Galveston Island Happenings

It’s a great time to visit Galveston. Yes, it’s technically in the middle of winter (what’s that?) and not officially beach season, but there’s a lot happening on the island!

Galveston Restaurant Week

It’s the last week of Galveston Restaurant Week – Jan 9- 23rd. Select restaurants around town put together a prix-fixe menu at price points between $10-$40. Along with the celebration of food comes the voting of a winning restaurant. You can vote for your favorite eatery to be crowned “Galveston Restaurant Week Restaurant of the Year!” #CelebrateDelicious

Here’s a list of places with the “Magical Affordable $10 Lunch” a great option to savor food at some of the best restaurants without breaking the bank.

  • The Gumbo Diner 3602 Seawall Blvd.,  (409)762-3232

  • Little Daddy’s Gumbo Bar 2107 Postoffice St., (409)744-8626

  • Nick’s Kitchen & Beach Bar 3828 Seawall Blvd., (409)762-9625

  • Nonno Tony’s World Kitchen 2100 Harborside Dr., (409)621-5100

  • Rainforest Cafe 5310 Seawall Blvd., (409)744-6000

  • Riondo’s Ristorante 2328 Strand, (409)621-9595

  • Saltwater Grill 2017 Postoffice St., (409)762-3474

  • Shrimp ‘N Stuff Downtown 216 23rd St., (409)974-4609

  • Sky Bar Steak & Sushi 2102 Postoffice St., (409)621-4759

Vote for your favorite here! http://www.galveston.com/galvrw/

Mardi Gras

Galveston has one of the largest celebrations of Mardi Gras in the country. The festivities begin January 29 and run through February 9. Parades with floats, Golf car parade, concerts and even a 5K race provide something for everyone. For the full schedule and all the details go Galveston.com. I did notice that Cory Morrow will be headlining the entertainment on February 5th beginning at 10:30pm. We saw him play at Stubb’s in Austin last summer at a concert and had a great time!

It’s always a good time for Island Time on Galveston! Spring Break is around the corner!

It's always a good time for Island time! Mardi Gras, Restaurant Week, Spring Break....

Children of guests at beach

 

Progressive Dinner in Galveston

Best Oysters Rockefeller at Gaido's in Galveston, TX

We love food.

My daughter and I went on an unplanned progressive dinner in Galveston recently. Our usual stop is Mario’s on Seawall. We can’t get enough of their gluten free pizza. It’s really the best one I’ve ever had. It was our first stop as we arrived on the island around dinner time. We placed our order (Gluten Free Margherita Pizza) and a small caesar salad and a small garden salad. As we were finishing our salads, the pizza arrived, but it wasn’t gluten free. HORROR. Turns  out they were out of gluten free dough. So, we made the best of it, paid for our salads and went on to Landry’s. We arrived at Landry’s and hoped to get one of my daughter’s favorites, but it wasn’t on the menu any more. We asked for a gluten free menu, and while it had some good choices on it, nothing really caught our eye. So we decided to have 1/2 dozen raw oysters and a shrimp cocktail and moved on. Stop #3 was the Rainforest Cafe. By this time we knew to ask about the menu before sitting down! We both found something to satisfy – I ordered the fish tacos (not on the dinner menu, but they made them for me anyway) and the daughter had pot roast and mashed potatoes. The food at each restaurant was good and it was a fun way to spend an extended evening with my big girl.

The next night, we planned a little better and called ahead. The winning choice was Gaido’s. How we’ve had a house on the island for 5 years and never made it to Gaido’s, I cannot say. It was fantastic!!  We started with the Oysters Rockefeller. I’d never had that dish and it was delicious. The presentation was beautiful – the oysters were covered in a saucy spinach and cheese mix on a bed of rock salt on a sliver plate. We followed the oysters with shrimp and blue cheese grits with a side of asparagus and chicken ponzini that had a wild mushroom swiss cheese cream sauce on a bed of dirty rice and a side of potatoes. Just writing about it is making my mouth water. We can’t wait to go back!

Gaido's Shrimp and Blue Chees Grits

The delicious Chicken Ponzini at Gaido's in Galveston

1% to Conserve Galveston

Protect This Land!

We are so happy to be a partner with 1% To Conserve Galveston Island™.

“1% To Conserve Galveston Island™ funds land conservation projects on Galveston Island. These permanently protected lands helps preserve: our beach, bay and upland ecosystems; ocean and bay view sheds; wildlife and avian habitats; recreational access; and, clean water.” This is a program of Artist Boat, a 501(c)(3) charitable non-profit organization.

Please support the program, and the Island, by shopping with local business partners in Galveston and saying yes to donating 1% of your purchase for conservation. For more information on the program and how to be involved see 1% To Conserve Galveston Island™.

1% to Conserve Galveston Island.

Favorite Eateries in Galveston

Eating out out-of-town is fun but can be challenging for me. I’m gluten intolerant and allergic to soy. Soy is a primary component in vegetable oil which is found (in what seems to be) an infinite number of dishes in restaurants. This keeps me from usually eating all sorts of yummies that are fried, which on the coast, is a lot. Unfortunately for me, the soy allergy rules out many of the most popular restaurants in town. However, there are several where I’ve found some really delicious meals and easily work with my food issues. Here are a few of my favorites:

Mario’s on Seawall has the BEST gluten free pizza I’ve ever had. I almost always get the Popeye’s Special – spinach, Roma tomatoes and slices of Italian sausage. Delish! It’s such a great restaurant – beautiful courtyard, interesting art (including a giant mural) and good service. We are usually so full from the meal, there’s no room for dessert, but if I had room I’d get their gelato.

Zack’s Mac Shack surprising as it may be has a fantastic Taco Salad. I went with a friend who got the lobster mac – really rich and decadent. Every table around us had something different and it all looked good. It’s in a great location – on Post Office and close to the Strand. Start here for lunch and get fortified for an afternoon of touring and shopping.

Waterman’s Restaurant, just off Stewart Road near the Galveston Country Club, Waterman’s is an elegant and casual restaurant. Great for a date night. The inside is gorgeous – lots of exposed beams. I’ve been several times, but never in time to see the sunset over the water, which I think would be fabulous. I usually get the Tequila Shrimp (Gulf shrimp sautéed in tequila, olive oil, onion, garlic, tomatoes, cilantro and lime juice) and like it so much, I just can’t get anything else.

Red Snapper Inn (Surfside, TX) has an incredible menu. It’s west of the beach house at Pointe West, but it takes about as long to get to Surfside as it does to get in to town in Galveston, so it’s a great trip to make after spending the day at the beach in Pointe West. I love the Sauteed Filet of Snapper Veracruz. The snapper is served on mediterranean rice, topped with fresh tomatoes, onions, bell pepper, green olives, and capers with cilantro and sherry. It’s such a large portion, it’s great for dinner and leftovers are good for lunch the next day.

Other faves: Mosquito Cafe, Farley Girls and who can live with out Ben and Jerry’s 🙂

My favorite Galveston eateries

My favorite Galveston eateries

Confession: I’ve never made it to Gaido’s and from what I hear, it would be on the favorite list if I’d eaten there. I’m planning to visit this Fall!

I’m always happy to hear about new places in Galveston to check out – let me know if you have any favorites!

Giving Thanks

We had a great time at Las Brisas for a week over the Thanksgiving holiday. While we did the usual beach house maintenance of painting this and fixing that, we also had sufficient time for some R & R. One of my best moments was sitting on the main deck listening to my teenage daughters giggle and laugh with each other below in a new hammock. It was a wonderful time. Here is the week in images:

 

Delight

Delight

 

Joy

Joy

 

If you haven’t made it to La King’s Confectionary on the Strand – it’s a must. They are up for several “Best of Galveston” awards. It’s an old fashioned ice cream parlor with every imaginable candy and coffee drink. Something for everyone!

La King's Confectionary - Coffee Bar

La King’s Confectionary – Coffee Bar

 

La King's Confectionary - candy!

La King’s Confectionary – candy!

 

La King's Confectionary - Chocolates!

La King’s Confectionary – Chocolates!

 

We also spent a nice amount of time on the Bayside this week. My husband rode from the beach house to the marshes every day. Saw some amazing birds. I biked over with him a few times and the last morning there we took the youngest who wanted to take some photos of the birds.

Bayside tracks after rain

Bayside tracks after rain

 

Bayside bike ride

Bayside bike ride

 

Birdwatching on the bay

Birdwatching on the bay

 

And of course there was plenty of time for just strolling on the beach.

Beachwalk

Beachwalk

As always, the we enjoyed every minute there and it’s never long enough!

All in and all set

Last week my sister and I traveled to Las Brisas in Galveston to drop off a motherlode of supplies for the summer. And of course, while there, we did some refreshing and updating. I loved going with Ches. We left late on Sunday afternoon so we could have a sweet visit of 3 nights at the coast – we wanted to work in one day of relaxing. As busy mothers of busy kids, those free hours are precious. I even wrote ‘relax’ on my to do list. Sick, I know.

Sunday night we arrived late – the frogs were performing a symphony. I’ve never heard them so loud! Some trilled, others croaked. The croaking sounded alternatively like a duck quacking or creaking bed springs! Glad the ponds were full of life. Happily, we found no mosquitos.

The first morning at the house we woke up early and took a walk. The Sargassum this year seems to be record breaking. Pointe West is grooming every few days, but this had come in overnight. The seagulls were having a feast.

The sargassum

The sargassum

Love my sister!

Love my sister!

 

After the walk, we got to work – headed into Galveston to match the wall paint. That has been a real ongoing challenge, but at last we did it. While at the Sherwin Williams we found a perfect accent color too. So, we got a sample of that as well. After a few other stops in town we headed back to the house to meet the A/C folks. As we were heading into summer, wanted to double check the system.  All well.  We actually then drove back to Galveston to pick up a gallon of the selected “Copen Blue” accent color. LOVE it.

We touched up every wall in the house – it looks new again! No more luggage marks on the stairs or chair marks in the dining area. And painted the beautiful accent color on the back wall of windows. Hooray!

Beautiful Copen Blue

Beautiful Copen Blue

We tried a new place in Surfside for dinner Monday night with Chesney’s mother in law and best friend who also happened to be at Pointe West that week – the Red Snapper Inn. Totally worth the drive. We are difficult diners, with an assortment of allergies and they accommodated all of them – Gluten Free and Soy Free! I had a fabulous dinner of Snapper Vera Cruz. So big it made two meals. Will definitely be going back. The menu was fabulous.

Tuesday, Bay Area Chimney Sweeps came to clean out my vents – it’s bird nesting season and unfortunately, the vents had become home to several birds. They blocked my dryer vent and that was becoming problematic. Vents cleaned and covered by 11 am. The rest of the day we spent at the Beach Club and in the hammock chairs.

 

 

Hammock Chairs

Hammock Chairs

We read and chatted for hours and went to bed early!

Luxury.

And the next morning went home to the busyness that is May and the end of the school year. The house is ready for our summer guests – hope everyone experiences the refreshment that we did. Minus the sunburn!

Happy Summer!

Mardi Gras in Galveston

I had the pleasure of heading to Galveston with some girlfriends this weekend. I planned to be down there for the annual meeting of the owners’ association Saturday, the friends were an added bonus! Of course first thing we did was head to the beach. Ella loved it.

Ella loves the water

Ella loves the water

Coincidentally it was also the first weekend of Mardi Gras. If you don’t know, Galveston celebrates it BIG TIME. It’s a city wide party. The gals and I ate at Farley Girls Cafe (great fish tacos) and then went on to the Strand. It was totally decked out for the impending party. Happily we also discovered that we were there at the right time – the next day we’d have to pay to get into the Strand area as well as brave the crowds. So, we shopped away!

Mardi Gras gear

Mardi Gras gear

Two of the parades had new routes this year – The Mystic Krewe of Aquarius kicked off the weekend at 12 on Saturday with a parade from 57th and Seawall and and winding it’s way down Seawall, ending up at the Strand. The Krewe of Gambrinus kicked off the evening festivities at 57th and Seawall and winding up at the Entertainment District. The seawall was lined with RV campers and trailers with bleacher seating in preparation for the parades. These folks know what they are doing!

While we only caught a brief glimpse of the revelry, we enjoyed seeing all the prep work for it as well as the locals and visitors decked out in their purple, gold and green.

We tried a restaurant new to me at Pirate’s Cove for dinner Saturday. We ventured out to the Waterman.  It was GREAT. Three of us had the Tequila Shrimp, others ate a scallop pasta dish and fish. It was all delicious.

Tequila Shrimp

Tequila Shrimp

The view of the bay is lovely and the decks will be awesome in warm weather. It’s is a $$$ restaurant but lunch is less pricy. It was perfect for us for the night.

Friends at dinner

Friends at dinner

As I wrapped up the visit, I was happy to spy a Great Egret in the pond out back. It was nice to sit and watch it fish for breakfast. 

Great Egret

Great Egret

I’m never quite ready to leave the coast. The moment I’m in the car to head back to the city, I’m planning my next trip back to the water. I’m counting down the days.

 

Great Pizza at Mario’s on Seawall

Love.

That’s how I feel about Mario’s pizza. We ate there with a large group (5 teens and 2 adults). We had a wide variety of toppings and all were fabulous. We did over order pizza – I think we ordered 4-5?  One pizza is great for 3-4 kids. Lucky for me, Mario’s also serves gluten free pizza. I like it so much, I don’t ever order anything else!

You can read more about Mario’s here.

Hope you enjoy it as much as we do!