El Milagrito, a Tex-Mex restaurant located at 521 E. Woodlawn at St. Mary’s, has been open since 1969, 10 years before I settled in the Alamo City. I started going to El Milagrito while I was a student at nearby Trinity University. The inexpensive food was a draw, but the real reason I went to El Milagrito was to be waited on by Gilbert, the owner’s son, who had more tattoos than I had ever seen. Gilbert never met a stranger. Before he’d take your order, he’d look you in the eye with a twinkle in his and say, “Lookin’ good!”
Though Gilbert stopped working at the restaurant after his parents sold it to a family from Monterrey, his presence remains. A portrait of Gilbert hangs on the wall, and it’s a nice reminder of his charming self. Rumor has it that he now works at an auto supply store on Rittiman Road, so I’m going to drop in one day.
These days, I head to El Milagrito after my Zumba class at the TriPoint YMCA. I pick up bean and rice tacos on corn tortillas to eat at home. The tacos come with a green salsa that is more typical of northern Mexico. I prefer a red salsa, so the new owner is nice about switching it out. Two tacos set me back $3 and hit the spot. More proof that San Antonio is a great city.
The $5.99 daily specials are further proof: Huevos Rancheros with a Pork Chop or a Chilaquiles Plate, both served with coffee, for breakfast; and Chicken Mole or Chicken Mole Enchiladas, both served with tea, for lunch. If that doesn’t suit you, El Milagrito’s menu is extensive. (Click on the pages to enlarge.) You’re bound to find something you’d like. I didn’t realize El Milagrito served hamburgers until I did reporting for this post. They looked yummy.
Those eating at El Milagrito may dine indoors or out. Indoors contains some of the best gumball and ball machines in San Antonio. Bring quarters! Plus, colorful art by Naomi Leissner brightens the walls. Outdoors boasts a covered patio where you can watch the world go by on St. Mary’s Street.
El Milagrito is open seven days a week. Their Monday through Saturday schedule is 5:30 a.m. until 2:45 p.m., and their Sunday schedule is 7 a.m. until 2:45 p.m. Call (210) 737-8464 to place a to-go order.