Monday, February 23, 2009

San Antonio Bar & Grill - Welcome to Brookland

A Worthy Sucessor to Ellis Island

One of my first encounters with Brookland was during my law school days at Catholic U. On Thursday nights, our last night of class, we would all head over to Ellis Island for burgers and beer. As we all worked during the day and went to school at night, this was our one, welcome pause during the 24/7 craziness that is law school. In fact, when I moved to Brookland in 2005, Sam and I went to Ellis Island for dinner the night we moved in to our Irving Street home.

As you can imagine, Ellis Island had a big place in my conception of Brookland and its closure was a big loss. That's why I was very happy to discover this Saturday, that the San Antonio Bar and Grill is a worthy successor to Ellis Island and certainly a welcome addition to the 12th Street Corridor.

The food was great (and I'm not a huge fan of Mexican or Southwestern Cuisine). The service was attentive, prices reasonable and the decor managed to pay homage to Ellis Island, yet great a more open and airy experience that is noticeably distinct from its predecessor. Since the demise of Ellis Island and Island Jim's, we've pretty much eaten in, but we will definitely be adding San Antonio to our agenda.


Anonymous said...

My wife and I were beside ourselves (so that made four of us) at the news of San Antonio's opening. We stopped by before the opening, and got an informal tour from the very proud owner. Great light and air in the place, confirmed when we went post-opening to actually eat there.

I have to say, bad move. Not talking mouse bits in the food or anything like that,but the food was barely up to Taco Bell standards. The margarita had a plasticized nuclear color to it,and tasted so. The Stella Artois beer was as flat as a, well, atomic force microscope sensor array (couldn't bear to say pancake).

The flat beer is understandable: slightly odd brand, several days after grand opening, no one had ordered one since it was tapped.

I'm not going to hunt so hard for excuses on the food. It was at best uninspired, and as one commenter remarked, a Danish guy could (and apparently does) cook better mexican food than they served. Again - no mouse bits in the food, it just wasn't very good. Or even plain old good.

Anonymous said...

I gave a bad review, have to add:
The service was excellent. We dealt with a couple of waitstaff, they were proud to be there, professional, and responsive. I chickened out from complaining to them directly, even in the face of pretty immediate sadness at the quality of the food - I just didn't want to be the buzzkill for that evening.

Could be a great spot -nice decor and good staff. They just have to (they really have to) get some quality into the food part.

Anonymous said...

I just tried the restaurant for the first time yesterday and found the food to be pretty bad. It actually made me ill. Won't be going back. Prices are a bit high, too.

Anonymous said...

It's nice to have a local bar and grill with such great food and beverage items. I work at a
drug rehab and in order to even find a restaurant you have to drive 25 miles into town but there are some that are worth driving that far for and just getting away is nice too.