San Antonio, TX 78228
Marianito’s arrived in San Antonio in the winter of 2010. It’s a family operation with a dining area as unique as its menu. Owner Felix Ximenez has a simple philosophy when it comes to food: “Why be normal when you can go extreme!” This mindset is evident in their food with nachos the size of a pizza, and one of the most courageous eating endeavors I’ve even seen – the Extreme Grizzly Burrito. It sounds like a simple bit of Mexican fare with a big tortilla stuffed with carna guisada, refried beans, lots of cheese, enchilada sauce, queso, guacamole, sour cream and red tortillas. Nice, huh? The interesting thing about this dish is that it weighs 7 pounds. My hand to God that is not a typo, the burrito is bigger than that sack of flour you have in your pantry! If you think you can handle it then Felix has a simple challenge for you: eat it in less than an hour and it’s free, which is a big deal because this burrito costs $25.
I hit this restaurant because I saw an article in the paper about some of the best burger joints in town. I decided to clip the article and visit each of the eateries myself and see if the burgers were as good as they claimed.
My dining companion and I arrived for lunch one day, and were seated quickly. I like the décor of this restaurant because it’s fun. There isn’t anything really interesting about the seating, or even the decorations, it’s the walls that are unique. Everywhere you look there is writing on the walls. They let patrons scribble their thoughts about their dining experience anywhere they want, and it’s kind of fun reading all of the different reviews on the walls as you sit and dine.
Our wait-person was very friendly and took our drink orders quickly and returned with our iced teas so fast we didn’t have time to check out the whole menu. After a few minutes I ordered the Green Chile Cheese Burger. It’s a nice sized Black Angus patty topped with grilled New Mexico Chiles, Pepper Jack cheese, romaine lettuce, tomatoes, and onions. It comes with steak fries, or you can sub onion rings for .50 cents. I decided to splurge and get the rings.
It took a little while to get our order, which I don’t mind if it’s being made fresh. We spent our time reading the walls and discussing the interesting places people had come from to visit the restaurant, some as far away as Canada.
The burger was good. I liked the meat because it was tasty without a lot of spices on it. I was especially impressed with the bread. A lot of eateries neglect the very base of a burger by serving buns that have been around too long and fall apart because of staleness. I don’t care how good the meat and veggies are inside the burger, if the bread is stale the burger sucks. I was happy to find that Marianito’s bread was super fresh, soft and warm. It was the perfect container for a very nice burger.
Overall, Marianito’s is a fun and tasty place to have dinner or grab lunch. The service is pleasant and fast, and food is very good. Definitely put this place on your list.