With big appetites, we settled in next to a window overlooking the Houston Street action—skaters, bikers, dog walkers, lowriders—and ordered three starters. First up, fried green tomatoes with the requisite tone, tartness, and cornmeal crisp. Next, queso fundido, texture-perfect with chorizo and oregano and bringing just the funhouse feel we were promised by the glitzy, shiny, sparkly, modern, just-a-bit-scary dining room (yep, this is another Andrew Goodman and Stefan Bowers venue and menu). Finally, char siu cauliflower, smoky and savory, jumped right in on the ride. Then we ordered two generous pies, a red-sauced S&M (fennel sausage and mushrooms) and a white-sauced Flavor & Fear (mozzarella topped with generous slivers of really hot peppers and a drizzle of honey). Both arrived perfectly timed and baked from the massive 3,500-pound brick-and-tile oven, shiny and bulbous as the restaurant’s restored bumper car from the mythic Broadway amusement park to which Playland pays homage.
City: San Antonio