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Feasting on the RiverWalk

23 June 2009

A couple of quick reviews in case you’re interested in eating along the San Antonio River downtown.  Time was, food along the river was ordinary or worse; the cafes were trading on location and setting – patios along a romantic promenade – but definitely not on the quality of the food.

Times, as they say, have changed.

Acenar (146 E. Houston St.) is nominally Mexican, upscale, and interesting.  We fought the flies and bees throughout our supper on the patio, so if I were managing the restaurant, I’d pour some resources into pest control.  The bees liked my 10 Canes mojito even more than I did, which is a bit disconcerting.  But the fried oyster nachos on yucca slices are light and savory, and the roasted chile salsa is pleasantly rustic, if a bit too tame.  Guacamole is assembled at the table with fresh vegetables and lime juice, but unremarkable compared to the guac at Boudro’s (see recipe at  In retrospect, I wish I had ordered a more adventurous entree, but let’s concede this:  the cheese enchiladas were superbly assembled, searing hot, and tasty with a nice enchilada gravy (con carne).  Solid choice, but stay indoors until late autumn.

Tonight’s light meal at the pricey Pesca (Watermark Hotel, 212 W. Crockett St., west of Navarro St. on the S side of the river) was simply incredible.  To ease the fiscal burden on our hostess, I went with small plates.  The spinach and peach salad with candied Texas pecans, Gouda chunks, and a subtle vinaigrette is da bomb: salty, sweet, lightly tart, and heavenly.  The Togarashi Seared Tuna on a bed of baby greens is rich, beautifully rare, with just a hint of syrupy sweetness in the Shiitake-serrano salsa beneath.  The raisin bread is dark, dense, and chewy; it should have been served with butter instead of peppered olive oil.  Save your shekels for this one, but don’t miss it if given a chance.


The Renovare conference was worth it, if only to spend a couple of hours in the intimate First Baptist Church chapel with Richard Foster on Monday and Dallas Willard on Tuesday.  Foster’s address to the assembly in Municipal Auditorium on Tuesday afternoon was classic, urging us to a holier use of language – clearly, concisely, and imaginatively in the service of God’s kingdom, as Moses and Isaiah did.

Here’s a terrible picture of (L-R) Chris Webb, Eugene Peterson, Dallas Willard, Richard Foster, and John Ortberg, during the conversation after Ortberg’s closing address, itself a clarion call to the Jesus way.



Among other things, qb learned from Chris Webb – a Franciscan – how to read the Psalms and the Prophets aloud.  We have much to learn from our more contemplative brethren.


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