After a bit of respite, please allow me to entertain you with my take on the new EYES OVER TEXAS restaurant atop the Hemisfair Tower in San Antonio. Having spent some of my formative years in SA, I fondly remember Hemisfair ’68 and the wonderful Tower Of The Americas. The Tower was recently reopened under Tilman Fertita’s Landry’s management, after two years of work and at great expense. I present my piece as a takeoff on Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s KUBLA KHAN, OR A VISION IN A DREAM, with apologies to Mr. Coleridge, Mr. Fertita and San Antonio, which I still dearly love. I title it:
In San Antone Fertita did
A rehabbed tower decree:
Where San Antone, the tourist river, ran
Through bridges difficult for man
Down to the Texas sea.
Ninety six acres of once-busy ground
With national pavilions girded round:
And there were walks with lazy streams,
Where blossomed we in youthful dreams;
And here was concrete and steel scenery
Enfolding the once native greenery.
But now! that high thin tower upon which spun
A restaurant run by Jim’s, now so undone!
A savage place, with millions bought,
In hopes to turn a profit lost.
But all that money, all that thunder
Still has left it shabby, dour.
In its first week did I attend
This wonder with three dearest friends.
The ride to top was as before,
Smooth and fast as yesteryore.
But quick set in reality,
They could not find a place for me
Although the place was half empty.
Sit we did for half an hour
Anticipating rave views from the tower.
But to my utmost chagrin,
The place was still with not a spin.
Our waiter, otherwise so competent,
Made some excuse, unlikely ruse, about
Some raindrops dripping in and, “... management was so
Afraid that half the guests would soon be wet.”
When finally seated, came decent bread, four slices, with one small butter;
How now was this to sate four eaters' hunger?
Shellfish Martini was duly served,
Too full of cabbage, taste quite devoid.
The Crab Cake was quite exceptional,
Pear and Saga Blue Cheese Salad Fresh, just south of bountiful.
As for the mains, no real complaint, Filet Mignon soft and tender,
Followed by some tasty Snapper.
Fried Seafood in cornmeal crust,
Not too dry, a Landry must.
Bland Parmesan Cauliflower and overbaked German Potatoes, edible
But not very remarkable.
Passable Margarita Cheescake, gaudily decorated,
Accompanied by sweet Apple Strudel,
Pressed decaf coffee, rather tasty,
Though served in manner not too hasty.
The wine was served a tad bit late,
After a reminder, upon which the waiter did not hesitate.
The bill came in, was over-price,
But that should come as no surprise,
It’s Landry’s, and in my purview,
Guess what, you pay for all that view.
At last, upon the meal’s completion, the restaurant started ‘round.
Up to this point, for forty years, it spun in clockwise turn.
But now since Landry’s came to town, it’s in counter-clockwise curves.
Fertita, though you did your best, it now goes in REVERSE.