When Jim Kiest of the San Antonio Express-News visited Hooligan’s Bar & Grill, he left with one important takeaway: “It is a great place to hang out when you’re not quite sure what you want to do. You’ll figure it out when you get there.” Kiest hit the nail on the head, given Hooligan’s eclectic collection of events and games. On any given night, a DJ might spin current hits for patrons to tap dance to or a cover band might storm the stage and pump out jams from the 1970s, ‘80s, or ‘90s. The music supplies a lively soundtrack for free rounds of poker, coin-operated pool games, an arsenal of darts and video games, and even dodge-ball matches.
Regardless of the ever-changing events schedule, patrons will always find three staples at Hooligan’s—food, drinks, and plenty of TVs. While watching Monday-night football or a UFC fight, bar-goers can munch mild to extra-hot wings, classic 8-ounce burgers, and individual pizzas, all washed down by domestic beers or fun cocktails such as cherry bombs and washington apples.
The interiors of The Lion & Rose pubs emulate the convivial atmosphere of British and Irish settings, with each corner of the restaurant ornamented with vintage wall sconces and handmade wood decor. The draught list overflows with imported pints such as Boddingtons and Smithwick's, while the menu includes unusual specialties such as chips and curry alongside shepherd's pie and bangers, mash, and beans. As befits a sports bar, locations boast plasma TVs tuned to the biggest games as well as dartboards where friends can challenge one another.
Rolling Oaks Golf Club pairs an expansive driving range with an outdoor patio and banquet space that welcomes guests with food, drink, and live music. Outfitted with numerous hitting bays and stadium lights, the range lets golfers spruce up swings day or night, regardless of the sun’s busy schedule or the moon’s refusal to pay its electric bill. The driving range also hosts golf clinics and lessons for players in need of advice from golf experts. After dialing in drives and fine-tuning chip shots, players can kick back in the club’s dining room to feast on burgers, cheesesteaks, and other traditional grill fare as regular live music and guitar solos express the woe of a missed birdie shot in ways words never can.
At Sideliners Grill, more than 30 flat screen televisions broadcast major sporting events with NFL Ticket and ESPN Game Plan packages. But the action isn’t only limited to the screen. Outside, the restaurant has eight sandy volleyball courts where it hosts men’s, women’s, and coed volleyball tournaments. Those with an insatiable appetite for competition can also join in on a match of open-play soccer, or head inside for a round of billiards. An outdoor climbing area opens up some vertical space to play as well.
In a bright dining room spacious enough to accommodate a small army or all the people in the world named "Eggbert," games can be chased with brawny burgers and pints of draft beer. Chefs shower housemade barbeque sauce over a variety of classics that range from succulent baby back ribs to tender chopped brisket sandwiches. The wait staff, meanwhile, sets up giant beer towers as a playful way for patrons to fill their own glasses.
More than 40 years ago, Charlie and Mary Garcia founded El Chaparral Mexican Restaurant to share their culinary heritage with the local community. Though the business has now been passed down to the next generation of the family, the restaurant adheres to the made-fresh recipes of its early days, delighting diners with hearty enchiladas, fresh seafood dishes, and its signature bean soup.
A San Antonio mainstay since 1890, Boehler’s continues to whip up a menu bedecked with inspired takes on comfort classics while surrounding guests in the allure of a historical eating establishment. The white-fish-and-salmon ceviche marinates in lemon and lime juice before diving into a sea of avocado and pico de gallo, and a risotto-stuffed banana-peppers appetizer warms taste buds when risotto flowers are in season. Chefs steep the signature Boehler’s Fried Chicken in buttermilk, jalapeños, and garlic for 36 hours before frying them to golden perfection, and merge beef and chorizo with green chile, provolone cheese, and poblano-green-chile sauce to form a fiery Southwestern meatloaf. Much like falling down a ski slope of granulated sugar, the Guinness Chocolate Car Bomb ($6.95) fills faces with sweetness, bombarding taste buds with cocoa drenched in Bailey’s & Jameson Irish Whiskey sauce.