Saturday, June 17, 2017

The Schizoid Schlotzyky's

Getting into Galveston Friday later than we planned, we decided to stop and grab a sandwich at the Schlotzyky's on the Seawall before unloading at the condo. Silly me--I thought we could just go through the drive-through since we had Bea in the car with us. But Mike, who has an unaccountable aversion to drive-through lines insisted I go inside. So I did.

This Schlotzyky's is an odd conglomeration of several franchises: itself, Cinnabon, and Carvel. All crammed together in one tiny little space with one counter attendant and a couple of cooks in the back. Although the Schlotzyky's  has the regular menu the counter lacked the extensive salad, chips and drinks offerings you usually find. But the cinnamon buns and cookies were front and center with the ice cream counter tucked away in a corner to the right. And a strong aroma of cinnamon filled the air, confusing the palate.

Bottom line: Mike was probably right asking me to go inside. I'm not sure how a drive through would handle your order when juggling three different menus. The sandwiches were fine--just what we expected. The ambiance was below par even for a fast food establishment. Must be due to its multiple personality disorder.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Brews Brothers Review by Mike

This weekend Jane and I stayed behind with Andrew and Sam while Mike and her husband, Paul, checked out another Galveston restaurant: The Brews Brothers.

Here's Mike's review--

Paul and I lunched at Brews Brothers, a brewpub located in the 2400 block of the Strand. The place is rustic in its furnishings. It features a galaxy of craft beers as well as a variety of food. Paul and I ordered the hamburgers. Mine was among the best I’ve ever eaten. The sauce on my burger was superb. Mine came with home-made chips – greasy but good. Paul had fries.

I washed down my burger with a dark ale. Paul had a larger and, impressed with my ale, he had one of those, too.

Prices for food and drink were moderate.

We would go back!

Friday, June 2, 2017

Review of Cajun Greek Restaurant

We are guilty of sticking to old familiar places in our recent visits to the Island, but today we ventured out to a restaurant we haven't visited before: Cajun Greek on 61st street, which was recommended by a friend of Mike's.

Dodging the orange construction cones made accessibility a bit tricky but we found the parking lot behind the restaurant had plenty of room. Cajun Greek appears to be a favorite with locals. The decor is Nautical Roadhouse--nothing fancy. It's definitely come as you are. The waitstaff is friendly and helpful and the service was quick and efficient.

We are out of crawfish season which is one of the restaurant's specialties and also oyster season is over. When it comes to oysters and crawfish I stick to the seasons so since it is crab season now
I tried the crab cakes on the theory that crab cakes are a test of a restaurant's commitment to good seafood. These did not disappoint--full of lump crab with almost no filler and a knockout chipotle mayonnaise. Mike had the fried shrimp and although he said they weren't quite as good as the ones at Gaido's (his standard of great fried shrimp) they were still very good.

The menu is mostly seafood with a few Greek themed offerings such as pita, olives and feta appetizers or "Greek hamburgers" which have feta and are made of ground beef rather than ground lamb. So on the whole I'd say its more Cajun Gulf than Greek.

Mike pronounced it worth a second visit, so I recommend it to my friends looking for good seafood in Galveston!


Monday, January 16, 2017

Shopping in the Foggy Foggy Dew


Have I mentioned before that some of the most interesting shops in Galveston are in the 500 block of 23rd Street? No? Well, I dropped by the area on a very foggy Saturday afternoon and hit both The Kitchen Chick and Galveston Coffee Roasters which are conveniently located next door to each other and near the oldest drug store in Texas. All are locally owned, quirky and worth visiting.

First up: The Kitchen Chick. This shop sells kitchen gadgets and housewares galore and is stuffed chock-a-block with unusual finds like the reusable oyster shells that I couldn't resist because they can be used in the oven or on the grill and then popped into the dishwasher ready for the next time. A great find for oyster lovers like me who don't try to shuck their own. The Kitchen Chick also has a tempting schedule of cooking classes which I would love to try, but they are almost all scheduled during the week when we aren't in Galveston. Maybe when Mike retires!

Second up: Galveston Coffee Roasters. Nestled on the corner conveniently next to The Kitchen Chick, this little shop sells coffee roasted by the proprietor. I had a nice chat with him and he told me he doesn't sell lattes, mochas, cappuccinos--just straight up coffee with a number of different roasts and/or flavored coffees. The coffee is sold as beans but he will grind it for you. So after tasting, I bought a pound of his Rainbow Roast which has an equal mixture of light, medium and dark roasted beans. Smells and tastes divine.

Third up: Star Drug Store, just a few steps down from The Kitchen Chick. It claims to be the oldest drug store in Texas and you can stop by its retro lunch counter for a nostalgic bite to eat. The rest of the store is stuffed with more vintage kitsch than its possible to absorb. Talk about sensory overload!


So next time you are in the Strand area, venture a few blocks west and check out these local favorites. Now I need to make a run to Katie's Seafood for some shucked oysters.......

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Tips for surviving Lone Star Weekend for non-bikers


The Lone Star Rally is an annual Galveston event, drawing thousands of biker enthusiasts from all over. Part of the Seawall and most of the Strand are blocked off for vendors. Its not my favorite weekend to be in Galveston but when one of our daughters, her husband and 2 year old and 2 month old sons wanted to come down, there is only one answer: YES!

Mike and I came down on Friday and encountered few bikers on Highway 6 and the causeway. We saw more on Broadway and Harborside but traffic flowed freely. We noted the road closures along the way to eliminate surprises later. Our place is on the East End of the island and there were almost no bikers staying there and only the occasional sound of cyclists enjoying the perfect weather.

If you want to access something on the Seawall, drive down Broadway and then come up the back way. Part of the Seawall was blocked off so if you are trying to go to the area near the Pleasure Pier you will have difficulty parking on nearby streets.

We were able to go downtown, but not the Strand area, and ate dinner at our favorite Trattoria restaurant just off Postoffice. Parking wasn't impossible but prices had been jacked up at the lot behind the Grand Opera House. Few patrons were at the restaurant--so we felt like we almost had it to ourselves.

Which leads me to another tip: some businesses closed during this weekend, like Kitchen Chick and the Galveston Historical Society's historic homes. I assume that is due to parking issues and the experience of having few patrons show up that weekend.

With such young grandsons in tow, we weren't touring or eating out. The 2 year old is perfectly happy playing in the pool, the playroom and the playground while Dad and Poppa enjoyed multiple college football games on TV.

Final Tip: avoid the island if you aren't a biker unless you will be happy avoiding the Seawall and the Strand area. You can still have a great time if the weather cooperates--we did!

Monday, October 3, 2016

RESTAURANT REVIEW: 
MAMA THERESA'S FLYING PIZZA

With the two grandsons in tow, ages 5 and 3, we decided it was time to try out this little pizza place which moved from Bolivar, where it was in business for 25 years, to the Strand area (intersection of Postoffice and 21st streets) after losing its venue to Hurricane Ike.

The interior is reminiscent of a Manhattan area hole-in-the wall pizza place with the exception of a giant cutout of the state of Texas in the colors of the Italian flag and a star indicating Galveston. This elicited questions from the 5 year old. We decided the message was "Texas loves Italy."

This is a great place to take the little ones. The waiter immediately brought a booster for the 3 year old and both boys were fascinated with the "flying pizzas". The kitchen is open so they could watch the dough being expertly tossed high in the air! The pizzas arrived quickly so no one got restless. And they were delicious--plain cheese for the boys and Mike's favorite Mama Meaty Pizza. I would love to try some of the other offerings--like Greek pizza, Tuscan Chicken or the Sombrero.

The menu is broader than pizza so you can indulge in traditional Italian fare if you like, but I just went with the pizza program Saturday night. Afterwards I recommend a short walk down Postoffice Street to Hey Mikey's Ice Cream. They have very small 2 ounce cups of ice cream just the right size for the little guys!