114 THE COASTAL BEND MAGAZINE • Fall 2018 TheCoastalBend.com Laguna Reef Laguna Reef has earned a reputation as a home of culinary creativity and skill with the tender bounty of the sea. For this food snob, crab cakes and whole flounder—each served as occasional specials at Laguna Reef—are the real test for seafood cooking because the chef is dealing with products that fully take on the spices and flavors to which they are exposed, not to mention the complex cleaning and preparation work involved. High quality standards permeate to all recipes on the menu, which includes just about every imaginable incarnation of grilled, broiled and fried seafood, many with a Cajun touch. Laguna Reef will cook your freshly caught and cleaned fish filets. Enjoy outdoor dining on beautiful Laguna Madre. 4242 Laguna Shores Rd. @ Bluff’s Landing Marina (361) 937-2600 • $$ Laguna Reef Padre Pizzeria Padre Pizzeria This popular island pizza joint has earned quite a reputation for great tasting pizza made from the freshest and highest quality ingredients. In addition to terrific classic pizzas, this place is known for its wide variety of delicious and slightly off the beaten path specialty pizzas like the Bacon Cheeseburger, the BBQ, the Greek, the Hot Wings pizza, the Padre Mexicana, the Thai Surprise, the Philly cheese steak, and the Creamy Siracha. You will also find fantastic renditions of your classic spe- cialties like the Sicilian, Veggies Galore, Meat Lovers, and of course the Kitchen Sink. If you make it past the pizza, you might also try a healthy salad, an Italian sub including the awesome Chicken Parm, calzones, and a nice and sweet des- sert selection. 14493 S. Padre Island Dr. • (361) 949-0787 • PadrePizzeria.com • $$ Texas Mesquite BBQ & Grill Padre Island’s single barbecue joint is owned by two veterans of Corpus Christi’s restaurant industry, manager Debra Foster and chef and pit master Or- lando Quintanilla. By that summer island visitors and residents were enjoying a new menu that not only took the quality of the restaurant’s Texas barbecue to new heights, but also introduced a new layer of gourmet cuisine to the island. Quintanilla learned to appreciate real South Texas cooking growing up on the King Ranch. His skill translates into the delicious, tender and perfectly prepared brisket, ribs, sausage, chicken, turkey and pulled pork that your find at Texas Mesquite. Everything here is homemade, including rubs and sauces that contain the most tasteful and natural ingredients. 14457 S. Padre Island Dr. • (361) 949- 0065 • TexasMesquiteBBQ.com • $$ Texas Mesquite BBQ Costa Sur Chef Nick Mackrizz has created a diverse menu inspired by his native Peru, that includes fish tacos, Peruvian style fried rice and lo mein, sautéed chicken breast and tenderloin, seared or fried fresh fish of the day, and of course, the one-of-a- kind Peruvian Ceviche that made him famous on the island! This ceviche is an experience that will change how you think about fish, and maybe how you think about your entire, daily diet. It’s that good, and good for you. Costa Sur recently unveiled their greatly expanded space, which added a new cocktail bar, a new ceviche bar and tripled the size of their original space. 15113 S. Padre Island Dr. on North Padre Island • (361) 945-8303 • CostaSurCC.com • $$$ Costa Sur