Tag Archive | "La Hacienda de los Barrios"

Matters of the Heart and the SA Dining Scene

Viola Barrios

You gotta get Got Heart. That’s the message coming from Diana Barrios Treviño, who is offering a sweet deal to tempt people.

“It’s July and time to celebrate my mom, Viola, during her birth month!” Diana Barrios Treviño says. “Stop in at Los Barrios or La Hacienda de Los Barrios and enjoy a slice of Pastel con Flan and get a limited edition Got Heart T-shirt for $14.99!”

All of the proceeds go directly to Viola’s Huge Heart Foundation.

“It’s tax deductible, delicious and incredibly stylish!” she says.

Los Barrios is at 4223 Blanco Road. La Hacienda de los Barrios is at 18747 Redland Road.

Whataburger CEO Preston Atkinson presents JoNeen Serna of MDA San Antonio with a check.

Big heart for the MDA

Whataburger apparently has a big heart when it comes to the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

The San Antonio-based burger chain recently presented the local MDA chapter with a check for $100,000, which the staff of the various restaurants raised in a day.

Whataburger also threw a party for 10 local children who are headed off to MDA summer camp as well as their families.

Whataburger is also showing some concern for the heart by introducing a new menu of items under 550 calories. They include:

  • Whataburger Jr. with Bacon & Cheese, 400 calories
  • Double Meat Whataburger Jr. with Cheese, 470 calories
  • New Grilled Chicken Melt, 460 calories
  • Grilled Chicken Sandwich, 510 calories
  • Chicken Fajita Taco, 420 calories
  • Whatacatch Sandwich, 450 calories

Whataburger breakfast choices under 550 calories include:

  • Cinnamon Roll, 390 calories
  • Bacon & Egg Taquito, 380 calories
  • Bacon or Sausage Biscuit, 350 to 540 calories
  • Egg & Cheese Biscuit, 450 calories
  • Biscuit & Jelly, 340 calories
  • Egg Sandwich, 310 calories

The baked goods at Little Aussie Bakery are all gluten-free.

Gluten-free goodness

A growing number of restaurants in San Antonio are offering gluten-free offerings to meet the growing number of people living with celiac disease.

And Little Aussie Bakery, 3610 Avenue B, is helping a few of them.

The bakery is now making the following gluten-free items for local restaurants:

  • Whole flax buns for the various Babes Burgers
  • Focaccia for All Aboard Deli, 5255 McCullough Ave.
  • Buns for the Cove, 606 W. Cypress
  • Pizza crust for Gallo Pizzeria, 164 Castroville Road
  • Buns for various Rome’s Pizza places

Little Aussie has its own great gluten-free products, dishes and a dazzling array of baked goods, including mouthwatering cakes, that are worth checking out, too. Call (210) 826-7787.

Perry’s Steakhouse

4 for $4 at Perry’s

Perry’s Steakhouse in the Shops at La Cantera, 15900 La Cantera Parkway, has a thing for the number 4.

During the month of July, if you visit Perry’s on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday (except July 4), $4 gets you  your choice of an 8-ounce version of the famous pork chop; the house-made Polish sausage appetizer; the Candy Bar dessert, reminiscent of a Reese’s Cup; and the Perry-tini, a take on a lemon drop martini. Or you could have all four for $16.

On a visit this week, plenty of $4 pork chops were being served to the folks in the bar, which is where those of us without reservations sat and enjoyed the live piano as well as the various treats we tried.

For reservations, call (210) 558-6161.

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Viola’s Ventanas Eyes an October Opening

Diana Barrios-Treviño

The Barrios family is planning a new restaurant, Viola’s Ventanas, which they hope to open in October. It will be located on Westover Hills Boulevard near SeaWorld and State Highway 151.

The family also has Los Barrios, 4223 Blanco Road, and La Hacienda de los Barrios, 18747 Redland Road.

The new restaurant’s name refers to Viola Barrios, the family matriarch who started the first restaurant.

Her daughter, Diana Barrios-Treviño, said the menu at Viola’s Ventanas (Spanish for windows) will be similar to the other two restaurants, which means plenty of Mexican comfort food favorites.

The site is currently being cleared, with a groundbreaking sometime in the near future, she said.

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Ask a Foodie: Where Would You Go for Tex-Mex?

The chips and salsa at Rosario's.

Q. We have family visiting this weekend. They want to eat Tex-Mex. Can you recommend one such restaurant downtown and one out in the I-10 or 1604 area?

— Rick

A. In a city known for its Mexican and Tex-Mex, you have plenty of options. Here are a few of our favorites, both downtown and on the north side.

Rosario’s, 910 S. Alamo, is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, which is a milestone for any restaurant. But there’s a reason the place is still going strong: Owner Lisa Wong makes sure that the food coming out of her kitchen is as good as it gets. Bonnie Walker and I stopped in on a recent Saturday afternoon for lunch, and by the time we left, there was a line of people waiting for tables.

The salsa is still that smoky, spiky treat with plenty of jalapeño and tomato flavor. A bowl of fideo, filled with beans and noodles, was pure comfort on a cloudy afternoon, while shrimp nachos were loaded with richness from both the cheese and the seafood. The carnitas were perfect as always, with sizzling bites of pork complemented by a cup of beans in a porky broth.

And, of course, Rosario’s is known for its tangy array of margaritas as well as its tequila selection. The salsa music on weekends adds to the lively vibe that flows through the place.

Wong’s other place downtown, Ácenar, 146 E. Houston St., is great if you want to dine on the River Walk. The food is slightly different, with a few more upscale items, including buttermilk fried oysters and duck chalupas, well worth investigating. You can also arrange a barge dinner, if there’s enough time, and enjoy the likes of pasilla-rubbed roasted chicken or grilled adobo pork loin while gliding down the river.

Aldaco's tres leches cake is a treat for anyone with a sweet tooth.

In the I-10 or Loop 1604 area, Aldaco’s at Stone Oak, 20079 Stone Oak Parkway, is always great for a party that never stops. The margaritas flow freely, including a unique one made with avocado, and sipping one on the patio while the sun sets is a great San Antonio pleasure. Plus, Blanca Aldaco makes sure you get food you enjoy, even if you are a gluten-free diet. The weekend brunch, with a great breakfast relleno, is also a good bet.

La Hacienda de los Barrios, 18747 Redland Road, is another place to remember, especially if you have a large party. This is a wonderful place to introduce people to the local favorite, the puffy taco, which Diana Barrios Treviño makes better than most. (She even topped Bobby Flay when he appeared at the restaurant for one of his throwdowns.

Another place not to miss is El Mirasol Alta Cocina, 13489 Blanco Road. Owner Jesse Calvillo and his staff treat you right, whether you’re just dropping by for a margarita and a plate of queso flameado or you want enchiladas with a choice of sauces.

Readers, what other places would you recommend for guests visiting from out of town who had a hankering for San Antonio’s authentic brand of Tex-Mex?  Post your suggestions below.

If you have a food question, email or

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Burgers, Barbecue, Beers and More at JW Marriott

Strolling the grounds of the JW Marriott

Diana Barrios Trevino serves tortilla-wrapped sliders.

Culinaria, the event formerly known as the New World Wine & Food Festival, showed off the manicured lawns of the new JW Marriott Thursday night with a relaxed Burgers,  BBQ, Beer and Texas Spirits.

Hundreds of locals as well as those attending the Valero Texas Open strolled the lush green lawn from booth to booth sampling sliders made of everything from salmon to pork and, yes, beef. The little treats came on a variety of buns and rolls as well as wrapped in tortillas and were served up by an array of restaurants that included Auden’s Kitchen, La Hacienda de los Barrios and the resort itself while Two Bros. BBQ Market and Texas Pride Barbecue dished up some smoked meats.

Texas spirits included Dripping Springs Rum and Republic Tequila, while beers from Real Ale and Alamo showed what area brewers are capable of.

There were also wines, ranging from the summery Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc and the ever-pleasurable Jordan Chardonnay to Bonterra’s organic Cabernet Sauvignon and Ferrari-Carano’s Cab from Alexander Valley for those who prefer reds.

Guests arrive for Burgers, Barbecue, Beer and Texas Spirits

It was a evening made for the open spaces under the Texas sky, a perfect setting for Texas fare, drinks and music, as Robert Earl Keen ended out the evening. His album title, “A Bigger Piece of Sky,” offered an apt description for the setting.

The festival continues Friday with several events, including the Grand Tasting at the Grotto under the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, 200 E. Market St. Tickets are $60. For more information, visit the Culinaria site or check out the SavorSA calendar of events for the weekend.

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Cinco for Cinco de Mayo, or any Other Day

Carne de Puerco en Chile Cascabel at Rosario's

Looking for a unique way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo? Try these five Mexican specialties found around town:

1. Carne de Puerco en Chile Cascabel at Rosario’s Mexican Cafe y Cantina, 910 S. Alamo St. – What could be more luscious than a taco filled with tender chunks of pork simmered in a spicy sauce made with Mexican cascabel chiles? How about three in an order? The cascabel chile isn’t featured often in San Antonio restaurants, so this is a great way of broadening your experience of the wide world of chiles. Toast the day with Mexican Handshake margarita.

2. Tres leches cake at Aldaco’s Stone Oak, 20079 Stone Oak Parkway – Blanca Aldaco helped introduce San Antonio to this sumptuous, creamy dessert. Her version remains the best in town, and she now offers it in a variety of flavors, several of which are seasonal, such as strawberry and pumpkin. Enjoy the signature Avocado Margarita on the gorgeous patio.

3. Cabrito al horno at La Hacienda de los Barrios, 18747 Redland Road – You don’t find cabrito on too many menus, and few in town serve goat as succulent as this version. Roasted in the oven until it practically falls off the bone, this mild-flavored, delicate meat is served in a tangy tomato sauce. Pass the evening on the spacious patio with a chilled Pacifico Cerveza and a wedge of lime.

Tacos al pastor at Erick's Tacos

4. Tacos al pastor at Erick’s Tacos, 12715 Nacogdoches Road – Mini-tacos heaped high with marinated, shredded pork arrive open faced with plenty of fresh cilantro and chopped. Squeeze fresh lime juice on top. Try an icy Mexican Fresca, which will help tame some of the heat from the fiery habanero salsa.

5. Shrimp enchiladas at Los Roberto’s Taco Shop, 2216 W. Bitters Road – A soft, handmade corn tortilla encloses an abundant helping of shrimp cloaked in a velvety sauce. Halfway through your order, you’ll be thinking about your next visit to this taqueria, which is open 24/7. A tall glass of rice-based horchata, an agua fresca with a touch of cinnamon, is a perfect complement to the meal.

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