We love to tell the stories of American entrepreneurs – particularly restaurant owners. Today’s story is of a business woman with a great idea and the ability to carry it through, hold fast to her concept and earn a reputation in the city for quality Mexican food.
Patricia Diaz and her family opened La Fiesta Patio Café in 1974 on the Austin Highway in San Antonio. Their traditional Mexican food was good as it was, but Patricia’s inspiration to prepare the food with good health in mind, took her offerings to a different level.
After working with new recipes, she exchanged peanut oil for lard, whole grain brown rice for white rice and mashed beans for refried beans. Those changes led the way to numerous others. This café’s guests could enjoy vegetarian enchiladas with sides like fresh fruit and garden salads. They even swapped privately grown organic alfalfa sprouts for lettuce on their chalupas compuestas!
La Fiesta Patio Cafe became so popular that when the family relocated the restaurant to Universal City, many of Patricia’s customers faithfully followed her and her unique cuisine.
This is a place you’ve just gotta try. One bite and you know there’s no sacrifice for quality and flavor at this special spot. My personal favorites are the light and crunchy chicken puffy tacos and the “what’s-in-this-soup!?” tortilla soup. The puffy tacos don’t taste heavy at all (because of the peanut oil?). I took
one bite of the soup and had that wow moment while I tried to discern what all of the delicious ingredients were.
It’s hard to stop talking about this place, but I’ll see what else I can squeeze into this one paragraph: fresh tres leches cake (swimming in the sweet milky sauce), fantastic frozen margaritas (made with specially imported agave wine) and a friendly staff who make your visit a pleasure.
Stop by and say “hello.” Patricia no longer does the cooking, but you’ll see her there, watching over the operation carefully to see that their presentation and quality are maintained.