One of the servers at Schilo’s Deli told me that the Riverwalk was a tourist trap.
I hear it – there are definitely some shops and restaurants that no local would dare step foot in – however I did not find it overwhelming in the least.
That was actually one of the things I appreciated most about it: I felt they did a nice job of not overdoing it.
Granted, it wasn’t a Saturday afternoon, but I found peace as I walked along the river. Ducks in the water, flowers planted, wooden benches, cypress trees still with a touch of fall – it was beautiful, even on a cloudy, rainy day. Don’t picture it as an endless string of shops and eateries, that’s simply not the case. They are mostly contained to one area, the entrance closest to the Alamo.
I didn’t get real good vibes from any of the restaurants during the lunch hour. I was looking for a place where I could strike up a conversation at the bar or something, but most of the restaurants along the river are set up for outside dining. It didn’t make sense to me to pay higher prices because of the setting if I was only going to be inside at the bar (I don’t mind eating alone at a table – the view would have certainly been good – but with only a few hours in the city, I wanted to interact with as many people as I could).
I found two great places to go: The aforemented Schilo’s for lunch and a drink at the Menger Hotel Bar (where Teddy Roosevelt recruited the Rough Riders).
Those stories to come later. I’m in Austin now, heading out for the evening to check out the infamous Sixth Street.