This article originally appeared in Hills and Heights magazine.
Off of Austin Highway is a retro looking diner that serves hot coffee and spicy food. Thousand Oaks Café is a go-to place for an early, or late, morning breakfast. Whether you are looking for breakfast tacos, a Mexican plate or pancakes, you will leave happy and full.
I was introduced to the original Thousand Oaks Café by a coworker in the distribution center when I first moved to town in 2005. After asking for Mexican food recommendations, Gus told me that I had to check out Thousand Oaks, a quintessential SA spot that opens very early and closes in the afternoon. Since that time, Thousand Oaks Café has been my go to place for breakfast.
Far and away, the item to order is the chilaquiles plate. While there are many varieties, the basic ingredients are scrambled eggs, fried corn tortilla strips, diced tomatoes and spicy peppers all topped with cheese. I favor the chilaquiles rancheros, which is smothered with a ranchera sauce similar to what you would find on huevos rancheros.
The plate comes with refried beans, chunky potatoes and fresh tortillas. If you don’t have a bottle of green salsa on your table, ask for one. Before using the salsa liberally, sample a little bit on your beans – it has some heat. Whether or not you favor flour tortillas, become a gringo for the morning and ask for them instead of the corn; they have a good thickness and come off fresh from the comal. While you can use them to make a taco, I roll them into a cylinder to sop up the ranchera sauce and green salsa and dip into the beans.
Of note is both the coffee and pancakes. Adding cream and sugar to the cup of Joe will make anyone a fan (even my wife who has a strong dislike of coffee has to order it there). The pancakes are big but have the unique ability to have crispy edges.
Thousand Oaks Café is an excellent place to take a break from the hustle and bustle, or to enjoy a lazy weekend morning.
Thousand Oaks Café, 1271 Austin Highway, San Antonio, TX 78209, (210) 829-4800