ART, Attractions, DESTINATIONS, Museums, Restaurants & Bars, Road Trips, TRAVEL, United States

More Margaritas Before Fiesta Noche del Rio

Buckhorn Saloon & Museum, San Antonio TX
Souvenir of another trip to San Antonio


After the Margaritas at the Menger Bar,  we took ourselves on a tour of the Menger Hotel lobby. They have extensive displays related to the history of the hotel and you can tell from the architecture she’s a grande olde dame of the accommodations world. If you like staying in historic hotels, which I usually do, I’m sure it’s quite a treat, but I’ll be staying at the Contessa for the foreseeable future.

Touring the Menger Hotel

The front of the Menger is graced with a collection of retail establishments. The antique store, which looked amazing, was closed, but we did go into a toy soldier store and an exotic trinket store. When I say toy soldiers, I’m not talking plastic bags of green army men. I’m talking historically-correct, hand-painted metal soldiers. A chapter of Deb’s life is tied to these interesting collectibles, so we usually stroll through establishments that sell them. The exotic trinket store offered interesting junk that has nothing to do with San Antonio, but it was filled with marvelous aromas and Deb found a bracelet she liked.

Dinner at Casa Rio

Our next stop was dinner and for that we went to one of my favorite places, Casa Rio. I’m not going to tell anyone that it’s the best Mexican Food in San Antonio, but it’s still on on my list of favorites. There is something about sitting there on the Riverwalk, drinking Margaritas, eating Tex-Mex and listening to live Mariachis. I’m sure there are several places to do that along the Riverwalk, but this was the first place to offer it a very, very long time ago and it’s one of my San Antonio traditions, just like pictures of The Alamo.

I have to scold them a little bit though, the Margarita was awful, even though we paid a dollar extra to get the premium tequila. Shame on Casa Rio! The food was great though and we are grateful to each person that paid the Mariachis for a song, because we sure as heck weren’t going to fork over $20!

Every time I go to San Antonio I’m reminded of all the things I want to do there that I haven’t quite gotten around to. The Casa Rosa dinner boats are on that list. You need the minimum of ten people to reserve a dinner boat to ply through the waters of the Riverwalk as you eat your tostadas and tamales. I guess that’s a pretty silly thing to want to do, but there you have it, I’m a sucker for a party. I think I’m going to serve Caronas on my boat though. I’m still upset about our awful Margaritas!

Buckhorn Saloon, Museum, Arcade etc. etc. etc.

With dinner out of the way, there was just time to squeeze in one more thing.  Deb had gone to the Menger Bar for me, so I wanted to get to the Buckhorn Saloon for her. It was one place she mentioned having an interest in.  Now if you’d wanted to visit the original Buckhorn back in 1881, according to my official Centennial edition of their souvenir book, you would have gone to Dolorosa Street.  The bar would have been right across the street from the old Southern Hotel.

The Buckhorn Saloon
The Buckhorn Saloon

When I first the Buckhorn, sometime around its Centennial, it was out at the Lone Star Brewery, which is now the San Antonio Museum of Art (SAMA).  When the SAMA took over, the Buckhorn had to find a new home.  So nowadays, you’ll find it right around the corner from the Majestic Theater, just a hop, skip and a jump from the Riverwalk.

The Buckhorn establishment now has a very long name, because it houses two different museums, a saloon and an arcade, but when Deb and I arrived, the museums had closed for the day and the bar wasn’t yet patronized by the evening crowd.  Nonetheless, Deb and I ordered up Margaritas (for the sake of research you understand) and made ourselves at home in the virtually empty bar.

Memories, Margaritas and Rattlesnake Tails

Buckhorn Saloon, Rattle Tail Art, San Antonio TX
Rattler Tail Art from the Footnotes of the Buckhorn Souvenir Book

As we sat there comparing notes about our previous visits to the Buckhorn over the years, we agreed the museum part of the Buckhorn is a treat for kids – particularly the rattler tail art.  I started my visits to the Buckhorn when I was knee-high to a Longhorn steer and Deb brought her sons when they were young.  The whole Texas Ranger thing we can’t attest to.  We think the Texas Ranger Museum in Waco is the place to go for history of that sort, but you’ll have to follow up on that, because it was now time for the show.

Come back next week and find out about the best $15 dollars we each spent in San Antonio – and it wasn’t on Margaritas.

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