San Antonio is a surprisingly pretty city, or at least the part of town that they dress up for tourists. The Alamo area is anchored by the famous Riverwalk, a canal that runs through the urban core that is lined with restaurants and bars. It’s like Amsterdam, just without the history and the weed and the foxy European types.
Boudro’s is a flagship of the strip. The “Texan bistro” specializes in southwestern fare that celebrates the ingredients that dominate east Texas: beef and fresh seafood.
It was too muggy for wine when my dad, brother and I visited, so I started with a Texas Tea, which is just a Long Island that’s loaded with tequila. GET IT?!? It was great.
I adore crab cakes. They’re as close to perfect as food gets: crispy, moist, savoury and a bit sweet, exalting what is, in my opinion, the most delicious creature in all the sea. I order them from almost every menu I can, and they can really hit or miss - at their worst, they are bland, mushy or decidedly un-fresh.
Being as close as we were to the Gulf, we started the meal with some lump blue crab cakes, and I can tell you that Boudro’s absolutely nails them. The cake itself was spot-on in terms of texture and flavour, and instead of being drowned in flavoured mayonnaise the patties were served on an amazingly light corn sauce and paired with a bright jicama slaw and a bruschetta-style tomato salad. We were off to a good start.
For my entree I had Duck three ways: espresso-glazed confit with huckleberry blood orange sauce, smoked duck enchilada and a crispy duck spring roll, served with a jalapeno corn pudding. Ducks, in my humble opinion, are the second-most delicious creature to come from the water, and with so many climbing up from the Riverwalk to poke around at our feet while we ate, it seemed like an appropriate order. The plate was a hat-trick. All three were great, and perhaps most shockingly, the spring roll came out on top. It’s tough to miss the mark with confit, and the enchilada was a bit pedestrian, but the spring roll somehow elevated the natural smokiness of the duck into some amazingly tasty mouthfuls. And on top of these three amazing duck preparations, the corn pudding of all things was equally divine, like a really brilliant corn bread that wasn’t cooked all the way, staying perfectly moist.
My brother had the grilled seafood platter, and while I only got a few tiny tastes, everything was prepared beautifully and won rave reviews. I mean, it’s tough to go wrong with “Lobster tail with herb butter, grilled fish fillet, crawfish fricassée, seared sea scallops, and shrimp plancha,” right?