There are a lot of Mexican restaurants in San Antonio. And I mean a lot. And we’re talking Tex-Mex here. There are very few authentic or even semi-authentic Mexican restaurants. However, that’s not to say there isn’t a place in our hearts (or stomachs) for good Tex-Mex.
That said, there really aren’t a lot of good Mexican restaurants, though. And when I say “good,” I mean good and good for you.
There are plenty of places to get a wonderfully decadent breakfast taco, but not many places serve them on homemade corn tortillas. Instead, they use thick and gummy flour tortillas which are not my style and which are merely aiding the diabetic panic we are facing.
There are plenty of dives to get a plate of “greasy enchiladas,” if I can quote Lyle Lovett, but not a lot of places to eat enchiladas without the heartburn that arrives once the plate is empty.
There is also a wide supply of Taco Cabanas, as this is the city in which they were born. And lots of Las Palapas, which is just a step above Taco Cabana, or not?
With hundreds of options for Mexican food in San Antonio, there is one restaurant we know of that uses no lard, chooses brown rice over white and focuses on making a healthy alternative to the unhealthy Mexican food that has become ubiquitous. The best part of La Fiesta is the food tastes great. And I do mean great.
La Fiesta Patio Cafe has been in business since 1974. Their slogan is “A Healthier Tex-Mex” and that they are. While it may be “destination dining” for some, it is so worth the trip.
Located in Universal City, approximately two miles off of I-35 at 1421 Pat Booker Road, La Fiesta Patio Cafe is situated near Randolph Air Force Base. We get our “fix” about once a quarter and when we do David is so happy.
We always go for lunch and get the same thing every time. He orders the L-1 (two enchiladas) with chili gravy and I always get the L-7 which has an enchilada and a chalupa. All lunch specials are $5.95 – $7.95 and come with tea and your choice of two sides, but we only order brown Spanish rice and refried beans.
It’s not only satisfying but really, really good. Normally, David eats his food quickly while the food is still hot. But when we are here, David savors every single bite. Wishing. It. Would. Never. Be. Over. And when it is over, he always says, “I’ll take another.” And he doesn’t mean another bite, he means another plate. He wants to do it all over again.
Their commitment to healthy food means that they offer tofu as a protein for tacos and enchiladas. They also have alfalfa sprouts that they plop on top of chalupa compuestas. They feature four different homemade sauces for the enchiladas—chili gravy, vegetarian, verde and rioja.
Not only is the food good, but the prices are more than reasonable. We usually “get outta there” for around $13, which means you can afford to tip well. Very well.
So the next time you are craving the typical greasy Tex-Mex stuff, give La Fiesta Patio Cafe a try and I bet you will feel good afterwards.
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