Down On Grayson

When I think of this place I think of the I Love Lucy-esque confusion in a conversation about eating there.

“GRAYZE?”

“DOWN ON GRAYSON”

“GRAYZE?”

It went on like this for a while. The presiding question of this post is Is Down On Grayson Good? I submit to you that this is a matter of criteria. Let us not dance around this question. It is simply okay. People like DoG for the atmosphere, the proximity to the Pearl Complex, the newness of the spot. It certainly is not the food, which is hit-or-miss as they still try to figure out what they do best.

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Thiagos

Far be it from me to ape the lady who reviewed Olive Garden.

No. That is not what is happening here, folks. Generally speaking, SA Review wants to steer you toward your local fare. Still, we all find ourselves doing the comfortable thing from time to time.

For me, that is Tiago’s. I do not necessarily love their dishes. I honestly cannot tell you what I ate the last few times I have been there*.

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Las Rancheritas Cafe

Among my unofficial and unscientific methods for identifying new and cool places to eat are the following:

  1. Signs that do not look like they were made up by the owner’s cousin who can draw real good.

I was on a search for a burger on the West side, an adventure akin to Ed Harris’ Man In Black on Westworld. Sure you may sneer, but I know there is a deeper game here.

On my way to a burger place that Google suggested, I saw Las Rancheritas Cafe. It stands out in a sea of hand-painted signs and menus (often painted on the exterior) in that it looks like they ponied up for signage. Way to differentiate, y’all.

Let me note here that I have nothing against hand-painted signs, but in my arbitrary and volitile Lunch Choosin’ state my criteria this day was as described

Let me tell you some things I liked about this place upon entering:

  1. Quality Halloween decor. They buy it from the same places we do (read: the temporary halloween stores) and they thought about it. There was a wolf mask on the hanging deer head. That’s thinking, you guys.
  2. Menus are printed, but they have hand-written edits. That says two things to me: (1) They make updates to those things but (2) aren’t wasting time and money reprinting these things. They are passing the savings on to you, the hungry customer. I like it.
  3. Someone was selling crafts. This place supports the local hustle you guys. I always like a spot that gives back to the community — by providing a martketplace.
  4. Comfy booth seats. Goodness, I cannnot stand an uncomfortable booth. Like, why even if you aren’t, ya know? I know, right.

My mission on this trip was burger but as I said, I was caught by the siren song of a sign. That is a mixed metaphor for you folks keeping score at home. This site has no editor and this is what happens.

Lo, and behold! A burger is on the menu. Two, in fact. Actually three, if you count the 4-burger family special. Let me tell you what — you need to come here for that instead of going to Whataburger.

I said it. Yes. Do your duty and support local burgers that are just as good as the fare at your local orange striped franchise.

I ordered a Big Tex Double Meat Burger with avocado, bacon, onions, mustard, and no mayo. That’s because I have great taste. The burger was solid. As this isn’t a burger place it was pretty okay. But that’s not a bad thing.

My friend had a Torta, as he is not a crazy person.

What is that? CDs for sale. No it is not my personal taste but neither is Mumford and/or Sons and I still went to ACL Fest 2016 Weekend 2. It is about the experience. Please note the wolf mask. Again, quality.

The staff is friendly, speak two languages, and talk to you like you are a person, even if you are awful. That is pretty damned good. I cannot say that for every place I have been to in this town so points for that.

3-out-of-4-snarky-tweets. Because I’m a millennial.

  • Where: 902 S. San Augustine San Antonio, TX 78237
  • When: 7am to 6pm
  • What: I had lunch, y’all. I was hungry

Botika Bummer

Written by Jeana.

Botika was designed by Chef Geronimo Lopez as “a hangout for the people” where the food is meant to be tasty and affordable rather than fine dining fare.

After visiting the restaurant on a date night the week of their grand opening, I left underwhelemed. The atmosphere and decor were fine, and not what I really judge a restauarant by anyhow when deciding whether I’ll return. The Peruvian-Asian fusuion food was what I most looked forward to experiencing.

We tried a few of the appetizers as well as two out of three of the chef rolls under the sushi section of the menu. The steamed buns were the best item we ordered. The buns were perfectly prepared and the braised pork jowl filling was very flavorful.

The most dissapointing items were the chef rolls. We ordered the plaintain roll and the buenazo roll. They were both equally bland. The worst part was the overcooked rice, which left my mouth jammed with dense mush after every bite. These should definitely be revisted by the chef for tweaking.

![Plantain roll topped with spicy ]() Plantain roll topped with spicy “crispies”. Neither spicy nor crispy.

Would I come back?

Not enthusiastically. The prices are reasonable, but not cheap enough to just work as good bar food. And the food doesn’t taste good enough to stand on its own. If they don’t step up the flavor I don’t really see this place lasting. Perhaps it’s a curse on the loaction. #arcaded