November 14, 2018

Good Eats: in The Pearl, San Antonio, Texas


The Pearl  Once the home of the Pearl Brewery, this 22-acre area today is a mixed-use neighborhood with expanses of green grass for romping, a year-round schedule of music, and the largest Farmer’s Market in San Antonio (held on Saturdays and Sundays).  It is located along the North portion of the renowned San Antonio River Walk and is home to the San Antonio branch of the Culinary Institute of America as well as plenty of restaurants and boutiques.  Any day is a good day for a visit, but Sunday is a special pearl of a day for families, which show up in large numbers then to enjoy a meal and some frolicking time in the large water feature splash pad that is particularly popular in summer.

kids frolicking in the water feature in the Pearl in San Antonio, Texas
kids frolicking in the water feature in the Pearl in San Antonio, Texas


exterior of The Culinary Institute of America in the Pearl in San Antonio, Texas
exterior of The Culinary Institute of America in the Pearl in San Antonio, Texas


*Bakery Lorraine  306 Pearl Pkwy. #110, (210) 862-5582.  Daily 7am–8pm.
Romance is part of the story here.  Owners Jeremy and Anne met while working for celebrity chef Thomas Keller at Bouchon Bakery in California’s Napa Valley.  I’ve enjoyed Keller’s pastries in California and NYC, and those here are on par.    I especially liked the raspberry croissant and was enthralled just looking at the fluffy, flower-like caramel peanut tart.  My granddaughter favored the made-from-scratch pop tart.  More extensive breakfast items are available--think barley and farro porridge and quiche Lorraine--and lunch brings on a selection of sandwiches.  Customers line up to order, then select a table inside or out.

interior of Bakery Lorraine in the Pearl in San Antonio, Texas
interior of Bakery Lorraine in the Pearl in San Antonio, Texas


colorful fruit tarts at Bakery Lorraine in the Pearl in San Antonio, Texas
colorful fruit tarts at Bakery Lorraine in the Pearl in San Antonio, Texas


fluffy caramel peanut tarts at Bakery Lorraine in the Pearl in San Antonio, Texas
fluffy caramel peanut tarts at Bakery Lorraine in the Pearl in San Antonio, Texas


child downs a pop tart at Bakery Lorraine in the Pearl in San Antonio, Texas
child downs a pop tart at Bakery Lorraine in the Pearl in San Antonio, Texas


child smushes a muffin into her face at Bakery Lorraine in the Pearl in San Antonio, Texas
child smushes a muffin into her face at Bakery Lorraine in the Pearl in San Antonio, Texas


*Bottling Department Food Hall  312 Pearl Pkwy, in The Pearl.   Sun-Thur 8am-9pm, F-Sat 8am-10pm.  Some of the food booths in this bustling food hall offer the option of sitting at a bar at the booth itself, but mostly diners find an open table in the interior or outside by the grassy central courtyard, where children can play in a water feature and playground.  A vibrating pager lets you know when the order ready.  Foods specialties include burgers, chicken, ramen, donuts, beer, and more.

exterior of Bottling Department Food Hall in the Pearl in San Antonio, Texas
exterior of Bottling Department Food Hall in the Pearl in San Antonio, Texas


interior of Bottling Department Food Hall in the Pearl in San Antonio, Texas
interior of Bottling Department Food Hall in the Pearl in San Antonio, Texas


ramen from Tenko Ramen at Bottling Department Food Hall in the Pearl in San Antonio, Texas
ramen from Tenko Ramen at Bottling Department Food Hall in the Pearl in San Antonio, Texas


*Lick  In The Pearl, (210) 314-8166.  This ice cream shop offers some unusual flavors--think Texas Sheet Cake and Goat Cheese Thyme & Honey.  All ice creams are made with milk from Texas cows.  Limited seating is available inside and outside, but never enough in summer.

counter at Lick in the Pearl in San Antonio, Texas
counter at Lick in the Pearl in San Antonio, Texas


flavors at Lick in the Pearl in San Antonio, Texas
flavors at Lick in the Pearl in San Antonio, Texas


child looks at ice creams at Lick in the Pearl in San Antonio, Texas
child looks at ice creams at Lick in the Pearl in San Antonio, Texas


double-decker ice cream bowl at Lick in the Pearl in San Antonio, Texas
double-decker ice cream bowl at Lick in the Pearl in San Antonio, Texas


twins and older sister eat ice cream at Lick in the Pearl in San Antonio, Texas
twins and older sister eat ice cream at Lick in the Pearl in San Antonio, Texas


*La Gloria  100 E. Grayson St., in the Pearl, (210) 267-9040.  L-D daily.  Dedicated to celebrating the tasty street foods of Mexico, this cheery spot serves up a varied menu.  A good start is the molcajetes--a super-hot bowl of melted Mexican cheeses with salsa mixed in that is prepared dramatically at the table, then diners spoon it into tortillas.  Two of those plus one sope and I was good to go.  Panuchos topped with a sort of salad are also very good.  Tacos are small and come three to an order.  Quesadillas, tostadas, tortas, and ceviches are also available.  Drinks include aguas fresca, beer, and margaritas in many varieties.

twins and older sister eat ice cream at Lick in the Pearl in San Antonio, Texas
twins and older sister eat ice cream at Lick in the Pearl in San Antonio, Texas


child and mother study menu at La Gloria in the Pearl in San Antonio, Texas
child and mother study menu at La Gloria in the Pearl in San Antonio, Texas


sope and margarita at La Gloria in the Pearl in San Antonio, Texas
sope and margarita at La Gloria in the Pearl in San Antonio, Texas






Southerleigh Fine Food and Brewery  COMING

Hotel Emma   COMING


More things to do in San Antonio.

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

images and video ©2018 Carole Terwilliger Meyers 

November 2, 2018

Sights to See: River Walk, San Antonio, Texas


River Walk/Paseo Del Rio  (210) 227-4262.  Free.  Following the San Antonio River, the 15-mile-long River Walk is below street level and offers meandering walkways that connect to hotels, museums, sidewalk cafes, theaters, and more.  You’ll hear mariachis serenading diners and see colorful river taxis carrying guests along the spring-fed river.  Only 5 miles of the walk runs through the heart of the city.  From there, the Mission Reach section extends 8 miles from Lone Star Boulevard to the last of the missions--Mission Espada.  This stretch features aquatic life, 15 miles of recreational trails, picnic and seating areas, pedestrian bridges, pavilions, and access to four Spanish colonial missions.  Another stretch in the Pearl connects to the San Antonio Museum of Art. 

River Walk in San Antonio, Texas
River Walk in San Antonio, Texas


colorful restaurant on River Walk in San Antonio, Texas
colorful restaurant on River Walk in San Antonio, Texas

River cruise  $12, 60+ $9, 1-5 $6.  Flat-bottomed river boats leave regularly from several spots along the busiest part of the river.  This relaxing half-hour narrated cruise is the perfect way to get the lay of the downtown land and to check out waterside restaurants and bars.

popular river cruise in San Antonio, Texas
popular river cruise in San Antonio, Texas



More things to do in San Antonio.

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

images ©2018 Carole Terwilliger Meyers 

October 30, 2018

Sights to See: Main Plaza, San Antonio, Texas


Main Plaza  115 Main Plaza, (210) 225-9800.  Free.  Situated in the city’s center, San Antonio's historic Main Plaza dates back to the early 1700s.  This innovative public space enhances the city's core with mature trees and bubbling fountains.  Known historically as the "Heart of the City," this plaza is home to San Fernando Cathedral, the oldest cathedral sanctuary in the nation.  Additionally, Main Plaza hosts a variety of events that include farmer's markets, food trucks, and art installations.

exterior of San Fernando Cathedral in San Antonio, Texas
exterior of San Fernando Cathedral in San Antonio, Texas


San Antonio/The Saga (Tu, F, Sat, Sun at 9pm, 9:30pm, & 10pm.  Free.) is a beautiful 24-minute video art installation created by renowned French artist Xavier De Richemont.  Using lights and music, it projects on the fa├žade of the cathedral and takes you on a colorful visual journey through the history of San Antonio.  The Saga is Richemont’s first outdoor art installation in the U.S.  Other works by him can be seen in France, Germany, Spain, Morocco, Mexico, and Canada.

San Antonio/The Saga projected on exterior of San Fernando Cathedral in San Antonio, Texas
San Antonio/The Saga projected on exterior of San Fernando Cathedral in San Antonio, Texas


Downtown Tuesday   
●On Tuesday nights, parking is free after 5 p.m. at downtown city garages and meters.

The Briscoe Western Art Museum‘s stellar collection of western art is also free for the viewing on Tuesdays  from 4 p.m. to closing. 

"Walkara--Hawk of the Mountains" by Greg Kelsey at Briscoe Western Art Museum in San Antonio, Texas
"Walkara--Hawk of the Mountains" by Greg Kelsey at Briscoe Western Art Museum in San Antonio, Texas


The Esquire Tavern  155 East Commerce St., (210) 222-2521.  Celebrating the end of Prohibition when it opened in 1933, this watering hole has been popular ever since.  It is located on the River Walk and makes a great place to enjoy a casual meal.  Newly updated, a cabbie who dropped me here quipped that “it went from tomato to tomahto.”  Now, downstairs is for drinking and upstairs is for dining on tasty tavern fare. 

downstairs bar at The Esquire Tavern in San Antonio, Texas
downstairs bar at The Esquire Tavern in San Antonio, Texas


●Arrive at San Antonio's Main Plaza by 9 p.m. for the evening’s first projection of San Antonio/The Saga light show (always free).



More things to do in San Antonio.

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

images ©2018 Carole Terwilliger Meyers 

October 11, 2018

Sights to See: San Antonio Museum of Art, San Antonio, Texas


San Antonio Museum of Art  200 W. Jones Ave., (210) 978-8100.  Tu & F 10am-9pm, W, Thur, Sat, Sun 10am-5pm.  $15, 65+ $12, under 13 free; free Tu 4pm-9pm & Sun 10am-noon.
          San Antonio is a master at reworking old factories and industrial buildings into museums and living spaces.  This slick museum was once the circa 1884 Lone Star Brewery complex.  To efficiently tour its two wings, start on the ground floor of one and work your way up to the top floor, then cross over to the other wing and work your way down.  Be sure to use the trippy glass elevator situated in the center.  The museum is known for its Latin American Art Center and Asian Art wing.  Collection highlights include a painted gourd Crane that was one of Nelson Rockefeller’s favorites, a collection of animal mummies, and a colorful Chihuly blown-glass flower ceiling similar to the gigantic one that is displayed in the lobby of the Bellagio casino hotel in Las Vegas.

painted gourd Crane at San Antonio Museum of Art in San Antonio, Texas
painted gourd Crane at San Antonio Museum of Art in San Antonio, Texas



falcon mummy at San Antonio Museum of Art in San Antonio, Texas
falcon mummy at San Antonio Museum of Art in San Antonio, Texas



Chihuly ceiling at San Antonio Museum of Art in San Antonio, Texas
Chihuly ceiling at San Antonio Museum of Art in San Antonio, Texas


  You can walk to or from here easily from The Pearl via the River Walk pathway.  It take about 10 minutes.  On the way you’ll view more art installations.  On the west side of the river, “The Grotto,” by Carlos Cortes (2009), consists of a cave-like installation with water falls and a hidden grotesque face.  A school of fish also enhances the walk.





hanging school of fish on the River Walk near the San Antonio Museum of Art in San Antonio, Texas
hanging school of fish on the River Walk near the San Antonio Museum of Art in San Antonio, Texas


More things to do in San Antonio.

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

images and video ©2018 Carole Terwilliger Meyers 

October 9, 2018

Sights to See: King William Historic District, San Antonio, Texas


King William Historic District  122 Madison St., (210) 227-8786.  Free.   Located on the south bank of the San Antonio River, the sprawling King William Historic District is filled with 19th-century residences.  Many have been preserved, and some have been transformed into cafes, art galleries, museums, and shops.  It was originally settled by prominent German merchants who brought with them a distinct architectural style, and in the late 1800s this district was the most elegant residential area in the city.  It is now zoned as the state's first historic district and remains a fashionable neighborhood.

The Guenther House  205 E. Guenther St., (210) 227-1061.  Built in 1859 as the home for the founder of Pioneer Flour Mills, this stone house opened in 1988 as a museum and restaurant.  The flour mill is still in business today and operates across the street, which makes it the country’s longest continually family-owned and -operated mill.

Pioneer Flour Mills in King William Historic District of San Antonio, Texas
Pioneer Flour Mills in King William Historic District of San Antonio, Texas


Guenther House Restaurant  Daily 7am-3pm.  The restaurant's main dining room here was added to the house later and is known as the Tea Room.  Another interior room and an expansive outdoor patio are also available.  Locals especially like to come here for the breakfast items, which are served all day.  Favorites include a strawberry waffle and buttermilk biscuits with sausage gravy.  Among the pastries is a very big cinnamon roll.  Sandwiches include a club and a BLT with cheddar that--in true Texas style--is mostly apple-wood smoked bacon.  A taco salad and chicken enchiladas are also on the menu.  Items are made with flour milled at the founder’s original flour mill.

Guenther House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

dining room at Guenther House Restaurant in King William Historic District of San Antonio, Texas
dining room at Guenther House Restaurant in King William Historic District of San Antonio, Texas


lunch entrees at Guenther House Restaurant in King William Historic District of San Antonio, Texas
lunch entrees at Guenther House Restaurant in King William Historic District of San Antonio, Texas


Guether House Museum  Free.  A self-guided tour of this small house is available when the restaurant is open.  The museum is in the house’s original library.  It displays mill memorabilia, including antique baking accessories, cookie cutters, and some Dresden-made and American-made china plates that were given to customers as premiums.

library at Guenther House Museum in King William Historic District of San Antonio, Texas
library at Guenther House Museum in King William Historic District of San Antonio, Texas


San Antonio River Mill Store  (800) 235-8186.  M-Sat 8am-4pm, Sun 8am-3pm.  This shop is well stocked with enticing kitchen items.  Selections include housemade preserves and a variety of mixes for items made in the restaurant, including biscuits, waffles, and cornbread.

baking mix in San Antonio River Mill Store at Guenther House Museum in King William Historic District of San Antonio, Texas
baking mix in San Antonio River Mill Store at Guenther House Museum in King William Historic District of San Antonio, Texas


dessert plate in San Antonio River Mill Store at Guenther House Museum in King William Historic District of San Antonio, Texas
dessert plate in San Antonio River Mill Store at Guenther House Museum in King William Historic District of San Antonio, Texas

Edward Steves Homestead Museum  509 King William St., (210) 227-9160.  Daily 10am-3:30pm.  $10, 65+ $7.50, under 12 free; $5/person for guided tour.  When Edward Steves opened his first lumberyard in San Antonio in 1866, he lived in a modest little house.  About 10 years later he made the big move up to this grand Victorian period home with a French mansard roof.  It cost him $12,500 then, but is worth about  $4,500,000 now.  The family’s lumber business is still going strong, but they no longer are affiliated with this house.  Restored to its original grandeur, it has many furnishings that are original to the house (you can see more in the Witte Museum).  With 13-inch-thick limestone walls and 14-foot-high ceilings, the temperature inside is naturally cool.  The house has no fireplaces but does have a wood-burning stove in every room.  Unusual for the time period is that the house had running water and built-in closets, and one particularly noteworthy architectural feature is a set of oversize pocket doors with ornate glass.  It is interesting to note that back in the day the neighborhood kids visited to skate on the attic’s wood floor (the attic is not accessible to visitors).  Out buildings beside the river include the servants quarters (now the visitor center), a wash house, a small carriage house, and a natatorium (indoor pool) built in 1910 that is now boarded over.

exterior of Edward Steves Homestead Museum in King William Historic District of San Antonio, Texas
exterior of Edward Steves Homestead Museum in King William Historic District of San Antonio, Texas


hedge maze at Edward Steves Homestead Museum in King William Historic District of San Antonio, Texas
hedge maze at Edward Steves Homestead Museum in King William Historic District of San Antonio, Texas


interior stairwell at Edward Steves Homestead Museum in King William Historic District of San Antonio, Texas
interior stairwell at Edward Steves Homestead Museum in King William Historic District of San Antonio, Texas


bedroom at Edward Steves Homestead Museum in King William Historic District of San Antonio, Texas
bedroom at Edward Steves Homestead Museum in King William Historic District of San Antonio, Texas


More things to do in San Antonio.

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

images ©2018 Carole Terwilliger Meyers 

October 5, 2018

Sights to See: Blue Star Arts Complex, San Antonio, Texas


Blue Star Arts Complex  1420 S Alamo St., Southtown, (210) 354-3775.  The epicenter of contemporary art in San Antonio, this informal complex consists of pop-up studios in apartments, traditional art galleries, and cafes.  It is fun just to wander, but a detailed map at the website helps bring things into focus.

Blue Star Arts Complex in San Antonio, Texas
Blue Star Arts Complex in San Antonio, Texas


Blue Star Contemporary  #116, (210) 227-6960.  This non-profit contemporary art institution was established by a group of artists in 1986.

The Brick at Blue Star  #108.  At this cool venue something interesting is always happening.

Choice Goods  #103.  The original t-shirts and art here is made by local “low-brow” artists.

Choice Goods at Blue Star Arts Complex in San Antonio, Texas
Choice Goods at Blue Star Arts Complex in San Antonio, Texas


Cinnabar  #147, (210) 557-6073.  This gallery specializes in contemporary art.  I recently saw the Ana Fernandez “Still Life” show here.  Her "La Gardenia" painting depicts a local restaurant I happened to visit the day before.

"La Gardenia" by Ana Fernandez at Cinnabar at Blue Star Arts Complex in San Antonio, Texas
"La Gardenia" by Ana Fernandez at Cinnabar at Blue Star Arts Complex in San Antonio, Texas


Mockingbird Handprints  #108, (210) 878-5711.  Fine art and crafts by local artists is the specialty in this colorful gallery.

San Angel  #110, (210) 226-6688.  An eclectic collection of colorful art and clothing is the specialty here.

exterior of San Angel at Cinnabar at Blue Star Arts Complex in San Antonio, Texas
exterior of San Angel at Cinnabar at Blue Star Arts Complex in San Antonio, Texas


More things to do in San Antonio.

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

images ©2018 Carole Terwilliger Meyers 

October 3, 2018

Sights to See: McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, Texas


McNay Art Museum  6000 N. New Braunfels, Alamo Heights, (210) 824-5368.  Closed M & Tu.  $10, 65+ $5, under 13 free.

red sculpture in gardens at McNay Art Museum in San Antonio, Texas
red sculpture in gardens at McNay Art Museum in San Antonio, Texas

Founded in 1954, this was the first contemporary art museum in Texas.  Situated within a 24-room repurposed Spanish Colonial Revival-style mansion that sits on 23 landscaped acres featuring expansive lawns with fountains and a Japanese-inspired garden and fishpond, its exterior offerings are almost as interesting as its interior galleries.  The museum focuses on 19th- and 20th-century European and American art and has one of the finest collections of contemporary art and sculpture in the Southwest.  The new Tobin Exhibition Galleries wing displays the Modern collection.  Additionally, the museum’s Tobin Theatre Arts Gallery holds a research library with more than 30,000 volumes, and a theater presents films.

courtyard at McNay Art Museum in San Antonio, Texas
courtyard at McNay Art Museum in San Antonio, Texas


goldfish pond at McNay Art Museum in San Antonio, Texas
goldfish pond at McNay Art Museum in San Antonio, Texas


plastic market bags by Chuck Ramirez at McNay Art Museum in San Antonio, Texas
plastic market bags by Chuck Ramirez at McNay Art Museum in San Antonio, Texas


sculpture gallery in old wing at McNay Art Museum in San Antonio, Texas
sculpture gallery in old wing at McNay Art Museum in San Antonio, Texas


LOVE in shades of gray by Robert Indiana at McNay Art Museum in San Antonio, Texas
LOVE in shades of gray by Robert Indiana at McNay Art Museum in San Antonio, Texas


Jack Skellington sculpture by Tim Burton at McNay Art Museum in San Antonio, Texas
Jack Skellington sculpture by Tim Burton at McNay Art Museum in San Antonio, Texas


old wing library at McNay Art Museum in San Antonio, Texas
old wing library at McNay Art Museum in San Antonio, Texas


More things to do in San Antonio.

See "LOVE" sculpture photo gallery.

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

images ©2018 Carole Terwilliger Meyers