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.

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images ©2018 Carole Terwilliger Meyers 

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.

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

images ©2018 Carole Terwilliger Meyers 

September 12, 2018

Sights to See: The Briscoe Western Art Museum, San Antonio, Texas


The Briscoe Western Art Museum  210 W. Market St., (210) 299-4499.  Tu 10am-9pm, W-Sun 10am-5pm; free on Tu 4pm-9pm.  $10, 65+ $8, under 13 free.

exterior of The Briscoe Western Art Museum in San Antonio, Texas
exterior of The Briscoe Western Art Museum in San Antonio, Texas


Located on the river, this stellar collection of western art is housed in the town’s beautifully restored 1930s art deco/neo classical library building.  Original coffered ceilings and a heavy stair railing is noteworthy.  Displays celebrate the vaquero, American Indian, and cowboy through painting, sculpture, and photography, and include everything from an Andy Warhol big horn sheep to Roy Rogers’ saddle.  Special programs are often scheduled.  The gift shop has a well-curated selection of related gifts.

Andy Warhol's big horn sheep at The Briscoe Western Art Museum in San Antonio, Texas
Andy Warhol's big horn sheep at The Briscoe Western Art Museum in San Antonio, Texas



"Sundance and the Wild Bunch" by Greg Kelsey at The Briscoe Western Art Museum in San Antonio, Texas
"Sundance and the Wild Bunch" by Greg Kelsey at The Briscoe Western Art Museum in San Antonio, Texas



Alamo diorama at The Briscoe Western Art Museum in San Antonio, Texas
Alamo diorama at The Briscoe Western Art Museum in San Antonio, Texas



Roy Rogers' saddle and bridle at The Briscoe Western Art Museum in San Antonio, Texas
Roy Rogers' saddle and bridle at The Briscoe Western Art Museum 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 

September 6, 2018

Sights to See: Japanese Tea Garden, San Antonio, Texas


Japanese Tea Garden  3853 N. St. Mary's St., in Brackenridge Park, (210) 212-4814.  Free.  Though the arch leading into this restive garden reads “Chinese Tea Garden”--it was renamed thusly during World War II, when anti-Japanese sentiment was high, and then the sign was never changed back--it is indeed the Japanese Tea Garden.  It opened in 1901, and the lovely stonework hails from the town’s old rock quarry that dates back even earlier to 1899.  Features include a large pond that is home to colorful Koi and aquatic plants, a 60-foot waterfall, and a variety of plants.  Near the entrance, the Jingu House cafe offers simple refreshments.

entrance to Japanese Tea Garden in San Antonio, Texas
entrance to Japanese Tea Garden in San Antonio, Texas


overview of Japanese Tea Garden in San Antonio, Texas
overview of Japanese Tea Garden in San Antonio, Texas


path in Japanese Tea Garden in San Antonio, Texas
path in Japanese Tea Garden in San Antonio, Texas


koi pond in Japanese Tea Garden in San Antonio, Texas
koi pond in Japanese Tea Garden in San Antonio, Texas


overview of Japanese Tea Garden in San Antonio, Texas
overview of Japanese Tea Garden in San Antonio, Texas


photo op with stonework at Japanese Tea Garden in San Antonio, Texas
photo op with stonework at Japanese Tea Garden 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 

September 4, 2018

Sights to See: Mission Trail, San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, San Antonio, Texas


San Antonio Missions National Historical Park  Daily 9am-5pm.  Free; donations accepted.

road map of San Antonio Missions National Historical Park in San Antonio, Texas
road map of San Antonio Missions National Historical Park in San Antonio, Texas


Though only four missions are included on the official Mission Trail, it technically begins at the Alamo and winds southward along a 12-mile stretch of the San Antonio River.  You can follow the trail by driving, biking, or walking, or you can take the city bus.  Each mission is located about 2.5 miles from the next.  It is easy to drive the route (allow about 2 to 4 hours to see all four missions), and free parking is available at each mission site.  The four missions that make up this National Historic Park were established in the 1700s by the Franciscan Order of the Catholic Church.  Each is still active and holds services.  They have diverse architectural styles and feature art from the Spanish colonial period.  They also vary in accessibility and facilities, and though the parks are always open the hours as stated, the museums and visitor facilities are not.  Along with the Alamo, which is technically the first of these missions, they recently became a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
It is interesting to know that there are more Spanish missions in Florida, New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, and California.


Mission San Antonio de Valero (The Alamo)  1718.  See “The Alamo.”

The Alamo in San Antonio Missions National Historical Park in San Antonio, Texas
The Alamo in San Antonio Missions National Historical Park in San Antonio, Texas


Mission Concepción  807 Mission Road.  This mission was established in 1716 in East Texas, and moved here in 1731.  It is the best preserved of the Texas missions, and the church here is the oldest unrestored stone church in the U.S.

sign for Mission Concepcion in San Antonio Missions National Historical Park in San Antonio, Texas
sign for Mission Concepcion in San Antonio Missions National Historical Park in San Antonio, Texas


exterior of church at Mission Concepcion in San Antonio Missions National Historical Park in San Antonio, Texas
exterior of church at Mission Concepcion in San Antonio Missions National Historical Park in San Antonio, Texas


exterior of church at Mission Concepcion in San Antonio Missions National Historical Park in San Antonio, Texas
exterior of church at Mission Concepcion in San Antonio Missions National Historical Park in San Antonio, Texas


interior of church at Mission Concepcion in San Antonio Missions National Historical Park in San Antonio, Texas
interior of church at Mission Concepcion in San Antonio Missions National Historical Park in San Antonio, Texas


holy water dispenser in church at Mission Concepcion in San Antonio Missions National Historical Park in San Antonio, Texas
holy water dispenser in church at Mission Concepcion in San Antonio Missions National Historical Park in San Antonio, Texas


Mission San José  6701 San Jose Drive.  Established in 1720, this is the "Queen of the Missions" and is the largest mission.  The church was constructed in 1768--look for the section of the wall that still has the original paint.  The visitor center is also located here with information about all the missions and a short orientation film.  The beautifully manicured grounds feature pecan and oak trees as well as colorful flowers.

exterior of church at Mission San Jose in San Antonio Missions National Historical Park in San Antonio, Texas
exterior of church at Mission San Jose in San Antonio Missions National Historical Park in San Antonio, Texas


exterior of church at Mission San Jose in San Antonio Missions National Historical Park in San Antonio, Texas
exterior of church at Mission San Jose in San Antonio Missions National Historical Park in San Antonio, Texas


flying buttress at Mission San Jose in San Antonio Missions National Historical Park in San Antonio, Texas
flying buttress at Mission San Jose in San Antonio Missions National Historical Park in San Antonio, Texas


exterior of church at Mission San Jose in San Antonio Missions National Historical Park in San Antonio, Texas
exterior of church at Mission San Jose in San Antonio Missions National Historical Park in San Antonio, Texas


interior of church at Mission San Jose in San Antonio Missions National Historical Park in San Antonio, Texas
interior of church at Mission San Jose in San Antonio Missions National Historical Park in San Antonio, Texas


Mission San Juan (also known as Mission San Juan Capistrano)  9101 Graf Road.  Established in 1716 in East Texas, this mission was moved here in 1731.

sign for Mission San Juan in San Antonio Missions National Historical Park in San Antonio, Texas
sign for Mission San Juan in San Antonio Missions National Historical Park in San Antonio, Texas


exterior of church at Mission San Juan in San Antonio Missions National Historical Park in San Antonio, Texas
exterior of church at Mission San Juan in San Antonio Missions National Historical Park in San Antonio, Texas


exterior expanse at Mission San Juan in San Antonio Missions National Historical Park in San Antonio, Texas
exterior expanse at Mission San Juan in San Antonio Missions National Historical Park in San Antonio, Texas


Virgin of Guadalupe altar at Mission San Juan in San Antonio Missions National Historical Park in San Antonio, Texas
Virgin of Guadalupe altar at Mission San Juan in San Antonio Missions National Historical Park in San Antonio, Texas


Mission Espada (also known as Mission San Francisco de la Espada)  10040 Espada Road.  Established in 1690 near present-day Augusta, this mission was moved here in 1731.  The Espada Acequia--or Piedras Creek Aqueduct--was built by Franciscan friars that same year to supply irrigation water to nearby land.  It is still in use today.

sign at Mission Espada in San Antonio Missions National Historical Park in San Antonio, Texas
sign at Mission Espada in San Antonio Missions National Historical Park in San Antonio, Texas


entrance to Mission Espada in San Antonio Missions National Historical Park in San Antonio, Texas
entrance to Mission Espada in San Antonio Missions National Historical Park in San Antonio, Texas


expansive grounds at Mission Espada in San Antonio Missions National Historical Park in San Antonio, Texas
expansive grounds at Mission Espada in San Antonio Missions National Historical Park in San Antonio, Texas


exterior of church at Mission Espada in San Antonio Missions National Historical Park in San Antonio, Texas
exterior of church at Mission Espada in San Antonio Missions National Historical Park in San Antonio, Texas


interior of church at Mission Espada in San Antonio Missions National Historical Park in San Antonio, Texas
interior of church at Mission Espada in San Antonio Missions National Historical Park in San Antonio, Texas


trip planner for San Antonio Missions National Historical Park

More things to do in San Antonio.

More UNESCO sites.

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

images ©2018 Carole Terwilliger Meyers