I just got back from a long weekend in San Antonio where I patronized three restaurants based on reviews from this board. In the spirit of giving back to the community, I am posting short reviews of my experiences.
My companion and I began our excursion to the King William district by taking the trolley from our Riverwalk hotel to the general vicinity, and then walking to the conservation society building at King William and St. Marys. We picked up the walking tour map and brochure from the gate outside the closed conservation society, and proceeded to walk down King William Street, adoring all of the beautiful homes built in the late nineteenth century. The walking tour finishes at the same point that it begins, which is a very short walk to El Mirador.
The reviews of El Mirador I had read on this board did not really prepare me for this restaurant. First, it is described as upscale tex/mex by some posters here, which I didnt really know how to interpret. For the sake of all of you who might be equally confused, allow me to clarify.
El Mirador is not much to look at from the street. If you drove by it, you would not think it was anything different from all the hundreds of thousands of other tex/mex restaurants in this wonderful state. When you get inside, you might notice that it is a cut above the average in terms of atmosphere and décor, but certainly not into the realm of trendy. You would be perfectly comfortable here wearing jeans, though a T-shirt is probably just below average in terms of dressiness. On the other hand, there is no dress code and no one will probably pay any attention to what you are wearing anyway.
The margaritas here are great, and I never even tried the top shelf version that another poster raved so much about. The regular margaritas are made with lime juice rather than a sucrose-laden mix, and that is enough to make them special in my book.
By far the most distinguishing characteristic of El Mirador is the food. I ordered Chile Rellino, which was breaded in crumbled tortilla chips and stuffed with a flavorful mixture of shrimp and cheese, with the whole thing covered in a light ancho chile cream sauce. Every bite of this dish made me say wow all over again.
My companion ordered an enchilada dish named after a woman I think it was Suzys or Lucys or something like that. She seemed equally impressed with her dish.
The prices here are low to moderate, which makes El Mirador an exceptionally good deal given the superb quality of the food. Dinner for two with drinks and gratuity came in at around $60.
The bean soup was on the mild side for my taste, but this was a minor complaint. Overall, El Mirador served me the best Chile Relleno I have had in my entire life, and I would recommend it to anyone who is going to San Antonio and would like some great tex/mex.
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