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Jun 30, 2014 08:55 AM

Suggestions for Thursday, July 3rd w/79 yr. old mother

I live in North TX and my mother has been visiting me from Illinois. We are meeting an old friend of hers in Cypress sometime Thursday afternoon.

We are driving down Wednesday evening & staying in the Woodlands on Wednesday & Thursday night, heading back north Friday afternoon. Want to visit Galveston Friday morning, she hasn't been there since mid-70's, possibly attend the HSO concert in The Woodlands Thursday night (gourmet picnic dinner??? ).

I know this is a broad request, but I'd love some fun suggestions for meals/snacks/desserts around The Woodlands/Cypress/Galveston. My mom had hip replacement earlier this year so she moving rather slow.

Is there a place that prepares picnic meals that we can take to Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion? Their website is vague about what we can bring to the concert.

Is there a place that has good gelato somewhere in our travels? Anyplace that would be convenient for good gulfcoast seafood?

Sorry for so many questions, but I'm open to all suggestions. Thanks!

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  1. Not sure about up north, but Gaido's in Galveston has seemed to step it's game back up, if reports are accurate.

    1 Reply
    1. re: James Cristinian

      Our family visited Gaido's in the mid-70's, so it is good to hear about them. I ate there about a year ago and the food & service were good. Thanks for the link, James.

    2. It sounds like a fun trip, Barbara. I grew up in the area and don't return often, but I can make a few suggestions.

      I recently went to a concert at CWM Pavillion, getting apps and drinks at Jasper's very nearby. If you decide to do that, I'd make a reservation as it fills up before events, from what I understand. An option for you might be Hubbell and Hudson's Kitchen, which we considered. It looks like they can do takeout that you could eat at the Pavillion. (I'd call them to confirm the policy about outside food--I think that it might be OK for a symphony concert.)

      As far as Galveston is concerned, I want to warn you that it probably is a 90 minute+ drive from The Woodlands, and doing it on the Fourth of July might be even worse. I forgot how spread out geographically the greater Houston-Galveston area is, and that doesn't even factor in the traffic.

      Have a great nice of you to do this trip with your mother!

      22 Replies
      1. re: tvchick

        Thanks for the suggestions. I realize Galveston is quite a drive, but I'm hoping that since the parade & rest of the festivities there will be Friday evening, if we go there earlier in the day it won't be as bad. I hope to be on the road and back up to North Texas by early evening on the 4th.

        I'll call CWM because their policies vary with their know how rowdy symphony patrons can be :)

        1. re: Barbara76137

          And let me add that, while Gaido's is a fun throwback and I'm sure you'd enjoy it, because they don't take reservations (or at least never have) it can be a looooooonnnng wait. I hate standing there and I've got my original hips. If you decide to go, be sure that you plan to visit during off-peak hours.

          1. re: Jaymes

            They must have changed because the website indicates they do take reservations. I'd book now.


            1. re: James Cristinian

              That is great info. As I said, I used to really hate that mob scene at the entrance.

              1. re: Jaymes

                Jaymes & James, the stars must have been in perfect alignment on Friday July 4th. We pulled up to the front door and we were the first car in the parking lot. Within a few minutes the lot was packed. The girl washing the front door took pity on us and let us sit inside until they opened for lunch (about 15 minutes) so we were the first seated. Service was wonderful and lunch was very good. We each had the soup trio & I had the crab/avocado something & my mom had the fried asparagus/crab. She really enjoyed it, and that is what is important!

                  1. re: Lambowner

                    That sounds delicious. The "soup of the day" on Friday was tortilla soup, which was excellent. My mom bought me the cookbook, so I hope the recipes are accurate.

                    1. re: James Cristinian

                      ....and thanks for the report, always appreciated.

                      1. re: James Cristinian

                        Yes, yes, I agree. Thanks so much for getting back with us. In fact, based on your report, I'm going to plan a trip there again sometime soon. Our family has a long history with Gaido's. Former husband is from Galveston, I remember many wonderful meals both at Gaido's and at the Pelican Club, and all three of my children waited tables at Gaido's at one time or another, primarily over the summers when they were on break from university. That was back when they were supposed to remember all the orders and write nothing down. Do they still do that?

                        1. re: Jaymes

                          They do and it worried me last time, but it all came out fine. What worried me was the potential language barrier. Gaido's has opted for a foreign worker program for its staff. The professional staffs rotate out seasonally. You won't find better service anywhere on the Island, these folks are trained to make you feel special. The day we were there virtually all of the staff from hostess to bussers were Ukrainian and Bulgarian. They spoke English with heavy accents and were consummate professionals. They knew the menu down to the last detail, they listened intently when you spoke to them and addressed all comments immediately and graciously. This is one solution to the scarcity of trained hospitality workers on the Island, one that some might disagree with but it is done all the time in ski resorts and the like.

                          Also Jaymes, I'm sure you've heard Pelican Club has gone public. The menu is very different from Gaido's and very unique. We haven't tried it yet. The hours are limited so check their web site and definitely make reservations. Nick's next door (formerly Casey's) has much the same food as Gaido's in a more casual atmosphere.

                          1. re: Lambowner

                            I did not know that the Pelican Club has gone public. Guess so many of the Old Guard BOI's have died that those remaining are forced to dine with the riffraff.


                            (Just as a side note - I had a cousin that lived for many years in Galveston. When she was asked, as one always is upon an initial meeting with a long-time Galvestonian, "Are you BOI?" my cousin answered, "No, I'm TOI - Trapped on the Island.")

                            1. re: Jaymes

                              You know there are only three ways off the island. I worked down there for a year solid and parts of 5 others and it seemed a lot of the locals don't want the hassle of getting on and off the island.

                            2. re: Lambowner

                              That's interesting, Lambowner, about the Gaido's waitstaff. I wonder if these folks work on the cruise ships for some of the year then stay in Galveston during the off-season, making good money at Gaido's.

                              I recently found out that my cousin's son is running the FOH at the new Pelican Club. He has much experience at other restaurants but nothing like the new PC. Maybe I need to roadtrip to Galveston...after the summer, of course.

                              And FWIW, my mom was BOI. She got off the island as soon as she could, LOL!

                              1. re: tvchick

                                We mused about that cruise ship possibility too. Certainly plausible. We joke about a force field on the causeway, but honestly, many BOIs would happily spend the rest of their lives on the island, never setting foot on any of the 3 exit points. It baffles me no end. And yes Jaymes, I've seen plenty of grumbling about dining with tourists and how awful it will be. Different culture for sure.

                              2. re: Lambowner

                                We had excellent servers at every restaurant, not just Gaido's but Guadalajara Grill in the Woodlands Wednesday night & Bone Fish Grill Thursday night. Then reality set in Friday night when we met my bf for dinner on the way back home.....

                                1. re: Barbara76137

                                  Oh do tell! We like to hear about the thumbs down places too. Speaking of Galvy, I haven't heard of any of these, but the Honduran place looks fab to me.


                                  1. re: Barbara76137

                                    It was in what would you expect? :) Little place on the Interstate called the Bandera Grill. Waitress was clueless.

                  1. re: Cheflambo

                    Although the grocery/market closed, I think that the Kitchen will do take out from what I can see on the website.

                    1. re: tvchick

                      Was going to try to have dinner there Thursday night, but it looked packed.

                    2. re: Cheflambo

                      The restaurant never closed. We've been a couple of times and the food is above average. Eat in or take out, but the dining room is small so reservations are recommended, especially for the popular Sunday brunch.

                  2. Hello Barbara - Black Walnut Café has everything you need from great gelato to take away meals great for an afternoon at the park. Check out their woodlands location.. you won't regret it! Have fun.. what a blessing to still have your mother.