In starting this blog, one of the hardest things that I have been trying to balance is reviewing new places along with the places I know and love. That being said, I decided to go to an old favorite today for some Sunday morning breakfast before going to church: Thousand Oaks Café.
When I moved to San Antonio four years ago (wow, time sure seems to fly…), I had a position as an analyst in a distribution center. I became friends with one of the shipping managers and he introduced me to Thousand Oaks Café when I was going around and asking folks for their favorite restaurants. He told me that it was a traditional Mexican food restaurant: open early until about 2:00 in the afternoon and cash only. They have changed the rules allowing credit cards, but fortunately for me and you the food has not changed at all.
I used to live around the corner from the café, but now I am a good 25-30 minute drive. That is ok and it doesn’t stop me from returning on a regular basis. I usually go on a Saturday or Sunday morning during brunch time. The restaurant is usually packed with people: the line is typically out the door between 9:00 and 10:00 in the morning, but don’t worry, it moves pretty fast as there are lots of seats on the inside. If you are solo, go ahead and walk into the restaurant and check out the bar because it is first come first serve (speaking of, I love cafes with bars; it really has a throwback feel).
Without a doubt, the thing to order is the chilaquiles plate, and I always opt for the rancheros version. For those not in the know, chilaquiles are basically scrambled eggs with bits of fried corn tortilla, cheese, spicy peppers, onions and tomato. f you are a gringo who is afraid of spicy food, then just order the migas which are basically “unleaded” chilaquiles (they are basically scrambled eggs, cheese and tortilla strips). I like the ranchero sauce to top my chilaquiles because I think the stewed tomatoes and onions really adds to the flavor of the dish.
The plate comes with a helping of chilaquiles rancheros, refried beans, fried potatoes and two of the best tortillas of all San Antonio. I know that this is quite an audacious claim, but the flour tortillas at Thousand Oaks Café some of the absolute best in the entire city. I expect plenty of dialogue for stating this fact, but it is true. They are nice and thick, you get a little of the crispy pockets and they are always hot when you get your plate.
If they don’t bring it to you, be sure to ask for some of their green sauce and put it on the refried beans. The sauce is very spicy and it complements the plate really well. At this point, you are ready to go to town. I roll up a tortilla, and use it as an edible utensil, dip it in the beans and green sauce and eat it along with the chilaquiles.
Thousand Oaks Café is truly one of the best breakfasts that I have ever had, and they have always delivered every time that I go in. The chilaquiles rancheros of Thousand Oaks Café is truly food for the soul. I have no doubt that if world leaders would hold a summit there at breakfast then all nations would be at peace.
Value: 10/10 ($6 for the best breakfast plate that you will ever eat; the coffee is $1.50 and I really like the bold taste)
Atmosphere: 7.5/10 (kind of a dumpy atmosphere, but it is a hole in the wall; props to the open bar seating)
Service: 7.5/10 (service can be slow due to how busy they get; don’t get frustrated, bring some friends, a paper, and all the time in the world and just relax knowing you are going to be full)
Salsa: 10/10 (the green salsa is super spicy and super tasty)
Taste: 10/10 (the best tortillas in town coupled with an absolutely spicy salsa and chilaquiles that will make you want to slap yo’ mama gives this restaurant a 10/10 at breakfast time!)