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Thursday, April 7, 2011

WINDJAMMER BEACHFRONT CAFE AT THE ISLA GRAND BEACH RESORT

View from our table at Windjammer Beachfront Cafe
I've been wanting to try the lunch time Soup and Salad bar at the Windjammer Beachfront Cafe in the Isla Grand Beach Resort on South Padre Island.  FINALLY, the lady friends and I made our way over on Wednesday.  It's a lovely restaurant with full glass-fronted windows viewing the beautiful pool and palm trees and the ocean.  We all agree it feels like we are on vacation when we eat there.  They are well known locally for their theme night buffets.  Monday is Prime Rib - which I hear is awesome.  Tuesday is BBQ, Wednesday is Mexican, Thursday is Italian, Friday is Seafood, Saturday and Sunday are Breakfast Buffets with an Omelette Station.  Monday through Friday lunch is Soup and Salad...and that's why we were there.

Excellent table service was provided, very amenable to splitting our checks, kept KM's coffee cup filled, hot bread with some dynamite butters served tout de suite...unobtrusive but attentive.  That's what I like.

IB and I had the buffet and I must say I loved it.  IB said it had the best crab salad she may have ever eaten.  Today's soup was French Onion.  I thought it was outstanding...very oniony - croutons and white cheese at the ready with little crocks for service.  Yum.  I enjoyed the many salad choices but would have enjoyed the addition of some chunked ham or turkey.  The only meats were in other types of salad, not something to top the green salad with.  The tuna salad was very fresh tasting and I too enjoyed the crab salad.  I built my salad with mixed greens, artichoke hearts, a few hearts of palm, grated cheddar, purple onion, boiled egg, cucumber, carrots, a few sunflower seed kernels and some tasty "house dressing" which was a honey mustard.  I normally prefer Italian, but their Italian didn't look good to me.  In fact, IB complained it was too oily and she regretted using it.  I always put a bit on a carrot stick and sample it before I pour it all over my salad.  I could tell by the appearance that Italian was not going to be my choice.  They had several other selections available...Blue Cheese, French, Green Goddess, and Thousand Island as well as the honey mustard "house dressing", which I thought was excellent.

They had large and small plates available and I started with a small plate.  I then went back for another small plate and finished with cottage cheese with fresh strawberries and canned peaches (a personal favorite for me), some pasta salad, the crab salad and tuna salad.  From what I can remember, there were several other salads...a pea salad with ham and cheese and a mayo-type dressing, potato salad...and some other things as well, I think.  That's the best my memory provides.

We laughed and talked for a solid hour and a half...never felt rushed, and we DID feel like we were on vacation.  The Windjammer is on the second floor next door to the nightclub, The Quarterdeck.  I've danced more than one dance on THAT dance floor in my early years of vacationing on South Padre!  The Isla Grand used to be The Radisson...it underwent an exceptional renovation after Hurricane Dolly.  It's lovely and well maintained.  A really nice place.  It is on the South-east end of the island (beach side) and the address is 500 Padre Blvd.  If you are coming across the bridge you want to keep going through the light towards the stop sign and get into the left turn lane at the stop sign.  Turn left and then it will be, of course, on your right side within a block.  If you are coming from the north or central end of the island, turn left at the light just past McDonald's...and go past the shopping center with Gabriella's, Yummies, and the Harlequin Chocolat Shop...past the bank and visitor's center and turn left into the hotel parking lot.

It's not often that I recommend a hotel restaurant.  However, if you want a good quality all-you-care-to-eat lunch.  This is a great place.  There is menu service as well, of course.  Prices change - but today it was $9.95 for the soup and salad bar.  The prices for the other specialty nights vary but can be found at this link.

I'd really like to go to Prime Rib night - I'll have to get that on my busy social calendar (mwah ha ha ha).

SPI FLIP FLOP FOODIE RATING:
3 – Pretty Yummy - I feel my flip flops wanting to head back from time to time!  (and the view gets a 5!)

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