Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today, in the site of the Tower of the Americas and the internets, to celebrate the holy matrimony of the constantly changing and the consistently delicious; the familiar and the unusual; the retrofunk vibe and the distinctly San Antonio feel. I present to you, kind people, The Monterey.
What can I say about The Monterey. I’ll start with this: it is currently my favorite restaurant in this city. Yeah. I’ll give you a moment to consider the gravity of that statement.
Right, so, The Monterey, conveniently located on South St. Mary’s, is a gastropub with indoor and outdoor seating, a constantly rotating (and totally rad) food menu, an expansive beer and wine selection, and an atmosphere that says, in the absolute best of ways, Come! Sit in my perfectly xeriscaped patio garden, drink this obscure beer, and have some pig head torchon! Or a grilled cheese? Or turnips and foie gras? Green curry shrimp and plantains? Fried BBQ chicken?! Now, let’s compare our interesting tattoos.
I’ll pause for some definitions.
- Retrofunk: origin – me. Made it up. Definition – a hip and trendy yet comfortable atmosphere with eclectic and arguably retro décor, including but not limited to elements such as patio lights, bright colors, classic cars, unisex bathrooms (puzzling to newcomers.. it’s ok, use either one) and ironic/scary decorations.
- Xeriscaping: Environmentally responsible landscaping that uses drought hardy and bodacious desert plants. Alternatively, growing a lawn on your roof or out of your chimney. (Not necessarily that last part.)
- Turnips: Please don’t “turnip” your nose at me. Valentine, be mine!
The skinny on the food is that it’s all kind of unusual, if you couldn’t tell by the sound of their menu, but it is ALL tasty, tasty to the max. And if something sounds normal, be advised that the creative geniuses of El Monty’s kitchen have probably put a weird (BUT DELICIOUS) spin on it. You can always ask the well informed and friendly staff for a description of a menu item, or for a recommendation.
…OR YOU CAN ASK ME! I’ll tell you right now that anything with their crystal Hollandaise sauce is amazing, the expensive cheese omelette and French toast are ridiculous good, and the corn with yogurt and grilled cheese sandwich both are fantastic. But my numero uno favorite thing I’ve tried here is….
The BRUSSELS SPROUTS. Seriously. Mind blowing. I didn’t even know that I like Brussels sprouts. I don’t think I would in any other situation. They’re not in season right now and consequently not on the menu, but I’m biding my time and hoping they come back soon. My only bad experience at The Monterey was the time I tried to look smarter than I actually am by ordering La Cigarrella Manzanilla Sherry. To be fair, this unfortunate situation was entirely my fault, as the kind server warned me that sherry is awful (in more legitimate words). I didn’t know a damn thing about sherry but obviously pretended that I did and ordered it. REGRET! AVOID! Unless, of course, you’re classier than me and enjoy drinking something that tastes like a dangerous household cleaner.