From Austin to San Antonio the Interstate 35 food scene is on the rise. Right in between the two cities, just 30 minutes northeast of San Antonio and right off the square in New Braunfels, is Huisache Grill. It’s just far enough to feel like you are escaping for a special meal, but close enough that you can go any night of the week. Huisache is not a newcomer to the I-35 food scene; it has been serving scratch-made food for over 20 years. In 1994 the owners combined their backgrounds in the restaurant business and vintage home remodeling into what would become the Huisache Grill.
The building they chose for the restaurant was built in the 1920s. Over the years it’s been home to a variety of businesses and at one time a haunted house. For the past 20 years, it’s been an ever-expanding project, opening new dining areas and restaurant features. Huisache showcases contemporary American cuisine with a few additional items from around the world. It’s open for lunch and dinner seven days a week. They offer fast lunch options, and you can sign up for e-mail notifications for lunch specials and the soup of the day. Lunch is substantial, but this just feels like a dinner spot. The old building is charming, the wine selection is solid, and the back porch is so inviting you will want to stay around for at least a second glass of wine.
Plan your trip to Huisache Grill on an evening you can linger. Thursday nights they feature $5 glasses of wine on tap, and Monday nights select bottles of wine are 50 percent off. Start off your meal with a batch of fried oysters and a bottle of rosé wine. The oysters are lightly breaded and served with a dipping sauce. The batter is perfectly light, and the oysters are nicely cooked. The rosé provides a refreshing acidity that acts as a foil to the richness of the oysters.
Quick side note to my manly readers: “Bro, get over the fact that it’s pink!” Properly crafted rosé wines are light-bodied with a taste profile closer to a red wine and should never be sweet. Huisache has several, so give one a try. The fried brie and chips with three salsas are also reliable appetizer options. With all the wine discounts, you can opt for a charcuterie board as an appetizer or just a lighter meal.
There are a variety of soup, salad, and sandwich options like the Hot Ham, Smoky Gouda, and Caramelized Onions. Black Forest ham, dressed field greens,and German mustard are strong complements to the smoky Gouda. Or try the three salad sampler with Waldorf chicken salad, Shrimp Louis salad and a fresh tossed spinach salad. Other entrees include Hot and Crunchy Trout or Jumbo Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp. All of these are solid options, but the Steak Frites is a real standout — grilled sliced steak arrachera topped with a dollop of black pepper butter, served with house-made shoestring potatoes and a seasoned green bean medley. Huisache prepares the skirt steak perfectly, resulting in a tenderness that almost doesn’t need a knife, and the black pepper butter will leave you dreaming about this steak. The shoestring fries are served a little on the crunchy side, which is perfect for soaking up the juices that come off the steak. This is a delicious steak, and I am an expert in this department!
Huisache Grill can accommodate private parties of up to 40 people and offers a variety of venues for a different kind of dining. Downtown New Braunfels is just a block away, giving you the perfect stroll to finish off your meal. Head north for a delicious meal in a great setting, and tell them San Antonio Woman sent you.
By Scott Austin
Photography by Janet Rogers