Since the beginning of the pandemic, local businesses have urged the public to buy from them because they have been struggling to make ends meet.
As an enthusiast of local restaurants and caffeine, I chose to pick up a coffee from Southbound Coffee. They have come across my Instagram feed countless times. Their aesthetically-pleasing drinks stand out as much as their remarkable ‘tiny pink trailer.’
Southbound Coffee is a COVID-friendly coffee spot. Customers walk up to the trailer to order and have their drink made within a few minutes. They efficiently get customers out of the lot quickly and there was not a cluster of people.
Southbound Coffee has been open since last spring. The trailer recently relocated to the Corner Lot on Carle from Zarzamora. What would have been a five-minute drive from campus turned into 15.
The idea of having a café close to campus thrilled me. In a world before the pandemic, it would have been a convenient quick stop; it would have been the ideal caffeine boost before class in the mornings.
As I pulled up to the parking lot, I saw there were no open parking spots. This gave me the impression that the food trucks in the lot were popular.
Soon enough, I was able to find a parking spot and make my way to the pink trailer. There were two other food trucks, neither of them as busy as Southbound Coffee.
There were a few picnic tables on the lot. A middle-aged lady sat on a table with her daughter waiting for her order as another lady stood by the trailer as she waited for her drink. The barista called the mother and her daughter to pick-up their order as I approached the window.
To the right of the window, there was a menu with their classic drinks and to the left was another with seasonal drinks. Their selection of drinks was rather small. There were colorful ‘panecitos’ on display, such as purple-frosted pastries and conchas with hearts printed on them.
The barista stood behind the window, smiling at me as she finished a drink. Once she was ready to help me, she happily recommended I tried a ‘dirty horchata,’ Southbound Coffee’s best-selling drink. She said the drink was packed with a double-espresso and served with homemade horchata syrup.
Horchata and espresso, sounds like a delicious combination. I was especially intrigued by the homemade horchata syrup. I took her recommendation into consideration and ordered the drink.
They offer the dirty horchata both hot and iced; I opted for iced. Although there was a gentle breeze, the sun was on full display. An iced drink would be perfect.
She took my name and started preparing my drink. I sat on a blue picnic table in front of the trailer as I waited. I could smell the espresso from the table as the barista prepared my drink.
A couple of young women arrived before I received my drink. They all took videos and pictures of the cute trailer, presumably for their social media. I couldn’t resist and followed in their footsteps.
The barista called out my name and I went to pick up my dirty horchata. The drink was a beautiful ombre, the espresso sat on top as the milk and syrup lingered at the bottom of the cup.
I pierced the lid with my straw and brought the drink up to my lips. There was an overpowering bitter taste of coffee at first. I mixed the drink and tried it again.
It was sweeter now, I could taste cinnamon, then vanilla. There was a vague taste of horchata at the end.
I was a bit disappointed by the lack of horchata since I expected to taste the horchata more. Horchata is a staple drink in taquerias, it is made with a blend of condensed milk and rice.
This wasn’t a taste I received in my drink. The dirty horchata was flavorful, just not the flavor I was looking for.
However, the balance of coffee and syrup was exceptional. It wasn’t too bitter nor too sweet.
Although the drink wasn’t what I expected, I will definitely be coming back to Southbound Coffee to try a different drink. It gave me the coffee boost I needed to get through the day.
It’s not my new favorite coffee spot, but they did offer great service and an enjoyable drink.
103 Carle Ave
San Antonio, Texas 78204
Hours: Tuesday – Friday 7 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Saturday – Sunday 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Closed on Monday