10 July 2010

The Cove in San Antonio

Looking for a laundromat in San Antonio? How about a car wash? Need a quick organic bite to eat? Well have I found the place for you.

It's called The Cove. At worst, it's San Antonio's answer to the clarion call for business diversification. Conversely, it's the hippest place to eat in the Deco District (that's right, San Antonio has a Deco District, as in art deco, as in don't get excited, it's just a street with a grocery store that belongs on Nick at Night). In one convenient and crazy place you can clean your clothes, wash your car, and eat a sustainable, organic, and locally grown meal (SOL food, as they call it). What'd you expect, chili dogs and Hostess Snacks?

Finding myself alone last Friday night (Anne's in my hometown visiting the people I grew up with. How's that for weird?), I did what any lonely married guy would do: I looked up places Guy Fieri's taken his show and visited the closest one.

When I arrived, the parking lot was packed and the line was out the door. I didn't check the washing machines out and at a glance the car wash seemed just alright, so I knew the crowd must have been there for the food. As I waited, I scanned the menu and read about their philosophy (the SOL philosophy), and knew that this was my kinda place. What can I say, I'm a sucker for sustainable, organic, and locally grown things. Example: as Anne can attest, I am picky to a fault about the softness of our toilet paper and will only acquiesce to something stiffer than 12-ply (ok, does that even exist?) if it is made from something recycled or sustainable. I await the day I can buy locally grown, organic Charmin Ultra, but something tells me that day will never come. And until it does (or doesn't), I'll continue fighting the mental battle I face when I go down the toilet paper aisle.

Okay, back to The Cove.

So I'm waiting in line, and everyone starts raving about the fish tacos. But this isn't just your average raving. People are breaking social norms and telling people they don't know (like me, the lonely married guy) that not only did they order the fish tacos but that I needed to order them as well. The fish taco chatter was weird but I decided to give it a go and try 'em out. I mean, how could that many people be wrong? (I don't want to get political, but this would be a great place to insert a picture of any number of politicians. Instead, I give you a picture of the tacos.)

Shortly after ordering, the tacos came, I ate, and I hate to say it but the tacos were mediocre at best. I don't know what the kind patrons of The Cove are using as their standard for fish tacos, but in my opinion they were no better than (or in other words they were worse than) Wahoo's or even Rubio's fish tacos. Don't get me wrong, they weren't all that bad--it's just that they weren't all that good either. I mean, I ate them in their entirety (not that that's ever an indication of quality, thank you McDonald's Dollar Menu). I would have finished the baby spinach salad they came with, too, if it weren't for the bee that wouldn't leave me alone. 50 people sitting at picnic tables and the bee chooses me. I had visions of Anne coming home to a swollen husband à la Bear Grylls in Man vs. Wild.

I am happy to report, however, that after my romantic dinner for one I escaped The Cove bee sting free, wishing all the while that I had done what I always wish I had done after I eat at a new restaurant: that I had ordered what Google, San Antonio Magazine, and Guy Fieri had told me to order and not what everyone in line was ordering. I always do this thing where I order the most exotic thing on the menu (or what the waiter doesn't explicitly recommend--elk and cow tongue to name a couple of mealtime mistakes). Had I followed Fieri's recommendation instead of the weird lady in line's idea of a good meal I could have left with a stomach full of organic Texas beef and no run-of-the-mill fish tacos.

On the bright side, the taco incident gives me a reason to go back. I mean, I didn't hate the tacos and I really want to try the burgers. Knowing me, though, I'll go back and get distracted by some new item on the menu or whatever the guests are raving about that day and end up not getting a burger, hating what I order, blogging about what I hated, and vowing to return to get that burger. I really only see this benefiting The Cove.

But as the French say: C'est la vie...

...and as I emphatically add: especially my vie.


Strawboat said...

That restaurant just...takes the cake for weird collection of businesses. It just DOES.

Diane said...

For all your readers, I am here to attest to the fact that you did indeed order a tongue sandwich at Juniors. It is only now, however, that my thoughts are validated. You hated the tongue didn't you?! I knew it! I have also discovered that I need to be somewhere where I am able to break out in a full blown laugh when reading your blog. This can't be done at work or upstairs when dad is downstairs interviewing someone. That is all.

Kimberly said...

When the heck did you eat a tongue sandwich??? Ya weirdo! I have to say I am always intrigued by Guy Fieri's restaurant adventures and to this day still want to go to Roy, Utah to try out this hamburger joint I saw. One time Guy went to this place in San Diego and we went there and it wasn't nearly as good as what the show made it out to be. It was more about the ambiance, I guess. I'm glad you are no longer a lonely married guy, single for the weekend, adventuring out on your own. Wish I could be there...San Antonio sounds much more exciting than Cedar. However, the Renaissance Fair is going on right now and I have a feeling that would be right up your alley.

Robyn said...

That was the most descriptive post about a dinner out that I've ever read. So funny. And I can picture you trying not to get stung by a bee...ha ha! Parker got stung in his ear last week...I didn't believe him that a bug hurt his ear until I looked in it, and it sort of looked like Bear Gryll's face in that picture. THAT won't cure Parker of his fear of bugs anytime soon. Good job being adventurous while your wife was visiting P-town.

Tammy said...

I really kinda wish you would have gotten stung, just to see the picture!! And why are you taking advice from Guy Fieri for your dining advice?? I am convinced A. you watch the food network too much B. you are too prone to advertisement!

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