Local Flavor Edition in San Antonio, TX
For real, authentic Mexican food (not Tex Mex), Cascabel is one of San Antonio's hidden gems. Instead of stale chips and salsa, you are served a cup of spicy fideo soup before each meal. They have limited seating indoors but a comfortable outdoor patio. Try the carnitas or quesadillas. All entrees come with black beans, rice, homemade corn tortillas and salad. This is a comfortable restaurant with a family-friendly atmosphere, but above all the food is outstanding.
San Antonio doesn't offer an extensive selection of Middle Eastern food, but Jerusalem Grill is a fantastic option. Featuring fresh Persian, Greek and Turkish food, this hidden treasure offers huge platters of food that are fantastic for sharing. This lamb is excellent and you can BYOB -- no reason to pay for overpriced drinks. And when you are through feasting on everything from kabobs to stews, head to the hookah bar next door for an after dinner smoke.
If you are looking for Greek cuisine in San Antonio, Mina & Dimi's is the place to go. Located in a strip mall in not the best area, this restaurant isn't about frills. It's low key, laidback and casual. The food is amazing and the best values are their combination platters. Try the Hercules Platter for two. It offers a variety of meats, potatoes, salads, bread and more. The music and belly dancers make it a festive atmosphere for special occasions or even a date.
San Antonio maybe isn't the first place that comes to mind for Hawaiian food, but The Aloha Grill is certainly worth visiting. This family owned and operated restaurant serves delicious cuisine including traditional Lau Lau (better known as Hawaiian pot roast), pork adobo, chicken katsu and more. Don't leave without trying the mango pie or pineapple cake.
From the outside, this Chinese restaurant is nothing to write home about. Located in a strip mall on the far northwest side of town in Helotes, Mekong Garden offers a casual atmosphere, friendly service and huge portions of delicious food. Their pupu platter is a hearty bargain and a great way to start your meal. Though all their cuisine is terrific, the Mekong Garden egg drop soup is the best in the city. You can't go wrong with any of their entrees but their sesame chicken is outstanding. Don't expect any frills, just fantastic Chinese food with a low price tag.