When I moved back to San Antonio from Austin, I returned with a college degree, the fear of having to pay off my loans and a serious hankering for mangonadas. While you can find mediocre imitations of our beloved breakfast tacos in our state’s capital, mangonada places are in short supply. So a year later—especially with this Texas summer heat—you can find me camped out at Big Daddy’s Eats and Treats to satisfy my mangonada cravings.
Big Daddy’s Eats and Treats is a haunt for creative mangonadas, snow cones and many other snack-time favorites. They’ve grown since their 2012 food truck start and now have two established locations: one in Southtown and the other close to Lackland Air Force Base.
In Southtown, Big Daddy’s Eats and Treats renovated a house to suite its raspa-making needs; customers order and are served through the front windows. This location carries the “food truck” feel but with more space as the front yard is converted into a fenced-in patio. A handful of colorful benches and plastic lawn chairs are available for their customers to wait for their order or sit and enjoy their treat. This patio seating tends to fill-up quickly.
Like waiting for a seat at a sports bar during a Spurs’ playoff game, the wait time at Big Daddy’s can be incredibly lengthy during their busy periods. And with summertime in full swing, you can always expect a long line—especially after 5:00 p.m.
On a recent trip, I ventured away from my plain old mangonada and ordered their Mangohill, a mangonada with cucumbers. The cucumbers work as a tasty fence for the mountain serving of mangonada. It’s tangy and refreshing, and if you eat anything like me, it can get messy.
If you want a sweeter alternative from the tangy mango, they also serve fresanadas a treat that’s a similar style to a mangonada with the mangos subbed out for strawberries. Want to take it to the next level? Ask for a “Fresabear,” a fresanada with gummy bears piled on top and coated with chile powder and chamoy. The gummy bear and strawberry combo are a savory delight for your sweet tooth. From my experience, learn to save some gummy bears for the end—eating them at first might make you too full to finish the fresanada.
While Big Daddy’s may not be ideal if you are looking for a quick stop (especially if the temperatures are over 100 degrees and you have fussy toddlers), it is definitely worth the wait. They not only offer unique twists on raspa classics, but also encourage their customers to further customize their order with items like sour belts and Nerds ropes. Finally, there is a little bit of sticker shock for those who haven’t been to a snack shack since their youth, but do know that the servings at Big Daddy’s are plentiful.
I may still be stressed out about my college loans but my mangonada needs have been fulfilled.