Off the Seawall in Galveston
Heading to Galveston soon. We are trying Sonny's later in the week, but looking for Sunday/Monday options for dinner and/or lunch. We have 3 kids....so nothing too fancy. We've liked Shrimp n Stuff in the past, we do not want any Landrys places or the typical Seawall tourist traps...not fans. Ideas? Thanks in advance.
What we usually do is go to Surfside down 288 on the way to or from Galveston and eat at the Red Snapper Inn. They have very reasonably priced po-boys, plus spaghetti and burgers and a full fresh seafood menu.The drive will set you back about an hour, but it is very scenic between Galveston and Surfside. There is a two dollar toll on the bridge between West Galveston Bay and the Gulf, but the view is worth it. In Galveston, and on the Seawall is Benno's, tourists yes, but plenty of locals too. I've been going there for 25 years, living in Houston but working a lot in Galveston. Another option is Stingaree on Crystal Beach, which requires a ferry ride that I would not do on a weekend, Monday only. I'll provide a link, but I can't see if they are open on
Monday on their website. If you want to give the kids a treat, you can go around the ferry line and park, free, and ride the ferry back and forth, about and hour and a half trip. Lots of ship traffic of all kinds, from supertankers to small fishing boats, and usually dolphins. The kids can throw bread from the back of the ferry to the seagulls, but look out for poop.
The Spot is good for kids. Off the wall are The Original Mexican Cafe, Saltwater Grill, Sunflower Bakery and Cafe and Mosquito Cafe. Mario's on the Seawall (6th Street @ Seawall, not the one on 61st street) is our favorite place for pizza. They also have seafood and salads and a nice people watching window view. I understand and sympathize with your anti-Landry note. Personally we don't go to those either unless required by an invitation. But if we are with little kids, you can't beat their delight at the shiny places like Rainforest Cafe. When it rains and thunders or when someone orders The Volcano dessert, their enjoyment may make up for the bad burgers. Kids don't get that into food anyway. I figure they need a little kid vacation memory too. Take them putt-putt golfing on the seawall @ 90th or so if they like that activity. It's a fun course. Magic Carpet Golf. Enjoy the trip.
The Tillman Fertitta Landry's chain gets a lot of well warranted bad press, but I'll say this, working in Galveston and otherwise spending a lot of time there from many. many fishing trips to the several mini vacations the wife and I take each year, I've had more than a few locals tell me the local Landry's joints are a cut above others beacause Mr. Fertitta spends so much time down there. I only ate at the local Landry's once, raw oysters and boiled shrimp, just fine, and Saltgrass once, very good. In fact, I've never had a bad meal at a Saltgrass, Although I was irked once by a waiter at the I-10/Memorial location asking if I wanted change from two twenties on a twenty three dollar tab, dining alone. A good place on the Seawall for adults and kids is Murdoch's, the souvenier place where all can shop, with a breezeway above the Gulf where adult beverages and more can be enjoyed, with the waters lapping below.
Most of my discretionary spending is done on the island. Personally for Mexican I like La Poblana (same location as the old Taco House on Broadway) or Gordita's on seawall. I have never been a fan of Benno's but wish that I could like it since so many others seem to think it is great. In the seafood my current favorite on the island is the Gumbo Bar. Sunflower bakery on 14th is also very good.
As for the Landry's Corp bashing that seems to reign supreme these days on any food board I wish I could understand where it comes from. I think it has just become the in-thing to bash Landry's Corp. Personally on the island I have never had a bad meal at Landry's, Willie G's, Fish Tales or Fisherman's Wharf. Can't speak for Saltgrass as I can't remember the last time I was there. If food is good I don't care if it comes from a corporate kitchen.