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May 23, 2007 08:34 AM

South Padre / Port Isabel Recs

We're heading down to SoPa next week. On past trips, we've liked
Wahoo Saloon on the bay side
Manuel's in Port Isabel
De Luna on the bay side
Looking for all kinds of recs including the best place for fried shrimp or fried fish.

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  1. We went to South Padre last summer and went out a few times.
    Try Dirty Al's right across from Schlitterbaun. Good seafood for a excellent price.
    Don't go if you want fine dining. Its not the nicest looking place.
    We tried Amberjacks and was not impressed. Would not go back.
    We went on a fishing trip and caught some fish so we ate in the condo a couple nights.

    Let us know how it goes and what you find. We are heading down to New Braunfels for a few days and then hitting Padre for another few days in June.

    3 Replies
    1. re: ibobi

      We, too, love to get fresh seafood from B&A in Port Isabel and do some cooking ourselves. They make their own cocktail sauce, loved it. Didn't get to try their ceviche.

      Wanna Wanna was our new discovery. We sat on the Gulf side under a thatched roof with cool breezes. It was too warm at the tables under the awning. The menu includes burgers, fresh fried shrimp and fish, ceviche featuring shrimp, fish, cilantro, avocado and tomato, nachos which are really chips and queso and corndog. All were yummy. 5100 Gulf Blvd

      Wahoo Saloon on the bayside was as cool as ever. The menu features ceviche same as Wanna Wanna but the cumin moves it up a notch for me, angus beef burgers, chicago hot dogs, marinated grilled chicken sandwich (I don't know what is in the marinade, but the chicken comes out tender and juicy) and boiled shrimp that was so sweet I felt I had just put a packet of sugar in my mouth. We take our children, but arrive around 6:30 or so and spend the time waiting for sunset eating and drinking while they play on the beach. If you arrive too late, management will not let you in with children. 201 W Pike St

      De Luna never disappoints for fine dining. Chef De Luna is internationally recognized and the restaurant caters to the Monterrey crowd who arrive later in the evening 9-10pm. We eat so much earlier than that and literally have the restaurant to ourselves. We sip martinis watch the boat traffic and the sunset. We feasted on Hawaiian Poke (Pokee) sashimi tuna, sesame, crunchy light seaweed, avocado and mango with leaves from a plant from the mustard family to make wraps. That was a flavor I've never experienced and loved. My daughter always gets the beef carpaccio. Fresh tasting beef with excellent balsamic vinegar and capers. Their dipping sauce for bread is made with the same balsamic vinegar and oil and is thick. A stand out entree was the shrimp in light rosemary oil with risotto. Perfect risotto. When we go back in October I want to try the lamb with indian spices. There is a lighter fare restaurant in the bar area that is cheaper and seems really popular at the earlier time of day but we haven't tried it yet. 201 W Coral

      We ran out of time and did not get to try Dirty Al's as Ibobi suggested. Next time. :)

      1. re: austinfoodie

        South Padre Brewing Company
        and Zestie's
        will do you good for a day.

        1. re: Mr Zero

          Just made it back from a week in New Braunfels and South Padre. Had a wonderful time with fantastic weather.
          In New Braunfels we ate in the condo most of the time. We did make it to Pat’s one night. Very reasonable prices on the beer and burgers. Fun atmosphere and great service.
          In Padre we had to go to Dirty Al’s. He has added on to the place and spruced it up a bit. My son had a pound of crab legs. I think they cost $11. Wife and I ordered a pound of peel and eat shrimp and a half pound of the New Orleans style peel and eat shrimp (served warm in some sort of sauce). I would guess Old bay and butter??? Very good once again.
          Another night we tried the South Padre Brewing Company. We asked several locals where to eat and this place was the only one mentioned twice so we decided to give it a try. We ordered pizza and sampler of their beers. The pizza was very good. My son had the cheese pizza with grilled quail added on to it. We had to steal a couple slices it tasted so good. We ordered half smoked ham with fresh jalapenos and the other half sausage with mushroom. I wish more places offered fresh jalapeno. I was very surprised about this place. Was not expecting much and we couldn’t quit talking about the pizza the rest of the trip.
          We stopped by the Wanna Wanna and decided not to go as the parking lot was full. Good sign, but did not feel like messing with parking.
          We stopped on the way out of town at B&A seafood and picked up some shrimp to take back with us. Did not see a place called Zesties.
          Side note….we rented a dune buggy at a place called Uncle Buggies. We took it all the way to the north end of the island where the road ends and went up the beach a few miles. You can go around 25 miles until it ends. We didn’t have time or the $$$ to go that far. We rented it for 3 hours and had a blast. Make sure you can drive a stick before you rent. The guy Dale who ran the place told us he couldn’t believe how many people get in and ask what the third pedal is for???
          All in all another fun trip to Padre. I hope this place never changes.

    2. I was glad to have these recommendations for my family's recent trip to South Padre Island. Manuel's in Port Isabel, about a block from the lighthouse, was amazing. We went around 10:30AM on Friday, and the wait was long, so we returned at 8:30AM on Saturday and sat right down. Service was very friendly and leisurely; ask for chips if you get hungry waiting. I ordered the chorizo and egg taco with cheese; it was at least 12 inches across and wonderful. They had a special on the ribeye steak with eggs and hash browns, so my husband got that. I've had much worse steaks for 3 times the money. Can't wait to go back.

      We had lunch at Dirty Al's in SPI; it's in a building with a marina and you can buy fresh seafood there, too. I ordered the snapper throats (thanks to the poster who mentioned them) and enjoyed them very much. We also had the New Orleans peel & eat shrimp--yum. Great fries, not so good onion rings.

      We went to South Padre Brewing Company for dinner and had the pizza, half with tomato sauce and pepperoni, half with basil pesto and quail. We liked the quail/pesto side better. Also liked that they had a whole wheat crust option.

      We got take out from Captain Roy's one night and liked it so much we went another night for dinner. Wonderful fried fish--do not miss it! Good fries, too. Skip the fried oysters. I had the beef fajitas dinner and ate every bite.

      Roy didn't have dessert, so the waitress suggested Amberjack's. I mentioned that I had heard their food wasn't great. She agreed, but said the desserts were good. I got cheesecake to go, and it was fine. It is a lovely restaurant, much nicer than the others we tried. But I prefer good food to nice surroundings.

      I also got a dessert at Louis' on the Bay one night--wasn't worth eating.