Coco Chocolate Lounge has more to offer than just chocolate. That's why readers of the San Antonio Express-News voted the spot Best Neighborhood Restaurant and Best Nightclub in North Central San Antonio in 2011. Though there are plentiful cacao-based desserts served, including single-origin chocolate mousse and chocolate fondue with housemade marshmallows, Chef Hector Villarreal also experiments with savory dishes. Among his creations are stone-baked pizzas topped with house-smoked brisket and venison steaks with fried okra and béarnaise sauce.
The cuisine complements decor the San Antonio Express-News called “scrumptious with plenty of chandeliers, candlelight, and plush ruby-red velvet booths and bar seating.” As the sky darkens and everybody throws away sundials that seemed cool during the day, Coco Chocolate Lounge transitions into a nightclub, and chocolate martinis, wine, and champagne flow more freely. DJs on a dance floor and an outdoor patio spin Latin music, hip-hop, and club hits until 2:30 a.m.
Mesón European Dining combines authentic flavors from across the Atlantic and won a San Antonio Express Reader’s Choice award for doing it well. The eatery's chefs fuse Spanish and Italian culinary designs to complement its specialty in French fare, splashing cuts of chicken, steak, seafood, and pasta in epicurean sauces. Tableside preparations of coffee and banana flambé serve as beguiling, appropriate restaurant performances, unlike poorly memorized monologues from the third act of the Friends series finale. Drinks pour forth from the full bar, and the Mesón team particularly takes pride in hospitably hosting celebrations. A separate private room accommodates formal congregations for candlelit meals, set upon elegant table linens offset by understated centerpieces.
The Great Taste Cafe menu's is an eclectic mix?French-style crepes filled with chopped pears, melted chocolate, and vanilla ice cream rest beside organic tamales packed with carnitas and serrano chilies. Organic coffee roasted in small batches complements other morning favorites, such as bagels and muffins. And crisp salads, made with organic romaine or baby spinach, round out the caf?'s fresh offerings.
Though Suzanne, a native of the New York City suburbs, enjoyed living throughout the country with her husband John, she always missed New York–style bagels, which led the pair to open their first Bagel Factory in Augusta, Georgia and then another in San Antonio. Bakers craft New York–style bagels in 21 flavors, such as asiago cheese, cinnamon crunch, and everything. Each one can be paired with 10 flavors of cream cheese, including raspberry chipotle and serrano pepper. In addition to bagels, the menu offers sandwiches and salads along with breakfast eats and includes Bagelaches composed of bagel dough wrapped around locally made Kiolbassa-brand sausage and can be stuffed with various items, including cheese, sauerkraut, or bacon. Freshly baked bread or bagels hug deli lunch sandwiches made with Boar's Head ingredients, such as the Carpenter with turkey, cream cheese, and cranberry sauce. Additionally, sips of regular coffee and espresso drinks from Community Coffee prepare visitors for long nights of dumping grass clippings down neighbors' chimneys.
The baristas at Copalli Cafe won't write your name on a coffee cup?they'd rather get to know you by engaging in friendly conversation as they fix you one of their premium coffee drinks or serve you a healthy bite from the kitchen. Everything about the locally-owned cafe is set up to make guests feel at home: tables and comfy seats are sprinkled throughout, and the baked goods?brownies, pastries, coffee cakes?are all baked fresh in house. The same emphasis on freshness and quality applies to the rest of the menu, from the homemade loaded potato soup, to the house-specialty chicken salad to the caprese paninis. The emphasis on community, meanwhile, is further expressed through live music nights and the cafe's policy of welcoming groups for book club meetings and baby showers. They also offer catering services for small events.
Amazing Corned Beef Hash | To-Die-For Pancakes | Local Organic Ingredients | Pure Cane-Sugar Syrup
The Speciality: It’s not hard to figure out what Magnolia Pancake Haus’ signature item is—it’s right there in the name. Chef Robert and his team whip up their world’s best buttermilk pancakes from unbleached and untreated flour, bringing them to bubbly fruition on the griddle before drizzling them in pure cane-sugar syrup, which they make in house. They also prepare twists to the classic staple, creating versions with blueberries, pecans, chocolate chips, or even applewood bacon bits baked right in.
Know Your Ingredients: Fueled by a simple motto, “Quality Counts”, Chef Robert and his wife have always strived to achieve a homemade, grandma-cooked taste in every dish since opening in 2000. To do that successfully, they use only the best ingredients they can find, including locally sourced greens, organic buckwheat and oat flours, certified Black Angus beef, and their own house-smoked Canadian bacon.
When to Go: As with most breakfast joints, Saturday and Sunday mornings are when it’s most crowded, so it might be best to choose a weekday morning instead.
While You’re in the Neighborhood: Fuel up with a hearty breakfast before busting out the golf clubs at SilverHorn Golf Club (1100 W. Bitters Rd.), a public golf course just a few minutes away.
If You Can’t Make It, Try This: Head to Kolache Stop (11703 Huebner Road) and try one of the titular European breakfast pastries, such as the sausage kolache or chorizo-and-egg kolache.