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Fearless Critic restaurant review
San Antonio
Casual restaurant

Features Outdoor dining
Bar Beer, wine, liquor
Credit cards Visa, MC, AmEx
Reservations Accepted

Uptown Central
4405 McCullough Ave.
San Antonio, TX
(210) 396-7909
Daily 6:30am–10:00pm

South Side
1002 Pleasanton Rd.
San Antonio, TX
(210) 924-0478
Mon–Thu 6:00am–10:00pm
Fri 6:30am–11:00pm
Sat 6:30am–10:00pm
Sun 6:30am–3:00pm
Mary Lou’s Café
Movin’ on up to the Northside, where the digs disguise some solid, Southside Tex-Mex

Mary Lou has got her quirks. One is the sauce that comes with the house’s equally quirky flour chips; it’s thin, warm, oniony and flavored with bay leaves. (Ask for the green salsa instead.) But when often-offhand refried beans and “Spanish” rice raise eyebrows, it’s clear that all is not lost.

Tangy and zesty are not words we use with regularity, but they came to mind upon tasting the enchiladas verdes. The tomatillo sauce is exceptional, the chicken is full of flavor on its own. The shades-of-brown plate that is carne guisada, the defining Tex-Mex dish in the minds of many, sports large, tender cubes of meat, and the pepper-flecked gravy is not overwhelmed with comino.

The meat that makes up the carne a la Mexicana, on the other hand, has been chopped to the same size as the onion, tomato and chiles that are stir-fried with it. Tortillas are required just to get enough pieces together to seriously taste. Fortunately, though we are not among those that have touted hers as the best in town, the corn tortillas are delicate and lightly fragrant, the flour models appropriately blistered and flexible. But do give us carne that still has cojones.

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