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 »

Double Dave’s – awesome pepperoni rolls

25 01 2008

I was fairly poor when I was in college. I purchased a food plan to eat at the campus cafeteria, but they were closed on Sundays, leaving me to fend for myself. My most common dinner? Top Ramen, Little Caesar’s breadsticks, and a Coke, for a grand total of about $1.60. Every now and then I would splurge and go to Double Dave’s. There were two things they were well-known for: the huge selection of bottled and canned beer (around 150 selections from around the world), and the pepperoni rolls. My roommate, my girlfriend (now wife), and I would buy the pizza buffet and get outright stuffed with pepperoni rolls. Once full, we’d wrap a few extra in napkins and stuff them in our coat pockets for a late night study snack (and hope that the grease wouldn’t soak through).

There are a few DD’s around Texas now, with three of the restaurants here in San Antonio. When I found out that they opened up locations here, I was pretty excited to go. Although the format was a little different, the rolls were just as satisfying and the reminiscing was pleasant. A while back, the location I go to on NW Military at West Ave. served a number of beer selections on tap and several more in bottle or can form. On a recent visit, all of the taps were gone and the rest of the selections were slim. Never mind, though. I was here for the rolls.

If you go, opt for the buffet to get a more rounded selection. Its a little expensive (about $7.50 for an adult) but the quality of the food overall is certainly better than other pizza buffet restaurants. The pizza dough has a hint of sweetness and is a little more flaky than what you would normally expect in a pizza. Overall, the pizza is good, although not my favorite. The pepperoni rolls, however, are fantastic. The dough used has a different texture than the pizza dough. They look like straight croissants, for lack of a better explanation, and are filled with cheese and pepperoni. Look for the thinner rolls, however, since you will be able to taste the filling a little better than a fat dough roll. The dough has a paper-thin crispy crust and the rest of the roll is soft and slightly chewy. I like to dip mine in pizza sauce and my wife prefers a mix of sauce and ranch dressing. If you are interested strictly in the rolls you can order a 1/2 dozen or a dozen at a cost of about a buck a piece. Five or six fills me up pretty good.

This location (I’m not sure about the others) has several TV’s set up playing sports and there is a game room upstairs. Like I mentioned before, this may not be the place to go for value. But expect the pizza to be good and the pepperoni rolls even better.

Fennel: the Devil seed

3 01 2008

fennel-seeds.jpgCan you imagine the first caveman who yanked a fennel plant from the roadside and decided that the funny little brown seeds would be a great addition to sausage? (When I say “caveman” I probably mean “Italian”)

“What is fennel?” you might ask. I call it the devil seed. I remember the first time I bit into one of these suckers. I was enjoying an all-meat pizza (can’t remember where at) and I was gobbling up the last bits of scrap left on the pizza pan. I recall reaching for a small sausage ball and wondering what that interesting little seed was that was poking out of the side, yet unwittingly categorizing it as merely a part of the spices and seasonings. Thinking back to this gastronomically momentous yet insipid moment, it all seems to go by in slow motion…

Two fingers delicately pinch the sausage bit and makes its way towards my pizza hole [insert dream sequence here]

I can see it now, just like in the movies: the beautiful woman picks up the poisoned drink, known to be tainted only by the protagonist, her lover. He glances her direction and sees that she has unwittingly picked up the martini with the poisoned olive. The entire scene is in slow motion; the edges blur as the protagonist rushes toward her, screaming “Noooo.” But its too late. Read the rest of this entry »

All roads lead to Rome’s Pizza

31 12 2007

Yeah, the title is a little tacky, but I plagiarized it from Rome’s themselves. Rome’s Pizza serves gourmet and traditional Italian/American fare, from pizzas, calzones, and strombolis, to sandwiches, salads, and Mediterranean specialties. I’ve been here a few times for lunch and taken advantage of their daily specials, which normally consist of two slices of pizza, or two servings of stromboli and a drink for under five bucks. I’ve been pleased with both.

Rome’s has been around for a while and developed a reputation for having good food and great lunch specials. The place is normally pretty full around lunch time but there is plenty of seating. The restaurant has three locations in and around San Antonio and a new location in North Austin. In addition, the owners have franchised their restaurant concept in hopes of expanding (it will be interesting to see how they do). Read the rest of this entry »

EZ’s Brick Oven Grille – surprisingly fresh fast food

16 11 2007

I am a fan of simple food made well. I’m easily satisfied with a burger, even, as long as it is made well and it tastes great. That is one of the reasons I like EZ’s Brick Oven Grille. This place serves typically American fast food in a fresh, made to order fashion. The restaurant advertises its fare as “Something for Everyone,” and I would have to agree. There’s a lot to choose from and the menu is divided into easy to follow sections: Signature Dishes, Burgers & Sandwiches, Salads, From the Brick Oven, Shakes & Malts, and a Kids menu. The restaurant is clean and comfortable and definitely family-oriented. The decor is lively and upbeat and the service is friendly and attentive.

The Signature Dishes are not what you would expect from a place that also serves burgers and pizza. However, that is what makes EZ’s special. Not only do they serve things like Rosemary Chicken and Rainbow Trout, these dishes actually taste very good too. Read the rest of this entry »

Orderup – gourmet fast food

10 11 2007

Rarely do I visit a new restaurant (new to me, anyway) and really get excited. After tonight’s dinner, I’m kind of giddy! My family and I went to Orderup at the Colonnade (IH-10 @ Wurzbach) which bills itself as a Pizzeria, Taqueria, and Burgeria. I’ve seen advertisements for this place for a while but did not go until I read an article about gourmet burgers that featured a couple of paragraphs on the restaurant. What attracted me was the promotion of typically fast food made to order from scratch with healthy, fresh, and interesting ingredients. I am so glad we went.

The decor of the place is bright and minimalistic. They offer live music on Thursday through Saturday nights. The solo artist on our night played his version of popular covers and I appreciated that the volume was toned down, somewhat lounge-like, to allow for conversation.

The restaurant serves beer and wine Read the rest of this entry »