We traveled with friends to San Antonio for Memorial Day weekend. We didn't plan on going at all, but our friends convinced us to join them. Thus, we had almost no pre-trip chow research time.
For those who don't want to read this entire trip report, here is a summary: Dinner at Rosarios - fantastic food and service; breakfast at Guenther House - good food, poor service; dinner at Biga on the Banks - some good food, some bad food, not so great service; breakfast/lunch at the Madhatter - good food, not so great service, but I didn't think the service was a problem given the genre of restaurant.
The first night we consulted the concierge of our hotel for a dinner recommendation. I explained that we are passionate about food and needed a rec for a really good mid-range restaurant that would be infant-friendly. His suggestion: Chili's or Outback. Clearly we weren't understanding each other... After several minutes of clarification, we headed over to Rosario's.
I really like Rosario's! I thought the margaritas were great. I had the enchiladas mole, and I thought they were really phenomenal. I haven't found a mole dish in Houston that I'm particularly fond of, so this was a real treat. On the downside, though, the staff told us the wait would be fifteen minutes, but it morphed into thirty minutes - not a good thing with an infant. The loud music also wasn't the best thing in the world for the baby, but that was not any fault of the restaurant and they tried to help us out by seating us as far away from the music as possible. Perhaps this is why the wait was longer than we initally thought it would be. I was really happy with Rosario's!
For breakfast the next day we headed over to Guenther House. The outdoor patio is very nice and I thought the food was really good. I had a poached egg over canadian bacon on top of one of their famous biscuits. This was topped with perfectly cooked asparagus and hollandaise sauce. They served a good amount of food, too. The only downside was the service. Anytime we needed something we had a hard time finding anyone, much less our waitperson, to help us. And sometimes we had to ask twice. Nonetheless, I would still recommend this place for breakfast.
The next day, we added ourselves and our baby to our friends' reservations at Biga on the Banks. We were a little concerned that the restaurant wouldn't be infant-friendly, but the person on the phone assured us it would be fine. When we arrived, they seated us in a little alcove that was very nicely decorated. It afforded a bit of privacy while also allowing us to feel as though we were still in the main dining room. I liked it! The service was a little problematic, though. The first problem involved the wine service. We ordered, among other things, a 2002 Alsatian wine off the wine list, but the waiter brought the 2003 vintage. I'm not sure whether it was an innocent mistake or whether they were trying to get rid of the 2003's (not a great year for the region). In any event, I pointed out the problem and the waiter returned with the correct bottle. Everyone except for me ordered from the fixed price menu. I ordered the foie gras, which was really excellent. I haven't had foie gras since La Folie in San Fransico several years ago, so I can't really provide any kind of comparison. I thought it was good, though. For a main course I ordered the lamb, but asked them to hold the mustard since I'm not fond of that flavor. They obliged and served a really excellent piece of meat. There was a lot of it and it was cooked perfectly (rare) and seasoned well. I was very happy. The rest of our party wasn't so lucky, though. Everyone else ordered a fish dish with avocado, crabmeat, and a chipotle sauce. However, they ended up with fish that, though fresh tasting, had no avocado, no crabmeat, and no chipotle sauce. Instead, the fish was mustard flavored! We pointed out the problem, and the waiter tried to solve it by bringing my three companions a sliced avocado. He said he would have brought crabmeat but they were out! I can't remember the other desserts, but I ordered the grand marnier souffle. I love this souffle at Mazen's in Lake Charles (an amazing restaurant that rivals most places I've been in Houston, and at a substantial discount), so Biga's had a lot to live up to. Unfortunately, the souffle really missed the mark. In fact, the consistency really approached that of an omelette. This was a really low moment since the rest of my dinner was very good. At the end of the meal, we pointed out to the waiter once again that the fish dish was entirely different from what was on the menu. He said he had to consult with someone else and ended up taking the fish portion off the check for all the diners who ordered fish. So, in the end, the resolution was fine. I found the food and the service to be mixed, and I doubt I'll ever return.
The next morning we headed to breakfast at the Madhatter. I really liked this place. They had excellent coffee and a great selection of tea. I ordered a cheeseburger with artichokes and a chipotle sauce. It was unique and really good! Everyone else seemed pleased with their food as well. The only problem was that the person who brought out the food kept trying to bring us the wrong dishes. But once they straightened everything out, all the dishes were really good.
In conclusion, see the summary above!