That Good Old Green Salsa & Really Nice People

Last week someone went on the W.D.Deli facebook page and left a negative review. You know if you're a business owner with a facebook page, anytime there's any activity on your page you get a notification. This particular time this particular person said something like, "This place used to be good. It's really gone downhill." We were concerned and perplexed. We're always concerned when someone is unhappy with their "deli experience." We want to figure out why and make things better. We were perplexed because when we looked at the review, and at who the reviewer was, we saw that it was someone who had been a regular customer at one time. We were also puzzled because there was no explanation of exactly what the reviewer thought has gone downhill. The food? The service? Our fashion choices? We responded to the reviewer, thanked them for the review, and asked if there was anything they thought we might do better. So far there's been no answer. We always take those things seriously (and personally, really) because we know there's always room for improvement.

A negative review or an unhappy customer is the kind of thing that can make you have a less than stellar day. And then something like this happens: Really Nice People. That same day I was at the register ringing people up as they came through the line, doing my thing. A couple stepped forward and the wife asked if I was one of the owners. I braced myself and responded that I was, and introduced myself. She said, "I'm Shawn, and this is my husband, John." She went on to tell me that W.D.DELI is one of their favorite places in San Antonio. She told me that live and work in the Sea World area of San Antonio, but they love W.D.DELI and they come whenever they have a chance. Then my day was back to being stellar. Since that not-so positive interview last week, there have been at least five or six or seven really good ones. We will continue to celebrate the positive feedback we get, and try to see the negatives as an opportunity to do better.

One of the dining rooms at Los Patios.

And now I will share a recipe with you. One of the first restaurants I went to when I moved to San Antonio was Hacienda at Los Patios. If you don't know about Los Patios, it's a compound just north of 410 between Starcrest and Nacogdoches. I haven't been there in a long time, but when I went to Hacienda, the server would also bring chips and three salsas to the table. My favorite was always this green one. A few years ago it was in the San Antonio Express-News, and today I found it in a stack of papers at the house. (Don't ask.) Here's the recipe:

Hacienda Green Salsa from Los Patios

9 large whole green tomatoes
1 lb. extra lean ground beef
1 Tbsp. garlic salt
1 Tbsp. cumin
2 Tbsp. sugar
Black pepper to taste
2 cups chopped onions
3 cups chopped mild green chiles
3-1/2 cups chicken broth
2/3 cup flour

Put the whole tomatoes (including skins and seeds) in the food processor. Process until sauce consistency. Pour into a large bowl and set aside. Saute the meat, garlic salt, cumin, sugar, pepper, and onions until the meat browns and the onions are soft (about ten minutes). Add the green chiles, tomatoes, and half the chicken broth. Simmer uncovered over medium-low heat for 30 to 40 minutes. In a medium-sized bowl mix the remaining chicken broth with the flour with a wire whisk until blended and any lumps are gone. Slowly pour into meat and tomato mixture, stirring only until thickened. Remove from heat. Cool to room temperature before storing in the refrigerator overnight. Serve cold or at room temperature as a dip with your favorite corn chips or as a side with grilled chicken.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. A very fond memory...I love Hacienda and the salsa. It's been 20 years but I remember it like it was last weekend. Thanks for the flashback, I love you.


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