lawton’s opened Cappyccino’s (“Little Cappy’s”) as an adjunct and complement to the popular and successful first restaurant. Its just across the patio from Cappy’s and offers quick and light fare. It is probably one of just a handful of full bars in San Antonio that is completely smoke-free and is a great informal place to meet for lunch, as is evidenced by the mix of casually attired as well as business-suited clientele.

The restaurant bills itself as a bistro, and its menu of burgers, salads, pizzas, and sandwiches fits the bill. Read the rest of this entry »





San Antonio Menu site

16 02 2008

There’s a new feature on this site: San Antonio Restaurant Menus. Use this guide to San Antonio’s best (or worst) restaurants and their menus by clicking on the link here, or choosing the San Antonio Menu page/tab above. I’ve organized it by Cuisine Category to make things as easy as possible to find. If you don’t find what you are looking for, leave a comment and I will add the menu if it is available.

Like any major city, San Antonio’s restaurants serve a diverse range of cuisines:

  • Alamo City Classics (the mainstays and staples everyone knows about)
  • American & Regional
  • Barbeque (BBQ)
  • Breakfast
  • Burgers
  • Continental & European
  • Cajun & Creole
  • Chinese
  • Coffee & Tea Houses
  • French
  • German
  • Home Cooking
  • Ice Cream
  • Indian
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Latin
  • Mexican
  • Middle Eastern
  • Pizza
  • Pub Grub
  • Steak
  • Seafood
  • Tapas
  • TexMex
  • Thai
  • Vietnamese
  • Many Value Restaurants

You name it, its here. Thanks for looking.





Coming soon…

9 02 2008

Its interesting how viewership trails off without constant upkeep.  I’ve taken a very short hiatus to catch up on a few things, so expect some postings soon. thanks





Picture menus: sin or savvy?

1 02 2008

Many restauranteurs would probably argue that pictures on a menu are just an outright abomination to the profession (Gordon Ramsey, for one). You don’t see any upscale restaurants with pictures on their menu, just a detailed description of the dish. To be sure, pictures on menus are reminiscent of fast food joints.

I’ll take the combo #2, super-sized.” No description needed, the picture says it all.

mmphogclakm zpechtorflam” is the reply from the speaker (that means “pull up” in drive-thru speak).

Is it a sin to have pictures on a menu? Any one of us can probably recall off the top of our head at least five restaurants we’ve been to with pictures on the menu (let’s see: Chili’s, Denny’s, Red Robin…hmm, all franchises – interesting). Do these restaurants know something that other restauranteurs don’t? I would venture to say that restaurants actually sell more of the pictured items, but I haven’t seen any data on this. Let me tell you what I think. Read the rest of this entry »





Will Starbucks get its soul back?

31 01 2008

starbucksA couple of days ago an article came through on the AP wire regarding a memo issued by Starbucks Chariman Howard Schultz. This memo, delivered to Starbucks top executives about a year ago bemoaned the “watering down of the Starbucks experience. He complained that the company’s unbridled growth had sapped the soul out of the company. In this memo he pointed to the fact that many people find the stores “sterile” and “cookie cutter.”

How often do you see or hear about someone in a position such as Schulz’s being so candid about the company they run? Admitting there is a problem is the first step towards recovery, and Schultz hit the problem right on the head. As Starbucks saturates the market, the funky and cozy coffee houses (remember when they were called that?) have gone by the wayside. People are driven by convenience and efficiency, and its so much easier to pull up to the Starbucks drive-thru to pick up the morning java than to stop at a favorite coffee house and drink inside out of a ceramic cup. The original intent and philosophy behind the coffee house has waned, and in some areas, disappeared. In fact, after Starbucks switched to the fully automated machines, the pungent coffee aroma that used to permeate the air almost completely disappeared as well. Likewise, the craft of “pulling” a great cup of coffee or espresso is non-existent.

Here in San Antonio, I can only think of one coffee house that has retained this eclectic charm and that also serves good coffee. I only know about it because I stumbled upon it. On the other hand, Starbucks has become so ubiquitous through their marketing that even cartoons mimic and parody their logo.

However, hope may be in sight. Schultz is taking steps to bring the soul back to the stores. Different ideas have been tossed around to accomplish this, (like firing the CEO) but their success remains to be seen. I will be waiting in anticipation as I sip an espresso made from my Jura Capresso at home.