96 THE COASTAL BEND MAGAZINE • January/February 2018 TheCoastalBend.com flavorful and neither too juicy nor dry; the sausage is wonderfully spiced and perfectly smoked; and the pork ribs are some of the best you’ll find south of Luling. 4701 IH-37 South@Up River Rd. Exit #2 • (361) 882-1880 MrGsBBQ.com • $$ Mamma Mia’s Corpus Christians have enjoyed real Italian cooking, from real Italians by way of New York, for some twenty years at this otherwise low profile downtown eatery. What you expect in a genuine trattoria is what you find at Mamma Mia’s—the freshest pasta in town, aged meats and cheeses, expertly prepared seafood, prime filet medallions under a perfect mushroom sauce, and lots of hugs from the restaurant’s legendary owner. 128 N. Mesquite St. • (361) 883-3773 • $$$$ Aka Japanese Restaurant For many a traveled food snob, the first factor, and perhaps only factor, in choosing a sushi bar is the presence of real Asians, preferably speaking in a foreign tongue with which you are not familiar. In downtown Corpus Christi, that choice is Aka Sushi, whose native Korean proprietor has a knack for finding some of the best sushi and Asian chefs in the country, who expertly prepare popular and unique creations in fish, eel, shrimp and crab. This small establishment fills up quickly on weekends, so be patient as the wait will be worth it. Chat with the owner and peruse the extensive selection of sushi, sashimi, stir fry, tempura and many other Asian specialties. 415 N. Water St. • (361) 882-8885 • $$$ features big, delicious burgers, sandwiches and salads like the big Chef’s salad that will leave you satisfied and feeling healthy. You will also find the best value in ter- rific seafood at any local diner, and what could be the best French Dip sandwich you’ve ever had. Homemade desserts, and much more! 1800 S. Alameda St. @ Six Points • (361) 883-2786 • $ Mr. G’s Bar-B-Que Having made a name for itself in the barbecue business in rural Robstown, the family’s second location on Corpus Christi north side is becoming increasingly known by‘cue lovers throughout the Coastal Bend and beyond. This family restaurant prides itself on homemade recipes for everything on the menu, from the rubs and seasonings used on its meats, to beans, potato salads, deserts and sauces—all authentic to the South Texas roots from which this great food was born. Both marbled and lean cuts of briskets are tender and delicious; the chicken is smoky, Aka Mr. G’s BBQ 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 style—that is to say, by the pound. Fish lovers will enjoy the freshest snap- per, 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