Greek immigrant Louis Santikos founded his first movie theater in San Antonio in 1911, when silent moving pictures of train robberies and slapstick comedy were an exciting novelty. Today, the thriving regional theater empire continues the family tradition of dazzling audiences with attractions such as IMAX sensory journeys.
Santikos's expansive theaters house up to 19 screens of first-run cinematic entertainment at some locations. Equipped with popcorn and sodas, moviegoers can nervously munch and sip their way through every pulse-pounding car chase, tragic missed connection, or gripping montage of drying paint. Screenings in 3-D of select films are brought to life by the gloriously immersive illuminations of Xpand 3-D projectors.
Large parties of friends, sports teams, and roving gangs of spurned jurors can all cozy up easily at The Bubble Room's long bar or in their chandelier-festooned dining room. The restaurant's flat-screen TVs and gilded mirrors ensure there's always something, someone, or some ghost to watch throughout each meal.
Dulce Vida serves a flavorful menu of authentic Mexican cuisine drawn from a variety of regions and crafted with the finest ingredients. In a soothing environment of palm fronds, decorative pillars, and an airy outdoor patio, guests can instigate a food fiesta with an appetizer of guacamole fresco ($7.99), mixed right at the table with your choice of cilantro, jalapeños, tomatoes, onions, and avocados. After a bowl of tortilla soup ($7.45) with white cheese and chicken or a mango-chicken salad ($10.95), patrons can chew on the pollo al cilantro’s ($15.45) grilled chicken breast coated with creamy cilantro sauce and then wash it down with a rich flan ($6.25) for dessert. On the weekends, from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., guests can snag pancakes and eggs ($7.25) with a freshly squeezed goblet of orange juice ($2.75) from the breakfast menu.
While technically and metaphorically a chain restaurant, Houlihan's bedazzles its chain with glitter and winsome intrigue, boldly preparing every last bite of its savory fare by hand. Hosts of diverse ingredients culminate inside one open kitchen where professional food handlers slice, sauté, marinate, and arrange food to its tasty and aesthetic best, allowing each meal to display its individuality before being broken down into individual nutrients for absorption in the body. Casual dining is elevated by meticulously designed restaurants that pepper a patron's experience with a playlist of hand-picked tunes and customer-designed coasters that give a voice to condensation-catchers.
High Velocity provides a comfortable, yet contemporary, haven for style-appreciating, San Antonio sports fans. The menu boasts a lineup of sports bar menu MVPs, such as burgers ($12), wings ($11 per dozen), and fish and chips ($17), which holds its own when competing on the culinary hardwood with entrees such as pan-seared teriyaki salmon ($18) and classic chicken parmesan ($15). While mouths are busy tasting, put other senses to work by admiring the sleek, neon-lit bar, relaxing in the low, oversized chairs, or dividing attention between the LED ticker and a bevy of wall-mounted TVs. Or, shut down four out of five senses to solely concentrate on the 120'x12' mega-screen television that is suspended over the bar with a strong piece of dental floss and plays several games side by side. While today’s deal is only good toward chewable subsistence, the bar boasts an impressive array of cocktails and beers on tap.
The culinary ideology behind MAX's Wine Dive lies in a simple slogan: "Why the hell not?" With the gourmand irreverence to unite fried chicken with champagne and grilled cheese with a French sauvignon blanc, the menu of both eclectic and seasonal dishes has earned MAX's Wine Dive a mention in USA Today's Where to Eat and Drink in San Antonio feature.
Though the cuisine evokes the flavors of a rustic diner, the ingredients are all gourmet?chefs spangle dishes with fresh seasonal produce, piquant cheeses, and unique sauces such as chipotle aioli and smoked jalape?o honey cr?me fraiche. Meanwhile, an extensive inventory of world wines pours regularly, sending selections to tables by the glass even when the menu lists a varietal as bottle-only, thanks to the restaurant's two-glass commitment policy. On weekends, brunch includes eclectic dishes such as pulled pork hash topped with a red chili hollandaise sauce along with their famous southern fried chicken, and the signature MAX 'n cheese puts a twist on an original in a more critic-friendly manner than editing a high-speed chase into Casablanca. MAX's Wine Dive can also comfortably accommodate large gatherings in their semi-private dining area.