Reviewed by Karishma Pais
200 S Alamo St, San Antonio
Hours: 11.30 am to 2.00 am
Texas, the second largest state in the United states (next to Alaska) is 1/4 the size of India. Home of the original Texan rangers, it evocates images of handsome cowboys. Well that’s what i thought I was in for when I planned my trip to San Antonio. Well San Antonio is just 3 hours from the Mexican border and was originally part of Mexico. So majority of its population is Hispanic and not nomadic cowboys.
The San Antonio river winds itself for about 5 miles around the city, passing below the Hilton and a few other such famous buildings. But the main attraction on the river bank is the pub hopping. The river bank (other than the places where it is actually flowing under public roads and buildings) is covered with pubs and eateries.
We went into Durty Nellies to begin with. Now this is basically an Irish ambience pub but any Indian would feel totally in place out here. Snacks are on the house whether u drink or not. And snacks are unshelled monkeynuts or timepass. The funda is that u eat as many nuts as u want and u can drop the shells wherever u please. The floors the tables the chairs are all covered with moongphali ke chilke.
They claim that they have 490 tons of peanuts shelled so far. and the floor seems to give testimony to that fact. They have live entertainment personified by an Irish gentle man ??? who plays the keyboards and belts out the raunchiest numbers possible with all the “meaningful” blanks filled in by the inebriated crowd.
As usual in the US, action hots up after 11. And too many drinks could land you in the drink literally since there’s hardly 1/2 a metre of distance between the pubs entrance/exit and the river with no barricades between the 2 other than the crowd. 5 varied beers and a nutty Irishman (kahlua, irish baileys and cream on ice or on coffee) brought our bill up to about $– which is a reasonable amount given the prices in Chicago.
Action songs, ballroom waltzing or dirty dancing… anything goes. Dress is casual jeans, ties and suspenders or even business suits. You will see all kinds, and no one is uncomfortable no matter how much or how little they have on. Visited a couple more places along the river walk but didn’t feel inclined to have anything more than an ice cream after the ambience of Durty Nellies.