In the last decade, San Antonio’s food scene has begun to hit the big time. But as little as twenty years ago, things were a lot simpler and easier to understand. “When I was a kid, it was all about Mexican food and burgers and country cooking,” says San Antonio native Nicki Longoria. She grew up on the South Side, where tastes were mainstream and time moved slowly, if at all: “We ate pizza and pancakes, tacos and tortillas,” she says. “People went to Bud Jones on Friday during Lent because they had all-you-can-eat fish. They caught up on gossip at Mary Lou’s. It was a huge deal when Rudy’s finally started taking credit cards.“
We wanted to know what that older San Antonio was like, so we asked Nicki for a list of childhood favorites that are still going strong. (Full disclosure: Nicki is a culinary school graduate and also our pal—she used to work here.) About her unapologetically quirky list she says, “I’m super nostalgic about the ones from the ’hood. But I also threw in a new favorite, Barbaro, from up north, because it has awesome pizza.” In this list of oldies, and one newbie, the past is still as accessible and comfortable as ever.