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Fearless Critic restaurant review
San Antonio
Casual restaurant

Tue–Sat 5:00pm–midnight
Sun 11:00am–3:00pm

Features Date-friendly, outdoor dining, Wi-Fi
Bar Beer, wine
Credit cards Visa, MC, AmEx
Reservations Accepted


King William/Southtown
1127 S. St. Marys St.
San Antonio, TX
(210) 745-2581
The Monterey Restaurant
Savvy chic in artsy Southtown: the menu is modest but it’s got moxie

The retro-chic theme here is announced at the street by a vintage, two-tone Mercury—yes, Monterey. Equally nostalgic is a grilled cheese sandwich (with occasionally undercooked optional bacon)—though it’s balanced by trendy pork belly. Twitterati initially complained that the food was too fussy, but we say fuss away.

An early-on small plate was “pig’s head,” and it was unequivocally unique—the cabeza was first cooked, then shredded and formed into balls and fried to a crunchy consistency. The idea, which included an odd, anchovy mayonnaise, was better than the execution, but the balls did have cheek. Chicken (or duck) liver paté with duck fat toast tried less hard and was the better for it. But then the start-up chef was replaced, and though the frequently changing menu is still all over the map (think turnips with foie gras mousse, pickled shiitakes and crawfish butter), execution has evolved. Pig head is back in thinly-sliced “torchon” form with fava beans, fresh mint and vinegar, and it’s good. A salad of shaved squashes with country ham, sriracha sauce and a perfectly poached egg both startled with its invention and pleased with its combination of textures and flavors. Grilled beef tongue with smoked tomatillos, anyone?

The menu seems geared more to the beer side of the gastropub equation, though the wine list, which is decidedly not of hit-parade persuasion, has only improved since inception. But whatever your preferred potion, the classed-up back yard that supplies most of the seating is biergarten friendly and frankly a fun place to be.

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