Thursday, March 18, 2010

Achiote River Cafe & Bar - Restaurant Review

Today's restaurant review comes from deep in the heart of Texas. I'm staying in sunny San Antonio this week on a business trip, and I am enjoying the delicious Tex-Mex, BBQ, and south-of-the-boarder inspired cuisine. For a late lunch I stopped by Achiote River Care & Bar. This fine establishment is located in the downtown area of San Antonio, and literally right on the San Antonio River. Now, obviously I chose to sit on the outdoor patio to enjoy the scenery and soak up the 75ยบ weather. Unfortunately, being the red hair-freckle face Irish girl that I am, I got a minor sunburn and a ba-zillion freckles while dining. But check out the view!

What better beverage on a warm sunny afternoon than a tall glass of iced tea? Luckily for me, Achiote was featuring "novelTEAS", which are fresh fruit infused black and green teas. I sipped on refreshing peach and pomegranate black tea with fresh berries. This is definitely worth recreating at home.
Now before get into the main feature of this review, I've gotta tell you - since I've started writing restaurant reviews, I've become much more adventurous when it comes to ordering, which has turned out to be a mind opening experience... for my taste buds anyway. I would recommend stepping outside of your comfort zone next time you go out to eat too, and you'll be pleasantly surprised.

After placing my order, the server brought over some delicious peppery corn bread. The fresh bread was marbled with red and green peppers and served with butter on the side. For my main selection, there were many interesting items to choose from on the menu, and I think I chose a winner - Tostones Con Yucca Frita Y Salsa Criolla. This inventive concoction consisted of fried green plantains, crisp yucca, sweet onions & peppers, and shrimp with a garlic cilantro sauce. Having never had plantains before (at least not that I know of anyway) I was delighted with how they turned out in this dish. They were crispy and starchy which gave this dish just the right amount of heft that it needed. The shrimp was by all accounts, perfect - palatable, pink and plump. The garlic cilantro sauce could have easily over-powered this dish, but the chef was careful in its preparation so that it complimented to main ingredients rather than smothered them. Bravo, Achiote, bravo.

So if you're ever visiting San Antonio, Texas, I would highly recommend paying a visit to Achiote River Cafe & Bar. It is conveniently located less than a mile from the historical Alamo, and even closer to the River Center Mall, and River Walk. This restaurant is also connected to the Grand Hyatt San Antonio (a fine place to stay as well).

"Remember the ALAMO!!!"
Achiote River Cafe on Urbanspoon

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