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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

El Mercado and Broadway 5050...

My office shut down around noon'ish today so it was a perfect opportunity for the whole family to get out and do some errands - you know, buy some replacement underwear for my son at WalMart and stuff like that.

We found ourselves downtown San Antonio and in the Mercado, the little shopping area that is open year round, but really only busy during Fiesta and Cinco de Mayo and such. Oh sure, there is a steady stream of tourists all the time, but how the shops there make it during the off times is beyond me. But what do I know.
The good thing is, since NAFTA, there is no real reason to go to Mexico (unless you just have a hankerin' to get kidnapped or shot, or both), because you can get all of your authentic Hecho in Chino Mexican items for about the same price. Just a thought: Once you have a dozen blankets, ponchos, a tortilla flattener, and that little rock bowl you display to make people think you grind up your own spicy salsa fixin's, what else could you need? Oh yes, large over priced beers and a few t-shirts.
But it is fun and I never get tired of watching the grandfathers and fathers stand outside the stores as their wives look at the same traditional Mexican dress in different colors that they will surely wear once they get back to Wisconsin or Minnesota, just to impress friends. Even my son gets in on the act, practicing I suppose.
This caught my eye. At first, I only saw the top part of the sign, and I though for a minute we had moved into an R-rated section of the place.

And of course, you know it is almost time for a festive Christmas in San Antonio when El Mercado busts out the pink Christmas tree display.

We were all pretty excited about taking the kids to Augie's Barbed Wire BBQ for a late lunch. We pulled into the lot and I thought to myself that this was perfect timing. We had missed the lunch crowd and there were only a few other people in the lot that would be ahead of us in line.

We all got out and started to walk in when I noticed the people parked a few feet from us were getting back in their truck. Then, I noticed a few folks standing in the entry way of Augie's, drinking a cool mug of beer. A lady said, "We're closed." And the guy hoisted his beer and said, "It's beer time." I chuckled and said to myself, "Okay, I'll play your little game." We continued to walk toward the entrance. "No, seriously, we closed at 3 today" the guy said, and we all just turned, totally dejected, just like the people parked a few feet away from us, and left.
Since we were there, my wife said she had wanted to take the kids to Broadway 5050. I've told you about our last lunch there. We liked it, though I know several other readers were not impressed.
Today, my wife and I both ordered the Memphis style pork sandwich with the slaw on. It was good but just not the same as the pulled-pork I planned on getting at Augie's. And I have to put my foot down here and now. People of the food industry: Quit serving those stupid little hay stick/shoestring french-fries. They just do not work for me.
My daughter had the brisket sandwich which she absolutely loved. It is good and for what is really just a bar, they do serve a good brisket. She did not care for the potato salad and upon inspection, I did not either. I'm pretty sure it was better the first time we went.
My son got the same fish & chips platter I got on our first visit and we was pleased with his, just as I was back then.

In the end, it was all good. We had solid service, the price was very reasonable, good food and I still just like the feel of the place inside. Give it a shot if you are in the area.


Sabra said...

I go through Market Square all the time, but to it very seldom, though I did buy Linda a dress for her birthday this year. Unless I'm headed for Mi Tierra, it's not much more than a nice way to get out of the summer heat for a few minutes, or use the bathroom. I don't even want to think about going there in a car, though.

Now, I'm with you on Broadway 50/50. The food there is so good, and the bulk of the stuff on the menu is south of $9. (Well, if the menu on their website is up-to-date, I'm right--except for the flat-iron steak, nothing costs more than $8.50.) The downside for me is that the whole place allows smoking. I'd go there a lot more often if I didn't have to re-breathe the stuff.

Dave said...

The downside for me is that the whole place allows smoking.

I have to agree. Our first time there it was no issue because the place was dead. This time, there was a smallish crowd, most of whom were smokers. Yuck.

I forgot to mention that when we parked above El Mercado, we made the mistake of taking the elevator down. As we were getting on, two ladies were getting off. We did not realize they had used the tiny elevator to totally smoke up the place. It hit us as the door closed. I am not opposed to people smoking, but a little common sense and courtesy goes a long way.

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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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