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Eat and Drink Your Way Through #ISTE17 in San Antonio

Those who know me know that I've long been a fan of food based learning (FBL) and beverage based learning (BBL). For those that are new to these pedagogical methods and plan to attend the ISTE Conference in San Antonio this coming week, I'd like to provide some professional development opportunities for you to explore while visiting. These methodologies combine to become an entirely brand new never thought of before pedagogy that many refer to as xBL. The x can represent the experiential learning that takes place when learners come together in at atmosphere that effectively lowers the respective affective filters of the participants. The x can then act as a variable to represent a myriad of methodologies. Passion, problem, project, game, inquiry, community, service learning. These methods seem to arise seamlessly during "conversations" among learners in these settings. Often they will even lead to breakout sessions as groups form based on common interests.

Seriously, though, ISTE and other national conferences provide numerous opportunities to meet like minded educators and connect on a personal level. I hope that by providing a list of my favorite San Antonio locales, someone will be willing to reach out to a colleague and get to know them in a way that would not be possible solely online. The premise of xBL is that by sharing an experience, be it a meal, imbibing in a friendly pub, or participating in any activity really, we are making our professional learning networks more personal. That's all. Enjoy the conference for the people rather than the sessions or keynotes.

Ronnie Burt of Edublogs has written The Edublogger's Guide to #ISTE17: Sessions, Food, Tips, and More. It's a great resource for folks new to San Antonio. I began to reply to his post and realized that I'd been typing far too long. I decided to copy/paste it here and add "hyper" links.

I'm not a San Antonio native, but my baby girl Savannah and my other favorite person in the world, Shelly Sanchez Terrell, are. These are a few of our favorite places in San Antonio, Texas:

The Cove

I'll recommend the Lisa Special (2 fish tacos with grilled tilapia, cilantro coleslaw, and spicy poblano sauce in blue corn tortillas with a side spinach salad) or Ruben's sweet hash (diced sweet potatoes, bacon, onions, roasted corn, topped with a sunny side up egg, fresh cilantro, and house made remoulade). With 50+ Texas craft beers on tap at the outside bar, beer drinkers must try some local brews here before leaving. This one is a must! @TheCoveSA

Liberty Bar 

The goat cheese with piloncillo appetizer. Oh my God! It's amazing! It's a must! Chilaquiles Nortenos. Everything else. All in all, this is my favorite restaurant in San Antonio. Also, it's a former convent. @LibertyBar

Beethoven Maennerchor

The Maennerchor is located across the street from the Liberty Bar! It's the perfect place to have a beer after. Try a German beer. @BeethovenSATX

The Guenther House 

The Guenther House is my favorite place to eat and learn about San Antonio, Texas. Eat breakfast all day long! Must. @GuentherHouse

Magnolia Pancake Haus

Because pancakes.

Menger Hotel Colonial Room 

Fancy. I suppose it should be in order to truly pay homage to the hotel's history and the Alamo. @MengerHotel

La Gloria

La Gloria is pretty much the best Tex-Mex/Mexican street food that you can get. You really can't go wrong here. Margaritas or just tequila make it even better. The horchata is great, and the panaderia has more than enough sweets to satisfy everyone.


Regio's is a more authentic, down to earth Mexican food restaurant than the others on this list. I am a bit of a connoisseur of chilaquiles, if such a thing exists. Chilaquiles are typically a breakfast food consisting of fried tortillas, eggs, salsa, refried beans, queso fresca, cream, chicken, onions, avocados, or any combination of these ingredients. They are often confused with migas, which are also pretty great. Regio's has my favorite chiliquiles verdes in the world. It's a great spot for a michelada with Tecate, a margarita, or a Mexican beer and a really good cheap meal.


If you can get a reservation, bring me with you. This is the best restaurant in San Antonio. @mixtlicloud

Green Vegetarian Cuisine

This is my favorite place to take vegetarian friends. I tried the Houston location first, and the San Antonio spot did not let me down. The cauliflower hot wings are ridiculous. While it's definitely a vegetarian and kosher restaurant, everyone will leave happy and full.

Esquire Tavern

Of all the overpriced Riverwalk bars, Esquire Tavern is my favorite. If you grew up poor in the South and have great memories of pimento cheese sandwiches, try the Pimento Grilled Cheese with arugula, tomato, white bread, and bacon. Good bar food all around and great local beers on tap. Just expensive. @EsquireTavernSA


I think that most visitors to San Antonio will find what they are looking for in a good Mexican food/Tex-Mex restaurant at Rosario's. It's nice, comfortable, and not too pricey. If you plan on going to eat someplace on the Riverwalk, go here instead. I think it's one of Todd Nesloney's favorite Mexican food joints too. @rosariossa

Torchy's Tacos

There's only one Torchy's location in San Antonio, but if there's a Torchy's nearby, get to it as fast as you can. If you make it to breakfast, order the Jack of Clubs off the secret menu. I'd recommend the Hipster from the secret menu during lunch or dinner. The Trailer Park (Trashy) and Brushfire are my go to tacos, and the elote street corn is magnificent. This will make more sense when you get there. Everything at Torchy's is amazing and even better with a local beer or two. @TorchysTacos

So, that's it. Please feel free to add your one can't miss place to visit in San Antonio in the comments, or reply on Twitter. I'll add your tweets to this post. You can also share your xBL, FBL, or BBL learning experiences using a hashtag like #isteSanAntonioTwoThousandSeventeen or perhaps even something shorter. Above all, please take the opportunities that the ISTE conference provides to meet other educators and presenters that you enjoy learning with online in person. Make connections. By being willing to go beyond my usual comfort zone and reaching out to introduce myself to my online professional learning network, I've made lifelong friends that I can count on to offer advice and give support whenever I need it. Happy conferencing!

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