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6 Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Early Summer 20156 Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Early Summer 2015 8 Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Early Summer 2015 Corpus Christi with a population of about 300000 is the metropolitan center of the Coastal Bend and is home to the fifth-busiest port in the U.S. a prosperous and growing petrochemical industry Naval Air Station C.C. and the C.C. Army Depot and the ever-expand- ing Texas AM University C.C. Downtown Corpus Christi is located in the northeast end of the city along Cor- pus Christi Bay and is where youll find numerous hotels the seawall the Ameri- can Bank Center arena and convention center and the citys museums including Science and History Asian Cultures and the Art Museum of South Texas. The Harbor Bridge extends over the Port of Corpus Christi to North Beach and on to Portland and the North Bay Area. North Beach is where you find the U.S.S. Lexington aircraft carrier Museum and the Texas State Aquarium along with a full-service hotel and nu- merous motels and condominiums plus a mile-long stretch of pedestrian friendly beach on Corpus Christi Bay. On the South Side of Corpus Christi be sure to visit the South Texas Botanical Gardens Nature Center on S. Staples St. past Yorktown Blvd. The South Padre Island Drive SPID freeway takes you to North Padre Island The Island and to our Gulf of Mexico beaches. The Laguna Madre is the long large body of water that runs between Padre Island and the mainland Flour Bluff. Baffin Bay is lo- cated farther south along Laguna Madre and is accessible by land at Riviera Beach a few miles south of Kingsville. Padre Isles on North Padre Island is the largest waterfront community outside the state of Florida andThe Islandof- fers miles of beautiful beaches restau- rants shopping and the Padre Island National Seashore. Packery Channel separates North Padre and Mustang Islands and provides direct boating access to the Gulf of Mexico. Mustang Island is home to numerous beachfront condominiums and private homes and Knowing Your Way Around the Coastal Bend Welcome leads northward to Port Aransas Port A a fast growing fishing villagethat attracts affluent vacationers and second home owners sportfishing and nature enthusiasts golfers and beachgoers from across Texas and the US. Aransas Pass and Conn Brown Harbor are north of Port A across the ship channel via a 24-hour vehicle ferry and is home to a revitalized downtown area and excellent marina facilities. Just 2 12 hours south of San Antonio and east of Laredo 3 12 hours south of Austin and Houston and about a day south of DFW by car. Free Online Versions of every TCBM issue at 10 Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Early Summer 2015 Downtown North Beach TheLady Lexset more combat records than any carrier in U.S. Naval history and today rests in Cor- pus Christi Bay as the U.S.S. Lexington Museum on the Bay a tribute and memorial to those who served defending America. The sights and sounds are so real and so intense you become a part of the story the second you step foot aboard this World War II era aircraft carrier. 2914 N. Shoreline Blvd. on North Beach 361 888-4873 The Texas State Aquarium is one of the Coastal Bends top visitor attractions because it delivers the ultimate Gulf of Mexico experience bring- ing the undersea world to you up close and in person The artificial reef exhibit in the 125000 gallon main tank is home to dozens of species of fish including rays and sharks as well as countless shellfish and other invertebrates. 2710 N. Shoreline Blvd. on North Beach 800 477-GULF CorpusChristi Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Early Summer 2015 11 Art Museum of South Texas has for over 40 years been considered one of the leading museums of fine art in the state of Texas and in some respects the entire U.S. Permanent exhibits include work from South Texas Southwestern and Latin American art- ists in nearly all media. Traveling exhibits from some of the countrys leading museums and private collec- tions regularly visit the Art Museum of South Texas. 1902 N. Shoreline Blvd. Downtown 361 825-3500 Corpus Christi Museum of Science History chronicles over 500 years of South Texas history as well as the archeological and geological profile of the area. The museum has recently opened a number of new exhibits programs and guest amenities including the newly constructed childrens play- ground a Mars Imaging Project for local high school students as well as a world Tolerance exhibit. 1900 N. Chaparral St. Downtown 361 826-4650 Getting Close to Nature South Texas Botanical Gardens Nature Center is definitiely not your grandmothers botanical garden Showcasing a 2600 sq. ft. screened Butterfly House Anderson Bromeliad Conserva- tory landmark Orchid House majestic Rose Garden and seasonal Plumeria Garden. Admire Sensory Gardenartscapeand diversity of quaint Hummingbird and desert Arid Gardens. Meet the new Resident Reptiles and colorful exotic parrots. Explore native habi- tat on the shaded Brennecke Nature Trail with its birding tower and bronze wildlife by world-renowned sculptor Kent Ullberg. From the rustic Palapa Grande enjoy serene views of Gator Lake and take an educational stroll through vast natural wetlands. 8545 S. Staples St. on South Side of Corpus Christi Open Daily 96 361 852-2100 Texas State Museum of Asian Cultures is home to an impressive collec- tion of art and artifacts from all corners of Asia. Learn about ancient Asian customs gaze at the art- istry of Japanese kimonos porcelains and even a rick- shaw Artifacts from India Sri Lanka Japan Hmong Thailand The Philippines Korea Taiwan Laos and Myanmer. 1809 N. Chaparral St. Explore the Lore of Texas Surf The Texas Surf Museum chronicles the 50 year history of surfing on the Texas Gulf Coast with exhibits that include vintage surf boards photographs fins newspa- per articles and even a real Ford Woody. Interactive ex- hibits take visitors through the history of Texas surf and vintage surf films are shown in the museums movie theater. See footage and photos of hurricane surfing on the Texas coast including surfers being arrested The museum is located in Water Street Market home to the Executive Surf Club a Texas surf-themed restaurant and tavern. 309 N. Water St. Downtown 361 888-7873 info online Downtown Pub Crawl A tour of pubs and taverns in Downtown Corpus Christi will take you to a myriad of fun scenes and cool crowds. House of Blues StarrMesquite features rock and reggae nightly and now serves food. Cheers Starr St. is a D-town favorite with a fun local crowd. Dr. Rockits Blues Bar ChaparralStarr is home to awesome bartenders and great music almost-nightly just south is Mulligans Pub popular sports bar. Cassidys Irish Pub Water Peoples offers a fun scene with live music on weekends. Aria Sky Lounge ChapparalLawrence is a chic alternative dance club with rooftop terrace bar featured DJs on weekends. Havana Club SchatzelWater is a beautiful club featuring live Latin music on weekends the Republic ofTexas Bar Omni Hotel is a classic piano bar with amazing view Railroad Seafood Station ChaparralPower St. features Downtowns only brewery. Mirador de la Flor The Selena Memorial This beautiful dedication to the memory of Corpus Christis beloved Selena is located on North Shoreline Blvd.People St. T-Head BryanTumlinson Photo 12 Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Early Summer 2015 CorpusChristi Jerry Seinfeld Americas modern King of Comedy returns to Corpus Christis Ameri- can Bank Center Selena Auditorium on Friday July 24th to perform his signature stand up act. A man who requires no introduction Seinfeld returned to his roots on the comedy tour after starring for nearly decade on NBCs Seinfeld the most success- ful sitcom in television history. Through his success on television endorsements and the syndication of the TV series Seinfeld is estimated to have achieved billionaire statusnot bad for a Jewish kid from Brooklyn born to immigrants from Ukraine his father and Syria his mother. Seinfeld was discovered in 1976 by the great Rodney Dangerfield after an open microphone appearance at the Catch a Rising Star comedy club in New York. He first appeared on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson in 1981 where he became a regular and which led to a highly successful stand up comedy career throughout the 1980s. In 1988 Seinfeld and writing partner Larry David were given a chance to develop a new sitcom for NBC and along with Michael Richards Kramer Jason Alexander George and Julia Louis-Dreyfus Elaine the most outrageously hilarious foursome in television was created. Seinfeld ran nine seasons ending in 1998 and Jerry is notoriously said to have turned down 5 million per episode to return for a tenth. Thank goodness for re-runs Circus July 23-26 Astonishing performers awe-inspiring athletes and amazing animals from around the globe have been assembled in one place providing a riveting display of unimaginable proportions in the newly produced Built to Amaze presented by Ringing Bros. and Barnum Bailey Americas oldest circus. The All- Access Pre-Show is included for all ticket holders. Coastal Bend 4th of July Celebrations Independence Day is a big deal in the Texas Coastal Bend marking the peak of the summer season in a place where fun on the water and at the beach are at the center of our way of life. While fireworks are prohibited in Corpus Christi and within most city limits a number of public displays take place throughout the area. The Downtown Corpus Christi Bayfront is the site of the regions largest fireworks show and can be viewed from all perspectives on the Shoreline Blvd. seawall and North Beach. New this year fireworks will be launched from the Corpus Christi Ma- rina area rather than from North Beach providing better views and greater access to more revelers than ever. Special viewing events will be hosted by the Texas State Aquarium the USS Lexington Museum and Pier 99 Restaurant. In Port Aransas Roberts Point Park on the ship channel is the center of July 4th activities including the citys free fireworks show. The luckiest revelers will enjoy the show from private and chartered boats moored in the channel. Fireworks shows over the bay take place in San Patricio County as well typically in Portland at Indian Point Park and at Ingleside-by-the Bay. Pro Baseball on the Bayfront Corpus Christi Hooks Baseball The Corpus Christi Hooks are the AA affiliate of the Houston Astros playing in the Texas League. The team has introduced a number of Major League stars to profes- sional baseball like Hunter Pence outfielder for the former world champions San Francisco Giants. Whataburger Field East Port Ave. Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Early Summer 2015 13 American Bank Center Regional multi-purpose venue hosts concerts for up to 10000 in the Arena and smaller performances in the Selena AuditoriumSunday June 28th Noon-6pm Convention Center 5th Annual Battle of the Bay Custom Car Show Concert Custom car and motorcycle competition bikini contest rap concert. Saturday July 11th Convention CenterAmerica on TapCraft Beer FestSample over 100 craft beers from across the USA food and live music. Saturday July 18th Convention Center 2015 NPC Battle of the Bay Regional QualifierBodybuilding Bikini Physique and Figure contest. Sunday July 19th Selena Auditorium Dancing with the Stars Live Perfect Ten TourFeatures professional dancers from the ABC television show. Thursday July 23rd-26th ArenaBuilt to AmazeCircus see opposite page. Friday July 24th Selena Auditorium Seinfeld Live see opposite page. Saturday July 25th Exhibit Hall Hurricane Alley Roller Derby. LiveonStage Concrete Street Amphitheater Friday July 3rd 3 Doors Down with special guests Theory of a Deadman We Are Harlot Fit for Rivals and more. Saturday July 18thThe Summerland Tour 2015 featuring The Toadies Everclear Fuel and American Hi-Fi. Brewster Street Ice House Bar restaurant and concert venue with family-friendly kidszone. June 28th Josh Abbott 2William Clark Green June 30th JB and the Moonshine Band July 2nd Roger Creager Kevin Fowler Max Stalling July 3rd The Spazmatics July 10th Radney Foster July 11th Second Saturday Sing-Along Show July 16th Bart Crow wAaron Einhouse July 17th Passing Strangers July 20th Randy Rogers Wade Bowen July 23rd Whiskey Meyers July 24th Le Freak July 30th Jon Wolfe. 1724 North Tancahua 361 884-2739 Note Brewster Street operates under a voluntary policy requiring government-issued ID for entry to ticketed concerts and events House of Rock Rock Reggae and special events venue featuring Friday July 10thBuried Under TexasShow featuring over a dozen bands Saturday July 11th Friend and Lovers Art presentsCarnies CreaturesWednesday July 15th New Kingston EN Young Thursday July 17th Humble BeginningsAlbum Release Party Saturday July 18th After Dark Berlesque Saturday July 25th House of Rock 10th Anniversary Party featuring Authority Zero Wednesday July 29th Scarecrow People and guests Friday July 31st Folkrock Jackpotfeaturing The Independent Thieves and more. 511 Starr St. 361 882-7625 Executive Surf Club Popular Water Street Market restaurant and tavern features local and Texas bands most nights of the week. Home of great hamburgers sandwiches and beer on tap. 309 N. Water Street 361 884-7873 Clockwise from Top Dancing with the Stars Everclear Fuel 3 Door Down Hurricane Alley Roller Derby 14 Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Early Summer 2015 CorpusChristi Chuckles Comedy Club Local stop for nationally touring professional stand-up comics. June 26-27 Chris Mata July 10 Alex Reymundo July 10-11 Jade Esteban Estrada July 17-19 Chris Katan July 24-25 John Stringer July 31-August 1 Jay Lafarr. 615 Mesquite St. Downtown LiveonStageHarbor Playhouse Mary PoppinsWeekends July 10thAugust 16th When Jane and Michael the children of the wealthy and uptight Banks family are faced with the prospect of a new nanny theyre pleasantly surprised by the arrival of magical Mary Poppins. Embarking on a series of fantastical adventures with Mary and her Cockney friend Bert the siblings try to pass on some of their nannys sunny attitude to their preoccupied parents. One Bayfront Park Aurora Arts Theater CinderellaWeekends June 6thJuly 18th The timeless enchantment of a magical fairy tale is reborn with the Rodgers Hammerstein hallmarks of originality charm and elegance. Originally presented on television in 1957 starring Julie Andrews. Adapted for the stage with great warmth and more than a touch of hilarity the hearts of children and adults alike still soar when the slipper fits. 5635 Everhart Rd. Live Music at Schlitterbahn The beautiful Veranda restau- rant and bar hosts live local musical acts on weekends including John Eric Dave Ross Christian Colbert Ronny James The Daze and others. S. Padre Island Dr. Commo- dores on North Padre Island chris katan cinderella mary poppins chris kattan Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Early Summer 2015 15 The U.S.S. Lexington CVA-16 was commissioned in 1943 and christened in honor of the original Lexington which was lost in 1942 at the Battle of the Coral Sea. The new Lady Lexset more combat records than any carrier in U.S. Naval history and today rests in Corpus Christi Bay as the U.S.S. Lexington Museum on the Bay a tribute and memorial to those who served defending America. Eleven of the ships 16 decks are included in tours of the Lex including the flight deck where 20 military aircraft are tethered ranging from a vintage N3N-3 Yellow Pearl bi-plane to a Blue Angels F-18 Hornet. The popular state-of-the-art 16 passenger Flight Simulator is located on the hanger deck as is the new World War II Virtual Battle Stations game center. The Joe Jessel Mega Theater features both vintage and ultra-modern aviation and other adventure films in thundering digital sound and brilliant video projection. Give yourself a good half-day to fully enjoy the Lexington Museum. 2914 N. Shoreline Blvd. on North Beach 361 888-4873 Step Aboard History Casino Ship Sets Sail from Aransas Pass After months of anticipation the Aransas Queen Casino Ship started daily trips to the Gulf of Mexico earlier this year where full cash-prize gambling is allowed outside state waters nine nautical miles offshore. Gamers can play over 200 certified Vegas-style slot machines from a penny to 25 per pull roulette craps Blackjack and even a Sportsbook. The Aransas Queen is operated by a Las Vegas-based gaming and hospitality company and offers a clean professionally run ship. Cruises run at 11am everyday with a second 7pm cruise many days. 2200 TX Hwy 361 844 426-2534 CorpusChristi 16 Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Early Summer 2015 Best Golfing Value in Texas In a time when Corpus Christis private country club golf courses have dropped like flies the City of Corpus Christis municipal courses are in the best condition in their history thanks to a management deal embarked upon with Foresight Golf based in Boerne. The Oso Beach Golf Course is located at the southern end of S. Alameda St. near the intersection of Ennis Joslin Rd. and Ocean Dr. and was the site of major competitions in its early days featuring legends like Ben Hogan and Sam Snead. The Gabe Lozano Golf Center is located on the citys west side on Old Brownsville Rd. and features both an 18-hole championship course and a 9-hole executive course. Both facilities are beautifully maintained offer instruc- tion by PGA certified professionals both for individu- als and groups and have driving ranges and putting greens. Best of all you will find the lowest fees by far making Corpus Christis courses the best golfing value in all of Texas Portland Texas This SummerPortland Texas is a perfect coexistence between residents and nature as this bayfront town continues to grow into an upscale idyllic community conveniently situated between the neighboring cities of Corpus Christi and Port Aransas. Sunset Lake is a 333-acre public park with pristine wetlands along a saltwater lake outlined by a two-mile hike and bike trail. The area is a happening place for nature-lovers and is ideal for birding fishing kayaking and sailing. Fishing is great at Indian Point Pier which is at the end of Sunset Lake Park. Portland is located north of Corpus Christi Hwy. 181 Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Early Summer 2015 17 Public Tennis Facilities H.E.B. Tennis Center has hosted major tennis events over its storied 50-year history and is the tennis home for thousands of Corpus Christians. 1520 Shely St. 361 888-5681 premiertennisacademy. com Al Kruse Tennis Center is named in honor of a local teaching legend and is conveniently located near downtown and the bayfront. 502 King St. 361 883-6942 High School Facilities at CCISDs King and Carroll High Schools are free and open to the public on weekends and when school is not in session and when the courts not in use by school teams or their players. King High School 5225 Gollihar Rd. Carroll High School 5301 Weber Rd. Golf Tennis Oso Beach Municipal Golf Course is one of two City of Corpus Christi public facilities located on the south side of town near Oso Bay. 5601 S. Alameda St. 361 826-8010 Gabe Lozano Golf Center is the second municipal course located on the citys west side and includes an 18-hole regulation course a 9-hole executive course and a lighted driving range. 4401 Old Brownsville Rd. 361 826-8016 Schlitterbahn Golf Club on North Padre Island is lo- cated adjacent to the new water park and features nine championship holes available for daily play. 14353 Commodores Dr. 361 949-8006 NorthShore Country Club north of Corpus Christi in Portland is one of the most picturesque courses in Tex- as. Available for daily play Mon-Thurs and everyday via reciprocal country club membership. 801 E. Broadway Ave. Portland 361 643-1546 Palmilla Beach Golf Club in Port Aransas is one of the few true Scottish-style links courses in the U.S. and is the newest course in the Coastal Bend. 265 Palm Island Dr. Port Aransas 361 749-4653 18 Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Early Summer 2015 SPID Commercial Zone Map SPID Freeway Weber to Greenwood Map SPID Zone Not to Miss Mole A Taste of Central MexicoThose who have traveled in Mexico and discovered its native cuisine will love Mole 6042 SPID Airline Rd. Takeniwa Asian BistroFantastic sushi and fun live cooking show at hibachi tables. 5216 SPID near La Palmera Sangs Imperial CafeA local favorite for fantastic sushi and the authentic cuisine of Southeast Asia. Look for specials online. 4650 Corona Dr. 361 880-8881 BenjaminsFor over 40 years the Coastal Bends favorite surf and skate shop and where you find the latest in swim beach and casual wear. 1233 Airline Rd. McArdle La Palmera Mall Takeniwa CorpusChristi 20 Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Early Summer 2015 Flour Bluff Map Corpus Christis southernmost mainland community is the gateway to Padre and Mustang Islands and is home to friendly down-to-earth folks and exceptional public schools. Flour Bluff is also where Naval Air Station Corpus Christi is located which has instilled a strong military tradition in the community. SPID FreewayFar South Side Map CorpusChristi 22 Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Early Summer 2015 Padre Island is the longest barrier island in the world and the second largest island in the US to Long Island NY. Padre Isles is the largest waterfront development in the US outside the state of Florida with some 4000 single and multi-family homes located on the com- munitys extensive network of canals. Although the vast majority of homes in Padre Isles include boat docks andor lifts and many residents own ocean-worthy rec- reational vessels until 2006 the closest pas- sage into the Gulf of Mexico was through the Port Aransas Ship Channel more than 20 miles and over an hour north. More beaches greater beach access than any destination on the Entire U.S. Gulf Coast COLLEGEYOUNG ADULT ZONE FAMILY-FRIENDLY BEACH ZONE The official opening of Packery Channel in October 2006 was the culmination of decades of effort by hundreds of Texans at all levels of government. Not only does the channel provide direct access to the gulf in less than five nautical miles of most homes but contrary to envi- ronmentalistswarnings about negative ecological consequences water quality in Laguna Madre and in North Padres canal system was significantly improved as was the fishing with the opening of Packery Channel. T heres no question that the Coastal Bends gulf beaches are the number one attraction for visitors any time of yearand who can blameem While summer weather in the Coastal Bend and most of Texas for that matter is anything but predictable our islands tend to offer the most hospitable climate for any kind of outdoor activity. High daytime temperatures in mid- June can range from 85F on a cooler day to 95F under high pressure and southeasterly winds. So whether its campfires and panchos or board short and bikinis our island beaches are where to be this summer. The islands offer the most and the most accessible beaches in the state of Texas for surfing fishing sandcastle building or justchillinunder the sun. Padre and Mustang Islands beckon your visit this season North Padre Mustang Islands 24 Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Early Summer 2015 North Padre Mustang Islands Choosing the right beachfor your fun in the sun can be the biggest decision you make for your spring or summer vacation in the Coastal Bend. J.P Luby Surf Park just north of Packery Channel between Zahn Rd. and Newport Pass Rd. is where youll find the party people collegeyoung adult crowd. On the south side of Packery Channel along the Michael J. Ellis Seawall and south to the Padre Balli Park and Bob Hall Pier area fami- lies with young kids find the most hospitable beach setting. Farther south on Padre Island you will find the least regulated and maintained area of the beach which extends 12 miles south to the northern edge of the Padre Island National Seashore. If you are taking a large group that prefers greater privacy this may the beach zone for you but we advise traveling in trucksSUVs preferably with 4-wheel drive but definitely with higher ground clearance and taking all the supplies youll need for the day. A day at the beachon Padre and Mustang Islands is a largely unique experience as our islands offer the most beach access for vehicles. Parking is allowed permit required in most areas within 50 feet of the wa- ters edge and smart beachgoers on Spring Break will arrive early and prepared. A shade canopy is a good idea as are a bonfire and barbecue pit. Work with the wind and not against it. Glass containers and driving in the dunes are prohibited and all road rules apply to beach driving including seatbelt and DWI laws. A vehicle-free pedes- trian beach has recently been established on the southern end of the Padre Island Seawall near Whitecap Beach. Shore Fishingon our islands is plentiful and accessible from dozens of locations. Bob Hall Pier is located at the Nueces County Padre Balli Park south of the hotels and condos and is the site of several record catches. The Packery Channel Jetties offer free direct access to a hot zone of fish migration between the Gulf of Mexico and Laguna Madre. Horses on the Beachbrings visitors a most memorable and exciting experiencehorseback riding on our beautiful North Padre Island beaches Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Early Summer 2015 25 Texas Sealife CenterEach year in the Coastal Bend hundreds of sea animals become injured stranded and otherwise subjected to duress often due to human behavior. For decades bands of ecological volunteers have acted to rescue and rehabilitate injured wildlife but with limited resources and facilities. The Texas Sealife Center was established in 2012 in the Packery Channel Park building on North Padre Island a facility donated by Nueces County. The new center provides space for rescued sea turtles birds mammals and other creatures and works hand-in-hand with Tony AmosAnimal Re- habilitation Keep ARK in Port Aransas. An important element of the sealife rescue mission is educating the public about the dangers of garbage and human interfer- ence with sea animals a core mission of the Texas Sealife Center. 14225 S. Padre Island Dr. on Padre Island Mustang Island State Park encompasses almost 4000 acres that stretch across Mustang Island between North Padre Island and Port Aransas and includes shore- line on both the Gulf of Mexico and Corpus Christi Bay. The facilities area of the park located within the main gate includes RV spaces and campsites restrooms and ranger station. Park beaches tend to be less crowded with fewer vehicles and two rock jetties extend in to the gulf. On the back side of the island a network of flats and marsh zones provides fantastic fishing and birdwatching along with an exten- sive paddling trail. Google Mustang Island State Park Padre Island National Seashore is the native island experience in its rawest form including the best shore fishing in the countrya bold statement to be surebut consider that one of the worlds strongest ocean currents the Gulf of Mexico Loop Current enters the gulf at Mexicos Yucatan Peninsula and ex- its at the Florida Straits and makes its sharpest turn along the National Seashore. The result is that thegut or drop-off between sandbars can be up to 15 feet deep between the shoreline and first sand bar among the deepest in the world. In those deepest near-shore guts big fish are fed on by even bigger fish which makes Big Shell and Little Shell exceedingly popular with shark hunters and other big game fisher- men. The park boasts that some 380 species of birds half of all those identified in the United States have been spotted here The Kemps Ridley Sea Turtle has made an amazing comeback at PINS a major U.S. nesting ground thanks to the efforts of park staff and volunteers. Through these efforts PINS has become one of the more important nesting sites on the Gulf Coast. nps.govpais 361 949-8068 Parks Offer First-hand Marine Education 26 Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Early Summer 2015 jbs German Bakery Cafe serves authentic Ger- man cuisine and fantastic baked delicacies like real strudel Bavarian cream pie and German breads and pastries. Located on a canal JBs offers a wonderful waterfront setting and perfect spot to enjoy a gourmet coffee and delicious breakfast or lunch. 15137 S. Padre Island Dr. Park Rd. 22 north of Whitecap Blvd. Snoopys Pier is long established as one of the Coastal Bends most famous and favorite dining estab- lishments. Enjoy great Gulf seafood hushpuppies and hamburgers in a family setting inside or on the large waterfront deck. Out boating Dock at Snoopys grab an awesome lunch an ice cream from Scoopys next door and head back out on the water. Breathtaking sunsets over Laguna Madre. On the Intracoastal Water way south of the JFK Causeway Docs Seafood SteaksThe Laguna Madre wa- terfront is the setting for this popular island eatery bar and event venue. Docs menu is inspired by the favor- ites that make Coastal Bend seafood famous the world- over including fresh bay flounder served blackened Florentine with a white wine sauce crab-stuffed and even sauted flounder. Docs is located on Padre Island next to the JFK Causeway and offers one of the areas most picturesque waterfront dining experiences On the Intracoastal Waterway south of the JFK Causeway mikel mays beachside bar grill on Bob Hall Pier at the Padre Balli Park on North Padre Island. The public pier is one of the most popular local spots for shore fishing and surfinglast year a world record on- shore catch and release bull shark was caught on the pier adding to its legend. Mikel Mays is a full bar with the best beach view possible along with awesome sliders shrimp oysters a rib eye sub and more. At Bob Hall Pier Nueces County Padre Balli Beach Park Waterfront Dining on Padre Island Jbs german mikel mays Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Early Summer 2015 27 North Padre Mustang Islands For lucky Coastal Bend residents its easy to take for granted the fact that we are surrounded quite literally by saltwater. Aside from the Gulf of Mexico our bays and estuaries provide some very fertile fishing waters some of the best in the state of Texas which are virtually all accessible to the public. Some of the best Fall fishing spots are located on and on the way to North Padre and Mustang Islands. For easy reference see Upper Laguna Madre Fishing Map on page 72. JFK CausewayThis is the over water highway from mainland Corpus Christi Flour Bluff to North Padre Island. Take thelow roadexit before the curve at Humble Channel which is straddled by Cos-Way and Red Dot bait stands both with fishing piers that run along the channel a major migration route for Redfish Speckled Trout and Flounder. Continue on the low side of the causeway toward the island for easy wade fishing access to Laguna Madre. Packery ChannelFrom Padre Island turn north on Highway 361 toward Port Aransas. You will see the Packery Channel Bridge and easy parking areas on both sides of the bridge that provide direct ac- cess to this very busy route for migrating fish between the Gulf of Mexico Laguna Madre and Corpus Christi Bay. Mustang Island State ParkFarther north on High- way 361 you will see state park structures on the ocean side but you will also see unpaved access roads on the west side of the highway which lead you to productive wade fishing along the back side of the island in Corpus Christi Bay. Just pull over and start fishin Driving on the Beach with dignity DO Stop before entering soft high sand and plan your route Use a low gear Proceed at a brisk steady speed Use flat boards or even seaweed under your tires for traction if you get stuck Rock your vehicle out of sand if you get stuck DONT Assume yourall wheel drivevehicle performs like a 4-wheel drive Stop in high sand like you would in snow Gun your accelerator in an angry attempt to get unstuck CussCry 28 Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Early Summer 2015 Port Aransas Everything you love about the Texas Summer is in Port Aransas P ort Aransas Port A to the lo- cals is becoming the top sum- mertime destination for folks from San Antonio and Austin because here you find every- thing about fun in the sun and surfand on the waterthat makes summer summer. The City of Port Aransas takes the quality of their beaches seriously so just about every morning you can see workers manicuring the beach with heavy equipment so guests have easy access by car truck golf cart or on their own two feet. Port As gulf beach stretches over 10 miles south to the Mustang Island State Park and are all acces- sible by vehicle. The south jetty on the north end of Port Aransas Beach along the ship channel extends over a mile into the Gulf of Mexico and is popular with fishermen snorkelers bird and boat watchers and just about every nature lover. During summer months snorklers even find clear water here Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Early Summer 2015 29 Anglers from throughout the United States descend upon Port Aransas in most every month of the year to enjoy consistently productive game fishing in the Gulf of Mexico and in the bays and inlets on the back side of Mustang Island. Port A is home to dozens of private fishing guides as well as large party boats which together comprise the largest sportfishing fleet on the Texas Gulf Coast. Public fishing centers are located along the Port A Marina including Fishermans Wharf Woodys Sport Center Dolphin Docks and Deep Sea Headquarters and all provide gear and bait as part of their fee which can range from 70 or so for a half-day party boat trip to over 2000 for a private charter with a professional guide on a first class boat. But you certainly dont need to be on a boat to catch fish in the summer in Port A and on Mustang Island. The Port Aransas jetties or course provide ample access to the ship channel through which big fish run. Additionally the boat channel along the back side of Mustang Island in Corpus Christi Bay is popular for wade and shore fishing and the flats are where Flounder gigging can reap great rewards landing this tasty fish that is harder to catch on rod and reel. Because most accommodations on Mustang Island are condos and beach houses with full kitchens a family fish fry after your angling adventure is a perfect plan and just about all of the fine restaurants in town will happily prepare and cook your catch Woodys 361 749-5252 Fishermans Wharf 749-5448 Dolphin Docks 749-4188 Deep Sea HQ 749-5597 The Best Saltwater Fishing on the Texas Coast is in Port A The town center north of Avenue G is a true ocean- front village bustling with laughter and fun activities from great dining to shopping an art center and galleries and even hands-on experiences like pottery or model making and painting. You can learn about Port As rich and storied history at the Port Aransas Museum on N. Alister St. and you can get a close look at the world of ocean research at the University of Texas Marine Science Institutes visitor center. Boating and fishing centers along Cotter Avenue offer just about every water-going adventure you can think of from offshore and bay fishing to sunset and dolphin cruises to parasailing and jet ski rentals and even mock pirate cruises. Visitors can charter a sailing yacht or rent a kayak for fishing in the countrys first protected trail system for kayaks and canoes. With all to do in this island paradise one week two weeks or more may just not be long enough this year for you to enjoy all that Port A has to offer. 30 Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Early Summer 2015 Golf carts the big thing in Port Aransas You can own and drive one of these fun open air little vehicles on the streets of Port Aransas although you are more likely to rent one from one of the many golf cart businesses in town. All road rules apply to the operation of golf carts in Port A including DWI and open container laws. They may be driven on the beach and on city streets with speed limits under 35 mph which pretty much covers the entire town. Carts may not be driven on South Alister TX-361 south of Avenue G and drivers must pull to the side when safe to allow faster vehicles to pass. In all the carts are a great way to enjoy Port A Port A pubs and taverns hoppinthis Summer Its been said before by locals and regular tourists that Port Aransas is a drinking town with a fishing habit. Every season is a reason to celebrate in Port A and the towns watering holes are typically immersed in festivities and merrymaking. Port A Coast Club1007 State Hwy 361 Bernies Beach House730 Trout St. Back Porch Bar132 W. Cotter The Gaff323 Beach St. A Great Community Park The people of Port Aransas should be commended for making the choice to invest in a first class community park that offers year-round activities for every member of the family even the four-legged ones The 10000 square foot Skate Park was professionally designed to provide a fun experience for skaters of all ages and skill levels. Features include gaps flats hubbas and grinds all popular skater lingo plus a seven foot kindey shaped bowl. The parks beautiful Public Swimming Pool is open daily during the summer and weekends during other warm weather times of the year and offers a wonderful family friendly atmosphere complete with certified lifeguards. The Baseball and Softball Fields at the community park are newly constructed and well maintained and offer a place to play for Little League high school and private league games. A one acre Dog Park is open during daylight hours and provides two separate ca- nine play grounds one for large dogs and one for the little guys. Installed toys water stations and waste pick up stations provided as well as fire plugs from the PAVFD. Take Cut Off Rd. to Ross Ave. to Clark Parkway see map page 28 32 Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Early Summer 2015 Port Aransas The University of Texas Marine Science Institute UT- MSI is the oldest and most significant marine research facility on the Gulf Coast established in a beachside cabin in 1941. The facility has excelled over the years in countless marine research projects that have impacted industries including oil and gas exploration shipping and mariculture and have influenced U.S. and international marine pollution and conservation laws. UTMSI welcomes visitors daily where self guided tours and educational movies are among the attractions offered in the visitors center. Seven aquatic displays depict Texas coastal habitats and the organisms that live in them including Spartina black mangrove marsh oyster reef open bay bottom rock jetty and offshore artificial reefs. Other displays in the main building highlight current and past research projects and feature representative specimens and photographs of local plants and animals. 630 E. Cotter Ave. Marine Science Institute 34 Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Early Summer 2015 the port aransas museum is a worthy testament to one of the most historically significant communities on the Texas Gulf Coast which was established as a cattle and sheep ranching settlement in the 1850s. During the same period steam- ship service was commissioned between Sand Point as the town was then called and New Orleans necessitating the construction of the Aransas Pass Lighthouse on St. Josephs Island. The Tarpon Inn opened its doors in the 1880s and became the center of local sportfishing activity. The Inn and Port A welcomed its most famous angler in 1937 when President Franklin D. Roosevelt caught tarpon from a Farley boat pictured above although it is said he actually stayed on the presidential yacht and not at the Tarpon Inn. The museum is home to local artifacts and over 12000 historical photos telling the rich history of Port Aransas. 361 749-3800 N. AlisterBrundrett St. PALMILLA BEACH GOLF CLUB is among the very few truly authentic Scot- tish-style links courses in the United States. The natural coastal terrain which features an ocean beach and sand dunes followed by native island vegetation on which the course is built are required features of the links course and are all found on Mustang Island. The Arnold Palmer Signature Design course is the golfing legends very first ocean-side design and one in which Palmer placed special attention and oversight. The result is a challenging championship experience the requires players to negoti- ate narrow rolling fairways imposing greens and stacked sets of bunkers in the links tradition. Five sets of tees are offered for a variety of skill levels. 361 749-4653 265 Palm Island Dr. Port Aransas 36 Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Early Summer 2015 While Port A is known across the country for its bounti- ful offshore game fishing onshore fishing is among the best on the Texas coast as well. Surf fishing is of course accessible from almost anywhere on the beach but is more practical in the early mornings before the beach crowds arrive during a busy period like Spring Break. Horace Caldwell Pier is located on the Port Aransas beach at the I.B. Magee Nueces County Park and extends 1200 feet into gulf waters. The pier facility includes a cafe and bait shop and is as popular with surfers as it is with fishermen who pull in redfish drum shark and a variety of other native species. The Port Aransas Jetties form the underwater structure that creates the ship channel which runs between them. The south jetty is located in Port A at the north end of the beach. The north jetty is located on St. Joseph Island St. Jos which is accessible via the privately-run Jetty Boat operating from Fishermans Wharf. Both jetties offer free access to the unique rocky underwater habitat that is home to a unique variety of fish. Terrific Shore Fishing Port Aransas 38 Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Early Summer 2015 No vacation to the Coastal Bend is complete without getting your time on the water and unique adventures are abound include pirates dolphins jet skis and even sailing yachts. Woodys Sports Center located on the Port Aransas Marina is home to a variety of waterborne adventures in addition to fishing the most popular of which are its Dolphin Watch Nature Tours. The waters of the Coastal Bend are home to thousands of bottlenose dolphins that seem to find great fun traveling in the wakes of boats and ships. Dolphin Watch takes you up close to these magnificent animals in their natural environment. 136 W. Cotter Ave. 361 749-5252 Especially during the spring and summer months dolphin excursions have been known to come under mock attack by watergun-wielding pirates aboard a second boat. Luckily these are traditional theatrical pirates and not those that have made so much news in recent years. This super-fun adventure is ideal for groups of all ages Paradise Jet Ski Rentals operates during the spring and summer months at Woodys seven days a week from 900 a.m. to dusk and offers three-seater 1200 hp Yamaha Jet Skis. 361 749-6904. Stray Cat Sailing Adventures offers bay and gulf excursions on a 32Sailing catamaran. Pet friendly. 361 416-0054 Red Dragon Pirate Cruises embarks on its first year in Port Aransas and promises to offer a new one-of-a- kind adventure. The newly constructed ship features a crew of pirateswho lead eager guests on cruises in the channels and nearby bays. 361 749-2469 Fun on the Water in Port Aransas 40 Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Early Summer 2015 A very cool ride but one to avoid Sadly every year in the Coastal Bend a precious few of our millions of beachgoing visitors fall victim to the very natural elements that give us the wonderful beauty and enjoyment we find on our gulf beaches. But while Hollywood films and suburban legends would lead one to believe that the greatest dangers you might encounter at the beach are sharks of course stingrays jellyfish errant surfboards birds of prey or any number of perilous unknowns of the sea it is in fact the rip current that presents the greatest danger to bathers and surfers of all ages sizes and athletic prowess. Please take a few minutes to understand the danger of rip currents how to identify them and how to avoid and escape them. Courtesy of The Weather Channel and A rip current is a narrow zone typically 3 to 20 yards wide of fast-flowing water 1-3 mph sometimes faster moving from shore to just beyond the breaker-zone. Rip currents are always present when waves break on a beach. Wave height wave period the time inter- val between successive waves breaker angle to the beach man-made obstacles piers and jetties and local deeper chan- nels in the surf zone all contribute to rip currents. Rip currents are stronger and extend to deeper water as breaking wave heights increase. But for weak swimmers or those who cannot swim waves high enough to break in water over their heads approximately 6 feet or deeper are sufficient to cause a person 6 feet or shorter to drown. That wave height can be as low as 4 feet Rip currents begin at the sand-water line and extend through the surf zone they can capture people in very shallow water and drag them to deeper water. Fortunate- ly most people are able to walk out of a rip current when water is knee deep or shallower. But waist deep or higher water can prevent a person from walking away. If you get caught in a rip current Remain calm to conserve energy and think clearly. Never fight the current. Think of it like a treadmill that cannot be turned off of which you need to step to the side. Swim out of the current in a direc- tion following the shoreline. When out of the current swim at an angle away from the current toward shore. If you are unable to swim out of the rip current float or calmly tread water. When out of the current swim towards shore. If you are still unable to reach shore draw attention to yourself by waving your arm and yelling for help. Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Early Summer 2015 41 Check out these unique retailers to find the perfect item for your new vacation digs or a memento of your time in our Little Slice of Paradise. A Mano is a truly amazing find that would stand out in any major city in the country for its abundance and high-quality of art and furniture imports from Mexico. The stores owner travels to Mexico regularly seeking the most unique and well-made items created by local craftsmen and artisans and brings them to Port A for her lucky customers. 1726 TX Hwy 361 361 749-1828 Fish Tales Nautical Boutique offers a wonderful selection of island apparel for men wom- en and children art home accessories kitchen ware candles glass jewelry handbags and more. Among the shops most popular items are Pembroke womens swimwear and Rum Reggae mens shirts. 345 N. Alister St. in Old Town Center 361 749-4733 Fire It Ceramics offers a truly hands-on experience thats great fun for the whole fam- ily. Here you get to choose a ceramics project shape it to form paint it and fire it in the kilna day or two later you pick up your piece which can range from simple tableware to elaborate sculptures. Perfect for parties and groups 210 N. Alister St. 361 749-7976 Fly It Port A is the only shop of its kind south of San Antonio and is where you will find the full array of kites from traditional to ultra-modern high performance plus self fly- ing and box kites. Air Swimmers darts and accessories wind socks traditional toys and games. 405 W. Avenue G 361 749-4190 Steves Custom Jewelers is home to one of the most talented and prolific jeweler mak- ersanywhereand one who specializes in recreating the beauty elegance and power of the sea. You will find hundreds of unique items cast in Sterling silver and gold. 315 S. Alister St. 361 749-6635 Port A home to unique shops and galleries silver king Port Aransas 42 Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Early Summer 2015 Chillas Gift Shop offers a wide selection of home gar- den and patio decor including Talavera pottery of many sizes and styles. You will also find candles seasonal items jewelry and Minnetonka footwear. 2119 State Hwy 361 361 749-2653 Port A Glass Studio Art Gallery has brought this most popular coastal art form to the island thanks to artist Sheri Hargrove who personally creates glass art in the studio and offers instruction to aspiring artists. 600 Cut Off Road 7 361 749-6358 Silver King Jewelers has become something of a hid- den gem so to speak in Port A for shoppers looking for unique jewelry styles the latest designs from popular silver artisans the world-over and even engagement ring sets featuring brilliant man-made diamonds. 210 N. Alister 361 749-5464 Susan Castor Collection is the Port Aransas destination for high style in interior design which is offered by a professional team of certified experts. Shopper will find furniture and home accessories ready for delivery at their Port Aransas gallery. 1908 TX Hwy 361 361 749-0524 Jo Ds is long established as one of Port As favorite boutiques and home decor retailers. Express your island style on yourself and in your home when you choose from Jo Ds wide and rotating selection of womens fashions furniture and more. 345 N. Alister The Shops at Old Town 361 749-2290 Saltwater Gypsies is where you will discover a unique slightly rustic and sometimes whimsical Texas island motif in fashion antique furnishings art and acces- sories for your home and office. Newly found items are displayed regularly so visit often. 345 N. Alister The Shops at Old Town 936 443-6836 chillas saltwater gypsies 44 Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Early Summer 2015 Aka Downtown This popular downtown sushi bar is experiencing an injection of new energy and creativity expanding on the restaurants tradition of high quality and truly authentic Asian cooking. While a number of new rolls have been added to Akas already terrific selection the real evolution is a response to customersrequests for delicacies like live scallops fresh Toro fatty tuna and giant clams. A newspecialtiesmenu carries a chic West Coast influence and includes items like Baby Octopus Ceviche seared esco- lar tuna albacore and yellowtail soft shell crab fresh oysters uni and the increasingly popular Avocado Bomb stuffed with crab and spicy tune and topped with spicy mayo and eel sauce. Enjoy Japanese mainstays like tempura Teriyaki noodles and the Bento boxbut be sure to try the Chilean sea bass or grilled salmon on at least one visit 415 N. Water St. 361 882-8885 Harrisons Landing The casual atmosphere that comes with life on the water is what youll find at Har- risons Landing which is actually a yachting center and marina boutique and bar and restaurant all in one Enjoy cold gulf shrimp and a frosty margarita while taking in the breathtaking sunset over Corpus Christis marina and Bayfrontall while toe-tapping to the sounds of a popular local beach band. Harrisons offers a delicacy for just about The Coastal Food List Typical meal wbeverage under 10 10-20 20-30 30 harrisons landing Coastal Food Corpus Christi Continued on page 48 46 Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Early Summer 2015 Republic of TexasFine Dining Marina View OMNI Hotel 20th Floor 361 887-1600 x3515 Mon-Sat 5p-10p Sun 5p-9p Glass PavilionCasual Breakfast Steaks Salads OMNI Hotel 2nd Floor 361 887-1600 x3510 Mon-Fri 630a-2p 6p-10p Fri-Sat 11p Seawall Food SpiritsOutdoorWaterfront 520 S. Shoreline Blvd. 361 726-3533 Tues-Thurs 11a-10p Sat-Sun 11a-12a UI RestaurantCasual Family Style 309 S. Water St. 361 883-3492 Sun-Thurs 11a-10p Fri-Sat 11a-11p Mamma MiasFine Italian 128 N. Mesquite St. 361 883-3773 Wed-Thurs 5p-9p Fri-Sat 5p-10p WhataburgerFamous Hamburgers 121 N. Shoreline Blvd. 361 881-8987 24 Hours a Day Dos ComalesMexican Food Margaritas 227 N. Water St. 361 885-7702 11a-11p Daily Executive Surf ClubCasual Burgers Salads 309 N. Water St. 361 884-7873 Sun-Thurs 11a-11p Fri-Sat 11a-12a Water Street Oyster BarSeafood Sushi 309 N. Water St. 361 881-9448 Sun-Thurs 11a-11p Fri-Sat 11a-12a Water Street Seafood Co.Seafood 309 N. Water St.. 361 726-3533 Sun-Thurs 11a-10p Fri-Sat 11a-11p Aka DowntownSushi Asian Seafood 415 N. Water St. 361 882-8885 Lunch 11a-2p Dinner 5p-10p Closed Sun SubwaySandwiches 433 N. Shoreline Blvd. 361 888-8800 1202 N. Chaparral St. 361 884-1300 Joes LighthouseWaterfront Seafood 444 N. Shoreline Blvd. 361 904-0227 11a-12a Daily Sonjas RestaurantCasual CafeGerman Bakery 424 N. Chaparral St. 361 884-7774 Sun-Fri 9a-3p Thai SpiceGourmet Thai Cuisine 523 N. Water St. 361 883-8884 11a-11p Daily Bleu BistroFine Romantic Dining 500 N. Water St. 361 887-2121 Lunch 11a-2p Dinner 5p-10p Fri-Sat 12a Mesquite St. PizzaCasual PizzaItalian 615 Mesquite St. 361 882-7499 Open Daily at 11a House of RockBar Music Venue Casual Food 511 Starr St. 361 882-7625 Mon-Sat 11a-2a CrawdaddysCasual Cajun Seafood 414 Starr St. 361 883-5432 Sun-Thurs 11a-11p Fri-Sat 11a-12a Vietnam RestaurantFine Fusion Dining 701 N. Water St. 361 853-2682 Lunch 11a-2p Dinner 5p-9p Fri-Sat 10p Downtown GrillCasual Steaks Seafood 622 N. Water St. 361 883-4745 Sun-Thurs 11a-10p Fri-Sat 11a-11p Harrisons LandingOutdoorWaterfront 108 Peoples St. T-Head 361 881-8503 Sun-Thurs 11a-11a Fri-Sat 12a Sun Brunch Landrys SeafoodWaterfront Fine Seafood 600 N Shoreline Blvd. 361 882-6666 Sun-Thurs 11a-9p Fri-Sat 11a-10p Hoegemeyers Barbecue BarnTexas BBQ 711 Concrete St. 361 884-4227 Mon-Fri 11a-3p Burger KingHamburgers Breakfast 309 IH-37 361 883-3777 6a-12a Daily Railroad Seafood StationSouth Texas Seafood 1214 N. Chaparral St. 361 883-6200 Mon-Thurs 11a-10p Fri-Sat 11a-11p Brewster Street Ice HouseCasualMusic Venue 1724 N. Tancahua St. 361 884-2739 Sun-Wed 11a-11p Thurs-Sat 11a-2a Hesters at the Art MuseumWaterfront Cafe 520 S. Shoreline Blvd. 361 885-0151 Tues-Thurs 11-10 Sat-Sun 11-12a Pier 99Waterfront Casual Seafood 2822 N. Shoreline Blvd. 361 887-0764 Tues-Thurs 11-10 Sat-Sun 11-12a Kellys DeliGourmet Sandwiches 2825 N.Shoreline Blvd. 361 886-6000 Open DailySeasonal 7a-7p BlackbeardsCasual Family Seafood 3117 Surfside Blvd. 361 884-1030 Sun-Thurs 11a-9p Fri-Sat 11a-10p Fajitaville on the BeachFajitas Seafood 221 S. Hotel Place 361 888-5554 Sun-Wed 11a-10p Thurs-Sat 11a-11p Coastal Food Downtown North Beach Restaurant Locator Map 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 7 8 10 11 12 13 9 23 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 48 Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Early Summer 2015 Corpus Christi railroad seafood station any tastefish tacos with avocado and cilantro topped with a special Mexican sauce makes for a perfect lunchcolossal shrimp served grilled or fried in a variety of special battersor enjoy a perfectly grilled fresh fish filet. You might love Harrisons Landing so much that youll find yourself back the next evening for a yacht ride or sunset cruise. Indoor dining in the beautiful Marina Room now open. Dont miss Sunday Champagne Brunch 108 Peoples Street T-Head 361 881-8503 Railroad Seafood Station Brewery When visiting a coastal destination it is inevitable that you will seek out fresh seafood as part of your trip. South Texas in particular not unlike other regions of the South is home to a very distinct style of seafood that was formulated almost 70 years ago along the shores of Baffin Bay. Those special recipes include the perfectly seasoned batter used for jumbo fried shrimp and fresh Texas oysters which are served at Railroad Seafood as dinner plates or family stylethat is to say by the pound. Fish lovers will enjoy the freshest snapper catfish drum and flounder prepared fried broiled or blackened. The chefs here expertly dabble in more distant flavors like Cajun Snapper Pontchartrain and Polynesian Colossal Coconut Shrimp which could be one of the very best shrimp dishes in the Coastal Bend. You will also find one of the best hamburgers in town here. Home brewed beer in the adjacent Hofbrau Bar which is big enough for private parties. 1214 N. Chaparral St. 361 883-6200 YO Philly Cheese Steaks While Philadelphias two most famous cheese steak shops have fought for decades over whos best theres no questions whatsoever where you will find the best most authentic Philly Cheese Steak sandwich in the Coastal Bend and that is YO on North Beach. The true Philly sandwich starts with a heap of thin cut steak sauted with onions and mushrooms and topped with melting Provolone cheese. YO is home to delicious burgers along with great sausage sandwiches real Italian hoagies and moremade with specialty meats and cheeses from Philly. YO also serves up hot dogs roast pork and beef and terrific pizzas. YOs second location recently opened at S. Alameda and Doddridge in Midtown Corpus Christi. 3314 Surfside Blvd. on North Beach 361 452-8750 3735 S. Alameda St. at Doddridge 361 452-6901 Hoegemeyers BBQ Barn Just about everyone with a backyard grill thinks they make great barbecuesome of these folks end up openingcue restaurants but only a few really know what theyre doing. In downtown Corpus Christi the recently opened Hoegemeyers BBQ is where you want to go as these folks know barbecue. Every item on the menu is made fresh daily and they keep serving until they run out in the afternoon. Enjoy all the 50 Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Early Summer 2015 traditional favorites served Hill Country style on plain butcher paper except of course for the scrumptious cobblers which you must save room for or at least take a helping home for dessert. Eat by the pound or by the plate and Hoegemeyers is the perfect place to call if you need to feed a hungry group of beachgoers or fishermen and women. Located next door to Con- crete Street Amphitheater in a 1920s building diners and beer drinkers also enjoy live music and other festive events some weekends. 711 Concrete Street Downtown Corpus Christi 361 884-4227 Open for Lunch Only MondayFriday MolA Taste of Central Mexico In a city with over 80 taquerias much of the dining public may carry some confusion about what Mexican food really is and if you have traveled past the border in Mexico you may be expecting something much different than what you find in these establishments. Mol has brought the authentic cuisine of Mexico to the Coastal Bend probably the only establishment to do so in which the emphasis is on natural ingredients and creating every item from scratch. In the US mol generally refers to a poblano sauce in Mexico the term refers to a wide range of sauces originating in San Pedro Atocpan near Mexico City. By no coinci- dence this is the home of Mols owners and is where its entire menu was born. Enjoy a full bar and festive atmosphere in addition to the best Mexican food in Corpus Christi. 6042 S. Padre Island Dr. in Gulfway Shopping Center 361 334-6081 Corpus Christi great bbq at hoegemeyers Mahi Mahi Mole 52 Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Early Summer 2015 Vietnam Restaurant Corpus Christis true fine din- ing establishment is home to classic fusion cuisine born in French-influenced Vietnam featuring recipes served decades ago in the ancestral eatery of this restaurants owners. Although you will find fantastic Pho at Vietnam Restaurant diners return again and again to enjoy the finest creative cooking that includes Chateaubriand Chilean Sea Bass in a White Truffle Sauce Halved and Roasted Chicken and Duck Grilled Eggplant in Fish Sauce and memorable fu- sion creations like Black Pep- per Fried Jumbo Gulf Shrimp and a Redfish in Mushroom Cream Sauce. Vegetarians find delectable options at Vietnam Restaurant includ- ing Pepper Fried Broccoli Crispy Sweet and Sour Tofu plus the exceedingly popu- lar Vegetarian Delight platter. Each evening Chef Lam offers forth off-menu features that are often seasonal in nature and which always dazzle diners with rich flavor and spectacular presentation. Vietnam Restaurants dessert menu is equally impressive and touches all the classics like Creme Brulee homemade cheesecake Chocolate Mousse and so much more. Expect the finest service in Corpus Christi delivered by a professional knowledgeable staff. 701 N. Water St. Downtown Corpus Christi 361 852-2682 Pier 99 Some of the best seafood sandwiches and hamburgers in the Coastal Bend can be found at Pier 99 located on Corpus Christi Beach between the U.S.S. Lexington and Texas State Aquarium. This place is all about waterfront dining with the biggest dining patio built over water in the area and the unique views of downtown and the bay offered from historicNorth Beach.Pier 99 features a huge diverse menu with something for everyone seafood lover or not including awesome desserts like Key Lime pie and peach cobbler. Live country music beach rock and Blues liven up the scene most evenings and all weekends over the summer. 2822 N. Shoreline Blvd. on North Beach 361 887-0764 Corpus Christi fine dining vietnam fried colossol shrimp pier 99 54 Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Early Summer 2015 Fajitaville on the Beach Fajitaville as one would infer is all about those already-legendary fajitasespecially the Akaushi beef fajitas that come from a coveted herd of Japanese cattle that are raised on a ranch near Harwood Texas just east of Luling. One good look at Fajitavilles unbelievable menu however could make you dare stray from the fajitas on your first visit or better yet will have you plan- ning your next visit very very soon like tomor- row. Savory offerings range from ceviche and fish tacos to grilled Ahi tuna and lobster and Portabella enchiladas to a 12 oz. ribeye and Caribbean jerk chicken. We fault no gleeful visitor to the Coastal Bend for putting Fajitaville once twice or thrice on your vacation agenda 221 S. Hotel Place on North Beach 361 888-5554 Seawall Food Spirits The Corpus Christi Bayfronts one and only beach front eatery and watering hole is home to some of the best seafood in town. Try the White Nachos which are made with baby shrimp and crab meat and topped with fantastic homemade guacamole. Seawalls jumbo shrimp are so fresh they might jump off the platebut instead are perfectly grilled or fried or served alongside fried fish and oysters. Enjoy awesome beach food like hamburgers and hot dogs while taking in Corpus Christis iconic bayfront view. The full bar serves up perfect margaritas and daiquiris. Live music on the weekends during spring and summer. 520 S. Shoreline Blvd. 361 726-3533 Water Street Market For almost three decades Water Street Market has been home to three of the citys favorite res- taurants. The Water Street Oyster Bar and Water Street Seafood Company feature a wide selection of fresh Gulf seafood prepared grilled black- ened or fried including a number of recipes that carry a clear Cajun influence. Truly original items include the Shrimp Harpoons mesquite grilled skewers with Andouille sausage the Shrimp En- chiladas and the ever-popular Crawfish Stuffed Chicken. The Oyster Bar opened a sushi bar in re- cent years that has become very popular among downtown visitors especially during happy hour. The Executive Surf Club is known for its vast beer Coastal Food Corpus Christi fajitaville seawall food spirits 56 Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Early Summer 2015 Corpus Christi Coastal Food selection fun outdoor live music venue and a terrific menu of gourmet hamburgers chicken burgers quesadillas and more. 309 N. Water St. 361 881-9448 361 884-SURF Downtown Grill For decades classic Corpus Christi cooking included big juicy steaks fresh beautifully prepared fish and of course the best fried jumbo Gulf shrimp that you can find anywhere it seems in the world. Downtown Grill is the one Corpus Christi establishment where you will find this great cooking every day of the week served in a classic setting that brings back nothing but great memories. The pasta and Greek dishes you will find here are fantastic and Downtown Grills seafood selection is second to none in the cityfrom Cajun Catfish to Grilled Swordfish the many options will bring you back again and again. Enjoy homemade desserts clearly made to impress. Full bar. 622 N. Water St. 361 883-4745 Town Country Cafe Not too many establishments carry the distinction oflocal institutionbut the TC truly is in business in the citys center since the early 1950s where each of their daytime hours seems to be filled with an ongoing stream of devoted customers old young and in between. With your first visit or two you will undoubtedly latch onto one of two menu favorites especially if you order from the breakfast side but if you try something new on every visit your list of favorites will only grow. Long before the chain freeway diners this place was the go-to breakfast place serving the best pancakes an unlimited combination of omelettes fluffy biscuits and Mexican favorites like huevos rancheros. What you would not expect is what might be the areas best seafood value on a single plate the fantastic broiled redfish topped with fried shrimp. 4228 S. Alameda St. in Town Country Center 361 992-0360 town country cafe Downtown Grill Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Early Summer 2015 57 WallbangersThe Burger Place This Corpus Christi institution was the first to specialize in gourmet hamburgers and has been de- lighting devoted fans young old and in-between for some 30 years. Wallbangers coined its method of creating the perfect burgerBurgerologywhich starts with buns made fresh daily white and wheat five varieties of the highest quality cheeses a salad and topping bar stocked with the freshest vegetablesbut of greatest importance is the beef itself. You will only find fresh ground chuck here notground beefand there is a huge difference. At Wallbangers your burger is made from the same part of the cow from which rib eye steaks and chuck roast are cut not the underbelly where you get ground beef. Enjoy a masterpiece bacon cheddar or mushroom mozzarella Stuffed Burger a rib eye steak sandwich Philly cheese steak turkey burger mini-burger three choices of grilled chicken sand- wiches or theginormousThree-Pound Banger Burger which feeds up to six. 4102 S. Staples St. 361 855-8007 Laguna Reef Locals discovered this Flour Bluff seafood house shortly after it opened but its remote location has kept it something of a hidden gem for most visitors to the Coastal Bend except for fishermen head- ing into the waters of Upper Laguna Madre and Baffin Bay. Laguna Reef is located at Bluffs Landing Marina on the far southern end of Laguna Shores Road and has earned a reputation as a home of cu- linary creativity and skill with the tender bounty of the sea. For this food snob crab cakes and whole floundereach served as occasional specials at Laguna Reefare 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 stan- dards 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. 4242 Laguna Shores Rd. Bluffs Landing Marina 361 937-2600 Corpus Christi Coastal Food Three varieties of Mini- Burgers Wallbangers 58 Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Early Summer 2015 Corpus Christi catfish charlies Mamma Mias Corpus Christians and visitors alike have enjoyed real Italian cooking from real Ital- ians by way of New York for some twenty years at this otherwise low profile down- town eatery. What you expect in a genuine trattoria is what you find at Mamma Miasthe freshest pasta in town aged meats and cheeses expertly prepared seafood prime filet medallions under the perfect mushroom sauce and lots of hugs and personality from the restaurants legendary owner. 128 N. Mesquite St. 361 883-3773 Middle East Restaurant Market For many years Corpus Christians enjoyed the citys best gyros and baklava at the food counter of this mini-grocery store that specializes in Arab Greek Persian Indian and European products. Earlier this year the food counters many fans were thrilled to see the full service Middle East Restaurant open up next door and the accolades are coming in Diners enjoy authentic regional cuisine including those famous gyros Kibbi Sheesh Tawook Chicken Tikka Suflaki Shawarma Lamb Kabobs Falafel and Kafta. Youll also find the very best Tabbouleh salad Hummus Samosa Baba Ghanoush plus an array of Greek salads soup and those incredibly delicious Baklava. The scene is casual cafe and you will enjoy watching your meal being prepared in the open kitchen. 5405 Everhart Rd. two blocks south of SPID 361 854-8445 La Playa Mexican Restaurant Cantina In a city with over 80 taquerias the quest for fresh high quality Mexican food es- pecially for out of town visitors can be a hit and miss effort to say the least. La Playa on SPID just south of Weber Road is your first and final stop for great food the best Margaritas in town and friendly prompt service like one would expect in Mexico itself. Enjoy delicious sizzling fajitas prepared from beef chicken shrimp and sau- sage the house signature delicacy the stuffed fried avocado giant shrimp cocktails traditional Tex-Mex tacos enchiladas and tamales a fantastic selection of gourmet seafood dishes from both coasts of Mexico wonderful salads and soups steaks and barbecue including Baby Back ribs and even decadent desserts like tres leches cake. Full cantina bar offering house specialty drinks including top shelf Margaritas and daquiris. 4102 S. Staples St. next to Wallbangers 361 728-6445 Catfish Charlies For 35 years this Southern-style fish house has delighted generations of diners who enjoy the very best freshwater pure water Mississippi Fried Catfish you will find in South Texas along with crowd favorite fried shrimp and oysters. True to the South- ern tradition Catfish Charlies is one of the few local establishments where youll find Cajun style Frog Legs. Terrific Opelousas style seafood gumbo and those awesome Hush Puppies along with Bayou Teche Creole Shrimp complete the simple but incredibly delicious menu. Beer wine and homemade Sangria. 5830 McArdle Rd. at Airline Rd. 361 993-0363 Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Early Summer 2015 59 takeniwa Coastal Food Corpus Christi Takeniwa Asian Fusion Bistro One of the very few non-chain establishments in the SPID commercial zone Takeni- wa offers an inviting atmosphere in which to enjoy elaborate and expertly prepared sushi and all your favorite classic Chinese dishes. Live cooking shows take place in the bistros hibachi area always a huge hit with the kids and that offers fantastic beef chicken pork shrimp and lobster. Takeniwas multiple hibachi stations are the citys newest and most finely constructed. You will find a sushi menu that offers something for every taste from the safest California Roll to most exotic eel creations. Expect ex- cellent service skilled chefs and great attention to detail at this exceedingly popular eatery. Full bar. 5216 S. Padre Island Dr. next to La Palmera Mall 361 336-6888 JBs German Bakery Cafe and Strudel Mania The Coastal Bends first and only authentic German bakery opened to the raves of grateful Padre Islanders a few years ago and JBs popularity and notoriety has spread across South Texas. Stories of San Antoniansthree-hour spontaneous day trips to the beachthat always include a long stop at JBs for a big bag of baked goods to go have given way to more frequent testimonials of those who drive half an hour fromin townfor their taste of the best baking in the region. JBs pastries breads cakes pies and yes the strudel will take you back to Europe if youve been and will transport your taste buds to a new delightful place if youve not. Owners Juergin and Brigitte exhibit their love of food daily through the hard work and precision with which they deliver culinary bliss to their lucky customers. 15137 S. Padre Island Dr. on Padre Island 361 949-5474 6062 Holly Rd. 361 947-6662 jbs german bakery cafe 60 Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Early Summer 2015 Coastal Food Padre Island loma saltada at Costa sur Costa Sur Months of anticipation came to an end in 2013 when Costa Sur opened on North Padre Island. Small bands of fans of island chef Nick Mackrizz who made his name running the cold food counter at Island Mail-n-More have flocked to Costa Sur to see their man in action at the helm of a fully-equipped kitchen. Chef Nick has been freed to flex his culinary muscle in creating a diverse menu inspired by his native Peru that includes fish tacos Peruvian style fried rice and lo mein sauted 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. Its 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 Snoopys Pier Few establishments can claim true legend status but in the world of Texas coastal seafood Snoopys is the real deal. Stories of Steve Martin Laura Bush and other celebrities stopping in gives way to the fact that year after year the very best fish oysters shrimp and of course hush puppies are served up in this waterfront fish house which offers one of the best views in Texas that of the beautiful Laguna Madre. While fried seafood made Snoopys famous over the years their menu has expanded to include deviled crab fish tacos and the ever-popular Snoopyburger. Located on the Intracoastal Waterway in the shadow of the JFK Causeway Snoopys offers free boat docking for customers and whatever you do dont forget to hit Scoopys next door the on-site dessert and ice cream shop. 13113 S. Padre Island Dr. North Padre Island directly south of JFK Causeway 361 949-8815 Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Early Summer 2015 61 Brooklyn Pie Co. For New Yorkers pizza can be something of a religiontheres one way to do it and only one place where you can get it. The style of pizza is thin and crispy the test of authenticity has to do with folding your slice and it not droopingand when New York style pizza is sold by the slice its a GIANT slice that easily suffices as ones lunch. This is what you find at Brooklyn Pie Co. a concept that was perfected in Austin and that opened on North Padre Island late last year. New Yorkers say that the pizza here is as close to what you find in the Big Apple and locals are catch- ing on to the flavor and quality that is achieved by using the freshest high quality ingredients and by making dough and sauces from scratch every day. Build your own pizza stating with traditional Italian red or basil sauce or choose of the many specialty pies you will find including the Margherita the Meat Lovers two varieties of Hawaiian vegetarian the classic New York the Laguna with artichoke hearts white cheddar cheese and spinach and many more. Enjoy terrific Buffalo wings and fresh salads. Deliver to Padre Island and Flour Bluff. 15326 S. Padre Island Dr. on Padre Island 361 949-1100 brooklynpie.compadre Texas Mesquite BBQ Grill Padre Islands single barbecue joint recently came under the new ownership of two veterans of Corpus Christis restaurant industry manager Debra Foster and chef and pit master Orlando Quintanilla. By the summer island visitors and residents were enjoying a new menu that not only took the quality of the restaurants 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 and after years in the oil industry worked for free under several of the Coastal Bends most respected restaurateurs in what became a hands-on culinary education. His skill translates into the delicious tender and perfectly pre- pared 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 like hand-selected peppers and spices. The gourmet burgers are fantastic and this is one of the few eateries where you find exotic meats like elk bison goat and even kangaroo 14457 S. Padre Island Dr. 361 949-0065 Padre Island brooklyn pie co. texas mesquite bbq 62 Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Early Summer 2015 Taking on Mahi Mahi Part I Blackened Mahi Mahi What You Will Need Serving-sized portions of Mahi Mahi filets about 1thick salt black pepper paprika oregano onion powder garlic powder Cayenne powder cumin canola oil butter lemons What to Do Mix the spices in a bowl in equal propor- tions except for the pepper and Cay- enne powder which should be adjusted to desired level of spice In a heavy pan like a cast iron skillet heat about 3 tablespoons of oil for each filet on high Coat each side of the damp fish with the spice mix When the oil is sizzling hot place the fish in the pan and add an equal amount of butter the pan will smoke so have your hood fan on high Cook fish until a nice crust is formed be- fore turning about four minutes Turn the fish and cook about 2-3 minutes on the other side forming a slightly lighter crust than on the first side Plate and douse in fresh lemon juice This meaty fish like redfish is best prepared using bold flavors making it perfect for Cajun style blackening which is a process of mildly scorching strong spices onto the outside of the fish while maintaining the tenderness and flakiness of the fish. Mahi Mahi aka Dorado Dolphinfish Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Early Summer 2015 63 Padre Island Island Joes This welcome addition to the Padre Island food scene opened recently at the Boardwalk Center just over the JFK Bridge. This warmly decorated espresso based coffee shop showcases pho- tography by Bryan Tumlinson several items of which are available for sale. The owners have created a cool place for islanders and visitors to relax and enjoy a hot or cold beverage and a pastry in an inviting family friendly set- ting. Island Joes will host live music on weekends open- mic nights game and movie nights starting this fall. A percentage of Island Joes sales goes toward hunger relief programs which the owners operate in the Dominican Republic 13919 S. Padre Island Dr. on Padre Island 361 867-1276 facebook.comislandjoescc Black Sheep Bistro The addition of Black Sheep Bistro to the North Padre dining scene has pleased locals and vacationers alike with a diverse menu of very well-prepared largely Italian-influenced culinary creations. The short but sweet appetizer menu includes crab nachos sauted mussels grilled jumbo shrimp and jumbo lump crab cakes. The bistro excels with beef offerings of which include a 14 oz. bone-in rib eye a 12 oz. pepper- corn New York strip a tender 8 oz. filet topped with caramelized onions and Gorgonzola butter and even an ultra-prime Akaushi beef burger topped with moz- zarella. High octane creativity shows through at Black Sheep Bistro with its grilled mahi mahi paired with a blood-orange bur blanc sauce Jamaican style jerk shrimp plus a variety of unique pasta selections. We recommend adding sauted lump crab demi glace mushroom sauce or one of a variety of side items to your entree. 15201 S. Padre Island Dr. 361 949-4819 Dragonfly Curacao Blues This French-owned and operated island bistro is home to the most international menu in the Coastal Bend with fully authentic dishes from Europe and Latin America. DragonflysWorld Tour by Landside of their menu includes French-style filet mignon in tarragon sauce lamb meatloaf and healthy Mediter- ranean chicken plus a wonderful Italian beef lasagna. TheWorld Tour by Seaside offers delicious American crab cakes a French-inspired crusted fish and grilled shrimp plate seafood-stuffed cannelloni from Italy fish tacos from Hawaii and a savory grilled shrimp The Fro-Joe Island Joes 64 Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Early Summer 2015 Padre Island skewer with coconut sambal sauce ala Malaysia. Cura- cao Blues next door is the islands first tapas bar which offers a laid-back place to relax and enjoy Spanish-style delicacies and wonderful wines and cocktails like their signature blackberry mojito homemade watermelon martinis and island-favorite sangria. 14701 S. Padre Island Dr. 361 949-2224 Docs Seafood Steaks The Laguna Madre waterfront is the setting for this popular island eatery bar and event venue. Docs menu is inspired by the favorites that make Coastal Bend seafood famous the world-over including fresh bay flounder served blackened Florentine with a white wine sauce crab-stuffed and even sauted flounder. Fresh Gulf shrimp are featured throughout the Docs menu including grilled wrapped in bacon and stuffed on skewers in appetizers and salads and of course breaded and fried--the favorite of kids of all ages. Beef- eaters will enjoy the grilled 12 oz. rib eye the surf and turf and chicken fried steak. Docs is located on North Padre Island next to the JFK Causeway and offers one of the areas most picturesque waterfront dining ex- periences including unbelievable sunsets over Laguna Madre. Outdoor events facility available for reunions weddings fishing tournaments and more. Live music on weekends and boaters can dock and dine. 13309 S. Padre Island Dr. 361 949-6744 Island Italian Padre Island natives harbor a soft place in their hearts for this beloved local institution. The restaurants late founderTagTagliaferro was for years one of the islands most notable and popular business owners and whether you stopped in for your weekly lasagna or you ordered five pizzas at a time for the kidspool party Island Italian was always the go-to place for great food served hot and fresh. These days Tags son Tony carries on the tradition of treating customers as family and serving up wonderfully prepared Italian standards from ravioli to mostaccioli a range of deli- cious creations in chicken shrimp scallops and clams steaks and veal and stoned-baked pizzas that are of island legend. Pizza deliveries limited to North Padre Island 15370 S. Padre Island Dr. Park Rd. 22 North Padre Island past Whitecap on beach side of highway 361 949-7737 cannoli at island italian Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Early Summer 2015 65 Taking on Mahi Mahi Part II Mahi Mahi Tostadas w Roasted Red Pepper Aioli What You Will Need Ingredients 2 6 oz. Mahi Mahi filets 4 corn or whole wheat tortillas 2 limes salt and black pepper shredded red cabbage handful of baby spinach leaves minced chives Roasted Red Pepper Aioli which the ambitious may make on their own while the rest of us will look in the gourmet sauces aisle What to Do Preheat oven to 350F Place the fish in a greased ovenproof dish and squeeze the juice of 12 of a lime over each then season with salt and pepper Cover with foil and bake at 350F until cooked through about 20 minutes depending on thickness of your fish During the last 5 minutes of cooking the fish place the tortillas on a baking sheet and bake until crisp. To serve place 1 tortilla on a dinner place and top with shred- ded cabbage and spinach. Next place chunks of the cooked fish on top drizzle with Roasted Red Pepper Aioli sauce and sprinkle with chives. Garnish each with lime slices. GoingAll-OutMake your own Roasted Red Pepper Aioli Sauce Roast5redpeppersona lightlyolive-oiledflatpanintheovenat500F for20minutesthenletsteamincoolingovenfor another10minutesPlaceinfoodprocessorwith 5peeledgarliccloves14teaspooneachofsalt andblackpepperjuiceof12alemon12cup ofmayonnaiseand4dropsofTabascoSauce Processforoneminuteandcool 66 Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Early Summer 2015 Coastal Food Port Aransas Mustang Island Restaurant Locator Map Trout St. Bar GrillFine Seafood 104 E. Cotter Ave. 361 749-7800 Virginias on the BayCasual Seafood 815 Trout St. 361 749-4088 Frankies KitchenCasual Diner 717 Tarpon St. 361 749-1909 GiggitysBar Seafood Steaks 722 Tarpon St. 361 749-3663 Liberty Hall InfernoEclecticSushi 106 E. Cotter Ave. 361 749-4888 Roosevelts at Tarpon InnFine Dining 200 E. Cotter Ave. 361 749-1540 Tarpon Bar GrillSeafood 224 E. Cotter Ave. 361 749-1947 SubwaySandwiches 605 N. Alister St. 361 749-5650 Iries Island FoodCasual Gourmet 503 N. Alister St. 361 749-2310 Port Aransas Brewing Co.Casual 429 N. Alister St. 361 749-2739 EATS Port ACafe Breakfast Lunch 112 E. White Ave. 361 749-4286 Oceans of SeafoodCasual Seafood 165 W. Cotter Ave. 361 749-4994 Harbour Lights GrillCasual Waterfront Woodys 134 W. Cotter Ave. 361 749-0771 FINS Grill IcehouseCasual Seafood 420 W. Cotter Ave. 361 749-8646 Dairy QueenHamburgers 307 W. Cotter Ave. 361 749-3339 The PhoenixEclecticSeafood 337 N. Alister St. 361 749-9277 CastawaysCasual Seafood 320 N. Alister St. 361 749-5394 Wild Horse Saloon GrillAmerican 212 E. Beach St. 361 749-0105 La Playa Mexican GrilleMexicanSeafood 222 E. Beach St. 361 883-3773 Venetian HotplateFine Italian 232 E. Beach St. 361 749-7617 The Crazy CajunSeafood Boil 303 E. Beach St. 361 749-5069 Beach Station St. GrillSeafoodSteaks 235 E. Beach St. 361 749-2303 Stingrays Taphouse GrillAmerican 401 E. Beach St. 361 749-2287 Donut PalaceDoughnuts 210 N. Alister St. 361 749-2110 San Juan RestaurantMexican 410 Cut Off Rd. 361 749-6521 Island CafeCasual AmericanBreakfast 301 S. Alister St. 361 749-1741 Moby DicksCasual SeafoodBreakfast 517 S. Alister St. 361 749-9447 Averys KitchenCasual AmericanBreakfast 200 W. Avenue G 361 749-0650 Port A PizzeriaPizza 407 E. Avenue G 361 749-5226 Shells Pasta SeafoodSeafood 522 E. Avenue G 361 749-7621 WhataburgerFamous Hamburgers 729 TX Hwy 361 361 749-0681 Seafood Spaghetti WorksSeafoodItalian 901 TX Hwy 361 361 749-5666 Ed the BeachcombersFine Dining 905 TX Hwy 361 361 749-2662 Coffee WavesCafeSandwiches 1007 TX Hwy 361 361 749-0825 Cancun Grill CantinaMexicanSeafood 1023 TX Hwy 361 361 749-5596 Miss Ks Bistro CateringCafe 1726 TX Hwy 361 361 749-7776 KodysCasual SeafoodBurgers 2034 TX Hwy 361 361 749-8226 Pizza HutPizza 2200 TX Hwy 361 361 749-4555 Slice of Chicago PizzaPizza 2217 TX Hwy 361 361 749-1530 La BaratariaAmerican Fine Dining 3500 Island Moorings Pkwy. 361 749-2212 Black Marlin Bar GrillSeafood Steaks 258 SnapdragonPalmilla Beach 361 749-4653 LisabellasEclectic American Cinnamon Shore 361 749-4222 Seaside CafeBarCafeBreakfast Cinnamon Shore Club 361SeafoodSteaksBreakfast Port Royal Ocean Resort 361 749-5011 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 23 11 Many Port Aransas restaurants are seasonal in their open days and hours. Please call ahead. 68 Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Early Summer 2015 Port Aransas Trout Street Bar Grill One of the most popular restaurants in the Coastal Bend got that way by not only offering the most perfect waterfront setting but with truly terrific food. Seafood creations here are top notch starting with some of the best Cajun gumbo you will ever eat. Fresh fish arrives daily and nothing starts out frozen includ- ing wild-caught Gulf shrimp that makes for wonder- ful salads and shrimp cocktail grilled prepared with pasta and of course as the main attraction as fried jumbo Gulf shrimp. You will also enjoy hand cut steaks perfectly prepared along with terrific burgers and sandwiches grilled quail and even chicken fried steak. Trout Street is located right on the Port Aransas Marina and dining both indoor and on the outside deck are available. 104 W. Cotter 361 749-7800 Moby Dicks One of the most popular and busiest establishments on the island and for good reason. Some of the best seafood in town is a good start which includes oysters served raw Mexicali and Rockefeller. The catch of the day is prepped how you like it and youll find Texas cut steaks on the menu traditional seafood served grilled fried and even Hawaiian style and without a doubt locals know Moby Dicks is one of the best breakfast houses around. 517 South Alister St. 361 749-9447 Island Cafe This is one of those best-kept secrets held by Port A locals as a place for outstanding food at a decent price any day of the week. Its hard to beat breakfast at Island Cafe which features all the most popular items but is prepared like your best friend made it for you. Dont be shocked to find borderline gourmet cooking at this place as well along with the work of an obviously skilled pitmaster. Fish and chips at Island Cafe is a crowd favorite as well as comfort foods that will give your day that sweet soft landing. 301 S. Alister St. 361 749-1741 Iries Island Food The wave of chef-owned gourmet restaurants in Port Aransas is quickly establishing the island village as one of the top dining destinations in the state of Texas and the addition of Iries is a real step in that direction. Transplanted Austin Chef Martin Frannea has assembled a wonderful lunch menu that features garlic and ginger Kahuka-style shrimp chicken and beef Asian-inspired Treasure Beef strip loin marinated Coastal Food chorizo covered crab cake at trout street bar grill shrimp omelette at island cafe 70 Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Early Summer 2015 Port Aransas in a brown sugar and chile soy sauce and your choice of fried rice. Iries tacos will twist your definition of delicious with over a dozen varieties from simple bean and cheese to beef fish shrimp fried oyster Texas beef and even from time to time Maine lobster To the delight of islanders and frequent visitors alike Iries started opening for dinner this year. 503 N. Alister St. 361 749-2310 Kodys Restaurant Bar Time and time again recommended by hotel desk clerks as offering up some of the best cooking in Port A. Youll find great seafood including huge jumbo shrimp fresh fish and daily specials ranging from chicken fried steak to pot roast. Wednesday all-you-can eat fried shrimp select weeks of the year. 2034 State Hwy TX-361 361 749-8226 Port Aransas Brewing Company Having earned its spot on the gourmands list for their awesome hamburgers Texas Monthly Top 50 List Port A Brewing Co. continues to build its base of fans of great homemade food and micro brewed beer. Try the fantastic wings and endless varieties of gourmet pizza wings and fish and shrimp poboys. 429 N. Alister St. 361 749-2739 Liberty Hall Inferno Legendary island restaurateur Guy Carnathan has run some of the most acclaimed eateries on the Texas Coastall in Port Aunder the aliases Beulahs at the Tarpon Inn The Other Guys and The Pelican Club. These days he and his keen sense of what diners really want can be found at Liberty Hall Inferno where menu selections range from Southern seafood to Cajun deli- cacies to sushi from the expert Chef David. Enjoy fresh fish every day a wide and satisfiying selection of Gulf shrimp dishes burgers chops and off-menu specials that will keep you coming back regularly. 106 E. Cotter Ave. 361 749-4888 Jays Seafood Spaghetti Works For 36 years Jays has fed locals and tourists alike good down-home Italian food and fresh island seafood at a fair price and in a dome setting your kids would never forget. After decades of hard work and devotion to the community the new Seafood Spaghetti Works opened in a custom-built brand new building just half a minute north of its old location at the corner of Alister Street Hwy 361 and Avenue G. The beautiful new building provides a magnificent setting to enjoy a great time and terrific mealand like so many thou- sands of Jays patrons you will become loyal regulars. 910 TX Hwy 361 361 749-4422 Oceans of Seafood This fish market of almost 40 years in Port Aransas took the big step a couple of years ago and opened a seafood restaurant largely based on the large collec- tion of Southern seafood recipes published as a book by the owners mother decades ago. The culinary result is a wonderful selection of fresh simple but perfectly Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Early Summer 2015 71 Port Aransas stingrays taphouse grill eats prepared fried fish shrimp and oysters grilled snapper blackened tuna stuffed crab and crab cakes as well as the very popular Louisiana shrimp boil with corn potatoes and Adouille sausage. The atmosphere at Oceans of Seafood is genuine Texas fish house with colorful fishing memorabilia on the walls and dozens of wind chimes hanging from the ceilingalmost all for sale. The great seafood quality you find here may be exceeded only by the terrific value as no plate on the regular menu is priced above 18. 165 W. Cotter Ave. 361 749-4994 La Barataria Chef owner Lezlie Keebler has for four years been delighting guests with an elegant fusion of American cuisine with French and Cajun influences. La Baratarias Continental menu that includes escargot chops and prime steaks and a variety of seafood including Mahi Mahi sashimi grade Ahi tuna and impeccably prepared crabcakes and equally delicious lobster cakes plus terrific gourmet pizzas. Enjoy an extensive wine list. Champagne Brunch now offered Sunday starting at noon. And the big bonus Great service. 3500 Island Moorings Pkwy. 361 749-2212 Moby Dicks One of the most popular and busiest establishments on the island and for good reason. Some of the best seafood in town is a good start which includes oysters served raw Mexicali and Rockefeller. The catch of the day is prepped how you like it and youll find Texas cut steaks on the menu traditional seafood served grilled fried and even Hawaiian style and without a doubt locals know Moby Dicks is one of the best breakfast houses around. 517 South Alister St. 361 749-9447 Stingrays Taphouse Grill On the surface Stingrays is a first-class open air sports bar complete with al- most two dozen high-definition TVs pool tables and dozens of beers on tap and bottledbut wise patrons are the ones who show up hungry. Beyond being a great bar one that is dog-friendly nonetheless Stingrays is easily one of the best dining establishments on the island and in the entire Coastal Bend for that matter. Start with the best pizza weve found on Mustang Island baked in an authentic brick pizza oven the kind of food youd expect to find in a sports bar plus gourmet hamburgers including the house signature Makers Mark Burger. Stingrays menu takes a more serious turn when you see the hand cut ribeye and filet the perfectly prepared Ahi Tuna Steak and the very popular Tequila-Lime Shrimp. 401 Beach St. 361 749-2287 EATS A great day starts with a great breakfast and takes off with an even better lunch both of which you will find at this artisan cafe and bakery tucked away right off N. Alister St. at White. All of the wonderful muffins cinnamon rolls and other pastries are baked here daily along with bread and croissants for amazing sandwiches like chicken salad BLTs and the Club. Enjoy a full selection of homemade breakfast items like blueberry or gingerbread pancakes biscuits and gravy and breakfast sandwiches and tacos. Enjoy smoothies and gourmet coffee creations. Call ahead for group orders and your crew will eat like royalty 112 E. White St. at N. Alister St. 361 749-4286 Open Wed-Sun 8-1 72 Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Early Summer 2015 Upper Laguna Madre 1 Padre Island National SeashoreThe lon- gest stretch of natural beach in the U.S. offers legendary fishing on both the Gulf of Mexico and Laguna Madre sides of the island. 2 Padre Island BeachKleberg County Less wild than PINS and easier to access this stretch of island beach offers great surf fishing. 3 Bob Hall PierFew public piers are more notable home of the world record onshore catch-and-release an 800 lb. Blacktip Shark. 4 Packery ChannelOpen migration route between the Gulf and the Laguna offering new jetties ample parking boat ramps and fantastic cast and wade fishing onshore. 5 Padre Isles Public Boat RampsCanal- front community provides at least five free public boat ramps providing access to Upper Laguna Madre. 6 Marker 37Bait shop marina storage launches ethanol-free fuel and pier on Laguna Madre take first exit on island side of JFK Causeway. 7 JFK Causeway Low RoadFrom Flour Bluff take causeway to the island but exit to low road along water for great wade fishing. 8 JFK Causeway Island SideUnderneath the bridge find Clems Marina and Billings Bait offering launches store and pier. 9 Packery Channel ParkOnshore wade fishing along channel and flats prime migra- tion route and feeding waters. 10 Kayak LaunchFree launch site situated within productive flats fishing zone. 11 Corpus Christi PassSome of the re- gions best wade fishing can often be found on the back side of Mustang Island and this site Coastal Bend Fishing Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Early Summer 2015 73 just north of Beach Access Road 3 offers fantastic access to the flats feeding and breeding zone toward the northern end of Laguna Madre. All-vehicle access near highway trucks can traverse extensive series of trails. 12 Fish PassMustang Island State ParkFish Pass was once many years ago open to the Gulf of Mexico from the northern end of Laguna Madre. Although now closed jetties remain extended into the Gulf several hundred feet and some species are known to congregate and feed in between the jet- ties. Beach can be accessed for a fee from the park entrance or free by using Beach Access Road 2 and working your way south. Excellent surf fishing along the typically-uncrowded route. The back side of the pass marks where Laguna Madre becomes Corpus Christi Bay and harbors numerous species feeding just about yearround. 13 Naval Air Station Corpus ChristiThose with military credentials can access the excellent launch and shore fishing facilities on the Navy base located at a perfect strategic loca- tion at the northern end of the Laguna. 14 Boat Hole BasinThis is perhaps one of the least-known but most unique fishing sites in the Coastal Bend. Multiple channels feed bay and gulf waters and the fish that come with them into this heavy seagrass zone. 15 Humble ChannelThe damming effect of the JFK Causeway means that the flow of water and fish in the Upper Laguna Madre is funneled through limited passageways. The first of course is the Intracoastal Waterway under the bridge to the island and the other is Humble Channel located a little more than a half-mile from the mainland Flour Bluff. In addition to being a popular spot for fishing boats two of the areas busiest fishing piers Cos-Way and Red Dot straddle the channel and provide the best access possible to the many species that traverse the channel in their migration through Laguna Madre. 16 Laguna Shores RoadRuns along Laguna Madre in Flour Bluff numerous boat launches and sites for shore and wade fishing. 17 Oso BayWhile this small bay which is fed freshwater by Oso Creek is known more for flounder gigging warm water released from the electrical power plant is said to attract large Redfish. Access at Yorktown Blvd. 18 Bluffs LandingLocated at the southern end of Laguna Shores Road this full service marina facility offers a boat lift storage facility launches fuel lodge and guides for charter in Laguna Madre and Baffin Bay. Home to popular Laguna Reef Restaurant. 19 Baffin Bay20 miles south of Flour Bluff rests one of the most famous fishing destinations in the United States. Baffin Bay is renown for record Speckled Trout which dwell in the extensive network of Serpulid Worm reefs that began forming over 3000 years ago. Boaters should exercise extreme caution in this area as the reefs present a boating hazard. You will see dozens of private fishing cabins situated along Laguna Madre all of which are privately owned on plots leased by Texas Parks Wildlife. The mainland is the private property of the King Ranch so visitors are cautioned against unboarding at these locations without permission. Want to go Fishing Then Fish with the Best Captain Fred Cardona and the Coastal Bend Guides Corporate Outings and Groups 469 867-5653 74 Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Early Summer 2015 Port AransasAransas Pass 1 Mustang Island State ParkGreat surf fishing north of Fish Pass Jetties use Beach Access Rd. 2 north of entrance. 2 Shamrock IslandCrossroads of migra- tions route and feeding areas wade fishing and clear water in the summer. 3 Port Aransas BeachSome of the best surf fishing in the Coastal Bend. 4 East FlatsBack side of Mustang Island good kayak wade and flats fishing. 5 Island Moorings MarinaBoat launches and ships store. 6 Horace Caldwell PierExtends 1230 feet into the Gulf good year-round fishing. 7 Port Aransas MarinaNumerous char- ters along waterfront boat ramps at park. 8 St. Josephs IslandUndeveloped island with great surf and jetty fishing. 9 Charlies PasturePark and open area with pier along ship channel. 10 Aransas Pass WetlandsRegulated no- prop zone in marshes with network of kayak trails great wade fishing along causeway. 11 Stedman IslandMarina bait shop pier and boat launches on Redfish Bay. 12 Aransas PassBoat launches and dry dock at Conn Brown Harbor marina bait and launches at San Patricio Co. Navigation Dist. 13 Redfish CoveLittle-known productive spot along boat channel. 14 Ingleside-on-the-BayPublic boat launches along ship channel. Coastal Bend Fishing Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Early Summer 2015 75 76 Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Early Summer 2015 Keeping it Legal Texas Bag Size Limits - Saltwater Fish Important rules and details denoted with should be consulted for complete and accurate informa- tion that applies to certain species. This can be found on the TPWD web site Source Texas Parks Wildlife Department Species Daily Bag Length in Inches Min-Max Texas Fishing License Info Obtaining a fishing license in Texas is particularly easy and not particularly expensive but is required for all forms of fishing in Texas watersand while Texas Game Wardens are among the friendliest folks youll ever meet they do have search and entry authority that is more broad than any other Texas peace officer. A fishing license is required for any person over age 17 who takes or attempts to take fish clams oysters shrimp or any other aquatic life in Texas public waters and for fish brought ashore in Texas but taken in federal waters which begin nine nautical miles offshore. In addition to children under age 17 fishing licenses are not required for Texas residents born before January 1 1931 anyone fishing in a Texas State Park and mentally disabled persons who are supervised. Every year the first Saturday in June is Texas Free Fishing Day when no license is required. Anglers should know that TPWD fishing regulations prohibit a number of activities including tournament fraud or to take kill or disturb sea turtles or their eggs endangered or threatened fish species such as paddle- fish smalltooth sawfish and others diamondback terra- pin a turtle species or any marine mammal including dolphins whales and porpoises. It is also illegal to leave edible fish or bait fish taken from public waters to die without the intent to retain the fish for consumption or bait. Rules also apply to tag and release fishing. Fishing license packages most popular in the Coastal Bend are Saltwater Package 30 for Texas residents R and 63 non-residents NR Freshwater Package 30 R 58 NR All-Water Package 40 R 68 NR Saltwater Sportfishing Stamp required 10 for all Freshwater Stamp 5 for all One-Day All Water Fishing 11 R 16 NR Senior age 65 but born after 1930 Resident Saltwater 17 Senior Resident Freshwater 12 Senior Resident All-Water 22. A number of hunting combination licenses are also of- fered along with a Lifetime Resident Fishing License for 1000. Active duty military members pay the Resident fee fishing licenses expire in Texas on August 31 each year and year-from-purchase licenses are available. Fishing licenses are sold in over 1700 locations includ- ing grocery stores outfitters park offices and more. All the info is available online