A Guide for the Epicurious Vacationer
Food is my love language and I’m pretty sure it’s Galveston’s, too. The island’s culinary scene is surprisingly eclectic and I find myself salivating at the mere thought of visiting. Here’s why:
|Sunday Brunch at Hotel Galvez & Spa
Breakfast + Brunch:
No two words pair quite as nicely as Sunday brunch. Sunflower Bakery & Café has you covered with carafes of mimosas, a full bakery and all the breakfast staples along with specials like crab cakes and poached eggs. It’s served atop an English muffin and drizzled with mouthwatering hollandaise. I throw in a blueberry pancake (emphasis on the “CAKE”) for good measure. The best part is you don’t have to wait until Sunday to partake. The restaurant is open 7 a.m.-5 p.m. daily with brunch offered until 3 p.m. You can even sip your morning beverage of choice and shop their boutique while you wait for a table, or try Mosquito Café just a few doors down. Want a beachfront view with your meal? Porch Café never disappoints.
Tip: If you have a big appetite, treat yourself to Sunday Brunch at Hotel Galvez featuring an array of fruit, cheeses and pastries; seafood, omelet, waffle and carving stations; and a wide selection of desserts. Adults can enjoy bottomless champagne, mimosas, red or white wine.
|Crabby Crab Cake Sliders at BLVD Seafood
You can’t visit a beach destination and not expect to get your fill of fresh Gulf seafood. When the lunch hour strikes, Shrimp N’ Stuff scratches the seafood itch. I always order the fish tacos. Served on corn tortillas and garnished with fresh cabbage, chipotle mayo, pico and black bean relish, you’ll have a hard time saving room for dessert! There’s also something poetic about dining waterfront in beach towns and BLVD. Seafood caters to that desire. Situated along Galveston’s iconic Seawall Blvd., order a few different sliders to mix and match while taking in the views. I like the blue crab slider and the peanut butter jalapeno slider with Angus beef. Don’t knock it ‘til you try it! For lighter fare, EATcetera is a unique Euro-style lunch spot downtown featuring fresh sandwiches, paninis, salads, vegetarian offerings and more. I think I could live off of the sundried tomato spread, perfectly textured crostini and sparkling lavender soda alone!
|Filete de Pargo Simpatico at Rudy & Paco
There’s a good reason why Rudy & Paco was named one of the Top 100 Best Restaurants in America by Open Table. Chef Paco’s Central American fusion of steak and seafood is irresistible. I usually start with the Ceviche Corinto or Paco Calamares with caramelized onions and spicy sweet peppers. Then, it’s hard to order anything other than his specialty, the fresh caught plantain encrusted Gulf Red Snapper, sautéed and glazed with raspberry chipotle sauce and topped with jumbo lump crab meat. *Drops fork* This next one might surprise you, because of its name, Mama Teresa’s Flying Pizza. Yes, they serve pizza (and it is quite tasty), but what you probably didn’t guess is that Mama Teresa’s real secret recipe is found on the appetizer list. The spicy crab and shrimp in marinara sauce blows everything out of the water. Toss it with angel hair pasta perfected al dente and you have yourself an authentic feast. For a Cajun kick, The Black Pearl’s oyster po’boy and fried okra quell the need for spice!
|1888 Toujouse Bar at The Tremont House
It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere
Who am I kidding? When you’re on island time, you can raise your glass whenever you feel like it! I love watching the ships roll in over the harbor at sunset while sipping a house Cabernet from the Tremont House Rooftop Bar. After the sun sets, my honey and I usually make our way downstairs to the 1888 Toujouse Bar for a beautiful charcuterie spread and sway to the live jazz that accompanies our finely crafted drinks. If you enjoy art, The Proletariat Gallery & Public House is a feast for the senses. The art gallery-taproom hybrid marries creativity with all the laid-back feels of a perfectly concocted libation. Mixology connoisseurs will enjoy the creative delights of Daiquiri Time Out’s rotating drink menu. For refreshing brews, try: Galveston Island Brewing Co.
|East End Historic District
Galveston doesn’t particularly label itself “weird” like another Texas destination I know, but it certainly has a peculiar flair in the most endearing and genuine island way. That much is evident in these eccentric nibbles. Perhaps while bicycling through the East End Historical District you become a bit peckish searching for those hidden Tree Sculptures. Have no fear, Big Save is here! This family-owned, unassuming mini-mart has the best egg rolls made fresh daily. The convenience store has gained notoriety among locals for this unexpected treat, so get there early or you’ll be left with crumbs. Happy Coffee Shop is easily overlooked as you drive your way off the island. But it would be to your chagrin to pass up the generously stuffed lox bagels, coffee, smoothies and other snacks for the trip back home. The owner also serves up a different authentic Cambodian dish daily that never fails to impress.