One San Antonio restaurant that opened during the height of the pandemic and quickly became a local favorite is definitely living up to its name — and getting some national recognition as one of the tastiest new spots in the country.
Best Quality Daughter, the pioneering eatery specializing in “New Asian American” cuisine that began as a pop-up dinner series before practically becoming a household name in the Alamo City, was just dubbed a Best New Restaurant by USA Today 10Best.
The 2021 list features the country’s top 10 restaurants, with 10Best editors and a panel of food and travel experts nominating their 20 favorite restaurants that opened in 2020, and the top 10 winners being determined by popular vote.
Best Quality Daughter, which chefs Jennifer Dobbertin and Quealy Watson opened at the historic Mueller House at the Pearl in late 2020, features a menu that reflects Dobbertin’s travels and the comfort food of her youth as a second-generation Chinese American.
The restaurant, which has become a culinary beacon in the city, landed at No. 9 on the national top 10 list, with USA Today 10Best praising the chefs’ innovation. It was the only Texas restaurant to make the cut.
“This brand-new kitchen offers fresh takes on cashew chicken, shrimp, roast pork shoulder, Taiwanese popcorn fried chicken, and other Asian delicacies,” the publication notes, adding, “You won’t want to miss the miso ginger noodles or curry shrimp fried rice, either.”
It seems Best Quality Daughter is no longer a best-kept secret in San Antonio, which may have been inevitable, given the chefs’ track record. Indeed, Dobbertin and Watson, who collaborated on Asian fusion concept Hot Joy, got some recognition in 2014 from Bon Appetit, which named Hot Joy one of the top 10 best restaurants in the U.S. A couple years later, the chefs left Hot Joy and opened Tenko Ramen (a “mom-and-pop ramen shop”) at the Bottling Department Food Hall at the Pearl, which remains a popular spot.
But it is Best Quality Daughter, which got its start in 2018 as a pop-up, that continues to garner heaps of praise, both locally and nationally.
Of course, you don’t have to tell us how wonderful the restaurant is; Best Quality Daughter was nominated for San Antonio’s Best New Restaurant as part of the 2021 CultureMap Tastemaker Awards, and is definitely a staff favorite. Our recommendation: Try the Super Garlicky Noodles topped with a fried egg and the mochi cheddar hush puppies for a “Best Quality” nosh!