Sunday, January 29, 2023
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Victoria Palms Restaurant

The phenomenon of Chef Arevalo

20201216 victoria palms tov 600pxI have noticed this strange phenomenon.

Whenever Victoria Palms’ Chef Marcus Arevalo cooks up something for you to eat, it is going to be absolutely terrific.

Such was the case once again as I visited the restaurant with no idea of what I wanted. The chef came out to say hello and I asked him for his opinion to help cure my clueless dilemma. His first recommendation was the blackened tilapia, followed by the fried whitefish.

Being hungry, as always, I chose both.

My server, Elizabeth Andrade chimed in after she asked what I ordered and said she especially loved the blackened tilapia, an encouraging preview of what was to come.

The tilapia arrived and before even a bite was taken, it looked and smelled absolutely mouth-watering. The fish, with the mixed spices, came out blackened as advertised and the spices on top glistened, giving amazing contrast to the snow-like whiteness of the fish.

I have been playing a little in recent weeks with blackening food and found how easy it is – for me at least – to end up with a product that is over blackened, the power of the pepper dominating the flavor. This was not the case with this tilapia as Chef Marcus created an amazing piece of fish, the blackened flavor deliciously combining with a fish that was cooked perfectly, flaky yet firm and not rubbery. A stunning combination of flavors. Elizabeth was spot on when she promoted this dish.

The fried whitefish was another dish that tickled the taste buds. The first bite brought about two distinct flavors and an interesting mixture of the crunchy outer layer of breadcrumbs and other seasonings, and the delicate inner fish. There were also two distinct flavors – from the batter and the fish -- and, my favorite part, is that it was probably 85% fish and 15% batter, unlike so many places that seem to flip-flop those percentages, making you search for a glimpse of the fish.

Now, I am a sauce guy. I enjoy salsas and tartar sauce, ketchup, and soy. The list goes on. I was really into the hot pepper challenges and fell in love when chipotle became a trend. So, I asked for some tartar to go with the fried fish plate, thinking I would need something to offset the dryness of the batter.

I think I used a third what I was given, a shock to me. The fish did not need it, so I just used it in little dabs to accentuate the dish. Then it dawned on me – a revelation – when the fried fish is not all batter and is mainly fish, there is no super dryness to contend with.

It was yet another five-star victory for Chef Marcus. I cannot wait to go back to Victoria Palms Restaurant, hungry and without a clue… as usual. I know I will be in good hands.

Baffin Bay Seafood Company

Relaxing dining by the sea

baffin bay 600pxWhile it may be a little farther than most restaurants, the Baffin Bay Seafood Company, located in Riviera, is certainly worth the effort to get there. The restaurant sits right on the coast of Baffin Bay, a well-known fishing spot for black drum, redfish and speckled trout.

One of the most popular items on the restaurant’s menu is black drum ribs, usually served with hand-breaded onion rings. The Baffin Bay Seafood Company may just be the only restaurant to serve these tasty ribs fried with cornmeal. They are delicious! Especially with their homemade tartar sauce made with special secret ingredients.

In addition to the black drum ribs, we tried the grilled and fried drum, which were both delicious. We just had to sample the fried shrimp and grilled shrimp. Both are very good, and my personal favorite was the big, plump grilled shrimp with a delicious fresh-catch taste.

Steaks and chicken are also available for those who aren’t in the mood for a great seafood dinner.

Save room for their delicious desserts! You’ll enjoy rounding out your meal with molten lava cake, brownies with ice cream or New York cheesecake.

A trip to the Baffin Bay Seafood Company, combined with a sightseeing trip to the King Ranch, might just be unbeatable. The restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday. They are located at 1294 CR 2360 E on the coastline in Riviera.

Upper Valley Golf

NOTE: Golfers, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, specials and guest restrictions vary and may change at any time. We recommend you call the golf course ahead of time – then go enjoy a good round...there aren't any other types of rounds are there?

g alamo ccAlamo Country Club

This course was once considered a hidden gem. It is still a gem, but it is definitely not hidden. It also has some of the toughest holes you will find anywhere. It is a relaxing play, but do not get too relaxed because the layout can jump up and bite you. You need to be accurate on this scenic and fun-to-play course.

Read more: Upper Valley Golf

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...

Read more: Mid Valley Golf

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, country, and gospel music
Specialty: Banjo, bass, fiddle, guitar, mandolin, and tight blood harmony!

Mountain Highway square 2 WEBWith a style all their own, Mountain Highway is an authentic young family band steeped in traditional bluegrass, country, and gospel music originally made famous by icons like Bill Monroe, Flatt & Scruggs, and Ralph Stanley. The band is comprised of sibling singers who play banjo, fiddle, guitar, and mandolin, with their father playing upright bass. The group is often heralded for its tight family harmony.

Read more: Mountain Highway

Larry's Little Brothers

Genres: 50's, 60's, 70's, 80's, Blues, rock, folk, country
Specialty: Guitar duo with vocals!

Larrys little brothersLarry's Little Brothers are two old guys who play guitars while singing their favorite songs from their younger years. Old Country. Rock. Some Folk. Some somewhere in between. Larry's Little Brothers stress good grammar, dresses appropriately, and are generally well-behaved.

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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.

FIRST PLACE
LONG ISLAND VILLAGE, PORT ISABEL

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

Taste of the Valley
Article Count:
17
Wintertainters™

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

Article Count:
42
Valley Star Awards
Article Count:
29

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