Best Salsa Club

Best of SA 2013: 4/24/2013
Beaches Be Trippin\': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Beaches Be Trippin': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Arts & Culture: Let’s face it, most of us Lone Stars view the Texas coast as a poor man’s Waikiki. Hell, maybe just a poor man’s Panama Beach — only to be used... By Callie Enlow 7/10/2013
A Small Slice of San Anto’s Spooky Haunts

A Small Slice of San Anto’s Spooky Haunts

Arts & Culture: San Antonio is one of the oldest cities in the United States, and its history stretches long before the people behind the American or Texas Revolutions... By Mark Reagan 10/15/2014
Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Music: Chris Pérez never saw it coming. “All I ever wanted to do was play guitar,” he told the Current. “I never thought I’d be the subject of an interview... By Enrique Lopetegui 8/28/2013
Chris Perez, husband of slain Tejana icon Selena, tells of romance, suffering

Chris Perez, husband of slain Tejana icon Selena, tells of romance, suffering

Arts & Culture: In one of the final chapters of his book To Selena, With Love (out March 6), Selena's widower Chris Perez mentions that Abraham Quintanilla, his former father-in-law, once... By Enrique Lopetegui 3/7/2012

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email

Fast Foodie

Fast Foodie: Palenque Grill

Photo: Pamela Maldonado, License: N/A

Pamela Maldonado

What started as a simple concept — traditional Mexican cuisine interspersed with coastal delights influenced by Pancho Ochoa's time spent in Guasave, Sinaloa, off the Pacific coast of Mexico — has developed into a successful South Texas concern. Open for just over a month, San Antonio's Palenque Grill's menu ranges from lengua-filled tacos and hamburguesas to a two-page menu of fresh fish, oysters, and more. The operation grew out of Palenque Grill's successful Valley counterpart, Taco Palenque. I wanted to venture beyond the standard of chicken and beef fajita to really put his restaurant to the test. The first indictor wasn't good, though. The ranchero sauce of serrano peppers and cilantro lacked in both flavor and spice. And while charro beans are more typical in such a setting, the freshly made whipped refried beans with chunks of chorizo were tasty. A tostada de ceviche with shrimp, tomato, and cilantro topped with avocado and "marinated" in lime juice proved overly sour. "Marinated" was obviously not a misprint, and memories of licking Salimon powder out of my palm as a child rushed to the fore. Fine for childhood kicks, not so good for a tostada. For my entree, I went for the bold, the unknown — the Talapia Rellena de Camaron. It was a generous portion of tilapia stuffed with shrimp, Monterrey Jack cheese, settled under a layer of poblano cream sauce served with white rice and steamed vegetables. Maybe it was the rich poblano sauce, or the avocado creamed gravy, or even the excess cheese, but this relleno was better in concept than dining practice. The over-rich flavors left a pungent smack of dislike. And at $23, it left me feeling slightly abused.

With the establishment needing to regain credibility, I decided to snag a few bites from my partner's well-chosen three-taco plate: tripa, chicken fajita, and beef fajita. The trio was accompanied with trompo (red chiles, garlic, cumin), guacamole sauce, and pico de gallo, all excellent compliments. In the end, the flour tortillas are what will have me coming back. If I didn't know better, I would say my mother was in their kitchen rolling the dough, adding her authentic motherly touch — and that's where Palenque Grill won me over. The key here seems to be to keep it simple and traditional. Now about that salsa ...

Palenque Grill
389 N Loop 1604 W
(210) 545-7600

We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus