106 THE COASTAL BEND MAGAZINE • January/February 2018 107 THE COASTAL BEND MAGAZINE • January/February 2018 TheCoastalBend.com TheCoastalBend.com Texas Flame Steakhouse In 1942 Papa Louie and his family came to Corpus Christi after escaping war torn Greece. Twelve years later his son opened The Astor restaurant on Leopard St., which stood as a city landmark for decades. This family tradition of serving great food at a great price is carried on today at Texas Flame Steakhouse, which has operated at its current location on SPID for over 30 years. Your hunger level will jump three notches when the smell of Mesquite smoke hits your nose in the parking lot, and once inside your next challenge will be choosing from a broad menu of mouth watering options. Steaks at Texas Flame are USDA Choice, Certi- fied Angus Beef only—the best quality for the price that the pickiest consumer will find—and the entire range of cuts are offered here, from sirloin and rib eyes to filets and the porterhouse. For those in the mood for seafood, try the stuffed flounder, salmon, lobster tail, or gulf shrimp—for the ultimate experience, or- der the porterhouse T-bone with the lob- ster tail. Those will a lighter appetite will enjoy a variety of pasta dishes, salads and grilled chicken options. Texas Flame offers terrific, gourmet burgers, smoked brisket and ribs, and Southern favorites like chicken fried steak, pork chops and liver and onions. Bring your family for the first time, and this place will become a new tradition for you too! 4535 S. Padre Island Dr. • (361) 853-5664 TexasFlameSteakhouse.com • $$$ Crawdaddy’s For over twenty years this downtown favorite fed hungry seafood lovers at its old location on Starr St., and recently moved to its new, larger home on Mes- quite St., where the Crawdaddy’s tradi- tion continues, now under the newly energized ownership of Mike Connor. This place is all about fantastic, down- home Louisiana seafood, from fried catfish and shrimp to their famous Cajun seafood boil with crawfish (in season), shrimp, crab, fish, sausage, potatoes and corn—all the great stuff everybody loves. Families love Crawdaddy’s for its casual atmosphere and big portions, and Texas Flame Steakhouse at lunch you can enjoy the best shrimp and oyster po-boys in town. 317 N. Mes- quite St. • (361) 883-5432 • $$$ El Jalisco Grill In a city with over 80 taquerias, it seems that everyone has their favorites, and some are kind of the same as most of the others. That’s not the case at El Jalisco Grill on Ennis Joslin Rd. at SPID, where the traditional Mexican cuisine is among the very best in the city. Here you will find all the favorites, and the quality of the beef used in their asada, fajitas and other dishes is outstanding, and prepared like you expect in a real South Texas home. The owner of El Jalisco Grill carries on a long family tradition of mak- ing folks happy with great food at low prices—but now in a beautiful, new res- taurant space on the fast growing south side, near the burgeoning TAMUCC community. The Mexican seafood here is outstanding and the offering are plenti- ful, as is the menu of sizzling plates like beef, chicken and shrimp fajitas, King Ranch chicken and Shrimp Gratinados! Start your day off right with breakfast at El Jalisco Grill, and you can even ride through the drive-thru in your PJ’s. 1813 Ennis Joslin Rd. at SPID (361) 452-0500 • $$ Padre Pizzeria This popular island pizza joint has earned quite a reputation for great tast- ing pizza made from the freshest and highest quality ingredients. In addition to terrific classic pizzas, this place is known for its wide variety of delicious and slightly off the beaten path specialty pizzas like the Bacon Cheeseburger, the BBQ, the Greek, the Hot Wings pizza, the Padre Mexicana, the Thai Surprise, the Philly cheese steak, and the Creamy Siracha. You will also find fantastic rendi- tions of your classic specialties like the Sicilian, Veggies Galore, Meat Lovers, and of course the Kitchen Sink. If you make it past the pizza, you might also try a healthy salad, an Italian sub including the awesome Chicken Parm, calzones, and a nice and sweet dessert selection. 14493 S. Padre Island Dr. • (361) 949- 0787 • PadrePizzeria.com • $$ Padre Pizzeria Padre Island Burger Company Chef Jason Johnson took the complete tour of the high-end hospitality industry before fulfilling his ambition to bring gourmet cooking to his hometown. Johnson’s burger creations take ingredients once unconsidered on a burger, and synchronizes them in culinary harmony—”The Famous”Dr. Padre is the Burger Co.’s standard 1/2 lb. Angus patty and topped with corn smoked bacon, Dr. Padre sauce and cheddar cheese—the Corpus Cold Front combines cream cheese, roasted red peppers, tomato and cucumber—and this editor’s favorite, the Mr. Beckham, brings together bacon, wild mushrooms, caramelized onions, avocado and American cheese. 11878 State Hwy. 361@ Park Rd. 22 (SPID) • (361) 949-3490 PadreIslandBurgerCompany.com • $$ Laguna Reef Laguna Reef has earned a reputation as a home of culinary creativity and skill with the tender bounty of the sea. For this food snob, crab cakes and whole flounder—each served as occasional specials at Laguna Reef—are the real test for seafood cooking because the chef is dealing with products that fully take on the spices and flavors to which they are exposed, not to mention the complex cleaning and preparation work involved. High quality standards perme- ate to all recipes on the menu, which includes just about every imaginable incarnation of grilled, broiled and fried seafood, many with a Cajun touch. La- guna Reef will cook your freshly caught and cleaned fish filets. Enjoy outdoor dining on beautiful Laguna Madre. 4242 Laguna Shores Rd. @ Bluff’s Landing Marina • (361) 937-2600 • $$$ Texas Mesquite BBQ & Grill Padre Island’s single barbecue joint is owned by two veterans of Corpus Christi’s restaurant industry, manager Debra Foster and chef and pit master Or- lando Quintanilla. By that summer island visitors and residents were enjoying a new menu that not only took the quality of the restaurant’s Texas barbecue to new heights, but also introduced a new layer of gourmet cuisine to the island. Quintanilla learned to appreciate real South Texas cooking growing up on the King Ranch. His skill translates into the delicious, tender and perfectly prepared brisket, ribs, sausage, chicken, turkey and pulled pork that your find at Texas Mesquite. Everything here is homemade, including rubs and sauces that contain the most tasteful and natural ingredients like hand-selected peppers and spices. 14457 S. Padre Island Dr. • (361) 949- 0065 • TexasMesquiteBBQ.com • $$ Black Sheep Bistro New energy via an ownership change has given life to Black Sheep Bistro and to the North Padre dining scene, pleas- ing locals and vacationers alike with a diverse menu of very well-prepared, largely Italian-influenced culinary creations. The short but sweet appetizer menu includes crab nachos, sautéed mussels, grilled jumbo shrimp and jumbo lump crab cakes. The bistro excels with beef, offerings of which include a 14 oz. bone-in rib eye, a 12 oz. peppercorn New York strip, a tender 8 oz. filet topped with caramelized onions and gorgonzola butter, and even an ultra-prime Akaushi beef burger topped with mozzarella. High octane creativity shows through at Black Sheep Bistro with its grilled Mahi Mahi paired with a blood-orange bur blanc sauce, Jamaican style jerk shrimp, plus a variety of unique pasta selections. 15201 S. Padre Island Dr. (361) 949-4819 • BlackSheepBistro.com $$$$ Doc’s Seafood & Steaks Escape, relax and enjoy at North Padre Island’s premier multi-level waterfront eatery, located next to the JFK Cause- way on beautiful Laguna Madre. Doc’s upstairs menu features raw oysters on the half shell, boiled shrimp, mouth watering Cali-style fish tacos, hand cut, house-seasoned steaks, hand pressed burgers, and fresh local drum topped with homemade sauces. Be sure to check out Doc’s Waterline downstairs, which is family and pet friendly, and features sports on TV, games, and a bar and grill setting amid our coastal wildlife and boats passing by on the Intracoastal Waterway. Located under the JFK Bridge next to Snoopy’s, and always“great food, free sunsets.”13309 S. Padre Island Dr. • (361) 949-6744 DocsSeafoodAndSteaks.com • $$$ Black Sheep Bistro