Eating out is a privilege. Good eating out is up to you.
This is a new category, one that won't be much use to anyone who doesn't plan a trip to San Marcos. Although I will review a more widespread chain franchise at times, a lot of the places I will be reviewing may exist only in San Marcos, Tx. Feel free to come to town anytime though, the city can always use your tourist dollars.
Piqasso's (the menu spells it that way, although, with the current marquee, I couldn't have guessed it before hand. Some fancy curlicues and artistic twists in the letters make it almost unreadable.):
This place just opened for business recently. The building used to house the Mr. Gatti's franchise. Mr. Gatti's closed this franchise down sometime early last year (or late in 2008, I forget). The people who moved in did virtually nothing to the inside of the building, and very little to the outside, with the exception of painting the artsy-fartsy letters. The inside of the building looks exactly like it did as a Mr. Gatti's. The left the long serving bar, which so far doesn't serve a purpose, but maybe they plan to start a buffet style dining.
The ambiance of the inside left a lot to be desired. Apparently the previous owners took all their tables and chairs, because for such a large place, there were only a few settings, leaving a hell of a lot of open space. It appears to me that the new owners were in a big hurry to open for business and did not want to spend a lot of time renovating. That's not to say the place was a dump, it's not, it's just lacks a lot to be made into a place that entices repeat business if one desires looks to go along with food.
As far as the food is concerned, there is a standard college town fare on the menu. i.e. a few styles of burgers, some pizzas, a couple of salads for the veggie crowd and some appetizers. Nothing you couldn't find just down the street at the next place catering to the college crowd. For my first experience, I had a turkey burger. The menu lays claims to homemade buns. They were pretty and I never have seen them on the bread rack at the grocery store, so that could be true.
For the most part the food was good. I have no complaints as to the service either. My chief complaint is that there is nothing to look at while you wait for the food. At least when it was a Mr. Gatti's you didn't have to worry about how you were going to spend your time while waiting.