As Lyle Lovett sings, “The sun comes up, in a coffee cup…” There’s another Lyle Lovett song, mentions Mi Tierra by name, “San Antonio Girl.”
Diners should have a counter. They got one. 24 hour breakfast? Yes, Mi Tierra never closes. A TexMex palace built on grease, goodness, and tortillas.
It’s a cafe and bakery, seen here: Cafe and bakery.
Selena at Mi Tierra — the decor is too varied to describe. It’s Xmas, year–round.
Over the years, even before I moved to San Antonio, Mi Tierra was immortalized in song, myth, and legend.
What’s most important, though, is the food. The atmosphere, the place has been serving solid fare all these years. Part of the oral tradition, more myth than fact, I had a buddy in back in Austin, and she claimed her daddy was a retired San Antonio health inspector. Claimed Mi Tierra almost always barely eked by the health inspections, but that was largely because it was open 24 hours. I knew about that before I got here.
It is a TexMex diner, arguably one of the most iconic places I know, and good for both tourists and locals. With its cop–shop proximity? There are almost always blue uniforms within. Seen two congressmen in there. Seen assorted lowlifes, as well.
For almost two decades, I’ve promised I’ll come stumbling in after a show, for some breakfast at 3 in the morning. Haven’t made it yet. When I lived downtown, though, it was either a short walk or even shorter drive, with most of my adventures starting there.
Really, too many images, quick search here.
The best time to be there is probably before 7 AM. For food, the time of day doesn’t matter? The best deal is a breakfast, like a #9, or even, like, if you’re from Austin and think you know breakfast tacos? Get one at Mi Tierra.
Breakfast, my favorite for several years was the dried beef and scrambled eggs. Get a side order of bacon, as this is possibly the best bacon I’ve ever tasted. Often attempted, never truly replicated. I’m unsure, probably just cheap, restaurant brand bacon, but cooked on a griddle that’s been cooking breakfasts for a very long time.
San Antonio has a long mercantile and military history. Located in line that stretches from The Alamo to the old cathedral and Bexar County Courthouse made two or three block further along, the currently embattled museum, and the markets in Market Square. Mi Tierra is the block’s anchor, but restaurant is so much more.
Most interesting to me, as an outside observer? Tourists and locals, alike, congregate.
Xmas Eve, one year, Xmas morning, several times, early enough to beat any crowds. Just an amazing place.
Buddy’s 6-year old? Again, perfect place because the strolling mariachis and perpetual Xmas decor.
”It’s like Christmas!”
In July kid, no less.
Years ago, I became fascinated with the image of a cup of Mi Tierra coffee, and the Xmas string of lights, reflected in the coffee. At first, it was a one off, cell phone image. Over the years, though, the image is totemic for me, as it captures the early morning excitement, like, I’m headed to the coast to fish, or airport to leave the country, or maybe, just woke up with a beautiful woman. Covers it all.
The decor reflects the local flavors, as there’s murals with famous people and then, some famous caricatures, and what it seems like, the rafters are hung with all manner of piñatas with the support poles wrapped in Xmas lights. Where I typically sit? Booth under an Xmas tree.
In front of the entrances, especially, well, right now, by the front entrance, there’s a huge “Day of the Dead” display, honoring those who have passed. Family. Worthy of note? A large number of the family, extended family, and community at large? All have members who have served in the armed forces.
Steeped in history, cranking out good food, day after day, the place is way more than an oddity. As a true diner, albeit, South Texas style, it stands above the rest. From images of our country’s presidents, to local stars and luminaries, politicians, grifters, street people, all there.
San Antonio Girl – Lyle Lovett San Antonio Girl