San Antonio, Texas. Home of the Riverwalk, The Alamo, The Alamodome, the Tower of the Americas, and the Deely Power Station. I’ve been visiting San Antonio pretty regularly since the summer of 2008. In general (the dead of Texas summer excepted), it’s one of the more amicable places I visit, and as one of the only places I go for work where I’m actually close enough to the city to play tourist every now and then, it’s one of my favorites.
General Impressions – Having travelled and worked pretty extensively in Texas, but never having visited Austin, San Antonio is, in my slightly less than humble opinion, the only place in Texas that’s worth a shit. It’s still Texas, so it’s still hot as shit in the summer time and humid as shit all the time, but August aside, i do like this place. There’s a fair amount of traffic, and the highway system is confusing as hell so a GPS is a must if you’re heading out to San An-tone. But downtown is beautiful; all of the attractions listed above are within walking distance of each other (well not the plant, but all the actual attractions). The Riverwalk, perhaps the most famous spot in San Antonio (I include the Alamo with the Riverwalk, it’s just up a flight of stairs from the river), is quite pretty. A gentle river flows more or less in a big circle around downtown, with both sides housing countless bars, restaurants and shops. I was slightly disappointed in the lack of local flavor; Hard Rock, Joe’s Crab Shack, Dick’s Last Resort, and several comparable chains have taken residence, but I’ve found a couple nice homegrown Mexican restaurants as well. The Alamo is pretty, but that’s about it. Kinda interesting to read about the battle there, but certainly not a place I’d spend more than an hour or two (unless you are an actual full-blooded Texan, in which case it is your Mecca). The Tower of the Americas, built for the World’s Fair a while back, is impressive, but I’ve never gotten a chance to go up it. The Alamodome is cool, but just a sports venue, nothing special. I did have a chance to take in the Texas 5A state football championship game last year. That was sweet. It’s pretty well-known that high school football in Texas is nothing short of a religion, and that was certainly the case. I’ve been to NCAA football games in Colorado that had less pageantry than said championship game. Anywho, here’s a snapshot of a service call in one of the few places I go for work that’s actually worth going to….
The Plant – The Deely Power Station.
My Home Away From Home – The Comfort Suites Alamo/Riverwalk.
Located right next door to the Hard Rock Cafe on the Riverwalk, the County Line has some of the best barbecue I’ve had in Texas. Say what you want about Texans, but they sure as shit know how to cook a pig. These are the kind of ribs that when I grab a bone, it pulls out of the meat immediately, damn tender and damn tasty stuff. Also, they have garlic mashed potatoes made with those tasty little red-skinned taters, delicious… The place has an outdoor bar that faces the Riverwalk, very nice, and all the bullshit cowboy crap on the walls you’d expect from a touristy restaurant located in the heart of a Texas tourist trap. I could do without that, but with the nice outdoor bar, and ribs like these, I’ll put up with it.