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Sunday, March 1, 2009

Lunch Report: Hermann Sons Steak House in Hondo, TX

As many of our adventures go, we don't always end up in the specific place we started off toward. I blame today's circuitous route on the fact that I paid $69.95 to upgrade my Garmin, and it still doesn't list any of the restaurants one might find out near Medina Lake, Mico or the surrounding area. So after driving around for a while, we ended up in Hondo and stopped into Hermann Sons Steak House.

My wife has been trying to get me to stop in this place for at least ten years that I am sure of, if not a whole lot longer, and I have always had an excuse about not being properly attired or something of that nature. But today, we were in our Sunday Best (Jeans and a T-Shirt), and I figured why not go ahead and give the place a try. They have been in business since 1946, so surely there has to be some reason they have survived this long.
The parking lot was full and inside, we found a list of people waiting to be seated. We only had to wait maybe five minutes though, and you could tell that this staff was used to being busy.The place is old. It has the look of a place that has served a lot of people and aside from us, I suspect the staff recognized everyone dining there. The large open area is basically just a big square room decorated with usual countrified accoutrement typical of many of the places we like. According to the history of the place, the building is actually an old barracks that was moved from Hondo Air Base. No wonder I felt the need to drop and give 'em twenty. Of course, I refrained from doing so.Before I go any further, I will tell you that we will have to return again if only to try the steak. The menu offers a huge selection of beef steaks but we were both feeling like eating something a little lighter. But from looking around the room at other diner's plates, I can tell you there are some serious vittles to be had. And before you order, they have hot, delicious, fresh, soft and doughy bread with honey butter to slather upon it!My wife decided to get a bacon burger and substitute the fries for onion rings. The patty was a standard pre-fab 1/4 pounder but the grilled bun, generous bacon and fresh fixin's made the difference for her. No, you don't need to drive all the way from San Antonio just to give the burger a try, but it certainly was enjoyable enough to order again. The onion rings are breaded nicely, thick, and the onions are sweet. But for my taste, the breading was very bland. My wife said that perhaps this was to allow the diner's to season to taste.And since I wasn't having steak, I saw they had catfish on the menu and it was an easy choice to make. The fish came with a choice of sides and a trip to the salad bar. The salad bar was as fully stocked as any I have seen with a few different pastas, potato salad, all sorts of veggies that I wouldn't even think of adding to a salad (raw okra, really!) and even some sort of chick pea business. I went with just standard lettuce, a spoonful of pasta and potato salad, some hard boiled eggs, and these huge croutons that were awesome.

We overheard the waitress telling another customer that you can get a huge trip to the salad bar (they give you an enormous platter) for about $5.00 and honestly, you could make a serious meal from it.
My catfish was way more than what I expected and they gave me at least double the amount of onion rings that my wife got with her order. I was expecting maybe two pieces of fish and the plate was loaded. Back to the breading issue since they made the fish with the same breading as the onion rings. I have no complaint at all on the texture, the consistency, the coverage etc.; it was all good. But really, how about a little salt? On top of that, they served it with lime instead of lemons. The fish itself was wonderful. It was cooked perfectly, served hot and no fishy taste. I salted the hell out of the fish and the onion rings and used tarter sauce to add taste. If we could introduce these people to Season-All, they would be perfect.

Maybe somebody famous had a heart attack and Hermann Sons is single handily trying to make everyone eat a healthier diet. Who knows? All was not lost, though. We did like the breading once we added salt, and the onions themselves were very sweet, and they weren't over or undercooked.We didn't indulge in dessert, but if you are so inclined, they had a case full of great looking cakes and pies.

We always pass this place on our trips to Garner State Park or whenevr we feel like a drive to Hondo (and who doesn't enjoy that?) and now that we have been, I won't hesitate to pull in for something a little more agressive on the menu - like the steak.

Are you a fan? Do you have an experience from Hermann Sons Steak House we need to know about? Tell me about it or leave a comment.


Anonymous said...

Eva Says :)

Yeah !!! I want to go back when I am really hungry for surf and turf.. Ya'll read it here he is gonna take me back .

Anonymous said...

I drive by that place every time we go to visit the family in Uvalde and I have always wanted to stop there. Now I really need to try it out, thanks for the review!

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San Antonio, TX, United States
I love to observe the odd things happening around me as I go about my day. I especially like it when I can get a picture of people being themselves. Here, I attempt to report the various people and events I have encountered in my neighborhood, and my city. I'd also love to hear from you. Feel free to e-mail your experiences and photos of life in San Antonio.

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