An ode to all things meat, this Johnny Hernandez (La Gloria, Frutería) outpost is inspired by “the carne asada of northern Mexico and the estilo campestre of Guadalajara.” And the charming faux bois cement sculptures around the historic Cementville headquarters are a plus. Go right for the grilled meats, ordering whichever combo your table and appetites can handle; we devoured the pork ribs, a combo of house-made sausages (green, red, and white), and a platter of cecina asada, a kind of dry-cured beef (some might think it too dry, but our dining companion from the border said it was spot-on). Beans, an aromatic oniony rice, and an order of guacamole and chips that seem straight from el otro lado are really the only sides you need. Even if you’re seated on the spacious patios, take a walk inside to scope out the awesome array of mesquite and oak in the six-foot open grill.
City: San Antonio
Method: Direct heat over mesquite
Pitmaster: Johnny Hernandez
Hours: L 7 days. D Mon–Sat.
Year Opened: 2014
Last updated: June 26, 2017
Restaurateurs dismissing the use of all wood cookers saying “the city won’t let us cook with wood” no longer have an excuse, at least not in San Antonio. Just beyond a low counter that they call the altar at El Machete, there’s a crackling mesquite fire, the flickers of which you can gaze at from the …