No Guilt Mexican, or Perhaps Just a Little

There are a lot of Mexican restaurants in San Antonio. And I mean a lot. And we're talking Tex-Mex here. There are very few authentic or even semi-authentic Mexican restaurants. However, that's not to say there isn't a place in our hearts (or stomachs) for good Tex-Mex.

That said, there really aren't a lot of good Mexican restaurants, though. And when I say "good," I mean good and good for you.

There are plenty of places to get a wonderfully decadent breakfast taco, but not many places serve them on homemade corn tortillas. Rather they use thick and gummy flour tortillas which are not my style and which are merely aiding the diabetic panic we are facing.

There are plenty of dives to get a plate of "greasy enchiladas," if I can quote Lyle Lovett, but not a lot of places to eat enchiladas without the heartburn that arrives once the plate is empty.

There is also a wide supply of Taco Cabanas, as this is the city in which they were developed. And lots of Las Palapas, which is just a step above Taco Cabana, or not?

And there is one Mexican restaurant we know of that uses no lard, chooses brown rice and focuses on making a healthy alternative to the greasy Mexican food that has become ubiquitous. Oh, yea, the best part is that the food tastes great! And I do mean great!

La Fiesta Patio Cafe has been in business since 1974. Their slogan is "A Healthier Tex-Mex." And that they are. While it may be "destination dining" for some, it is so worth the trip.


Located in Universal City, approximately two miles off of I-35 at 1421 Pat Booker Road, La Fiesta Patio Cafe is situated near Randolph Air Force Base. Their phone number is 210-658-5110. We go and get our "fix" about once a quarter and when we do David is so happy!

David is thrilled to be here and get his Mexican food fix.

We always go for lunch and get the same thing every time. He orders the L-1 (two enchiladas) with chili gravy and I always get the L-7 which has an enchilada and a chalupa. All lunch specials are $5.95 - $7.95 and come with tea and your choice of two sides, but we only order brown Spanish rice and refried beans.

L-1:  2 enchiladas with chili gravy

L-7: 1 enchilada and 1 chalupa

It's not only satisfying but really, really good. Normally, David eats his food quickly while the food is still hot. But when we are here, David savors every single bite. Wishing. It. Would. Never. Be. Over. And when it is over, he always says, "I'll take another." And he doesn't mean another bite, he means another plate. He wants to do it all over again.

David's clean plate

My clean plate

Their commitment to healthy food means that they offer tofu as a protein for tacos and enchiladas. They also have alfalfa sprouts that they plop on top of chalupa compuestas. They feature four different homemade sauces for the enchiladaschili gravy, vegetarian, verde and rioja.

Not only is the food good, but the prices are more than reasonable. We usually "get outta there" for around $13, which means you can afford to tip well.

So the next time you are craving Tex-Mex, give La Fiesta Patio Cafe a try. And you'll probably feel good afterwards.

Buen provecho!
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