Postcard: Casa Rio, San Antonio, Texas

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One of our favorite restaurants on the San Antonio River Walk has long been Casa Rio. Since 1946, this restaurant has been serving Tex-Mex right on the banks of the river.

The choicest tables at Casa Rio are at riverside, and, if you’re traveling with your dog, you and fido are welcome to dine at one of the outdoor tables; on crowded weekends, you may have to wait awhile for one of these seats. It’s worth the wait. With tables right on the edge of the river (many of the River Walk restaurants are located about 10 feet back from the water’s edge), you’ll have an unbeatable view of the action up and down the river.

This past weekend, we dined at Casa Rio with Rachel and Preston of PrestonSpeaks.com. Service was excellent and the waitstaff happily brought Preston out a Styrofoam bowl and water as he sat with us.

This restaurant dates back to 1946, when it was built by Alfred F. Beyer on land first granted title in 1777 by the King of Spain. A hacienda was built here during the city’s Spanish colonial period, and today it remains the core of the restaurant; cedar doors, cedar window lintels, a fireplace, and thick limestone walls are evidence of that early dwelling.

This restaurant was the first business in San Antonio to take advantage of its setting on the River Walk. The owner used canoes, gondolas, and paddleboats, which eventually evolved into tours and dinner boats, San Antonio’s first river cruises.

Even the menu is historic. The “regular plate”—a combo that includes a cheese enchilada, tamale, chili con carne, rice, and beans—was introduced in San Antonio in the 1800s and has been appearing on Casa Rio’s menu since 1946. Today it’s joined by the “deluxe dinner,” which adds a crispy beef taco and guacamole to the mix.

Casa Rio is open for lunch and dinner daily.

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