Friday, August 9, 2013

Tower of the Americas in San Antonio

I have not had a lot of success on the San Antonio Riverwalk since going gluten free, but it remains one of my favorite places nonetheless.  We were there for a quick trip last weekend; we took our nephew Brandon there to see the Alamo.  Since it was his first trip to San Antonio, we decided to do something special and took him to the Chart House at the Tower of the Americas for lunch.  This rotating restaurant is at the top of a 750 ft high tower, with spectacular views of the city.  (Note: because Texas is very flat, you can see for a looooong way.)  The tower was the highest observation tower in the United States until 1996, when the Stratosphere opened in Las Vegas.

I hadn't been to the tower since it was bought by Landry's in 2004.  (Those people own everything!  Seriously, look at the list of restaurants they own.)  The restaurant is now called The Chart House.

I have a mixed review to give.  On the one hand, they had a gluten free menu.  Big plus!  I also enjoyed my food a great deal.  I had a perfectly cooked steak, an outstanding gazpacho, and a really yummy cocktail (mango Sangria).

On the other hand, lunch took two hours.  Two hours spent with three children whining that it was taking too long, they were bored, they didn't really want to go to the Alamo at all, they did want to go to the pool at the hotel, and why aren't we at the hotel pool right now?  Their fascination with the view lasted about 3 and a half minutes.  To top it off, no one else in my party liked their food.  Colin had clam chowder -- thumbs down.  Caroline and Brandon had steak -- Brandon's was undercooked (he asked for it medium well, and it was pretty darn rare.) and Caroline found hers too tough.  My husband had fish, which he pronounced ok, but not great.

So, I don't know if I can recommend it or not.  If you do go, go without children, with plenty of time to kill, and be sure to order the gazpacho.  It's a real winner!


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