Road Trip to Galveston Island

Posted on June 2, 2016
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Short road trips are good for the soul. You are with friends while exploring — in our case, good food and interesting wine — while investigating history and discovering innovating, cutting-edge ideas. Mike and Carole Robinson, Shelby Schafer and I went to Galveston Island via Brenham. The Robinsons go to Galveston regularly, so they know the places the locals love. That made the trip a lovely mix between tourist attractions and local, quieter venues.

Our first stop was the Czech American Restaurant in West. Ordered the Sausage Reuben sandwich, Czech fries, and stuffed cabbage. Continued to Brenham stopping at Messina Hof in Bryan and Peach Creek Vineyards a little farther south on Highway 6. When checking in at Far View B&B, the owner suggested 96 West on the Square for dinner. What a wonderful surprise! We had Lamb tostados that tasted so fresh, Quail on mashed potatoes, Quinoa black bean sliders, a huge beet salad, and flat iron steak, with a professional waiter serving us. 96 West is open Wednesday through Saturday 4 to 11 and for brunch on Sunday.

IMG_5459Day 2 started with breakfast at Far View and then on to Galveston Island, a drive of about two-and-a-half hours. Lunch was gumbo and peel your own shrimp at the original Shrimp & Stuff. Checked in to The Tremont House on The Strand. Galveston benefactor George Mitchell (deceased) and his wife Cynthia refurbished The Tremont House to luxury far beyond the price. Prices for a Sunday through Wednesday in May were amazingly low — $104 plus tax per night. Dinner at Olympia Grill at Pier 21 was fresh and healthy with a great Greek salad, fish, and a skewer of roasted vegetables.

We had luxurious, slow mornings while in Galveston, never gathering before 11:00. At lunch on Day 3, we met George and Betsy Pepper at Sunflower Cafe & Bakery on 14th. Had Crab Benedict — crab cakes with poached eggs. Carole said, “Once I get to Galveston, all my stays are loosened!” Oh, dear! Sunflower was out of their famous lemon pie. In the afternoon, we drove to West Beach and Moody Gardens, plus a wine run to Spec’s. Stopped at Gaido’s mid-afternoon for an Amaretto Freeze sipped through a straw. This afternoon refresher is not to be missed! Dinner was at Saltwater Grill on Post Office Street. Although there is lots else, the salad with apple cider vinaigrette is what I will try to make at home.

IMG_5557Day 4 found us at white tablecloth Rudy & Paco on Post Office Street for lunch. Such a delicious meal — chopped salad with fried soft shell crab, red fish with grits and a dark roux barbecue sauce. After lunch, we walked through the beautifully restored Grand Opera House, took a ferry ride, shopped on The Strand, and hit LaKing’s Confectionaire, with an espresso bar, soda fountain, chocolates, and old-fashioned candy from suckers to jellybeans. Drooled watching them make banana splits and marveling over all the sweets and candies. Don’t miss the fascinating Bryan Museum of Texas History. The Gardens are on my wish list. Had dinner on this last night at the historic Gaido’s. The food is still delicious. The only bad news was they were out of flounder. Be sure to have a drink at the Galvez Hotel, the Robinson’s favorite. It is a lovely classic.

IMG_5797 Day 5 and it was time to go home, but first we had a late breakfast at Mosquito Grill. Don’t let the counter service put you off. The help was friendly and organized. Breakfast is served until 11, and our arrival at 10:55 still allowed us to order breakfast. I had the Shrimp, Grits, and Eggs. The shrimp were perfectly seasoned and cooked with cheese grits and sauteed spinach with Parmesan toast. Mike and Carole shared the Nancy and BET-C, which were Eggs Benedict on a toasted croissant. Directly across the street is Pattycakes Bakery. Go there for pull-apart Bafka sweet rolls and coconut macaroons, both plain and half-dipped in chocolate. Pick up a small package of dog bone snacks for Fido.

After one last drive down The Strand, we headed back to Fort Worth visiting all the way about our next road trip. We may head to East Texas and Shreveport — my hometown!


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