Monday, February 22, 2010

Aldaco's Mexican Cuisine - Blanca Aldaco

I met Blanca Aldaco at Aldaco's Mexican Cuisine, in San Antonio's Historic Sunset Station, during a spring 2008 press trip. Her eyes sparkled and she spoke enthusiastically as she taught each of us how to make the ultimate margarita under her watchful eye. Aldaco then circulated through the dining room as we sat down to dinner, and served us the restaurant's signature avocado margarita.
Ever since Aldaco opened her first restaurant, nearly 21 years ago, she has taken inspiration from childhood experiences in Guadalajara. And Aldaco's has become a San Antonio favorite and a Zagat-rated dining destination.
"We ate with my grandmother and grandfather every Wednesday and Friday," Aldaco says. "She had a cook and it was very formal, with soup, salad, entree, and dessert. On Sundays we went to the club, and you could smell steaks cooking outdoors. When I came to the U.S. I knew how to make a great salsa, and tacos, and I had a great, great palate."

Nowadays, Aldaco spends most of her time at her bustling two-year-old second location, on Stone Oak Parkway.  Here, customers can enjoy steaks grilled outdoors, and billiards plus a Bloody Mary bar on many Saturdays and Sundays. 

Aldaco has added 'lighter' items to both menus. One of the newest dishes, Arrachera a la Brava, combines beef skirt steak with a marinade of lime, fresh jalapeno, garlic and one secret ingredient. The restaurants also offer items for individuals with celiac disease and gluten intolerance.

"I want [dining at Aldaco's] to be an experience, rather than just an outing," Aldaco says. "I also want to cultivate friendships."

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