I think most of my favorite memories revolve around food and the people I love. Everyone can agree that food is pretty great but, for me, trying new food is more than just quenching an appetite. It’s about delving into a different culture and truly attempting to understand a life outside of the one I know. Sometimes it’s a famous restaurant across the globe and other times it’s just that colorful little restaurant down that street. Either way, I try and keep an open mind and empty belly to the possibility that I may stumble upon my new favorite dish.
This past weekend I was in San Antonio to celebrate Valentine’s Day Weekend with Aaron. Despite the fact that I spent all 4 years of college here, it never ceases to amaze me how many places I never got to try. Hot Joy, a contemporary Asian-fusion restaurant in Southtown, is my food version of “the one that got away”.
To be honest, Aaron told me about Hot Joy when we were in college but I shrugged it off. Since Aaron has been so busy with school, I told him I would take care of Valentine’s Day this year. So as a token of my love, I put my stubbornness aside and put Hot Joy on the agenda for lunch (hence his excitement pictured below).
From the minute we walked in, I was in awe. Everything from the decadent decor to the tantalizing aroma were reasons for me to fall in love. We were quickly greeted by a friendly staff and seated.
We happened to make it just in time for Happy Hour so we took advantage and pretty much ordered everything.
Their Twice Fried Chicken Wings that are covered in crab fat caramel, peanuts, and cilantro are truly what dreams are made of. We also ordered Red Curry Caramel Corn with Cucumber, Cilantro, & Black Lime and Pork Belly Green Curry Steamed Buns off of their Happy Hour Menu. Seriously.. all of it was delicious.
For dinner Aaron and I ordered two different types of their Ramen as well as some of their house drinks. While I will say I’ve had better Ramen in California and Toronto, it definitely was not bad for San Antonio. The pork belly melted in my miso broth and was perfectly complimented with roasted corn. We were excellently waited on by Daniel, who I later on found out was from Harlingen as well!
By the end of the meal, we were the kind of full that rides the line between utter satisfaction and pure bliss. A part of that is due to how happy Aaron was that I finally gave in.
Either way, Hot Joy has proudly earned its spot as one of my top restaurants in San Antonio and I will quickly be returning for another visit.
If you have any restaurants that you just LOVE, leave a comment below! I’m always looking for a new place to try.
Here are some extra shots of my outfit! It was raining and cold this weekend so my Dav Rain Boots were perfect for exploring Southtown.