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Fearless Critic restaurant review
San Antonio
Casual restaurant

Mon–Fri 10:00am–5:30pm
Sat 10:00am–3:00pm

Features Kid-friendly, outdoor dining
Bar None
Credit cards Visa, MC, AmEx
Reservations Not accepted

King William/Southtown
1000 S. St. Marys St.
San Antonio, TX
(210) 212-6456
Cascabel Mexican Patio
Quirky Cascabel bucks mainstream Mexican with its regional specialties

We might as well just publish the walls at Cascabel; covered as they are with culinary comments such as “The food is great here. There’s no other place like it.” and “Ésta es comida mexicana!” Said walls have only become denser with opinion and attitude over the years that this singular Southtown place has been open.

And every main dish was $7.50 at press time. (Breakfast, served all day, is less expensive.) Tlacoyos, huaraches, birria … these are not tired Tex-Mex staples. The birria, for example, is a rustic, rusty-hued goat stew, huaraches are sturdy masa “sandals” piled high with various toppings, and tlacoyos are masa envelopes stuffed with either black bean and queso fresco or the Pueblan tinga de pollo, shredded chicken cooked with chiles and perhaps achiote. Plain white rice and a tart salad of nopalitos (slivered cactus paddles) with tomato and onion are the only accompaniments.

There are, however, indications that Cascabel’s resolve to be proudly different is cracking. “Now!!! We are serving chips” (a San Antonian’s birthright) proclaims a sign on the door. But considered as a vehicle for consuming more of the toasty table salsas, chips are not the devil’s work they first might seem to be.

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