Monday, July 06, 2009

tip of the hat, wag of the finger (and a bow to Stephen Colbert)

I recently had a friend in town for a few days. We ate out a lot, and I thought I would share some thoughts on dining experiences we had on beautiful South Padre Island -- both positive and negative.

Tip of the hat to Gabriella’s. I really really like this place. It feels comfy cozy; the wait staff (that I have encountered) is friendly and attentive, and the food is so tasty! I don’t see how this place can help but succeed.

Wag of the Finger to Island Grill. It is trying to be the second coming of Dorado’s - which is certainly a worthy goal. But I felt it failed. I give them an “A” for effort but a less than passing grade for execution. I hope they will find their own path and I will give them a few weeks to get the bugs out before I try them again.

Tip of the hat to Psychadeli. Yes, the line sucks and we all hate to wait but there is so much to look at while you are waiting! The whole room is a massive magical mushroom inspired work of art and I absolutely love it. And of course the belly-thrilling morsels are totally worth the wait. Welcome back Psychadeli! I had forgotten how much I missed you and am so happy you are back and better than ever.

Major Wag of the Finger to Las Olas at Pennisula. I have had good experiences there in the past and defended this place when others attacked it -- but no more. There was much to be unhappy about - the chairs are too low for the tables and it was freezing cold. But the worst of it was the veal that was so tough as to be inedible and the obnoxiously-loud rock music that made conversation a challenge and seemed totally inappropriate for a pricey (and completely empty) waterfront fine-dining experience. Even worse, the waitress shrugged off our concerns and made no effort whatsoever to appease us. No wonder the place was empty. I will not be coming back.

Tip of the hat to Naturally’s. I keep trying new things on the menu and haven’t come across a bad choice yet. My out of town friend really enjoyed it as well, going so far as to say he wished his little burg (Corpus Christi) could support a similar dining experience, though he didn’t see it happening any time soon.

Word to all Island eating establishments: more vegetarian choices please! And could we please please pretty please have even a little salad bar somewhere - at least during the busy season?


Blogger ~Melissa said...

Great post! The one thing I see on the island is a lack of options for people who have any kind of alternate food habits, either by choice (vegetarian) or medical (gluten sensitivity). I was actually served a roll even after I explained my allergy. Thanks for doing a nice review! Naturally's is a favorite of mine for the smoothies and the little grocery store.

10:57 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I think not just vegetarian choices, but there simply is nothing organic on the menu (or in the grocery stores beyond organic milk & eggs) if you would want to eat healthy on the Island. You can only eat at Naturallys so much LOL...i mean an organic Texas beef tenderloin steak i would think would sell very well at restaurants. One thing I hate about living on the island!

inertia chad...OUT!

1:08 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

For informational not advertising purposes: Zeste always has lots of vegetarian options. We are also well versed in gluten, wheat, lactose sensitivities and other allergies. We know what ingredients are in our food because we make it here. We make an incredible flourless chocolate cake. Unfortunately, we have problems sourcing organic foods and have found that most of our customers don't want to pay the additional cost. It is something we would love to do.

11:28 AM  
Blogger ~Melissa said...

Lisa, THANK YOU! I will be down in the fall for a couple months to decide if I want to move to SPI or not. I will be in to see you! I am always happy to pay the price for organic. It is worth it and tastes oh so much better.


11:45 AM  

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