The holidays are upon us, and the last thing anyone has time for in November is a leisurely three-hour meal. Still, that doesn’t mean San Antonians have to give into a diet solely composed of Whataburger and seven-layer burritos. The Alamo City is full of places that offer both convenience and quality. Zoom into these locally owned spots for good grub on the go.
Bud’s Southern Rotisserie
With new concepts like Ida Claire and Fontaine’s opening this year, San Antonio has an ever increasing number of eateries dishing out Southern fare. This Pearl food hall staple, however, is the one to beat. Who knows how long it takes to get the chicken so shatteringly crisp. It’s served up faster than a hot knife through butter alongside homestyle sides like roasted potatoes, jambalaya, braised greens, and Cajun cornbread.
A homegrown alternative to Chipotle, this casual restaurant lets diners build tacos, burritos, and nachos to order, but that’s where the similarities. Instead of that major chain’s bland industrial interior, Macho Libre’s playful luchador theme comes complete with ringside ropes and pads. And the food is geared to the local palate with choices like pork adobado, chicken tinga, carne asada, and chicharrón. The bells and whistles are just as puro. Customers can grab paletas and mangonadas, or select from a row of vitroleros filled with house aguas frescas.
Ming’s Noodle Bar
This shipping crate restaurant is full of pasta-bilities for folks in a rush. On a brisk day, try the miso noodle soup swimming with veggies, herbs, and a drizzle of sesame oil. The rest of the year is made for chilled dishes like spicy Sichuan noodles with a punch of ginger dressing and chili oil or the German slaw bun with crunchy onions and an unexpected curry barbecue sauce.
Sure, it was sad to see Moshe's Golden Falafel shutter, but owner Andrew Weissman gave Olmos Park one heck of a consolation prize. This affordable burger joint offers a stripped-down menu but the standards are as high as any of the renowned chef’s ventures. The buns are house-made challah with a scattering of poppy seeds, the fries have the right amount of snap, and the “wet” option — a luxuriant au poivre sauce — puts upscale steakhouses to shame.
Thyme for Lunch
This Medical Center lunch counter lives by a simple motto: “If it doesn’t nourish your soul, get rid of it.” That’s reflected in a carryout menu featuring healthful salads, sandwiches, Buddha bowls, and toasts. That doesn't mean the dishes taste like rabbit food. The Vegan Persuasion doctors a banh mi with herbs and sweet beets, while the Awesome Rawsome is spread with a delightful cilantro jalapeño hummus. The eatery also knows there are times to indulge. The Boss Hawg melts customer’s hearts with mounds of pulled pork and pepper jack cheese.