Timbo’s just off Broadway near downtown

22 Aug

I love Timbo’s for a lot of reasons. The food is good and the atmosphere is friendly. It’s a favorite meeting place for me and my friends — and their teenage daughters love it too!!

But it also reminds me of Little Hipp’s, which was a San Antonio institution and a long-time favorite. Timbo’s is the spiritual (and shypoke) successor to Little Hipp’s. I love a place where I can order Hipp puppies still!

Located on Broadway in front of the Pearl Brewery area, Timbo’s serves burgers, fries and tots, and shypoke eggs. Small wooden booths and a jukebox harken back to Little Hipp’s, as do the picnic tables and benches and the Texas memorabilia on the walls.

As much as I love the atmosphere, I love the food more. Of course, we start with shypoke eggs in the traditional version:
timbo shypoke

AND the fancier version, with ham and tomato:

 

 

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YUM!!!!!!

We get the hots on the side, since some of us want just the cheese and chip or the cheese, chip, ham and tomato.  Served hot and crispy, shypoke eggs make a great starter, or can be a meal in themselves, especially when accompanied by an ice-cold cerveza.

The burgers are HUGE.   This is the bacon cheeseburger:

timbo burger

I can usually manage to eat about half of this.  On some occasions, I’ve made an extra effort and downed the whole thing.  The burgers are cooked medium well and are served hot and juicy.  The folks at Timbo’s are really great about adjusting toppings — adding more, serving veggies on the side, etc.

And then there are the Hipp Puppies.  I mean, then there are the tater tots.

timbo tots

Okay, so tater tots are not exactly health food, but I don’t care.  Quinoa never tasted this crunchy and awesome, and it never, ever will.  Ever. Not in a zillion years.  And you get to fill those little paper cups with catsup and dip your Hipp puppies. Happiness.  Just happiness.

Timbo’s menu also features The Jumbo Burger —  a one pounder; the Yellow Submarine, which is 2/3 pound of ground beef stuffed with jalapeno, cheese and onion;  and the Hot  Burger Steak, which is like the Yellow Submarine but served as a plate.  There are kids meals available, plus a small selection of beer and wine.

Timbo’s is open for lunch and dinner Monday through Saturday. It’s located at 1639 Broadway and parking is in the back.  You can get more info here: http://timbosburgers.com/70-2.

 

Timbo's on Urbanspoon
  

Abel’s Diner in Schertz

15 Aug

Abel’s Diner is an unpretentious little place that’s been a favorite of Schertz locals for years.  Located in a renovated convenience store in a little strip mall near the intersection of IH 35 and FM 3009, Abel’s seats only 51 — yes, we counted — and seems hidden, sometimes, by the huge Walmart supercenter and the accompanying traffic. But Abel’s holds its own, often with hungry diners waiting patiently at the door for seating.

I do like Abel’s for breakfast, but I usually visit for a late lunch or early dinner. My sentimental favorite is the hamburger and fries.
abel burger

 

Served open-faced on a long roll with the usual trimmings and hot fresh thick-cut fries, the burger is good and filling.

I am also a fan of the plate meals.  Every day, there are a couple of specials, and these often go quickly.  These can be ordered with or without a dinner salad or cup of soup.

Abel salad

The salad is the usual iceberg type, but it’s served in a cold bowl — nice touch — with either crackers or some of the hot yeast rolls available in the evening. One of the Sunday specials is meatloaf.

ABEL MEAT LOAF

The meatloaf is good, and is served with brown gravy, potatoes, and a choice of veggies from the ones listed on the board daily.  I also like the chicken fried chicken breast.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

abel cfc

The breading is light and crispy, and the chicken breast is juicy and tasty. Perhaps the favorite special, also on the usual menu, is the chicken fried steak.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Abel cfs

The hand-breaded steak is served hot and crispy with a very good cream gravy.  It’s a winner every time.

And for the sandwich lovers, there is a BLT with LOTS of crispy bacon.

Abel BLT

It’s worth another photo.

Abel blt2

Served on lightly toasted bread, and with the Abel’s fresh thick-cut fries, this sandwich is hearty enough to share. Of course, true bacon lovers won’t.

Abel’s is a great place for a quick meal if you want good food and attentive service.  The small kitchen is at the front of the restaurant and you can sit and watch the cooking action.

For more information, go to http://www.abelsdiner.com/.

Abel's Diner on Urbanspoon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dhakshin Indian Cuisine

31 Jul

When I visit Houston, I often stay with relatives in the Hwy 249 area, and during most of my visits, we end up at the lunch buffet at Dhakshin Indian Cuisine. Located in a strip mall adjacent to a Kroger’s, Dhakshin usually delivers a solid buffet — good enough to keep us going back.

This is South Indian cuisine, and the buffet choices are limited. There is a vegetarian area of the buffet, as well as a dessert area,  The tandoori chicken is moist and flavorful, and the chicken biryani is another winner.  The sag paneer has a lot of paneer in it — nice chunks of cheese there amongst the spinach.  I also like the version of chicken tikka masala served here; the sauce is more robust than many of the rather generic versions served in other Indian restaurants. Overall, someone not used to Indian food might find all of the offerings rather spicy (but that’s how I love it!).

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Along with the buffet, each diner is served a dosa — a thin, crisp crepe with a potato-based filling.  This is my favorite part of the buffet, I like the crispness of the crepe in contrast with the creaminess of the vegetable filling.

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The buffet has a choice of soups and appetizers as well.

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I like the kir at Dhakshin. It’s served warm and has nuts added.

The inside of Dhakshin is rather plain, and the service is average. But the food is good and I like spiciness of most of the offerings.

Dhakshin is located at 19752 State Highway 249. For direction and hours, visit the website at http://www.dhakshin.com/Dhakshin_Frames_Regn.htm.

Dhakshin Indian Cuisine on Urbanspoon  

Facon Brazilian Steakhouse

30 Jul

This past Saturday evening, I was part of a party of five that dined at Facon Brazilian Steakhouse, located in Vintage Park next to Strata.

Although the restaurant is fairly new, the management and the well-trained staff do a lot right.  And the restaurant itself is nice enough inside for a date night or special event.

facon table

We arrived about a half hour before our 6:30 reservation time, and we were seated at about 6:20, with the hostess accommodating us as quickly as she could. It wasn’t that the place was packed, because dinner seating began at 6 p.m. Rather, the staggered seating allowed for maximum efficiency in the kitchen, and for a steady pacing of meat and seafood treats to emerge, hot and delicious, for diners to choose from.

There is a salad bar, of course. I heard it is very nice, and plates came back from it looking like this:

facon salad

But most of the evening, my plate looked pretty much like this:

facon plate

I saved my attention and my stomach for the meat that the gauchos were presenting to diners.

We were seated by the kitchen, and while normally I would have not accepted such seating, here it is almost a plus, because most of the gauchos came to our table first. My first choice was a gorgeous rosemary chicken leg — meaty, moist and flavorful.

Then the parade of beef started: flank steak, which was delicious and not dried out, as it all too often is; ribeye, cooked medium rare and oh, so tender; and the filet, which came around a generous number of times while we dined. Beef rib was sliced and served from a table-side cart, and a good chimichurri sauce was available to go with it. The best beef of the night was the picanha, the rump cut favored in Brazil.

Lamb chops were also offered and pronounced delicious by those at the table who tried them. Small grilled octopus were also served. as was grilled salmon and a really well-executed Chilean sea bass, which was firm and flaky and flavorful.

Overall, the offerings from the grill were diverse, all well-prepared, and happily served up by the staff. Our waiter was attentive in keeping glasses filled and sides of mashed potato and fried plantains replenished. He also dutifully requested various cuts of meat that we wanted to try. And try again. And try again. The management visited tables to make sure everyone was happy, as if unlimited meat itself didn’t do the trick.

The meal was topped off with excellent grilled pineapple slices, caramelized and with just enough cinnamon to add a little fire to the sweetness of the fruit. All in all, the food and the service here are top notch.

Desserts and a full bar are available, as are party rooms. There is also a VIP program for frequent diners. More info can be found at the Facon website: http://www.faconhouston.com/.

Facón Brazilian Steakhouse on Urbanspoon

La Fonda — Alamo Heights — It’s Back and It’s Great!!

22 Jul

La Fonda on UrbanspoonI know some folks who actually went into mourning back in April when they heard that La Fonda in Alamo Heights was closing.  But La Fond has risen from the ashes like a phoenix!  The new incarnation is located at 8633 Crownhill, behind the Magic Time Machine. The location has changed, the servers’ outfits have changed, but the menu is much the same and the food is TERRIFIC and familiar.

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The service is nothing short of spectacular.  Our drinks arrived very quickly, along with the chips and the very good salsa.

My friend ordered the combination 1 and I ordered the combination 4. Each came with the excellent guacamole salad.

lf2

A generous serving of really fresh guacamole was presented on a tomato slice nestled on a bed of shredded lettuce. In the center is a small well of thin, flavorful hot sauce. The guacamole salad alone is worth stopping in for!

lf4

The balance of Combination 1 arrived, with a cheese enchilada, rice and beans.  The Combination 4 was completed with a cheese enchilada and a choice of taco, in this case, beef.

lf3

The picadillo on the taco was really good, but the stars of the plates were the cheese enchiladas.  The La Fonda enchilada gravy is in a class by itself — it’s that good!! The plates were accompanied by wonderful corn tortillas; there is a choice of flour tortillas, but those are nothing special. The corn tortillas shine!

And then, of course, there’s the flan.

lf5

The flan is rich and creamy and substantial, and just sweet enough. Overall, the flan is a grand end to a grand meal.

My friend and I visited La Fonda at about 5;30 on Thursday evening.  By the  time we left, the parking lot was PACKED.  And it wil probably stay that way, because the food is that good!

You can find more on La Fonda Alamo Heights at http://www.lafondaalamoheights.com/.

La Fonda on Urbanspoon
 

 

Dreseden Cafe — Handmade sausage & Great German food!

21 Jul

I have always loved German food, and for some reason, good German food is not easy to find in the San Antonio area.  So when I heard about the opening of the Dresden Cafe on Thousand Oaks, I couldn’t wait to go. And I wasn’t disappointed.

dresdenoutside

Located in an unpretentious shopping center, the Dresden is small, but the flavors are big. The banner offers “free samples all day,” and upon entering my friend and I were warmly greeted — and then the samples began!  We sampled each of the five homemade sausages — traditional German brat, garlic, slightly spicy Valencia, a good Hungarian, and a spicy Czech.  All were good.  We didn’t sample all of the salads, although we were offered the chance.  We were ready to make our choices and eat!

dresden food

I chose the Hungarian sausage, and it seriously tasted like the sausages my Hungarian relatives made when I was a child. The roll was also fresh.  The cold French potato salad was good, but the cold rotkraut (red cabbage) and cold sauerkraut were outstanding!  If you think you don’t like sauerkraut, you need to try the fresh offering here.

And to complement your sausage, you can choose from two homemade mustards — beer ‘n’ brat or habanero — or you can choose from the other variety of condiments on offer.

dresden mustards

And be sure to save room for a slice of the dense, rich orange cake. This European-style, flavorful cake is alone worth the trip.

dresden cake

Drinks come in cans and bottes, and to the Dresden’s credit, there is a recycling container for empty containers.

dresden drinks

My meal at the Dresden — a sausage and roll, three sides, a soda and a slice of orange cake — was right about $10. It was a real bargain, and I will definitely be back.

You can see the whole menu and hours of operation at http://www.dresden-cafe.com.
Dresden Café on Urbanspoon
 

 

Mama Margie’s

14 Apr

A friend recommended that I try Mama Margie’s in Schertz. When I asked what was so good about the place, my friend said that she loves the bean and cheese tacos, and always adds bacon.

“The strip of bacon is….substantial,” she added.

Substantial bacon? I’m in.  My car almost drove itself to Mama Margie’s, and I wasn’t disappointed — for more reasons than the bacon.

Mama Margie’s was started by a woman who was a cook for the original Taco Cabana at Hildebrand and San Pedro. While in college, I spent a substantial number of nights at the original TC, eating tacos and watching the late night police chases down San Pedro.  Ah, the memories!

So when I first visited Mama Margie’s, I ordered three items: a bean, cheese and bacon taco; a carne guisada taco; and a guacamole chalupa.

All three were really good, but I have to give special attention to the carne guisada.  Even the most devoted TC fan would have to admit that the chain’s carne guisada isn’t what it used to be. Well, if you;re looking for that rich, tomato-infused sauce, Mama has it, and I am thrilled. The chunks of beef were tender and the serving plentiful, but the sauce was the winner. It’s as divine as it used to be back in the early 80’s.

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The bean, cheese and bacon taco didn’t disappoint.

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Yep, that’s a substantial piece of bacon, all right.  The beans are well-seasoned and the tortilla is big enough to hold a nice serving.

And the chalupas are good.  This photo is from a subsequent visit, when I order a guacamole chalupa and a chicken chalupa.

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The guacamole chalupa has a thin layer of beans to support a very generous portion of fresh guacamole. On the other, the shredded chicken was flavorful and plentiful.

On another visit, I ordered the crispy taco plate.

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The beef picadillo was good, the tacos were well-filled with meat, and the two tacos were accompanied by a LOT of beans and rice. Seriously, two people could have shared the portions on this plate. While it was good, it wasn’t strikingly good as the soft tacos or the chalupas.

Mama Margie’s is open 24 hours and always seems to have a crowd.  Customers order at the counter, and I have to give a special mention to the counter folks at the Schertz location. They are invariably energetic, they work as a team to take orders, and they always seem HAPPY to see you when you walk in!

I also have to give props to the drive-thru crews.  The service there has been efficient — and more.On one occasion, when I was placing an order for tacos for several people, I asked for pico, salsa and chopped onion. The young man went and got three condiment containers of onion, showed them to me, and asked if they were enough. I said yes and thanked him, and he replied, “No, thank YOU for coming to Mama Margie’s! We want you to be happy with your food!”  Whoever is training the crew at the Schertz location is doing a great job.

There are a lot of things to like about Mama Margie’s. The prices are reasonable, and counter service means no tipping.  The food comes out quickly. Several brands of beer are also available, as are frozen margaritas, Jack and coke, and pina coladas.

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The seating area is large.  There are tabled and booths, and the booths have high walls for a bit of privacy.

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There is a pretty good salsa bar.

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There is also a place to refill your tea and water, and you can get chips and salsa for your table — as much as you want — gratis with your purchase.

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Mama Margie’s has three locations besides the one in Schertz.  You can get more info, see the menu, and join the e-club at  http://mamamargies.com/.

 

Mama Margie's on Urbanspoon

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