Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Dinner at The Esquire

My very favorite dining experience in San Antonio was The Esquire Tavern. I was somewhat unimpressed by the plethora of touristy restaurants that dotted the downtown and Riverwalk area, so I was pleasantly surprised when this one lived up to the hype. The bright neon sign can be found at the Commerce Street entrance.

One level below, you can enter from the Riverwalk.

Touted as the oldest bar in San Antonio on the Riverwalk, this establishment also claims to have the "longest wooden bar top in Texas - over 100 feet of beer-soaked wood, rubbed smooth by the elbows of a zillion tipplers." The Esquire Tavern opened in 1933 to celebrate the end of Prohibition. Sounds like a lot of cool history to me!

The interior is an eclectic mix of the Wild West and the 1930's; as soon as I walked in I was hooked!

If taxidermy offends you, this might not be your place.

If you like velvety patterned wallpaper and interesting light fixtures, then you might feel at home.

Let's get to the good stuff: my dinner! I started off with a delicious Pimms Cup:

followed by a basket of fried pickles:

The heirloom tomato salad was unavailable, so I thoroughly enjoyed a cup of the tortilla soup instead.

Bring on the entree! I devoured the Frito Pie which was a hearty concoction of pork & bean chili, smoked gouda, onion dip, and scallions. The Frito bag under the bowl was genius.

The only misstep for me was the homemade fried apple pie; it was a little bland for my tastes.

Just as I was leaving, my waiter suggested that since I liked to take photos (apparently I wasn't as subtle as I thought), I should check out the "downstairs."

Basically, he pointed me to paradise.

Dark and full of nooks and crannies, this place was crazy incredible.

I will definitely return here on my next visit to San Antonio!

More savory shots of the Esquire Tavern at my main website.

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Fifthrider said...

This is amazing. How do you even find these places?

Dave DeCaro said...

Research...keeping my ears open...and listening to locals.

JG said...

Wow, sorry I missed this one. I ended up in the hotel bar, my only defense was being tired from full days in continuing education.

I did have some wonderful food in the local restaurants, but nothing like this place. This one looks like a reason to go back to SA.

Thank you, Dave. Very informative.