Healthy and Sane

San Antonio – last vacation day

November 11th, 2009 · 18 Comments · Eating out, Mexican, restaurant reviews

I guess all vacations have to come to an end. It was really fun sharing my experience here in Texas with you “real time.” I will say that while I feel 100% refreshed and had a blast, I am also ready to get back home, eat healthier, exercise, and see family and friends :)

I did love waking up without an alarm clock every single day for the past 4 days, and taking my time getting ready for the day. Back at home, I always seem to be in a rush for something, so this has been very much needed. Today’s morning started out in an especially delicious way. I planned this one well 😉 I brewed some hotel coffee upon walking up and enjoyed one empanada con comote (sweet potatoes) I picked up at Mi Tierra bakery the day before.



It was like a sweet potato stuffed scone. A perfect way to start the morning if you ask me :) I also had a few bites of the leche quemada I also got at the bakery. This is a traditional Mexican candy, with a fudge like consistency (slightly softer) and sweet condensed milk taste. It actually brought me right back to childhood because it also tastes exactly like a Russian candy, called “karovka” (little cow). I savored every bite 😀


Then we were off to the Alamo which was literally across the street from our hotel. How convenient 😉



(That’s our hotel behind the trees)


It was interesting to read about the history of how Texas got its independence and walk around the site. We were then ready to learn a bit more about the history of the Riverwalk we’ve been enjoying so much, and hopped on one of the tour boats. What a great way to see the river!!







Then it was time for some FOOD! For our lunch destination we headed to Rosario’s, which has apparently won numerous awards for their Mexican dishes. It was about a mile from downtown, which also showed us a bit of a different side of the city. It appears that no one really lives in downtown and that it exists purely for tourism. Just minutes away from downtown, however, you see larger homes and “real people.” We were surprised to find lots of people in suits at Rosario’s… finally some locals!




Chips + salsa to start…


At first bite, I thought the salsa was so weird, but after a few minutes I couldn’t get enough of the stuff. It was smoky and like nothing I’ve ever had before. We asked the waiter what it was made of, and he explained that they roast jalapenos and tomatoes until they are literally burnt, and then puree them in the food processor. Very interesting… and apparently Rosario’s salsa won the “best salsa in San Antonio” award 3 years in a row. Don’t ask me who the award was from 😆

Adam couldn’t help but order a GIANT margarita!


I had a few sips 😀


I then asked the waiter for recommendations, and we ordered (once again) the 2 award winning dishes, which we decided to split.

Pollo con mole: boneless chicken breast, smothered in mole sauce and sprinkles with toasted sesame seeds, served with refried beans and Mexican rice



This really tasted like chocolate! I can definitely say I’ve never had anything like this in my life. The chicken was perfectly tender and juicy.

Next up… chicken chipotle: grilled chicken breast topped with creamy chipotle sauce and sauteed spinach, served with black eye peas and Mexican rice


Is that a vegetable on my plate?


I didn’t expect this dish to be so creamy. It was delicious, but honestly tasted almost like Italian food to me, not Mexican. Both dishes were very tasty but were SO heavy. I wanted more fresh ingredients that would highlight the Mexican cuisine, not cheesy buttery chicken. *Adam would like me to note that he LOVED both dishes and that if I wanted something more fresh, then I probably could have ordered something else. To my defense, I wanted to taste “award winning dishes” that the waiter recommended. I guess I was starting to really miss my healthier home cooking. I’ve hardly had any vegetables on this trip (and no fruit.. except for an occasional garnish on dessert) so I am slightly going crazy.

I guess this didn’t stop me from having a little chocolata I picked up in Austin (local):



Slightly waxy, I’m not going to lie, but chocolate nonetheless, and we all know I can’t live 1 day without chocolate.

This was basically the end our “planned” activities. San Antonio downtown area turned out to be much smaller than we expected. We walked around as much as we could but everything else seemed to only be accessible by car (and even that didn’t seem exciting enough to justify a rental). We headed back to the hotel; Adam took a nap, I played with my computer. This may sound lame, but again, I feel like this was relaxing in its own way and relaxing is exactly what I needed. We also nixed our plans for a fancy dinner out (too much food and not nearly enough exercise this vacation was getting to both of us) so around 7, we headed to a more low key dinner at Zinc, a wine bar and restaurant off the Riverwalk. Zinc is adorable, with a cute little garden/patio outside. We enjoyed some drinks, slightly healthier food and the gorgeous weather (I’m going to miss that about Texas for sure!!). I started with a mojito


Very minty, not too sweet, and quite refreshing. Exactly what I was looking for!

For my entree I ordered the vegetarian portobello burger with sauteed spinach, tomato and swiss cheese. It was supposed to be served with sweet potato fries but I asked for a Zinc salad instead. The salad contained sundried tomatoes, apples, grape tomatoes, pecans and goat cheese and was dressed in a balsamic vinaigrette. Aside from being a little overdressed, it was delicious. It tasted more like home, which as you can probably tell I’m starting to miss.


My portobello burger was delicious! I loved the addition of sauteed spinach and really felt like I was eating a real “burger” but of course it was significantly less caloric. I did remove a lot of the cheese (it was just too thick) and at the end realized it was slathered in mayo (I asked for no butter on the bun, but didn’t even think of mayo as an option… yeah, I clearly rarely order burgers) so I guess this wasn’t complete health food, but at least I tried 😉


Another stroll down the Riverwalk and some drinks (I just had water), and this concluded our vacation. I’ll be likely taking tomorrow off from blogging (airplane food is not that exciting, and there are no supermarkets here to prep my own meals to-go) so I guess I’ll “see” you later in the week, reporting about some kitchen adventures. :mrgreen: Happy hump day!

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18 Comments so far ↓

  • #1 - Jamie

    Looks like you had a fantastic trip! It was so fun to follow you on your adventure :)

  • #2 - Estela @ Weekly Bite

    What a great trip! I love SA! One of my favorite Texas cities :)

  • #3 - MelissaNibbles

    You look beautiful and relaxed. So glad you had a great trip!

  • #4 - Shannon

    What a fantastic trip! You sure did pack a lot in, especially for a spur of the moment vacation!

  • #5 - Katie

    What a great trip! Looks like fun! I haven’t been to San Antonio since I was little. The Riverwalk is supposed to be gorgeous. And yes, lots of TX places have smoky salsa it’s an acquired taste.

  • #6 - Jenna

    glad you enjoyed your trip!

  • #7 - katie

    chocolate chicken!! that is def different.. i bet it was good though! all that food was making me drool!

  • #8 - Justine

    I was thinking I might like to move to Texas after college, but now I DEFINITELY want to; it looks like such a delicious place! (Yes, I base significant life choices like where I want to live on restaurants/food.)

  • #9 - katecooks

    sounds like you have had such a fun, relaxing vacation!!! sometimes even just laying around, reading a book, watching tv, is all you need. vacations dont have to be jam packed with activity…but i still think you guys did pretty well with all those delicious eats!!!

  • #10 - Caroilne

    Hi Elina, I found you through Tales of Two Cities and wanted to say hello! I think I recognize you from the Healthy Living Summit but could be wrong. Looks like you had a fabulous time in San Antonio. I have never visited this part of the country and your making me think I should!

  • #11 - 24carrot

    Oh gosh, “karovka’s” my friend and I found a russian store in San Fran and were searching for those!

  • #12 - Madeline @ GreensandJeans

    it looks like you guys have had a great trip! usually by the last day or so I am itching for my “normal” food, no matter how good all my vacation food has been!

  • #13 - RunToTheFinish

    you have convinced me this is a vacation I need to take!

  • #14 - Nicole

    What a fantastic vacation! I’ve never been to Texas, other than to make a connector flight. It looks like so much fun! You did such an awesome job photographing everything. I love your smile in your pics – you look so happy to be on your spur-of-the-moment vacation. BTW, that melted cheese is making me drooooollll…..

  • #15 - Meghan@traveleatlove

    Yummm that Mexican food looks so good! Glad you are having a good trip!

  • #16 - emily

    That candy looks amazing, would you compare the flavor to dulche de leche?

  • #17 - Elina

    Emily – I think it probably was but in a crazy concentrated form. It was really yummy and I ended up seeing it in nearly every convenience store, so I guess it’s a pretty “traditional’ candy. :)

  • #18 - Lara (Thinspired)

    I had no idea that San Antonio was so beautiful! We are going to visit a family member (Jen, on my recent posts) hopefully around the holidays and that’s where she lives. I’m so excited now reading your posts!