Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Ostra and Chart House Restaurant (San Antonio, TX)

Hello, friends! Have you been reading all my posts from San Antonio? Check out my previous posts (linked below) to follow what I have been doing.

Gluttony in San Antonio

Boudro's on the Riverwalk

So far, I have learned so much and my brain is on overload, but it has been a fabulous trip. We have enjoyed many great restaurants!

I have two spots to share with you today: Ostra and Chart House.

I stumbled on Ostra kind of by accident. I was using YELP to scope out good brunch spots. I found one that looked fantastic...but when I got there, it turned out that brunch was pretty pricey. It did include bottomless mimosas...but still. It was a little more than I wanted to spend. So we ended up at Ostra.

We had a few minutes to wait for a table, but luckily they had a complimentary coffee bar! I grabbed a coffee and we enjoyed the nice view of the Riverwalk. Some parts of the Riverwalk are a little crowded and dirty, but not here!


Side note: check out this hotel! I want to stay HERE if I visit again!

We decided to go with the buffet, which was delish! I loved the scrambled eggs with pico de gallo and Serrano peppers!

After our breakfast, we were stuffed, so we spent some time wandering around and explored the Alamo a little.

I loved this tree, which was over 100 years old! It's located just outside of the long barracks of the Alamo.


So now... I want to tell you all about my favorite spot in San Antonio so far: Chart House.

Chart House is actually located on the top of the Tower of the Americas.

Chart House is about 500-550 feet high, and the elevator ride was pretty exciting and nerve-wracking!

The ride was worth the wait!

When we stepped off the elevator, we were greeted with the most beautiful, panoramic view of the city. Every table has this amazing view! Plus, the floor rotates very slowly, so throughout the course of your meal, you make a 360 degree turn around San Antonio.

I started with a dirty martini...

...followed by Gazpacho!

You rarely see gazpacho on a menu, so I had to get it, and it was wonderful! One of the best I have had! And by the way, that is a pickle stuck in there! Love!

It took a while to decide on an entree, but I went with scallops with wasabi mashed potatoes and Asian green beans.

It was delicious! I was a little worried about the potatoes because sometimes wasabi can be a little overpowering, but these were perfect! I would highly recommend this! I definitely want to try and recreate these green beans! They were so unique! I think they had sesame oil, sesame seeds, and maybe soy sauce. Maybe I will work on a version of this when I get home!

Even though we were stuffed, we decided to share some desserts: key lime pie and cheesecake with caramel and macadamia nuts.

Are you drooling? You should be. It was so decadent!
By the time we finished dinner, this was our view:
Amazing, right?
If you are visiting San Antonio, this is a spot at I would highly recommend! It's not a place to eat quickly and run (but with that view, why would you?!), but the food and service were amazing. We had a person in our party with a specific dietary request, and the manager went out of her way to make sure the request was accommodated.
Thank you, Chart House, for a wonderful dinner!



Monday, June 24, 2013

Gluttony in San Antonio

Howdy from Texas! Happy Sunday, everyone! I am having the best time in Texas. Learning a lot, and eating too much. Seriously. I am going to need to Zumba for a week straight to get myself back to normal. I did go for a walk today on the Riverwalk, but I need a serious week of detox.

Last night, we hit another Riverwalk location: Casa Rio. We scoped out several Mexican restaurants, and in the end, we settled on this one. It opened in 1946 and was one of the first restaurants on the river. We had to wait a bit for a table, but since it was a Saturday night, I kind of expected that. I read many of the Yelp reviews before going, just to see what others recommended. I was a little skeptical because some of the reviews were not great, but our experience was pretty good!

Casa Rio is located right on the Riverwalk, so there is lots to watch while you wait/eat!

Some reviewers commented that they did not like the chips and salsa...but I thought this was some of the best salsa I have ever had at a Mexican Restaurant! This tasted fresh to me- it did not taste like a jar of Tostitos salsa. And I like to think of myself as a salsa connoisseur. (I have to say... I think mine is the best... But this was really good!)

I tried to go semi-healthy with Pollo Asada.

It was pretty good! Of course, we ate way too much.

One plus to this restaurant is all the ambiance and atmosphere. Mariachi singers stopped by our table and asked if we would like to buy a song. We said no, but then some people sitting near us bought a few songs, so we ended up getting a free concert out of it!

On the way home, we stopped by to see the Alamo at night.

It is amazing to me to see how many people are out and about so late at night... Even children! You would have thought it was the middle of the day!

I hope you are enjoying hearing all about my trip to San Antonio. Some of the posts I am working on are:

  • ISTE Recaps (this will be posted on Outgrowing Myself)
  • Other Riverwalk eating/adventures
  • Alamo Visit
  • Haunted (or not?) Hotel
  • Dinner at this amazing spot:

More to come!


Saturday, June 22, 2013

Boudro's on the Riverwalk

Hello friends! Guess what...I am on the move this week! But where am I???

Want a hint? It's the home of the Alamo...

San Antonio!


I'm here in San Antonio for the International Society for Technology in Education Conference. Otherwise known as ISTE. That's right. For the next several days, I get to unleash my inner computer nerd. If you are new to the blog, you may not know that I am an educator during the daylight hours...and I moonlight as a food and lifestyle blogger. (By the way, I do also have an educational blog. Click here to view. I'll be posting here and on Twitter about things I learn.)

Anyway, one of the best things about traveling is getting to try out new local restaurants. After checking Yelp and asking for some tips via social media, I decided to try out Boudro's on the Riverwalk tonight.

Many Yelpers recommended:

The Prickly Pear Margarita...


The tableside guacamole...


And the blackened prime rib.


I took the advice and tried all three- which were all delicious! My favorite thing was the guacamole. I love that they have the recipe on the website, so you can recreate it at home. Click here to check it out!

I am looking forward to the rest of my time here! I am going to write up a post about my hotel... It's supposedly haunted! Maybe I will get a good ghost pic!


Thursday, June 6, 2013

Healthier Nachos

My love affair continues.

This hot sauce is good on just about everything I can find in my fridge or pantry. I have put it on sweet potato fries, eggs, veggies, and more.

Click here to read another recent post where I used Frank's.

And another.

And tonight: nachos.

Nachos used to be one of my favorite things to get at the ballpark or as an appetizer. They are a little bit of everything- crunchy, warm, messy... yum. However, I think you will agree with me that nachos don't have much going for them in the way of nutrition. Last week, a friend posted a link to a recipe for Healthier Nachos on Facebook, and the idea stuck with me. I couldn't locate the original recipe, so I made my own version.

The first thing I cut out? The chips. Really, I have found that the chips are just a way of getting the good stuff to my face. They are just a vehicle. The original recipe used bell peppers instead of chips. I liked that idea, so I went with it. Then I cut the cheese. I swapped it for some diced avocado...because really I think that what the cheese does is give you a nice creamy texture. I lightened up the beef topping from the way I imagine it would be made in most concession stands. And then I added hot sauce. Just because it's awesome on everything. Did I mention that before? Overall, I think this was a pretty awesome dinner that I will definitely eat again. (Like tomorrow.)


Healthier Nachos (Paleo and Whole30 Friendly!)


  • 2 bell peppers sliced up into triangle-style shapes (but really the shape doesn't matter)
  • 1 lb. ground beef (very lean)
  • 1/2 can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
  • Spices- cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper
  • 1/2 avocado, diced


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. When hot, place peppers on a baking sheet and roast about 5-6 minutes on each side, just enough to soften them a little bit and get them nice and hot.
  • Brown beef and drain fat. Add spices: 2 tbsp. cumin, 1 tbsp. chili powder, 1/2 tsp. garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste)
  • Stir beef and spices. Add 1/2 can of tomatoes. Allow to simmer, uncovered, until most of the liquid evaporates.
  • Load up the nachos: peppers, beef mix, and top with avocado. Finish it off with Frank's!


Guess what today was? The last day of school. I can't believe it. For teachers and students around here, it's feeling a little like New Year's Eve. This is actually my first year of working all summer. If you have been reading for a while, you know that back in August I started a new job. I am still an educator, but my new position is year-round. It feels a little weird to be gearing up for summer work...but I am looking forward to the workshops for teachers that I will be teaching this summer!