Monday, May 26, 2008

San Antonio & Austin TXTXTX

we spent Memorial Day weekend in San Antonio and Austin and the trip was great! much better than my last trip to Texas, during which I was called the n-word by some red-faced fat guys in cowboy hats in a pickup truck outside Billy Bob's Texas in Fort Worth.

the food of the weekend did not start off auspiciously, with a microwaved cheeseburger in a bag given to me on the Continental Airways flight to San Antonio. I declined and asked for the vegetarian option, so I was given a box with 8 white-brown iceberg lettuce leaves (actually mostly spines) and some "pepper cream" dressing (which I promptly threw away). more on this at the end--it gets worse.

we spent Saturday in San Antonio--doing the Alamo and whatnot. for lunch we went to La Fonda on Main, a local Mexican place that Matt and Deepali enjoy. Jenna and I split an avocado poblano soup that was much better than I thought it would be--it wasn't overly peppery, nor was it just heated-up guacamole, but had its own distinct flavor.

when our food arrived, nobody could open the tortilla container. finally the waiter came over and began to pound it on the table. he couldn't crack it, either. after nine different people had tried to open it he finally brought us a new one.

for my meal I got chicken mole enchiladas, which made me think of Priya, a noted molephile. they were recommended to me by Matt, who also got his own plate of them. he said he likes them because the mole sauce is not sweet like it is at a lot of other places. I found the mole sauce to be sweetish, actually--Matt speculated that the style in SA is to verge on the sweet side, and said that some of 'em taste like they're made with chocolate syrup. yuck! but this was very very good, pleasantly bitter-and-sweet. I also got a couple of Negro Modelo micheladas which definitely cooled me off in the unexpected heat. (all weekend the Texans were making fun of Rob and I, the New Yorkers who refused to wear shorts and instead wore long pants around all the time in the oppressive heat).

unfortunately, Matt and Deepali's adorable new daughter Lilly did not like her first taste of mole:

we had planned to get Texas barbecue at a place called Rudy's that night, but were so slow getting started we didn't have enough time to do that and still make our "haunted San Antonio" ghost tour at 9pm. Jenna and Rob had been keen to try Sonic--they sit around all night watching those Sonic ads (obviously made by a champion food stylist) which make the food look absolutely delicious (who knows why they play them nonstop in NYC when there's no Sonics anywhere near here), and they really wanted to try it out...Matt was completely bemused by this, but said okay, and we did Sonic for dinner.

well, they fucked up our order three times in five minutes, leaving some stuff out, giving us the wrong sandwiches and extra root beers and all kinds of stuff. the cheesecake bites Jenna and Rob had been craving were not available (limited edition). the fried macaroni and cheese balls were so incredibly greasy I could barely eat one, and it was definitely the cheapest most orangey cheese "Texas Toast" bacon cheeseburger was all right, as fast food goes, I guess. the Sonic fries were awful, just awful. and the Blackberry Iced Tea was totally just from-a-mix iced tea with a squirt of blackberry syrup but I guess it was okay. all in all a crappy meal, one which made us all sick all night (and Matt into the next day), but which forever cured Jenna and Rob of their Sonic fixation.

the ghost tour was fun and haunty, and we woke up early (well, noonish) to spend Sunday in Austin. we wanted barbecue for a late lunch/early dinner, and we scoped out this place called Iron Works which sounded great (on the internet). arriving, however, we found that it was inexplicably closed on Sundays! so we hastily went up the street to Stubb's, our backup plan.

with some clever strategizing, Jenna & Rob & I were able to order one of every meat on the menu, and one of every side we cared about. kind of dim 'n' dark in there, but I did get pictures. we had smoked turkey (phenomenal), pork ribs (incredibly fatty, too much so for Jenna; I liked them, but not as much as Daisy Mae's in NYC), pork loin, beef brisket, sausage, chicken (quite good)...fried okra, spinach with spicy serrano cheese, mashed potatoes, yams, beans, collard greens, cornbread...also sweet tea (too sweet for Mike, who had to pour out half of his and ask for some unsweetened tea added in). also, the onion rings were wonderful--huge and breaded perfectly, sweet inside... Stubb's was good, but I've had just as good BBQ here in NYC and in Vermont (at Curtis'!).

we spent the rest of the day in Austin, seeing the bat swarms emerge from the Congress Street bridge and some great country/rockabilly at the Continental Club before heading back to SA.

the next morning we went out to breakfast at Cafe Blanco. I got a plate of chilaquiles with barbacoa and guacamole. it was very cheap and really delicious. the barbacoa was very meaty with no other flavors, but I think that's how it's supposed to be--with chile verde sauce added on, it was perfect. and the tortillas there were just fantastic--a little thicker than the normal flour tortillas I'm used to, and totally fresh.

finally I got on my flight home, where Continental Airlines served up one of the greatest insults of all time: a microwaved pizza in a bag. the crust was literally soaked through and slimy, and to make matters worse, it was a Steak and Cheese Pizza with RANCH instead of tomato sauce. I only saw ONE GUY eating it--everyone else around me refused it or threw theirs away. horrible. I actually called in a complaint about it when I got home. why can't they just give us a hunk of bread and some carrot sticks or something? cheaper AND much better.

1 comment:

Priya said...

sounds like you guys had a really fun trip. one of every meat AND one of every side you "cared about"! wish i could have partaken in that feeding frenzy!

also, we are totally on the same wavelength because in addition to being a noted molephile, i'm also a fervent chilaquilophile... sometimes you can even get CHILAQUILES WITH MOLE!

oh and also, that is a seriously cute baby!