I’m lucky to have friends who enjoy finding chill places with great food as much as I do. My friend Margaret introduced me to River Tree Bistro and I loved the fresh food and how they take pride in their service. I have since taken my parents, my brother and a few of my friends to try it out.
River Tree Bistro is a small restaurant with indoor and patio seating. It is a quirky with bright colors on the walls and after ordering, they hand you a plastic fruit or veggie on a stick instead of a number. They often have a musician playing and always have happy, friendly people working there. After chatting with some of the owners (they come around and make you feel like you are visiting their house instead of a restaurant), I found that the family is originally from Spain. Although most of the menu is not of Spanish origin, they offer some traditional items such as Gazpacho in the summer and Flamenco dancing on Thursdays with a Tapas bar.
I have tried a few different items on the menu, but I really enjoy their soup, salad and sandwiches. On my recent trip I decided to go with my favorite soup they serve, the roasted butternut squash, and the River Tree salad. My brother ordered the meatloaf and we had a capresse appetizer. It isn’t on the regular menu, but they have a sign hanging at the counter with a picture of it, so be sure to ask for it. It is pesto sauce, mozzarella and tomato on a crisp piece of baguette bread; simple and flavorful. Their pesto sauce does not have too much garlic, so it doesn’t ruin the rest of your meal.
My brother enjoyed the meatloaf, which they call “Mom’s Meatloaf,” and he let me try a few bites. It was a large piece of meatloaf on the plate, with a serving of mashed potatoes and green beans. The green beans were very fresh and crisp, which is how I like them. They don’t add a lot of salt or butter to the vegetables, cooking them well and letting the flavor speak for itself. The mashed potatoes were creamy and the gravy on the potatoes and meat loaf was the slightly salty kick the plate needed. I love meatloaf and I enjoyed the few bites I took of this one. It was cooked well so that it wasn’t tough or burnt around the edges. Mixing all three parts of the meal together was probably the favorite bite I took!
I love soup of all kinds, but River Tree Bistro’s butternut squash soup is now one of my favorites. It is a good soup for the fall and winter, but I have also had it mid-summer and been perfectly happy about it too. While I’ve had a few different butternut squash soups at other restaurants that were too sweet, with a lot of cinnamon and spices, the soup at River Tree Bistro isn’t overly sugary, which I prefer. It is thick, but smooth, and has a great, bold flavor. This soup is one of the main reasons I came back to River Tree Bistro a second time and I am glad I did!
The River Tree salad is made of several different lettuces, apples, grapes, dried cranberries, almonds and blue cheese. Again, they like to keep things simple and fresh. I love all the fruit in the salad. The dressing is a champagne vinaigrette and it is slightly sweet, but tart, and it brings together the fruit and blue cheese crumbles really well. Although it is simple, the numerous ingredients make it far more flavorful and less boring than the typical side salad I would throw together.
Overall, River Tree Bistro makes homemade dishes that everyone can tell come from the heart. The owners obviously have a passion for food and satisfying their customers, which makes the experience of eating there even better.
River Tree Bistro, 16350 Blanco Rd. Suite 103, San Antonio, TX 78232