In Honor of Spring Fever

I admit it. I have spring fever. A bad case, in fact. All I want to do is go play out in the sunshine and forget responsibility. So, I’m facing my sickness head on and planning some FUN for the next week. My idea of fun includes getting outside while the weather’s so fantastic AND enjoying good food. Where else will that happen best than at our area restaurants with outdoor dining. We’ve got some good uns, too. Here are some suggestions:

Habaneros Grill

Fatso's Henderson Pass

Tycoon Flats

Los Cucos Mexican Cafe

And more…

Frank’s Hog Stand

El Mana Bakery and Cafe

Frankfurter Express

Lucky Burger

Happy Spring Break Dining!!!

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Celebrate San Antonio

Texas' Largest!

We’ve always loved San Antonio, and one of the many things we’re crazy about  is the great fun you can have on any budget. It’s a beautiful place to visit — especially this time of year! If you’re really adventurous you’ll make plans to attend the biggest annual New Year’s celebration (that’s FREE) in Texas! Here’s the scoop:

Ticket Cost: FREE
Location: 600 Hemisfair Plaza Way, San Antonio, TX 78205
Link: http://www.celebratesa.org
Times: 6:00 PM – 12:30 AM
Phone: 210-212-8423
Event Date: Friday, December 31, 2010

Celebrate San Antonio

This event has something for everyone. The huge downtown fiesta begins on S. Alamo Street between Market and Durango and throughout historic La Villita. Admission is free and festivities continue until 12:30 a.m. The highlight is the countdown to midnight and the spectacular Fireworks Extravaganza showcasing the Tower of the Americas.

This is a great way to usher in the new year. Organizers stress that it is family friendly, with a focus on good entertainment and safety.

Not interested in a big party? We would be remiss not to mention the great food and wonderful service at our $5 and $10 Dining restaurants in San Antonio.

However you plan to spend your big weekend, we hope that you and your family will have a fun and safe celebration, and that your New Year will be prosperous and blessed.

Happy New Year

The $5Dining & $10Dining Team

Happy Texas Independence Day!

Volunteers reenact the Battle of the Alamo.

March 2nd was Texas Independence Day. To celebrate, San Antonio Living History is reenacting the Alamo siege this Saturday, March 6th. The event kicks off with a predawn ceremony. I went last year, and it was worth getting up early for. The quiet of the morning broken by gunshots helped me to visualize what the battle for the Alamo would have been like. The predawn ceremony is from 6:00am to about 7:00am. If you aren’t an early riser, the celebration continues at 10:00am and lasts until 5:00pm. They will also have events on Sunday, from 12:00pm to 5:00pm. And all of the events are free!
Note: The gunshots are pretty loud. You might want ear plugs or to cover the ears of your children. They do warn you when they’re about to fire.

This is a great time to try breakfast at a $5 Dining restaurant. I don’t often eat out for breakfast, and sometimes, I miss the good food offered only from 6:00am to 11:00am. When I get up early for an event like this, I enjoy taking time to relax with a good breakfast. After the predawn ceremony, head north to The Lighthouse Cafe or south to Taco Haven for a refreshing and filling morning meal. Since you’ll already be downtown, you can spend the day on the river or enjoying the rest of the reenactments. To save money on meals, pack a picnic lunch so you pay for eating out only once.

Have fun celebrating the bravery of our Texas ancestors. Remember the Alamo! Happy Breakfasting.

Annie
$5 Dining

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!

Annie
$5 Dining

After Christmas Let-Down

Big sigh. Christmas is over. In some ways, it’s a relief not to have so much stress. At the same time, there is that kind of let-down feeling after the holidays. Cheer up, though. Head to It’s a Grind or Cool Beans for a comforting cup of java, and then, try one of these ideas to conquer your let-down:

After Christmas are some great sales. If you’re not too tired, visit some of your favorite stores and grab some stuff on 50-75% off. Some stores have awesome sales on New Year’s Day. You can call the stores first to see what the sales are or if they know when one will be.

Here’s an idea for saving money for next Christmas. Instead of spending $7 on wrapping paper every year, go to a fabric store and buy some of their Christmas print fabric on sale (should be half off now). Cut out squares and rectangles of various sizes and hem the edges. Voila! Christmas wrapping for next year, and it’s reusable. Also, think of all that paper-waste you’ve saved. You can also make some fabric into simple drawstring bags to use as gift-bags. If you’re giving these gifts outside of the family, the wrapping is part of the present!

Now, after all that work, don’t you deserve a nice meal out for just $5? đŸ˜‰

Happy After-Christmas Relaxing!

Annie
$5 Dining

Christmas Lights

One of my favorite things to do around Christmas is to look at Christmas lights. Aside from the cost of gas, it’s free entertainment, and kids love it. Off I-35 and Loop 410, the town of Windcrest lights-up every Christmas as its citizens compete in different categories. This year is the 50th anniversary of the city. The festivities start tonight at 6pm at the city hall (8601 Midcrown). You can pick up maps to the winning houses. If you can’t make it tonight, the light-up runs through New Year’s Eve. Why not make a night of it and go to dinner first? Nearby, you’ll find The Big Easy at Randolph Blvd and two Jim’s locations, one on 410 and one on 35.

Other places to see lights include The University of the Incarnate Word, (also near a Jim’s), Santa’s Ranch, between New Braunfels and San Marcos (cost is $20 per car, but if you have four in the car, that’s $5 a person), and of course, the Riverwalk.

Happy Holidays!

Annie
$5 Dining