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The Cove Restaurant in San Antonio Review

An all-in-one restaurant, bar, live music venue, car wash and -- laundromat?

About.com Rating 3 Star Rating

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Yes, you read that right. The Cove Restaurant in San Antonio is a veritable cornucopia of venues all in one. The restaurant first opened in 2001 and uses local, organic and sustainable foods on its menu. But the real draw here seems to be the lively atmosphere. Not only is there a bar with live music and the occasional wine tastings and food pairings, the pet-friendly establishment also features ping-pong tables, basketball courts out back, and a Texas Beer Garden, with more than 50 Texas-brewed beers on tap. there are

Oh, and there is a laundromat and car wash as well. Sound crazy? Once you are there, you will see that it really does all go together in one big big hodgepodge of entertainment, food and utility.

Pros

  • Organic and sustainable local food
  • Arguably the best lamb burger in town
  • Get your laundry clean while you eat!

Cons

  • Parking is a huge pain almost any time of day.
  • Don't ask you how you want your burger done.
  • Service is hit-or-miss.

Basic Information

Address: 606 W. Cypress
Phone: (210) 227-2683
Recommended Dishes: lamb burger, spring salad with grilled apples, jalapeno carrot cake

The Review

I went to The Cove with high expectations because of all the praise the spot has gotten in the past. As its website attests, Food Network's Guy Fieri said its lamb burger was the best he'd ever tasted, and "Texas Monthly" magazine voted the Texas Burger as the best in San Antonio and fifth best in all of Texas.

Unfortunately, The Cove did not live up to the hype on the day I visited. The Texas Burger is a beef patty with onions, cheese, avocado, beans and tortilla chips. If this sounds familiar, it's because Chris Madrid's does a similar burger, minus the avocado, called the Tostada Burger. I would take the Toastada Burger any day over this, which was dry and overcooked. The whole wheat bun was cold and a little tough.

The lamb burger on the other hand was quite good. It was well-seasoned, juicy and had a spicy sauce that matched well. The spring salad with grilled apples was absolutely delicious.

As for starters, we tried the sweet potato fries, which were not nearly as good as the sauce that came with them. It was tangy and slightly spicy, making a good foil for the sweetness of the fries. Unfortunately, the fries were a bit soggy and burnt on the edges of the smaller ones. Not a good combo. The jalapeno carrot cake was moist and delicious. The brownie tasted wet and undercooked.

The wait staff was great, but the bar staff where I had to go to get my homemade soda was lackadaisical at best. The restaurant felt very uneven in the service department. I've heard great things about The Cove and intend to go back to see if maybe I just went on a bad day. I'll update when that day comes.

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