So many of the restaurants I talk about on here are meccas for foodies. They have sophisticated menus or are known for a dish that puts them outside the norm. The reality is though most people prefer restaurants that go down the middle of the road. Food snobs may scoff at these popular places, but truth is these restaurants are doing something right. There’s no reason to skip these restaurants just because they are not Zagat’s rated or on some “best of” list. Today, I want to talk about one of my favorite popular restaurants.
Alamo Cafe is a local chain with two locations in San Antonio. Both are beasts of a restaurant that pushes a tremendous volume of customers through on a daily basis. The 281 location has always been my favorite because of the indoor “river”. They recently expanded to make even more space to serve their seemingly endless number of patrons. Both restaurants are so well run. Despite a full parking lot, I have seldom had to wait more than five to ten minutes for a seat. The food always comes out on the heels of placing the order, so make sure you order your queso before you order your meal or you’ll get them at the same time. The waitstaff is one of the best in SA. While most are young the management seems to train them well and hold them to high standards. They have personalities, but not to the point they annoy. The best part for me is they keep my tea full. This may not sound like much, but I drink like a sailor on shore leave after an eight month haul. I’ve been known to down double digit glasses of refreshment in a single sitting. No matter how quickly I drain the glass, there is always a full one waiting for me.
Alamo Cafe is a Mexican restaurant, but not one of those authentic Mexican restaurant. It’s Tex Mex maybe…Gringo Mex for sure, but the food is quality regardless. If Alamo Cafe is famous for anything it would be the freshly made tortillas that come out piping hot to your table. They taste authentic and have just the right amount fluff to separate it from the mass produced found at a lot of other restaurants. The other somewhat unique aspect to Alamo Cafe is there “brisket” dishes—tacos and quesadillas. The brisket is shredded and in a barbecue sauce that is sweet and slightly tangy. It’s not going compete with any true barbecue joints, but its solid and sets Alamo Cafe apart from the other Mexican restaurants in town.
Alamo Cafe also serves that San Antonio staple, the puffy taco. Alamo’s entry into the market is better than most. It holds it crisp better than most and the picadillo meat is less greasy. Alamo Cafe also has some of my favorite fajitas. They come out sizzling with a strong tang of lime over the meat. I also enjoy that the fajitas do not skimp on the green peppers and onions.
Next time you are looking for a place to take people visiting San Antonio, keep Alamo Cafe in mind. Everybody loves it. There is something for everybody there. The beauty of a middle of the road place like Alamo Cafe is that it has a wide appeal. Just because something is popular, does not mean there is anything wrong with it.