Honoring A Bit of San Antonio Dining History

Featuring locally owned restaurants is our specialty. We love focusing on the epicurean entrepreneurs — the owners and their families — who dig deeply into their daily existence to serve fresh food every day their way.

A slice of  San Antonio entrepreneurial history can be found at Earl Abel’s Restaurant on the Austin Highway.   We recently came across this video the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce produced because Earl Abel’s Restaurant has been a participating member since 1933! We could tell you wonderful things about the faithful staff and great food at Earl Abel’s, but the video says it all. Simply click on the picture below and enjoy!

Congratulations to Roger Arias and the great staff at Earl Abel’s!



Texas FolkLife Festival

Whatever your family heritage is, it’s bound to be celebrated at the Texas Folklife Festival this coming weekend.

“The Texas Folklife Festival is the biggest cultural celebration in Texas! More than 40 different cultural groups in Texas are represented at the festival, and each year, more than 250 participants come together to celebrate their culture and heritage.” (quoted from the Folklife Festival website.)

Stop by the grounds of the Institute of Texan Cultures this weekend for this awesome annual event. Our state’s diversity and rich heritage are a matter of pride for us Texans, and you’ll have an opportunity to enjoy the food, music, dance, arts and crafts of a huge variety of ethnic groups.

Oh, and since we’re all about food at $5Dining, we’ll just mention there’ll be plenty of it there. How long has it been since you’ve tried a Baklava Sundae or Bratwurst on a Stick? The menu is seemingly endless!

A discount for advance ticket purchases is available. For advance ticket sale locations and prices click here.  Here’s how to get there. Not sure yet? Well, here’s a list of the events. We’ve ordered up a couple of rainless days for you, too. Have fun!

Valentine’s Day Frugal Find

Welcome to the first Official $5 Dining Frugal Find! Every month we’ll post a couple of “Frugal Finds.” These will be inexpensive or free activities that you can do with your family, on a date, with your friends, etc. without breaking your pocketbook. We’ll also include $5 Dining restaurants nearby so that you can make it a fun, inexpensive, but thoroughly fulfilling outing. We’ll also keep you updated on events in town (watch next week for a post about the rodeo).

To get us started, here’s your Valentine’s Day Frugal Find:

One of the things I love to do is to drive around and look at old houses. It’s even more enjoyable to walk through old neighborhoods. Well, San Antonio Conservation Society has created a self-guided walking tour of the King William District. This beautiful section of downtown is well worth the visit. The Conservation Society has a printable brochure on its website that gives information about the history and architecture of the buildings you’ll be viewing. The walk is completely free and entirely romantic.

Make it more of a date by starting with lunch at one of $5 Dining‘s newest restaurants, MadHatters Tea House and Cafe. MadHatters is a trendy cafe that has earned national recognition. They serve Sunday brunch from 9am to 3pm. Try one of their daily bagelwiches for just $3.99!

MadHatters Bagelwich

Looks good, huh?

Or get a lunch combo with drink for just $6.00. Choose between several sandwiches (served with chips and salsa) or get soup and salad. Check them out and have a charming but inexpensive Valentine’s Day. Shown here on the Conservation Society’s map, MadHatters is the perfect spot for lunch on this walking tour. (MadHatters marked with red heart.)

King William Walking Tour and MadHatters

King William Walking Tour and MadHatters

Oh, and if you’re worried about the weather, the current forecast for Valentine’s is a sunny afternoon with highs in the low-sixties.

Happy Dining, and watch for more Frugal Finds soon!

$5 Dining

Cool Beans!

I have been looking for a coffee shop close to my house where I can work on my homework. I need a quiet place to work outside of my home. I hoped to find something local and unique. Then, I found out that Cool Beans was joining $5 Dining and that they’re pretty close to my house.

If you like flavoring your coffee, you will love Cool Beans. They have so many flavors that I didn’t want to choose! Fortunately, you can mix a couple of flavors together. The first day, I tried iced coffee with coconut syrup, and it was soooo good. Even without syrup, Cool Beans coffee is flavorful and rich. I went the next day to finish typing my paper and indulged in a frappuccino. Oh my goodness was that ever tasty! I had a chocolate-mint frappuccino, and it was delicious.

So Many Yummy Drinks!

So Many Yummy Drinks!

I loved the Hawaiian theme atmosphere. The coffee shop is bright and cheerful, with upbeat music. They have a counter with bar stools, which I used to spread my homework on; tall tables; and comfy couches. Oh, and if you’re in a hurry, they do have a drive-through, but I’d encourage you to come inside for a unique coffee house experience. Happy Dining!

$5 Dining

Added Jim’s Restaurants to $5Dining!

Hey guys,

Wanted to let you know that we have added Jim’s Restaurants to $5Dining this last week. If you live here chances are you have seen (probably even been) one of the restaurants. We love them.

Here’s a little bit of the Jim’s story…

In 1947, G. “Jim” Hasslocher opened a bicycle rental business at the front gate of Brackenridge Park. When summer arrived he started selling sliced, ice-cold watermelon next to his bike stand. This began the legend of Frontier Enterprise!

Soon Jim started selling charcoal broiled hamburgers at a stand which evolved into the first Frontier Drive-In. Today, Jim’s serves up a wide variety of delicious, traditional comfort foods for all meal occasions, with over two dozen selections under $5.00 and many more under $10.00! Now, as it was back in 1947, Jim’s aim is to provide his customers with the highest quality food at the lowest possible price. It was, and still is, an original idea with a loyal following. 

Mr. Jim and the Frontier Enterprise family would like to thank our loyal customers for over 62 years of good times and great food.

If you’ve been there you know the slogan and if you haven’t been there when you go you will see for yourself that “There’s Always Something Good Cookin’ at Jim’s!”

Happy Dining!