Saturday, September 15, 2012

Cristan's and Las Palapas - San Antonio

Surprisingly Good

Made a last minute trip to San Antonio. It is a city I happen to love. 

But, I had absolutely no time to do anything fun. 


Arrived at the airport almost midnight, picked up my rental car. Off to sleep.

Up early. Drive to the local architects office. I am 2 hours early. I offer my thanks to the MS Outlook feature which auto sets for different time zones.

So now I troll the immediate neighborhood for some breakfast. I try a total dive called Cristan's Tacos on San Pedro. Zero decor. Totally blue collar. I love it.

I order my eggs. The waitress calls me sweetie. The eggs come with the bacon scrambled in. They are accompanied by perfect refried beans and two gloriously steaming flour tortillas. Add a mug of diner coffee and I am in breakfast heaven.

I leave a plate that is totally clean. Head to the local architects office. Great creative firm. Office full of marvelous art. We spend all day planning for that evenings interview.

We make the presentation. Nice community. I decide I would really like to win the project. Interview felt like it went pretty well.

Now I am really tired and really just want to sleep. Good thing the interview location was near the hotel.....

Garmin NUVI goes berserko. 

Drives me miles and miles (and miles) past my hotel to someplace where the freeway is under reconstruction and most of the off ramps are closed. So, even when I decide to get off, I can't.

Texas freeways are a different breed of cat. First, they build 'em big. Duh! Then they build huge frontage roads on either side. So you first have to get off the freeway, then you have to get off the frontage road. Frequently, there will be another road running next to the frontage road. Then they make these huge freakin overpasses with turnaround thingies that avoid the stop lights. This is engineering found nowhere else on planet earth. 

But I digress.

After some creative reprogramming I finally find my hotel. I sleep. Up next morning. Choke down an amazingly wretched Springhill Suites breakfast. Little monochromatic egglike circles and sausage patty's the exact shape and size as the little egglike circles.

Two conference calls.

Ha! The glamor of travel.

Shuttle to the airport. 

I am now ready for lunch, yet, I know that being in an airport, decent food may be elusive.

I try the "sit down" restaurant called Las Palapas. I ask my Eastern European server what a "puffy taco" is. She describes what in AZ we would call a Navajo taco.

Throwing my cholesterol count to the wind I order the puffy taco combo. One chicken, one beef, plus rice and beans.

The combo comes and I try the rice first. I have always believed that if the rice in a Mexican restaurant is good, the rest of the meal will probably be good.

The rice was good.

I mean really good. Perfect consistency with peas in it.

Then I taste the refritos. Also excellent, maybe just a tad over salted. On to puffy number one. Tortilla is fried and clearly fresh. Indeed it is puffy. Chicken was hot. Lettuce was cold. Salsa was just right. Taco number two. This time beef. Also perfect. 

Pretty bad when the highlight of a trip was a diner breakfast and lunch in an airport restaurant. I notice the Yelp reviews are kind of sketchy for Las Palapas. I guess they have off days.

All I know is, my lunch was just what I needed. No way was it haute cuisine. But it was hot, fresh, and delicious.

Going Home. I'm in the "B" boarding group. A middle seat for me. I see two fat boys have staked out the exit row. Sorry dudes. You'll just have to move all that stuff you carefully left in the middle seat to make me walk by. 

At least they weren't two short people. When stubbies sit in an exit row I spend the flight throwing bad karma at them.

Roadboy's Travels © 2012

No comments: