With the NBA Finals getting underway, I felt it was appropriate to provide this public service announcement: San Antonio has got soul food! When I ate my way through the country in 2011, I was pleasantly surprised to find two very legit soul food restaurants in the San Antonio area. The first is:
Mr. and Mrs. G’s Home Cooking
I visited this gem on a Friday, and it was only appropriate that I ordered some fish. It was a typically “meat ‘n’ three” setup, so I went through the line and got some bone-in, whole catfish, black-eyed peas, collard greens, yellow squash and some cornbread. The catfish was on point with all the signs you would expect from something pan-fried: black specks here and there, crispy on the outside and piping-hot on the inside. The black-eyed peas were earthy and creamy, though I couldn’t tell if there any ham hocks or smoked turkey used for seasoning. The squash was happily married with some onion slices and pepper. The cornbread muffin was sweet, but not cakelike, and fit squarely within the soul food tradition. On the table there were a few condiments including pickled okra (surprisingly spicy), pepper vinegar and Louisiana brand hot sauce. I was very impressed with this meal, and this unassuming place on the top ten list of places where I ate that year. For the other memorable spots that I visited check out this list that appeared in USA Today.
Mr. and Mrs. G’s isn’t the easiest place to find, so make sure you use a GPS if you’re a stranger to town. Please note that this restaurant is only open from Monday through Friday.
Mr. and Mrs. G’s Home Cooking
2222 South WW White Road
San Antonio, TX 78222-1919
Another soul food find was:
I think there are several of these restaurants, so I ate at the location on W.W. White Road which is now closed. Alas, this is a trip down memory lane, but I hope you’ll order these dishes at the other locations. I loved this place because it was a fish restaurant on one side of the building and a soul food place on the other . . . with no wall in between. It did initially confuse me, but I figured it out. Since it was still Friday, I stayed with fish, and I’m soooo glad that I did.
I began with a fried drum sandwich. Drum is not a fish that I can get in Denver, so I was eager to try it. I wanted to see if it was similar to the drum that I had at Mel’s Fish Shack in Los Angeles. I was disappointed. A great-tasting, hot fish sandwich with my choice of tartar sauce, ketchup or Louisiana brand hot sauce as a condiment. I also tried the trout fish taco. The taco was fine, but I really dug the tortilla which seemed to be handmade instead of being put together by a machine. I must say that the service was very attentive.
I had limited time in San Antonio, so I didn’t get to make it to other soul food joints in the area. I had heard about Mama Lee’s, but I just didn’t make it. So, don’t think these two places are the be-all-and-end-all of San Antonio soul food. This was just a taste!