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Jun 5, 2009 09:21 AM

Any Galveston restaurant updates?

In a previous thread Swamp directed us to a website (galveston.com) that showed if the restaurant in the area were opened yet, or still closed. They seem to have disabled this feature. We are going next weekend and wondered about a couple places we like. I can't find anything about them, so I wonder if they are just flat out of business. One place we liked for breakfast was called The Diner, I think, on 61st close to the freeway. So does anyone know where I can find an updated list? B4-U-Eat has notes, but I don't think they are current because there are places they say are closed that I believe have re-opened. Any help out there?

Here is that previous thread:


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  1. Bad news Dani, I read somewhere, maybe the Galveston Couny Daily News, that The Diner would not re-open and something else would be there in it's place. I'm about 99% sure on this one, so if I'm wrong, good for you. By the way, I'm going to post on a place I ate last night I think you'll like, but I gotta go now. Any other places in Galveston that you're curious about?

    2 Replies
    1. re: James Cristinian

      That's too bad about The Diner. It was a real diner that we really enjoyed.I searched the galveston site and have looked all over the place and haven't found one thing abut them.

      What about The Cajun Greek? I think that's the name. And where is a good, non-chain Mexican place? We will be there from Sat. afternoon until Tues. Also I'm always on the prowl for good crawfish!

      1. re: danhole

        I drove by the now erstwhile Cajun Greek today, and it's being turned into, the horror, a day care. The good news is that Murdoch's souveniers is being rebuilt and will be open next spring. The Flagship Hotel looks as if it will not reopen. I think I saw a plaque where The Ballinese Room was, I'll look closer next time. There is no sign at all of the Hooter's, no loss. I ate at Benno's on the way home from fishing today, had an oyster poboy, with cajun potatoes. You have to sub the cajuns for french fries, but they're outstanding. I'd never had fried oysters there, but they were quite good. The much requested fishing report, 5 keepers, 24 throwbacks. I just ate a freshly fried trout, nothing finer.

    2. Dani, are you on the Houston chowhound mailing list? I'd suggest joining and asking there, a lot of activity has gone over there.

      8 Replies
      1. re: air

        I am on that list and have been since the beginning. Not very much about Galveston dining, though. NYC - yes, lots, but not Galveston. And I hate the fact that Chowhound has been abandoned by them. End of rant ;-)

        1. re: danhole

          Double bad news. I was curious as I am fishing in Galveston frequently, and looking to eat on the way home. I called the number listed on Yahoo, disconnected. Then I called 411, and there was no listing for both The Cajun Greek and The Diner. I was there last week (8 keeper speckled trout plus thirty something throwbacks and three sharks), had to through that in as I am so certain you are curious as to my success, and I ate at Benno's on the seawall. I've been going there for years. Sometimes when I take my wife for a visit we'll go down 288 to Surfside and eat at The Red Snapper Inn. It is incredible, very fresh seafood, plus a great burger. It's out of the way but it will take you about 45 minutes to get to Galveston from Surfside, a nice scenic drive.

          1. re: James Cristinian

            Good job fishing, James! I looked at the menu for Benno's and that sounds good to me, plus they have crawfish. Do you eat that? Is it good there? Thanks for the help. I guess 61 St. got hit hard. Too bad.

            1. re: danhole

              Dani, I love crawfish, and had them there last year. If I can remember, it seems as though they were underseasoned, but I could be wrong. Crawfish wasn't on their menu until relatively recently. Last week, they looked like baby lobsters, and I was tempted, but was in a hurry, being up at 330 am and wadefishing for 5 hours, drive to Houston, clean fish and gear, etc. I'd give them a try, for sure. I got my go to dish, cajun grilled oysters with cajun new potatoes. With my wife, our real favorite are the cajun crabs, messy and time consuming, but worth it. They do crabs several ways, but this is our favorite, fried in a spicy mixture, mopped up with garllc bread. Go off at off peak times, early, late lunch, or early dinner as they can get quite crowded.

              1. re: James Cristinian

                Thanks for the tip about when to go! I have to fess up that I have never had crab. Want to try it sometime, but with someone else who eats it, so if I don't like it they can have it. Once I tasted some crab meat from a crab leg I think that was what it was, and I did like it, so . . . Can't wait for the crawfish. I've only had it one time this season and that was early in the season, so they weren't very big. It was at SRO's Sport Bar in NW Mall. They do a good job with the crawfish and it is well seasoned! I always get some Texas Toast on the side to sop up the juices. I get the medium seasoning and my lips start burning after the second one! Mild is way too mild. And they offer you 2 more levels of heat - probably would make my nose run if I went past medium. LOL!

            2. re: James Cristinian

              Nice re: fishing. I am in Austin and have heard from friends that Galveston Bay is coming back, although many of them have moved to Aransas Pass and Rockport to fish. I will miss the Diner as well, but over at 3702 Broadway is Joe's Seafood. It is fried seafood for the most part, but better than the Cajun Greek's. My late father lived in Galveston, and when I visited, that was our first trip out- fried oysters at Joe's. Went back in May on the way over to New Orleans, and of all the myriad of oysters I ate that week, Joe's were the best.
              Don't expect fancy- it is 90% neighborhood takeout.

              1. re: Zennia

                I haven't heard of Joe's, but obviously it is at 37th Street. How long has it been there? I'll be in Galveston manana at 500 amish, but I'm not driving so I don't know about a stop there. I'll be fishing there at least twice more this week, so I'll try to hit it on the way home. I love fried oysters, I made them two different ways today. By the way, I don't fish the bay right now, I'm wading in the Gulf just off the Bolivar Ferry. The Bolivar Peninsula is a total wreck, but there is lots of new construction and it is slowly coming back. Fishing is great, nice speckled trout catches.

                1. re: James Cristinian


                  Did you happen to eat at Joe's? Good job fishing, buddy! Wish I could taste some fresh fish. I've been told that the reason I am not a fish eater is because I haven't had it fresh caught, and I believe that. I do eat some, but very mild fish.

        2. HI Dani -
          Don't think we know anything about the Cajun Greek yet... my suggestion to you for non-chain Mexican is Salsa's on 45th and Seawall, or The Original on 14th & Market Streets. Try Benno's on the Seawall at 14th for crawfish, perhaps.

          For pictures of all things open, try Galveston, Now Open! (http://sites.google.com/site/gnowopen...).

          Downtown information on all open businesses can be found at http://www.downtowngalveston.org/open....

          Hope this helps!!!

          10 Replies
          1. re: RelayLisa


            That's a lot of help. Thank you for the links. I saw crawfish on the menu at Benno's. Not sure I can eat 3 pounds of it, and the DH won't touch it, but I will try that place. Also thanks for the mexican restaurant recommendations. Looked at their menus and they both look very good.


            1. re: danhole

              Dani, I think the Original is just OK, but my husband loves it and wants to go there whenever we're in Galveston. I don't know anything about Salsa's, so please report back if you go there. Do you like Mosquito Cafe? That's my favorite place in Galveston. I don't know anything about Joe's Seafood.

              HURRAY for the Red Snapper Inn in Surfside--I'm so glad to hear that it has reopened.

              1. re: zorra

                Surfside could have been the disaster that Crystal Beach and Gilchrist became had the forecasts been correct. The storm moved more to the east than originally forecast. Dani, the only Mexican food I've had in Galveston was at El Nopalito, but they are gone too. The seawall protected the gulf side of Galveston, but the bay side on the back of the island into downtown got hammered from bay waters 12 feet plus deep.

                1. re: James Cristinian


                  If you look at the link I posted in the original thread you will see the El Nopalito has reopened in a different location and changed the name. Check it out - sounds good to me!

                  1. re: James Cristinian

                    Disregard the El Nopalito name change (Mi Abuelitas) - I just looked at the galveston website and that can't be a new place! Looks like it has been around forever.

                  2. re: zorra


                    I would love to eat at Mosquito Cafe, but I can't find anything on the menu that my husband would eat. He really limits my choices.

                    What do you get at The Original? Whatever it is I want to avoid it!

                    1. re: danhole

                      Oh, none of it is bad. It's all right. Over the years I've had enchiladas, fajitas, whatever, and they are all OK. To me it is just standard-issue Tex-Mex. My husband is crazy about their guacamole, but I'm allergic to avocados so I can't judge that myself.
                      I had the Best. Cheeseburger. Ever. at Mosquito Cafe. Surely your DH could be persuaded to eat a cheeseburger? :)

                      1. re: zorra


                        We always go to The Spot for burgers, and he won't want to have a burger twice in one stay (I wouldn't mind, though!) And no cheese burger for him. It's meat and bun, maybe with bacon. He's a simple eater.

                        Allergic to avocados? I would die a slow death without them. That's a shame.

                2. re: RelayLisa

                  One more question for you Lisa! I have been looking at menus and stumbled on this place called Joe's Seafood on Broadway. Have you ever been there? The menu is wild. Everything from seafood to fried chicken to chinese food! My husband is very picky but there is enough on this menu so he could find something to eat. Let me know.

                  Thanks, Dani

                  1. re: danhole

                    Mosquito Cafe is my new favorite Galveston restaurant.

                    I really enjoyed the baked brie appetizer and the owner was as nice as he could be. The owner and I probably talked about 20 minutes about food allergies. He was able to change a "no, you shouldn't order that .... to let me suggest this instead." His personalized touch was greatly appreciated.

                3. Currently on the island it is difficult to provide completely accurate restaurant updates because things change so rapidly. Fortunately the main reason for the changes is due to places reopening which we enjoy and need. Another good source of information for business openings of all kinds including restaurants on the island is the Galveston County Daily News Bizz Buzz column. Reporter Laura Elder does a good job of keeping the community informed. In her column today she reports that Luigi's on The Strand is expected to reopen this week. http://galvestondailynews.com/bizbuzz...

                  There is also a new, fantastic restaurant on the island, 901 Post Office. It is on the east end in a great old home, and also has a nice outside dining area. It is fine dining but you can still go island casual. Great food with an excellent wine selection.

                  Mi Abuelitas on 45th is new. I understand it is run by a former El Nopalito employee. I had lunch there this past week and it was very good. They had a nice fresh table salsa and my chicken verde enchiladas were tasty and spicy. They had some home style plates like chicken with fideo that looked very good.

                  I have not eaten at the Gumbo Bar on Post Office in the opera house area but my sister ate there and really enjoyed it. They have regular seafood gumbo, but they also have prime rib gumbo and some other selections.

                  For good tex-mex another great spot in La Estacion across from Galveston's city hall on 25th. They are only open for breakfast and through the lunch time. I think they have the best table salsa in town and also great flautas. I am not a caldo fan but they serve tons of there so it must be good. It is a small place and can get crowded but it is very good. Breakfast burritos are huge and fresh.

                  It was recently reported that Salt Water Grill across from the Grand Opera House will be reopening which is also good news. They worked out a deal on the building but not sure when they are expected to reopen.

                  The old Nate's on seawall next to Benno's is being transformed into a BBQ joint that will be called Capitol Q.

                  Things on the island are changing all of the time. Of course the past couple of weekends have seen huge crowds which we need. Thank you to those that may have visited or plan to visit.

                  13 Replies
                  1. re: swamp


                    I happened to find that BizzBuzz yesterday. Someone else alerted me to that. Thanks for all the info. I also read that the Olympia Grill has a new place on Pier 21 that I'm curius about.

                    Is there a local food reviewer for the Galveston Daily? You know we were thinking about going to San Antonio, but decided that Galveston need the tourist dollars a lot more! I would have felt guilty in SA!

                    1. re: danhole

                      Correct, I forgot to mention that the folks that have Olympia Grill on Seawall have opened a new restaurant downtown on the harbor. They are in the same building that the Harbor House Hotel is in across from Willie G's. I have not been, they just opened last weekend.

                      The Daily News does not have a food reviewer. When you visit individual restaurants pages on www.galveston.com they will have some reviews done by their person and you can also post a review of your experience. If you visit I really encourage you to post a review of places you selected. I would really like to see that feature on their site become more popular so visitors could get a good idea of good places and those not so good places.

                      Thank you for visiting the island. We are coming back better than before.

                      1. re: swamp

                        I'll try to take notes so I can contribute to galveston.com

                        There are two givens when we visit. One is the Spot, which has good burgers, but those buns! Gosh they are good. Also, since The DIner is gone we will probably have breakfast at the Waffle House. We have some in Houston, but not very close to us, so we eat at the one in Galveston. Other than that I am open.

                        1. re: danhole

                          I think Cafe Michael burger is better than the Spot. I do like the Spot though.
                          I wasn't that crazy about the Diner. Some other place is already opened in its place. Suppose to be American, Chinese, and Mexican.
                          For breakfast I like bronco burrtios from the Donut Shoppe, Dutch Kettle (greasy spoon kinda place), and Star Drug store. Star Drug store has excellent chocolate malts.
                          I like the Original mexican cafe. I also enjoy Benno's. Shrimp and stuff is another good place. Great shrimp. I always get a shrimp po boy.
                          The whole strip center where Cajun Greek is still being worked on. No idea if Cajun Greek will be opening back up.

                          1. re: TexasJeep

                            I asked this upthread, but do you know anything about Joe's Seafood on Broadway?

                            1. re: danhole

                              I personally do not recommend Joe's. The one time I ate there it just was not good.

                              If you are looking for reasonable priced good seafood on the island I would second another post above for Shrimp and Stuff on Ave. O. They have good basic seafood for an affordable price.

                              1. re: swamp

                                Thanks swamp. The problem I have is that my DH will NOT eat seafood, and Joe's did have fried chicken, so . . . just trying to find some places where I have a variety and there is something on the menu for him. I'm thinking Benno's, so I can have crawfish and he can have the cajun chicken, and that is the only thing on their menu that he would eat. Hopefully it's good!

                                1. re: danhole

                                  Benno's also has fried chicken. I went to Cafe Michael Burger years ago and they would not do my burger anything other than well done. This was years ago, so I'm not sure how they are now. Dani, I've never been to The Spot, do they cook burgers to order?

                                  1. re: James Cristinian

                                    At the Spot I ask for med rare, but usually get medium. I think that just may be their co. policy. We love the buns that burgers are served with. I don't know if they are egg or potato (suspect it is egg.) We asked the owner and he laughed and said that the guy that sells him those won't divulge any info - he says it's a secret recipe! The set up is nice too because you get the burger plain and then go to the condiment bar to fix it up.

                                    I looked at the Benno's menu and didn't see fried chicken, but that would be great! Thanks James.

                                    1. re: James Cristinian

                                      I can't remember if Cafe Michael burger does or not. When I get the choice I order mine medium rare. I know I like their burgers. Then you can go over to Woody's for a beer on their deck. Becoming more and more of a biker bar but it is laid back.

                                2. re: danhole

                                  I have never been to Joe's. Never many cars there, so I have been hesitant.

                        2. re: swamp

                          Thank you, swamp--great post. I had been wondering about 901 Postoffice and thinking it might be a good place for our anniversary dinner next month. If they have a website, I can't find it. What have you eaten there?

                          1. re: zorra

                            901 would be a great place to celebrate an anniversary. I love the corn dusted snapper and friends rave about the petite lamb chops. They also have an appetizer i really like, zucchini corn cakes with pulled pork. Here is a link to their page on galveston.com which allows you to download a menu etc. http://www.galveston.com/901/.

                        3. UPDATE:

                          Back from Galveston! We went to the Dutch Kettle for breakfast one morning. Shocked to see ashtray on the tables! Nice little place, but I wasn't that happy with my breakfast, which was a breakfast sandwich. I had the Ham, egg and cheese. which came with lettuce, tomatoes and mayo. The problem was that lettuce was tinged with brown. The first half I didn't notice until the last couple bite, but the 2nd half had a lot of brown so I pushed it away. And that place was sort of expensive for breakfast.

                          We also went to Waffle house the next morning and the morning after that. Much better and far cheaper.

                          Gorditas was recommended as having "real" mexican food. I had the quail on the parradilla (sp?) list by the fajitas, which was fried (vs. smoked, grilled or sauced) quail, but very good. I also had a barbacoa taco that was very good. DH got beef fajitas ans he liked them. The Queso was just okay. I liked the charro bean but lots of stuff in there besides beans! The rice was just okay, sort of bland, but the guacamole was like I like it - just avocadoes! I liked the salsa, but one was super hot for me. A language barrier was the worst problem we had, but I know just enough to remedy most problems. We were only one of two non-hispanic clients, so it has to be good mexican - right? Heck yeah!

                          Of course we went to the Spot for our burgers, and yes they do cook to order. I got mine med-rare and it was! Really good. I wanted some crawfish but they had run out - boo! The french fries are really waffle fries but good and they put seasoned salt on them, which is a plus.

                          I really did want to go to Benno's but just ran out of time and room in our bellies. Maybe next year!

                          The strand was very different and a lot of places still closed or gone for good.

                          13 Replies
                          1. re: danhole

                            We're going in a few weeks, and will report if we go anywhere new or different.
                            Thanks for the update!

                            1. re: zorra

                              my sister and I go to G. several times a year, but have not been since IKE. just hasn't been possible. I do need to know if my all-time-favorite-biker-bar/dive is still there.....The Poop Deck. We always stopped by there for a handful of their match-books, featuring "Marie, 1st. Mate" "somebody else, 2nd. Mate". I put those out at outdoor parties and they are great conversation starters. I know, no one smokes any more, but still the matches are fun to see! Anyone know the poop on The Poop?

                              1. re: amazinc

                                The Poop Deck is going strong! I don't think it was affected by Ike, doesn't look like it.

                                1. re: amazinc

                                  Oh yes, The Poop Deck, I closed that place many times in the '80s when I worked in Galveston. If anyone is ever there on a night with a full moon, there is nothing better than watching that moon over the gulf, while time slips away, eyeing the traffic and people on the seawall. It is absolutely mesmerizing, total relaxation. Marie was the first mate back then, I think she went on hiatus, and now she's back. She was interviewed after Ike in the Houston Press about that night, as she stayed and rode out the storm. It's just a great place to enjoy the gulf, day or night. As much as Galveston beaches are derided by Houstonians for the dirty water, it's just sand, and I've literally seen the water crystal clear where you can see your toes from the neck down. Water clarity in Galveston is a funciton of wind direction and speed, and under the right conditions, it clears up nicely.

                                    1. re: cindylou

                                      I don't want to blow my cover, but there is a definite probability. Have you been to Joe's Seafood on Broadway referenced above?

                                2. re: zorra

                                  I really wanted to try the new Olympia Grill at Pier 21, but they don't have a menu up yet, so it was too much of a risk because of picky husband.

                                  1. re: danhole

                                    my Dad went, said it was very good. Sorry for the sketchy report, but maybe that's better than nothing.

                                    1. re: danhole

                                      A group of us from work ate at the new Olympia Grill at Pier 21 last Friday and enjoyed it very much. Along with the food being very good it is a very nice looking restaurant. A nice new addition to the area, particularly since the community is still recovering. They have a great outside dining area that will be very nice in the fall when temperatures are more reasonable.

                                      1. re: danhole

                                        We had lunch at the Olympia Grill (Harbor House) on Sunday -- food was VERY good. I had an omlette w. crabmeat & shrimp. Mr. Cheflambo had a fish entree that was well seasoned and a generous portion. Mimosas had a nice kick too. Service was excellent -- more servers than patrons on that particular rainy day. The menu is basically greek, and I think there were sandwiches and burgers for Mr. Pickypants. Or just drop him off at Waffle House and go alone! I agree with swamp -- the venue is beautiful (live piano music too) and the view of the water quite pleasant. There was a cruise ship in port that day so that definitely dominated the horizon.

                                        And btw -- that Diner on 61st near the freeway has been gone a long time. I ate there more than a few times myself, including the very first trip I ever made to Galveston in 1986. Fond memories.....

                                        Ive also heard from inside sources that the old standby, Clary's, is due to open again, probably early next month. Post-Ike rebuilding took longer than they thought.

                                    2. re: danhole

                                      Was this the Kettle by UTMB? I drove by it today and the sign was gone, a hurricane victim. I agree on Waffle House, but to enhance the experience I plan ahead and bring real butter for those grits and waffles. It really makes a difference.

                                      1. re: James Cristinian

                                        No it was the dutch Kettle on the Seawall. It was weird because practically every table had a pack of cigs on the table next to their plates! And the waitresses were real characters.

                                      2. re: danhole

                                        Crossing over on the ferry today from Bolivar I briefly saw a newspaper at the ferry landing that mentioned smoking. I looked up the Galveston County Daily News, and yes, smoking is legal in Galveston, although some restaurants and hotels have benned it. It's coming up for a vote again. (Fishing report that I know Dani wants to hear, five keeper trout, 25-30 almost keepers.)