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“Bad experience on Father's Day”
Review of 18 Oaks

18 Oaks
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Ranked #53 of 4,713 Restaurants in San Antonio
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $40 - $60
Cuisines: Steakhouse
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Restaurant details
Good for: Scenic view, Special occasions
Dining options: Breakfast, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Description: Located at the TPC San Antonio Clubhouse, 18 Oaks is traditional-style fine steakhouse featuring perfectly aged steaks seared to order, fresh seafood and poultry dishes, epic sides and an excellent variety of wine. And don't miss our Sunday brunch!
Reviewed June 23, 2013

Went to San Antonio with family from Dallas for a few days, including (by coincidence) Father's Day. We choose the JW Marriott for our stay - smart decision! The hotel is fantastic! 18 Oaks, however, seriously underwhelms.

Assuming Father's Day would be busy, we reserved a table for our 2-family party weeks in advance for 9:00 AM. This is where we went wrong - the brunch began at 10:00 AM. Mind you, we were not told this over the course of at least 3 contacts with restaurant staff 1) when we made the reservation 2) when they called confirm 3) upon our arrival when we called the concierge to ask about recommended attire for the restaurant. At each of these contacts, we mentioned "Father's Day Brunch" and were never told we had booked an hour early.

We discovered our error when we arrived to the restaurant and noticed that no other diners were there. We were sat outside, and the sun and heat were miserable so we asked to be relocated. The snippy server replied "the inside tables are completely booked for the brunch." We politely explained we booked weeks in advance as well - for the brunch - and the place was currently empty. The hostess came a few minutes later and we were relocated to a comfortable inside table.

Once inside, the experience went downhill. The staff was completely focussed on preparing for the upcoming brunch, so our service was quite slow. The food was good (if a bit basic - it was standard breakfast fare compared to the incredible brunch being laid out for people booked at the proper time); the presentation / plating of the food was simply not good. Again, the kitchen staff was clearly not concerned with our food, they were concerned about the brunch.

Then the band showed up, and started setting up to perform at - you guessed it - 10:00 AM. We got to enjoy the clangs and bangs associated with their setup and warmup activities. I suppose at least my kids got to dance to their great music on our way out of the restaurant, as they gazed upon the incredible sweets laid out for newly arriving brunch guests.

At this point, you might be saying "reviewer, you screwed up when you booked, don't let this experience ruin your opinion of this restaurant". My response is, when you pay the kind of money this place asks, you expect them to resolve issues such as this one. Why did they even open before 10:00 AM, if they weren't able to provide good service leadning up to the brunch? Why weren't we invited to come back in an hour? Why did they never ask us to confirm we understood we were booked for breakfast, not brunch?

My recommendation - for the same money, eat at Cibolo Moon twice. You will get better service, and the food there is great.

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    • Atmosphere
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1  Thank Brian G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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234 - 238 of 273 reviews

Reviewed June 19, 2013

I just can't say it enough, this is really the best Sunday brunch in any city I've ever been to. Better than any vegas buffet, and we've enjoyed a lot over the years. We try to make this a ritual about once a month, great for adults and kids alike. Always fresh, always made with excellence, and of course, you can eat until you pop. Fresh crab legs, shrimp, homemade cream corn with fresh corn, fruit, pastries, even homemade pickles and cured meats. When in San Antonio, you must try it!

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Thank Royrisen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 4, 2013

My mother-in-law bought my wife and I dinner at 18 Oaks for my wife's birthday. We really enjoyed the experience. All of the staff was overly kind and exceptionally knowledgeable of every aspect of the restaurant.

Let me tell a quick story of our experience. When we first came in, which was very early in the evening, the restaurant was almost completely empty. We told them of our reservation and the hostess said there would be a wait. Confused, we said okay and waited in the bar area. We joked with each other that they couldn't find an empty table. After about 5 minutes they came and seated us at our table. We thought nothing of it and went on about the evening.

About 15 minutes after being there the manager came to the table and apologized for delaying us being seated and told us that my mother-in-law had arranged flowers to be delivered and placed on the table. The Floral Shop had delivered the flowers late and because of this, the manager rushed to put a flower arrangement together for the table before we were seated. He actually had went and cut flowers from somewhere on the grounds to create a bouquet of flowers that was far more beautiful than what was delivered by the Floral Shop. He took the flower arrangement he created from the table and replaced them with the one order by my mother-in-law. He said the flowers would be waiting at the front and we could take them when we were finished.

After that, we had a very good meal. My wife and I cook more often than go out to restaurants. we had the mussels for an appetizer, and the duck-fat fries with them as recommended by the waiter. The mussels were good, but the fries seemed out of place and sub-par. For the main course ,we ordered the Catch of the day, a pan-seared bass. we both agreed that it was nothing special. We order two sides, Goat-cheese gratin and polenta. the gratin seemed slightly undercooked and the polenta was delicious. For dessert, we had a croissant breadpudding that was amazing.

All said, it was a great experience considering my mother-in-law picked up the bill. If it was us paying on the other hand, I would have felt it was a little overpriced for the quality. When we go to a restaurant of this caliber we expect a little more... food wise, the service was impeccable.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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Thank Josh I I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 17, 2013

Service a lot it slow, food was good, not great. Maybe a bit underwhelming. The atmosphere was pretty nice. I would eat here again was just expecting a little more. Very good wine selection.
Bar area is pretty small with very small TVs if you need a score.
Not marked real well on how to get there.

Thank Randy N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 14, 2013

When in Texas you kinda expect good steak, but the steak I had at 18 Oaks was the best I've had in years. Perfectly cooked, tasty and satisfying. The room is beautiful and the wait staff is professional, friendly and very helpful.

Thank Kcarrsmith
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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