Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Driving Across America: Leg 2

Author's Note: A thousand apologies for the delay in writing. We have not had solid internet access for much of the trip. Tonight, I should be able to catch up completely.

Sunday, May 17th - 4:00pm
We woke up from our "good night's sleep," ready to seize the day. Sunday night was a celebration. We were doing a nice steak dinner, courtesy of my mom, as a gift for completing my 1L year relatively unscathed. As we were driving in, Melissa was researching San Antonio steakhouses (somehow, a copy of Southwest Spirit had materialized in our car - the complimentary magazine on Southwest Airlines flights). We decided on Bohanan's, which was conveniently walking distance from our Holiday Inn Express. We made reservations for 6:30 from the hotel, showered, and got dressed.

Melissa's Note: "Make sure to mention just how dapper we both looked."

We were both looking very dapper, as you can see. When we got there, we were one of the first tables to arrive. The place was elegant, but the floor plan was a little too wide open for our tastes. Lewnes in Annapolis is the standard for us, and aesthetically, this place did not compare. We were seated in what I can best describe as an Arizona room, which is almost like an extra porch-like room (they are usually outdoor patios converted to indoor rooms) overlooking Houston St. Our waiter, Jose, was very friendly and knowledgeable. He refused to let us order until he had shown us all of the day's cuts of steak, despite our solid confirmation that we already knew what we wanted. I ordered a Live Oak Heffeweizen (local micro-brew), Melissa got a Pilsner Urquell (craving Stella Artois, this was the closest substitution). Despite our original plan of getting wine, we opted out because the least expensive bottle was in the high 30's. They served complimentary crostini bread slices with cream cheese and pepper jelly with slices of jalapenos (a childhood favorite of mine from the day's of my dad's cocktail parties, which Melissa had never tried) that were phenomenal. We ordered a spinach salad with goat cheese, toasted almonds, purple onions, hickory smoked bacon, and mushrooms with a tangy vinaigrette. Delicious. For our entrees, we both got 6 oz. filet mignons--mid-rare--that were served with roasted peppers and goat cheese mashed potatoes. The executive chef has a secret recipe for his steak marinade that we thought was incredible. I found myself again thinking about IP law, and the wonderful world of trade secrets. Only the chef knows the recipe, not a single member of the staff has any knowledge. All in all, I would rate the meal a 10 out of 10. Top notch.

We wanted to get dessert on the river, so we reluctantly paid our check and headed off to the River Walk.

We stopped in at Rita's on the River for the biggest frozen margarita we had ever seen. It was pretty delicious. We shared it while we watched the Celtics blow game 7 (sorry, Barb). Then, we continued walking, checking dessert menus at every decent looking restaurant we passed.

Finally, we landed at Saltgrass, one of the other steak houses we had considered, because they had a huge brownie sundae on display. We got dessert and a split of Korbel Brut (they had very little range in champagne, offering a $7 split of Korbel or a $50 bottle of something else). Our waiter was a military brat that said he grew up around DC, went to Woodson in Fairfax, but did not seem to have ever heard of Annapolis.

At this point, it was getting a bit late to be out on a Sunday night, so we headed to the hotel bar. We got there five minutes before last call and made sure we got our money's worth. I say this because as it turns out, through some horribly convenient glitch in billing, the bar tab never made it to our room charge. We took a bottle of wine back to the room and enjoyed the finest balcony bar San Antonio had to offer.

We went to sleep with plans to see the Alamo in the morning before heading to Houston.

Monday, May 18th

Author's Note: Pictures to come later. I ran out of time while writing this entry.

As we were getting ready, I got a voice mail from Brittany suggested Boudro's for lunch and margaritas. It was on the River Walk, so we headed that way for some food. We were driving to Houston so we drank waters. But we ordered what turned out to be the best guacamole either of us had ever had. They made it tableside with roasted tomatoes and red peppers, lime and orange juice, avocado, onions, and a little cilantro. We added salt and pepper. Then Melissa had a seafood tostada, which was great, and I got chicken enchilades verdes, which were good, but not the best. We sat outside with a nice view of the river, finished up, then started walking to the Alamo.

There's not much to say about the old fort. We learned a little about its history. I will put a bunch of pictures of it up as well. Most of what is there as part of the monument was not actually part of the fort in its heyday. The main building is a church-like shrine where you have to remove your hat, remain quiet, not touch any walls or display cases, and refrain from photography. There was very little worth doing there, but it was an important historic landmark, so I'm glad we went. Directly across the street, the sanctity of Texas's great shrine of independence was tainted by several cheesy tourist traps: a Ripley's haunted house, a Guinness World Records museum, and others.

We got our fill of the Alamo and walked back to the hotel to retrieve our car and hit the road.

We were meeting Brittany and her boyfriend, Ross, in Houston for dinner. Estimated driving time: 3 hours.

Notes on San Antonio:
There were more beggars and homeless people in this city than I have ever seen anywhere else. It was very off-putting, as it would be one of the greatest cities I had visited were it not for the quality of its residents. That being said, we were only approached for money twice, and no one was threatening. The food was amazing. Everything on the River Walk was beautiful, and within walking distance from the hotel. We were both envious of that, though Melissa is more born for the city life than I am.

My journal of notes is in the car, which is four floors down, one building over, and then six floors up from where I sit right now, so I will supplement this entry when I upload pictures (tonight, hopefully).

For now, I have to get showered up so we can hit the road. Today boasts an 8 hour stretch of driving.


Barb said...

game 7 probably would have been easier for me to watch, too, with several margaritas that size. :) your trip sounds pretty cool so far. looking forward to future blog installments.

Julie said...

dapper indeed!