The Alamo. The Riverwalk. The Tower of the Americas. These might be the usual must-see sights in San Antonio, Texas. But, this weekend, your priority is different. The not-to-miss event of the season in this south-central Texas city rich with colonial heritage has nothing to do with the city at all. This weekend, the Arizona State Sun Devils take over San Antonio. If you’re headed to watch the Sun Devils duel it out with the UTSA Roadrunners at the Alamodome, look no further for a Sun Devil’s quick guide to the trip.
San Antonio-based Sun Devils are excited to see ASU finally traveling to “Alamo City.” Richard Crews, 2009 ASU graduate, is most excited about the exposure ASU will get locally. “If we show up like Sun Devil Nation typically does, then it can go a long way in the minds of the Alamo Bowl Committee,” Crews said, “Maybe next time (ASU) is in the running, they won’t skip us over for Oregon.”
Andrew Hicks, former President of the ASU Alumni Association San Antonio Chapter, thinks it’s an amazing opportunity to have ASU visit San Antonio. “This isn’t just about beating the Roadrunners.” Hicks agrees that the opportunity for the people at the Alamo Bowl to see ASU travel well is great and also adds that with Texas being talent rich in high school football players, ASU needs to continue to draw on this talent with games in the state.
If you’re headed to San Antonio, you’re sure to visit the famed Riverwalk, filled with many restaurants and bars. And, it’s likely you will take a trip to The Alamo. But, what do locals recommend to experience more of the local fare and culture?
One neighborhood close to the Riverwalk worth checking out is La Villita, a historical district dating back to the missions in the days of Spain and the Republic of Texas. The area is close walk and features more local owned restaurants versus the chain restaurants abundant on the Riverwalk.
Outside of areas or sights to visit, the overwhelming response to living like a local is the breakfast tacos. Who knew?!
Crews, who just relocated from Phoenix to San Antonio earlier this year thinks Arizona has the edge on burritos, but suggest the breakfast tacos are a must taste. “This city doesn’t really understand what a large tortilla is or how to roll it into a burrito, however, they make a mean breakfast taco,” Crews noted. Hicks also points to this apparent local favorite for breakfast. “San Antonio, like much of South Texas is renowned for its breakfast tacos,” Hicks said, “If you want to get the full San Antonio experience you can’t leave without trying some.”
Hicks also has a few tips for Sun Devils visiting this week: first and foremost, be courteous. “You’ll be amazed at how warm the people are here,” Hicks said. Secondly, leave the preconceptions at the door. “Not everyone in Texas…wears a big ole cowboy hat and speaks with a Southern drawl,” says Hicks reminding tourists that the area is quite diverse. And, finally, “Don’t bad mouth the Spurs,” Hicks told ASU Devils Den, “I know many Sun Devil fans are Suns fans, but it’s a good way to get into a fight, regardless of how friendly we are.”
No matter when you arrive in San Antonio to start the Sun Devil celebrations, the official partying begins on Thursday night with the Thursday Night Inferno at The Republic of Texas Restaurant.
What’s on tap for Game day?
Sparky’s Touchdown Tailgate; 6:00-8:00pm at Sunset Depot Inside Sunset Station
Tex-Mex Meal including unlimited beer, wine, soda
Event to include DJ entertainment, visits from Sparky, Spirit Squad, University Leadership and former Sun Devil athletes
Game time is set for 8:30pm CDT at the Alamodome
Park in or near the Riverwalk or Convention Center
Viva Bus service drops at Alamodome every 15-20 minutes; $2.75/day pass
In addition to the ASU festivities, exploring quality local cuisine and finding the right spot to grab a bold brew rank high on any Sun Devil’s priority list. Here I outline some local residents’ suggestions.
If a Sun Devil wants an adult beverage (when doesn’t a Sun Devil want one, after all?) check out:
The Friendly Spot for a variety of craft beers on a great patio.
Freetail Brewing Company to experience one of the best breweries in San Antonio.
Alamo Beer Brewery – This is indoor/outdoor with a massive space for eats, food trucks are typically there every night as well.
When a Sun Devil is hungry, where should he grab a bite?
Visit The Pearl District, which offers several options in a more upscale fashion:
Cured featuring local and organic ingredients in a historic location.
The Granary restaurant and brewery featuring BBQ and beer.
Southerleigh brings a modern flair to the cross cultural South Texas cuisine.
Timbo’s– It’s across the highway from Pearl and Crews says The Yellow Submarine burger is top notch.
Visit Southtown, offering more economical choices in a hip. trendy area:
B&D Icehouse for Texas BBQ
Rosario’s for Mexican food
Frank, according to Crews, is “probably the best hot dog you will ever it. It’s an Austin restaurant that opened up in an old church in San Antonio.”
If you’re fortunate enough to be taking the trip to San Antonio, you’re sure to have an enjoyable trip, but the best part of any road game, of course, is bringing home a victory. So, who’s going to win?
Hicks picks ASU over UTSA and says locals will be the first to admit The Roadrunners are a bad football program. “They’re currently breaking in a new coach with a very young squad,” Hicks commented. He’s hoping to see the Sun Devils bring in some younger players in the second half. “After watching us run wild on Tech, I’m revising my prediction to an ASU victory 56-17. I think ASU will come out strong in the first half and take their foot off the gas somewhat in the second.”
Crews also picks the Sun Devils over the Roadrunners.
“With our secondary always a question mark lately, it could be interesting,” Crews said, “I have a feeling they’ll give us a good battle for a half, but we’ll pull away in the end.” He’s predicting a 48-23 ASU victory.