For what seems like an eternity, the COVID-19 pandemic has waged war around the world. For golf courses it was especially difficult. One week they were open, one week they were closed and the not-knowing-what's-happening tomorrow, or later today, wreaked havoc.
However, it also gave directors of golf, owners, golf pros and those who make decisions an opportunity to make some tweaks to their courses – minor to major.
Read more: Traffic increasing at all Valley golf courses
Genres: Country, Singer-Songwriter, Folk, Bluegrass, Pop, Rock and Roll
Specialty: Guitar and Vocals
Kenny Ray is an RIAA Gold Record Award Winner for his composition of “A Soldier’s King” recorded by Kenny Rogers on the Christmas album, “The Gift.” He is also the former lead singer for the US Navy’s Country Current Band retired in December 2021.
Kenny Ray’s music was born and bred in southeast Missouri. Living on a dairy farm outside a small town he was raised on the southern gospel harmonies of Albert E. Brumley (“I’ll Fly Away”) that could be heard through those Ozark mountains of his childhood.
Read more: Kenny Ray Horton
Ballots for the Valley Star Awards are rolling in – make sure your voice is heard and vote for your favorite Wintertainer™. This year’s categories include Male Vocalist of the Year, Female Vocalist of the Year, Family Vocal Group of the Year, Musical Group of the Year, Duet Musical Group of the Year, Rock n Roll Band of the Year, Country Western Band of the Year, Novelty or Comedy Act of the Year, and Individual/Small Band/Variety Act of the Year. As always, you have a write-in option for your favorite Entertainer or Group of the Year.
Read more: VSA ballots are rolling in
I am not keen on seafood, so in seafood restaurants I often have few options. That was not the case at Pier 19 on South Padre Island. While there was plenty of seafood options, there were ample options for me.
My husband and son are seafood lovers, and found it difficult to choose. They started with ceviche and then each had a platter. My son had the Small Grilled Platter while my husband opted for the Large Fried Platter.
My husband said the ceviche was the best he has ever had. The onion, jalapeno tomato and cilantro were fresh and vibrant; shrimp was bursting with flavor; and the creamy avocado provided a perfect finish. Pier 19 makes their own corn chips which were light and crispy yet sturdy and well suited to scooping copious amounts of ceviche.
The boys shared their platters which combined included oysters, scallops, fish, shrimp (3-ways), stuffed crab, fresh steamed veggies, coleslaw and hushpuppies. The coconut shrimp really impressed my husband as he had never had coconut battered shrimp that actually tasted like coconut like at Pier 19. My son said the coleslaw and seafood were the best he has ever had.
I started with some fried mushrooms, then enjoyed the Hawaiian Burger. The mushrooms were well battered and crispy outside while firm, plump and juicy inside.
The Hawaiian Burger was topped with a tangy-sweet barbecue sauce, bacon, cheese, and pineapple. Who would have thought to add pineapple to a burger? It was a nice combination of tart and sweet. I added a side of onion rings. These were hearty slices and, like all the other fried fare, coated in a light batter that complimented and never smothered the food.
It was a dining experience I will not soon forget, and one we plan to repeat regularly when we are on South Padre Island.
Pier 19 is open 7 days from 8 a.m. – 8:30 p.m. and located at 1 Padre Blvd on South Padre Island. You can contact them at (956) 761-PIER (7437) or at www.Pier19.us
The great ones are known by just one name.
There’s Tiger, Ali, Kobe, Brady and.... Dave?
Well, it’s more like Omelet Dave after making more than 100,000 omelets during his first 13 years at the Victoria Palms restaurant in Donna. So, maybe he doesn’t have the worldwide appeal as Woods or Jordan, but he’s known among Winter Texans, and travelers who stop in for one of his fantastic creations - whether it’s an omelet or a tantalizing waffle masterpiece
Dave’s gift for gab is as great as his cooking. There’s no charge for a good conversation with Dave. In fact, it's highly encouraged.
This morning, I had an omelet with the works - bacon, ham, sausage, green peppers, jalapenos, onions and, of course, mushrooms – but no spinach (don't want anyone to think I'm super healthy). As usual, it was a perfect way to start the morning. It came with hash browns, sourdough toast and salsa (and a cup of coffee). Not sure why, but I can make an omelet with the exact same ingredients, put a chef’s hat on - probably even Dave’s hat, and cook it all in the same spot Dave cooks it and it just won’t be as good. Why is that?
I also had a round two. A waffle that doubled as dessert - that’s how I justify it. This tasty morsel was put in front of me to the chorus of angels. It had to be the fluffiest and tastiest waffle I’ve had in recent memory. The waffle was as smooth as the mound of strawberries and whipped cream on top. Chewing is just an option.
It was a perfect complement to go with the working man’s omelet.
Dave said he figured that he would be 84 years old about the time he reaches 200,000 omelets and said he would probably still be doing it if he is still able.
“I like it. It’s not hard and I can talk to people,” he said.
That’s great news for Victoria Palms. It’s also terrific for all those who go by the RV Park, hotel, and restaurant, which is open to the public.
The food is definitely worth the trip. Being part of the great Omelet Dave experience is just an added bonus - at no additional cost.
The last time I ventured into Lobo Del Mar on South Padre Island, I ended up remembering an old comment my dad would make to me – don't let your eyes get bigger than your stomach. Of course, with their Caveman Burger, it's hard not to keep your eyes off of it. It's amazing – both in taste and size.
Unfortunately, I remembered that statement after ordering a lunch fit for a king – and his family. But it was so good.
This time I turned down the quantity a bit and started with the small order of ceviche and a bowl of seafood chowder.
On this day, which started kind of cool, but was in the low-60s when I arrived, that chowder hit the spot. Each spoonful was loaded with shrimp or other goodies, the temperature was great, and the consistency was spot on, and that's key – you don't want your chowder thick like pudding, or watery.
After enjoying the ceviche, which I enjoy here more than just about anywhere because of its freshness, and because of how much they cram into the cup, I kept it in the seafood world and ordered blackened shrimp tacos. One can order shrimp or fish tacos one of three ways – blackened, fried, or grilled – and they come on a grilled corn tortilla stuffed with shredded cabbage, onions and diced tomatoes. Then it's topped with a creamy remoulade and mama's “Wolf Fire” salsa.
As I waited for it, I talked with the waitress, who explained to me about the daily entertainment, including the belly dancers on Wednesday nights during a usually packed house. In my few minutes there I saw a group of tourists, talked to some locals from McAllen and found some Iowa Winter Texans.
When the main course arrived, the first thing I realized is that this was gonna be a messy meal – just how I like it. But it was tantalizingly good. The veggies and the sauce mixed in well with the generous portion of blackened shrimp. The tortillas couldn't hold in all the yumminess (if that's a word).
This was my third visit to Lobo Del Mar, the other two were on the dock overlooking the Laguna Madre. Despite that area not being open while I was there, it was still extremely pleasant inside. And, while my eyes weren't bigger than my stomach, I'm guessing part of that reason is that my stomach has grown eating at delicious places like this.