Saturday, November 27, 2021
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Mid Valley Golf

golf harlingen country club 2Harlingen Country Club

A beauty of a layout with a mixture of challenges, Harlingen Country Club is the shot-maker's course. Sure, there are holes where you can grip it and rip it but the subtle elevation changes, the twists and turns along with the well-placed hazards makes this the perfect golf-thinkers course. It's like playing chess, just with golf clubs instead of pawns, rooks, knights...

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I could eat it again

dennys 20201104I have to admit, it's hard for me to stray away from the breakfast choices at Denny's.

I've been a fan of “Moons Over My Hammy” since I walked into my first Denny's in the early 1990s in Florence, S.C. I also love the omelets, skillets and slams (grand slam, lumberjack slam.... you get the picture.)

However, recently I stopped in determined to grab some lunch and pry myself away from my breakfast comfort zone. My daughter was in the mood for a burger and I decided on something different.

Camilla ordered the bourbon bacon burger without mushrooms or cheese, and fries. I went for the fried fish, also with fries and some broccoli.

This was almost a challenge-the-restaurant meal. I'm usually disappointed with battered fish. It usually ends up battered minnow – all batter and little fish. I’m also all or nothing with fish - you get one chance only because I’m either gonna love it or loathe it. However, when I broke my first of three decent-sized pieces in half, I was pleased to see the fish-to-batter ratio was much more pleasing. The batter was tasty and crispy, but not overwhelmingly thick, and the fish was cooked perfectly. I was extremely pleased that it met all my criteria, something that I rarely find. Am I too picky? Nah.

My daughter's reaction to the bourbon bacon burger was simply – it was ‘really good. I could eat it again.’ Trust me, that's a roaring endorsement.

Speaking of her reaction, I could eat that fish again. I was impressed.dennys02 20201104

As I pulled into the Denny's, one of the first things that caught my eye was a drive-thru lane. I rubbed my eyes and looked again – it was still there.

In this COVID-19 age, restaurants are being creative to not only stay afloat, but to also be able to serve their customers in as many ways as possible. The Edinburg Denny's is the second Denny's in the Valley – and the nation – to implement the drive-thru. The first came in Penitas.

“Corporate wondered how we were going to be able to do that,” said David Brambles, franchisee of the Edinburg and Penitas restaurants. “Denny’s are not known for carry out or drive thru so during the lockdown there was an immediate learning curve.

“We realized that drive thrus were very successful and that’s what we had to do. We called corporate for permission and we came up with how to do it. Now they are flying down here to see how we do it and are going to try to get up to 50 of their restaurants across the country to do it.”

Denny’s has always been trendsetters in the food business - especially in the breakfast business. Now they continue to do the same, here in the Valley, with business operations.

For me that just means more ways to get my “Moons Over My Hammy” cravings taken care of.

Newly expanded Winter Texans’ Golf Course Favorites contest is back

golf SPI Golf Hole 5For several years we have asked for Winter Texans’ feedback about our RGV area top golf courses and favorite holes to play at the many golf courses across the Rio Grande Valley. This year we want to know more.

With the need to socially distance, find ways to spend our time productively, and safely enjoy the company of others, many of us have found ourselves looking for more outdoor activity. The Rio Grande Valley, with its mild winter and more than its fair share of sunny days, is the ideal place for old duffers and the newly initiated alike to make a day of it out on the links.

Read more: Newly expanded Winter Texans’ Golf Course Favorites contest is back

Mountain Highway

Genres: Bluegrass, light country, danceable bluegrass, and gospel music
Specialty: Banjo, bass, fiddle, guitar, mandolin, and tight blood harmony!
Tour Dates:

Mountain Highway 500With a style all their own, Mountain Highway puts a fresh spin on songs once made famous by icons like Bill Monroe, Flatt & Scruggs, Ralph Stanley, and The Carter Family. Four sibling singers play banjo, fiddle, mandolin, and guitar, while their dad plays upright bass. They’re often heralded for their solid picking and tight family harmony.

After seeing them perform in Nashville, Debra Jean Wagoner said, “I had chill bumps. Their music transported me back to the days when my father Porter Wagoner took me to hear bluegrass at the Ryman Auditorium.”

Bluegrass icon Jamie Dailey said, “When I heard angelic voices singing harmony to one another from a group called Mountain Highway, I was stunned! I’m a harmony buff and love hearing it done purely.”

Mountain Highway hails from Lynchburg, Virginia, but travels each week to perform about a hundred times a year at popular music venues, festivals, fairs, and churches in several states. A few of their notable appearances have been at: Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver Festival (NC), HoustonFest/Galax (VA), Jerusalem Ridge Celebration (KY), North Barton Grange Bluegrass Festival (NY), Rue Farms Concert Series (OH), and Wind Gap Bluegrass Festival (PA).

For booking contact: or call (434) 248-0298

Valley Star Awards highlights Valley’s own ‘Little Nashville’

20200226 VSA img 1294Photos and Story by Henry Miller

Winter Texans have a gold mine in front of them, a virtual underground music scene that the remainder of the Valley only gets a glimpse of, at most.

The Ninth Annual Valley Star Awards highlighted much of that elite entertainment at Mission Bell Resort in Mission last week and Helen Russell and Company came out the biggest of the winners. Helen and her husband Elvis were named not only Individual/Small Band/Variety Act of the Year, but also came away with the Entertainer of the Year title as well.

Read more: Valley Star Awards highlights Valley’s own ‘Little Nashville’

Long Island Village – Winter Texans’ Favorite Golf Course

20200219 Long Island Village Golf Course aerialAfter three weeks of voting, Winter Texans have told us who their favorite golf course is this year. Winter Texans were asked to participate in a golf course survey for the past several weeks in which they voted for their all-around favorite golf course, and their favorite golf course by region as well. A big thank you to those the participated. Here are the top three favorite overall golf courses.


Two years ago, Long Island Village made its first appearance as a Winter Texan favorite earning second place in the Lower Valley, finishing between two perennial favorites – River Bend and South Padre Island course.

Read more: Long Island Village – Winter Texans’ Favorite Golf Course

Valley Star Awards deadline next week

You have seven more days to cast your vote for your favorite Wintertainers™. Your vote determines the winners for this year’s valley Star Awards. The deadline to turn in your ballot, or fill one out online, is 5 p.m., Wednesday, February 12.

Each year we ask the Winter Texans to help us choose the top Wintertainers™ who perform in the Winter Texan resorts in the Rio Grande Valley. This is your chance to decide who will receive the top awards at the annual Valley Star Awards Show, hosted by the Winter Texan Times and Robert and Billie Ferguson.

We will tally the votes and have them ready for the February 19 event that will be held at Mission Bell Resort, from 1 to 4 p.m.

Read more: Valley Star Awards deadline next week

Golf Favorites: Third Stop – River Bend Golf Course

20200205 RiverBendGolfCourse IMG 8548How long can a secret remain a secret, especially when more and more people discover that secret?

River Bend Golf Course and Country Club was once the best kept secret golf course in the Rio Grande a Valley.

Since then, however, ownership has not only marketed the course to Winter Texans inside and out of the country club, but they’ve also added a touch to make the challenging, but fun course, a more memorable event.

In the past two year, the course has removed trees and cleaned out the holes that run along the Rio Grande, providing golfers with a view that is enough to bring them back to the course.

Read more: Golf Favorites: Third Stop – River Bend Golf Course

Vote for your favorite golf course

20170209 GOLF PHOTOS SOUTH PADRE ISLANDThe deadline to vote for your favorite golf course is drawing near. You have until 5 p.m., Wednesday, February 12 to cast your vote. Your vote can be made by using the ballot located in the Winter Texan Times paper, or online at

This week, and the past two weeks, we have highlighted a favorite golf course from each area of the Valley. While you can consider voting for these again this year, consider the hidden gems that we published in November as well to help you with your votes this year.

Please review these stories and use your best judgement from your experience to place your vote on your favorite golf course in the Lower, Mid and Upper Valley.

Taste of the Valley
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Click the Read More link below each Wintertainer™Booking Information, Music Samples, Images, Videos and more!

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Valley Star Awards
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