Famous for Prize-Winning Margaritas
Blanca Aldaco opened her first restaurant, Aldaco’s, in 1989. For the past 28 years, she and her team have served up traditional Mexican food in a cantina-style atmosphere. They have expanded to three locations — Sunset Station, Stone Oak and their newest location in The Dominion. This latest spot, at 22211 Interstate 10 Frontage Road right across from The Dominion, is a beautiful restaurant built by a veteran of good taste and good times.
Aldaco’s at The Dominion is open for lunch and dinner seven days a week, and on Saturday and Sunday they offer brunch starting at 10:30. The decor balances modern design but is aware of its culinary tradition. You will want to kick back and relax — nothing stuffy here. In fact, the only thing better than the spacious and open atmosphere inside is the expansive porch almost entirely covered by shade trees. Picture yourself with a margarita sitting on that porch. That’s why you live in South Texas in the winter, right? Or better yet, complement your Chilaquiles San Antonio with a prickly pear mimosa or Bloody Mary for a slow Saturday/Sunday morning brunch.
Aldaco’s staff greets you when you arrive and offers seating on the porch, in the restaurant or at the bar. If there’s a wait, you can grab a draft beer or any number of options at the full-service bar. The margarita menu is extensive and award-winning. Aldaco’s has racked up too many awards to count, but their most recent, in 2016, is from the San Antonio Express-News for the best margarita in San Antonio. That has to be as impressive as winning the prize for the best slice of pizza in New York or the best Philly cheesesteak in Philadelphia.
Aldaco’s is famous for its creamy avocado margarita, but a close contender is the Zesty Margarita. This libation blends high-end tequila, agave nectar and slivers of fresh jalapeños to create a well-balanced, slightly spicy, just-sweet-enough killer margarita. The bartenders flex their culinary chops by offering a few mezcal-based margaritas. Technically, all tequila is in the mezcal family, but what is commonly referred to as mezcal is a smoky agave-based spirit that when blended with lime and simple syrup makes for an excellent handcrafted margarita.
The menu offers Tex-Mex standards alongside traditional Mexican dishes and a few of Blanca’s twists; it’s this creativity balanced with respect for tradition that sets Aldaco’s apart from other San Antonio restaurants. There are many reliable options on the menu, but for brunch the Chilaquiles San Antonio with Puntas de Puerco en Chile Chipotle is outstanding! The chilaquiles are what you would expect, but Aldaco’s takes them to 11 with spicy pork tips and a homemade ranchero sauce. Ranchero sauce is a traditional tomato-based sauce that is a brilliant complement to the spicy pork, eggs, cheese and tortilla strips. The dish is served with fresh tortillas, allowing you to assemble possibly the breakfast taco of your life.
If brunch isn’t your thing, the lunch and dinner menus also have many standouts. Try the Enchiladas de Camaron filled with grilled shrimp and topped with Al cilantro sauce, a light-bodied cream sauce made with fresh cilantro.
If you are looking for healthier items, they offer a skinny margarita, plenty of fresh grilled seafood, salads and a section of their menu dedicated to gluten-free options, like the Pollo y Camaron, grilled chicken breast in that delicious creamy cilantro sauce with three grilled shrimp.
Aldaco’s at The Dominion is a festive spot, perfect for families and large parties. They have party rooms for private events and offer cooking classes for team building and interactive events. Whether you are looking to sample San Antonio’s finest margaritas on a South Texas evening, start your weekend right with a lazy brunch, or grab a quick lunch, Aldaco’s will not disappoint. But seriously, order the Zesty Margarita and anything with their ranchero sauce, and tell them Scott sent you!
By Scott Austin
Photography by Janet Rogers