Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Things to Do + Good Eats: Hemisfair+Dough Pizzeria Napoletana, San Antonio, Texas


Hemisfair  434 S. Alamo St., (210) 709-4750.  Free.  Built to host the 1968 World's Fair, this expansive park is a redo. 

Yanaguana Garden  434 S. Alamo St.  Free.  The new Yanaguana Garden section features a playground, a splash pad, a giant chess board, a giant sand box, and an inexpensive paleteria dispensing fresh fruit popsicles. 

giant chess set at Hemisfair in San Antonio, Texas
giant chess set at Hemisfair in San Antonio, Texas


splash pad at Hemisfair in San Antonio, Texas
splash pad at Hemisfair in San Antonio, Texas


giant mosaic cat at Hemisfair in San Antonio, Texas
giant mosaic cat at Hemisfair in San Antonio, Texas


child on swing at Hemisfair in San Antonio, Texas
child on swing at Hemisfair in San Antonio, Texas


children in giant sandbox at Hemisfair in San Antonio, Texas
children in giant sandbox at Hemisfair in San Antonio, Texas


toddlers examine the goods at paleteria in Hemisfair in San Antonio, Texas
toddlers examine the goods at paleteria in Hemisfair in San Antonio, Texas


Dough Pizzeria Napoletana  518 S. Alamo St., (210) 227-2900.  Situated adjacent to the sand box, this popular spot serves exceptional fare in a casual setting.  It’s a great place to retreat to on a hot day.  Most everything is made in house, including cheeses and drink flavorings.  Frozen wine slush cocktails have included a peach Bellini and a prickly pear-lime granita, and it’s hard to beat the superb cherry ice cream soda.  We started with the house signature “truffle burrata” that was as lovely as it was tasty, a simple Tuscan salad, and some warm marinated olives with olive oil-soaked toast.  So good.  Delicious artisan pizzas with crispy blistered crust are prepared here in a tarted-up wood-burning oven covered with copper pennies.  The pizzas are cooked for 90 seconds at 900 degrees.  For our vegetarian feast, we devoured a Neapolitan-style Fontina pizza with mushrooms and sweet caramelized onions as well as a simple Margherita.  Brilliantly, kids are kept busy with their own ball of dough to play with.  I can’t wait to return for more. 

colorful cocktails at Dough Pizzeria Napoletana at Hemisfair in San Antonio, Texas
colorful cocktails at Dough Pizzeria Napoletana at Hemisfair in San Antonio, Texas


child playing with pizza dough at Dough Pizzeria Napoletana at Hemisfair in San Antonio, Texas
child playing with pizza dough at Dough Pizzeria Napoletana at Hemisfair in San Antonio, Texas


truffle burrata salad at Dough Pizzeria Napoletana at Hemisfair in San Antonio, Texas
truffle burrata salad at Dough Pizzeria Napoletana at Hemisfair in San Antonio, Texas


copper penny-covered pizza oven at Dough Pizzeria Napoletana at Hemisfair in San Antonio, Texas
copper penny-covered pizza oven at Dough Pizzeria Napoletana at Hemisfair in San Antonio, Texas


pizzas at Dough Pizzeria Napoletana at Hemisfair in San Antonio, Texas
pizzas at Dough Pizzeria Napoletana at Hemisfair in San Antonio, Texas


Nearby, The Institute of Texan Cultures (801 E César E. Chávez Blvd., (210) 458-2300.  M-Sat 9am-5pm, Sun noon-5pm.  $10, 6-17 $8.) explores the cultural history of Texas.  Exhibits include everything from Texas’ earliest settlers and how Tejanos lived in the 1930s to the importance of the chuck wagon in cowboy lore.  The Institute hosts the Texas Folklife Festival annually in mid-June. This festival celebrates the wide range of the cultural history of Texas, including Mexican, German, Latino, African, and Native American traditions.


More things to do in San Antonio.

More things to do in Texas.

Great ideas for travel adventures in California and the U.S. and around the world.

images ©2018 Carole Terwilliger Meyers 

Friday, September 14, 2018

Sights to See + Good Eats: Market Square + Mi Tierra Cafe y Panaderia, San Antonio, Texas


Market Square  514 W. Commerce, downtown, (210) 207-8600.  Free.  Take in the town’s lively culture in this three-block outdoor plaza near city center.  The largest Mexican market in the U.S., the streets are lined with restaurants, shops, and produce stands.  Mariachi bands and dancers sometimes entertain, and many Hispanic festivals are held here.

Market Square in San Antonio, Texas
Market Square in San Antonio, Texas


A large indoor market--El Mercado--contains shops and stalls that sell a plethora of items from Mexico.  You’ll find everything from hand-embroidered dresses to leather belts.  We bought a souvenir mini-pinata plus three identical children’s brooms for my three little granddaughters.

El Mercado at Market Square in San Antonio, Texas
El Mercado at Market Square in San Antonio, Texas


merchandise at El Mercado at Market Square in San Antonio, Texas
merchandise at El Mercado at Market Square in San Antonio, Texas


Mi Tierra Cafe y Panaderia  218 Produce Row, (210) 225-1262.  Open 24 hours.  No reservations.

Christmas decor at Mi Tierra Cafe y Panaderia at Market Square in San Antonio, Texas
Christmas decor at Mi Tierra Cafe y Panaderia at Market Square in San Antonio, Texas

Begun in the 1940s as a small breakfast cafe for farmers, this cheery place is still run by the same family but has grown into a sprawling restaurant with many dining rooms and a separate bakery.  Diners can choose seating at tables, in booths, or at a counter, and elaborate Christmas decor adds to the festive atmosphere.  Breakfast here is a must.  That’s when you can order chilaquiles, the Machacado Mexican omelette with shredded beef jerky, and menudo to help ease away the excesses of drinking too much the night before.

Christmas decor at Mi Tierra Cafe y Panaderia at Market Square in San Antonio, Texas
Christmas decor at Mi Tierra Cafe y Panaderia at Market Square in San Antonio, Texas

And at lunch and dinner you can choose from a vast array of Tex-Mex specialties--think flautas, enchiladas verdes (my favorite), and housemade tamales.  These rinse down well with Tequila, beer, or a fruit-flavored margarita.  Mariachis will play a song for $5.  A separate panaderia sells an assortment of mouth-watering pan dulces (sweet breads) and cookies, which you can eat in house or take home.  Get a handful of guava campechanas or a bag full of the famous pecan pralines to nibble on.

bakery at Mi Tierra Cafe y Panaderia at Market Square in San Antonio, Texas
bakery at Mi Tierra Cafe y Panaderia at Market Square in San Antonio, Texas


pan dulces at Mi Tierra Cafe y Panaderia at Market Square in San Antonio, Texas
pan dulces at Mi Tierra Cafe y Panaderia at Market Square in San Antonio, Texas

Be sure to take a look at the detailed “American Dream” wall mural painted by resident artist Robert Ytuarte.  Look closely to pick out celebrities Carlos Santana, Cheech Marin, and Eva Longoria.  The Cortez family also operates several other restaurant in town.

"American Dream" mural at Mi Tierra Cafe y Panaderia at Market Square in San Antonio, Texas
"American Dream" mural at Mi Tierra Cafe y Panaderia at Market Square in San Antonio, Texas


Cheech Marin and Carlos Santana in "American Dream" mural at Mi Tierra Cafe y Panaderia at Market Square in San Antonio, Texas
Cheech Marin and Carlos Santana in "American Dream" mural at Mi Tierra Cafe y Panaderia at Market Square in San Antonio, Texas
Mi Tierra Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 



More things to do in San Antonio.

More things to do in Texas.

Great ideas for travel adventures in California and the U.S. and around the world.

images ©2018 Carole Terwilliger Meyers