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Sunday, September 26, 2010

Blackbeards' Restaurant

Photo Source: Google Images

The first time I went to Blackbeard's on South Padre, over 10 years ago, we went for lunch at the end of the lunch rush on one of our early family vacation trips down here.  I fell in love with their fried shrimp po-boy.  It was so basic and simple...and so very delicious.  The next time we came down to the island was in February and we came to celebrate our anniversary and use up some Southwest Airlines tickets that were going to expire.  We had no idea it was such a winter-Texan haven and laughed about being the youngest on the island.  That time, since we were without children <hooray> we went to dinner at Blackbeards' and, while a little more crowded on this occasion, we were in such good spirits we didn't care.  We ordered drinks, we took our time, we were just glowing with the happiness only a parent of teens and pre-teens can relate to, on the exciting event of a week-end free of responsibility.  I selected Stuffed Shrimp - a delectable concoction of Gulf shrimp stuffed with a crabmeat dressing ...perfection on a plate.  There was so much on the plate, I couldn't even begin to put a dent in it.  It was superlative (or maybe I was intoxicated with Cosmos and Happiness).  Whatever it was, we went home happy. 

Photo Source: Blackbeards' Website

We made Blackbeard's a regular stop on our trips down to the island...until an unhappy meal in 2005.  You know how it is when you bring a crowd to a restaurant you've been raving about and on that particular day, it unfortunately sucks?  That's what happened to us.  After waiting in the unbelievable crush of a July dinner rush, having our food be nothing like I had raved about, my son getting sick afterwards...well, we just didn't go back again.

My sister and her husband and sons always rave about Blackbeards' and it is a "must have" when they are here on brother-in-law gives his highest regards to the flounder particularly.  So, when we were down in April 2008, looking at real estate after our big decision to leave Austin, we decided it was time to give Blackbeards' another try.  My son had the red snapper - loved it.  I had fried shrimp - loved it.  I think my husband had the Shrimp 3-ways - loved it.  What we didn't love, was how crowded the tables were next to each other.  We couldn't talk, it was so loud and the wait staff could barely get through the tables without bumping our chairs.  We decided we didn't want to deal with that when there were so many other places we could go on this lovely island that didn't involve feeling like we were rubbing elbows with the tables next door.

Then, winter of 2010, the teen and I were driving along, scoping out a place to eat dinner when I swung right into the Blackbeards' driveway - which was half empty (or half full if you want to focus on optimism).  I thought, I miss Blackbeards' food - and since it wasn't crowded...

Photo Source: Blackbeards' Website
Sure enough - I had a lovely evening in one of the back areas where we were able to converse and I enjoyed a steak with shrimp and a lovely broiled fish for the teen.  Blackbeards' Restaurant had returned to my good graces. 

What I learned from this, is a lesson I've learned well since moving to the lower Laguna Madre...whether it is on the Island, or in Port Isabel...avoid eating out for dinner in July....go out on week nights only during most of the summer... and learn where the crowds are going to be and when they are going to be - and don't go there.  Lunch, during the summer is "a good thing".  It fulfills my need to dine out with minimal crowding (especially if you go to lunch as soon as they open).  Avoidance of crowds - THAT is what I've learned.

Photo Source:  Google Images
September and October are two of my favorite months at the coast.  Unhindered by those much-needed tourists and the beginning of a slight cooling in the atmosphere.  This is the time of year that moves me to euphoria on the island.  It's time to schedule a night out at Blackbeards' Restaurant again!

3 – Pretty Yummy - I feel my flip flops wanting to head back from time to time!

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