HWY 16 Diner: Home-style Cookin' Better Than You Remember

If you ever venture out to the far northwest side of San Antonio, you'll find yourself in a Texas gen known as Helotes, Texas.  Helotes is a quiet little town, with the perfect mix of modernized and old-fashioned country lifestyles.  This town is the gateway to the famous Texas Hill Country.  The city of Helotes has found itself experiencing exponential growth, and culinary opportunity is really heating up.  On Bandera Road (otherwise known as HWY 16 outside of town) about a mile outside of Loop 1604, you'll find the HWY 16 Diner.  Establishing itself in the old Colonna 's Restaurant, the HWY 16 Diner brings the familiar flavors of home-style cooking better than momma used to make.

Hwy 16 definitely holds closely  to the idea of, "keep it simple."  Upon entering the restaurant, you will find simple, yet tasteful decor in comfortable neutral tones.  They also show some school spirit, featuring jerseys from the local high school's athletic teams (which is just down the street, by the way).  The staff is very polite and mild mannered, a nice change of pace from the hustle and bustle of the main city of San Antonio.

I tried their fried catfish with mac & cheese and green beans.  Their catfish is some of the freshest I've ever tasted!  No fishy flavor here, more-so the flavor of the fresh water it was caught from.  The crust was not greasy or over-breaded, and had a perfect crunch.  The green beans were very nostalgic, cooked with onions, a few seasonings, and crumbled bacon. The mac & cheese was slightly thick, traditionally cheesy, and if you're lucky, you'll get crumbled bacon on your mac too!  My better half tried the chicken fried steak, another great flavor, and just the right amount of breading.  Since the HWY 16 Diner doesn't do the typical uber-greasy fare, you have the opportunity to really taste the flavor of the meat in their chicken fried steak, and not just breading and oil.  The garlic mashed potatoes where also made very traditionally, however nothing very unique about them.  We enjoyed the experience so much, we even ordered dessert!  We hardly ever do that since I keep plenty of fresh made sweets available at home.  I got to try their blackberry cobber.  The berries were very fresh, the dessert wasn't over-sugared at all, allowing the natural flavors of the ingredients to really shine.  The pastry on the cobbler was very simple/traditional - tasty, but could still use a little oomph.

They HWY 16 Diner has some truly great dishes without all the frills and yuppy ambiance.  If you want something delicious and down to earth, give these guys a try and you won't be disappointed.  This restaurant is a true representation of what Helotes, TX can offer its visitors and residents alike.  Prices are reasonable too, you don't have to pay extra at the HWY 16 Diner for all of the fancy (and sometimes unnecessary) overhead costs of the fancier joints in San Antonio.  Come on over and enjoy some country hospitality!

Unfortunately, the restaurant does not have a website yet, but their contact information is as follows:

HWY 16 Diner
12540 Bandera Rd
Helotes, TX 78023
(210) 372-0053

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