This restaurant was an absolute delight.
Today, The San Marcos Food Blog will shed some light on a relatively little-known, small-town restaurant that offers delicious food and fine dining presentation with fresh ingredients and a fantastic seasonal menu. I have been hearing from friends in the Martindale area for a while now that there is a new restaurant that deserves some attention. That restaurant is called The Cottonseed Cafe, and I can say without a doubt that I certainly agree. I went for lunch today and I came away immensely satisfied. This restaurant is one to know.
After having Tex-Mex all weekend, I was looking for something a little different. I was also looking for something that leans in the fine dining direction since it has been a while. As previously stated, I have been hearing very good things about The Cottonseed Cafe and Deli, so I decided I would go for lunch.
The Cottonseed Cafe and Deli is located right off of the Highway at 17033 San Marcos Highway, 10-15 minutes out of town. Their hours are Tuesday – Saturday 11:00 AM to 8:00 PM Sunday 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM. They are closed on Mondays. There is plenty of parking so that should be of no concern when coming here with larger parties. The building itself is reminiscent of the rural area being brick and metal. It is a very interesting and commendable contrast to the interior.
I arrived and got a table for one and immediately, I began to take in the layout and decor of the restaurant. It is very clean and welcoming with a comforting, country accent. The dark hardwood floors are absolutely beautiful and the booths and tables are all very modern and eclectic. The Cottonseed Cafe certainly got points right away for the simple, inviting decor.
There are booths, tables for four, and tables for two, accommodating any kind of dining party. I love to sit in this kind of restaurant and have a long meal without any mind for the time. It is soothing. The atmosphere of The Cottonseed Cafe is all a diner could ask for.
The host was very friendly and welcoming, seating me quickly and answering all of my questions in a warm manner. My server was personable as well as attentive and knowledgeable about the menu items and was quite helpful in general. I was very happy how my meal was staggered perfectly. From appetizer to entre, the items came out with perfect timing.
I started off with the Split-Pea Soup, “Daily Bread” which today was Cornbread, and a House Salad with homemade Honey Mustard dressing. I really wanted to try some of the other menu items though since they looked out of the ordinary. This menu really has some creativity put into it.
The Split-Pea soup was the perfect starter. It was so warm and inviting like a soup has to be. The peas and bacon flavor really come out in perfect sweet and salty harmony It was without a doubt fresh and made that day. The soup sipped like velvet but slightly thick giving it the perfect texture. Honestly, this soup is extremely good. It was not too salty, not too sweet. I was very pleased with how balanced it was. Some attempts at this soup turn out either too watery or too strong and thick. This dish speaks very clearly of a seasoned, knowledgeable chef with a very good palette. I ate it quite fast and regretted not ordering a bowl.
The Cornbread was very light and almost a bit cake-like in its texture which I found very pleasant. It also tended less on the sweet side. It certainly was a perfect companion to the soup. I really do love cornbread so I was happy to see it on the menu and served so nicely. This cornbread was definitely not made from a mix.
The House Salad was very fresh and presented in a beautiful fashion. There was no wilted lettuce or unwanted garnishes. All the vegetables were in good proportion with one another. The dressing chosen was a homemade honey mustard that was very bright and tasty, not too sweet, and slightly tangy. I thought it was a very well-done honey mustard. Once again, this kind of attention to detail just speaks to the caliber of the chef in the kitchen at The Cottonseed Cafe and Deli.
At this point in my meal, I was just very happy with everything so far. It was all fresh, well-prepared, and delicious. I was then wondering how I had not heard of this restaurant earlier. These are the kind of restaurants I really look for.
For my entre, I chose the “Catch of The Day” daily special which today was a “Spiced, Pan-Seared Tilapia with Corn Relish, Served with Herb Rice”
This dish was quite a treat. First of all, the presentation is very elegant and speaks of fine dining. The cook on the fish was beautiful and not dry at all. The fish was very well-seasoned with notes of several aromatic spices. It was also a generous-sized portion of Tilapia, which I like since I usually have a large appetite. The Corn Relish really is the star of this dish.
It is bursting with flavor and so complex with notes of cumin and coriander. I really have to say that it skyrocketed this dish with regard to taste and overall enjoyment. I could not get enough of it. Also, the Herb Rice was the perfect bridge in which to join the flavors of the fish and the Corn Relish. Admittedly, I was ecstatic with this dish.
My overall experience at The Cottonseed Cafe was fantastic. I cannot say enough good things about this place. They even have fresh baked goods sold in-house such as pies, cakes, and cookies. I am going to have to go back to sample more of this craving-worthy restaurant.
So if you are in the San Marcos area, I really recommend that you take the short drive to Martindale and sample the wonderful Cottonseed Cafe and Deli. You will not regret it.