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2019 Texas Outlaw Challenge

pb1 2019 Texas Outlaw Challenge

The performance boating event of Texas! The 12th Annual Texas Outlaw Challenge powers back into Clear Lake this June

By Rick Clapp

Well Bay Lovers, it’s that time of the year again when we all welcome the roar of power boat engines to Clear Lake. The Texas Outlaw Challenge celebrates its 12th year and will be held June 19-23. This exciting world-class event is spearheaded by the event and promotions Maven Paul Robinson. He brings hundreds and thousands of dollars to the Bay Area Houston region over a five day period of revelry.

One of the most highly respected and popular speed boating events in North America, The Texas Outlaw Challenge kicks off Wednesday, June 19. The 2019 event of the season on Clear Lake features multi-million dollar performance powerboats and offers the opportunity to see, hear, feel and experience performance powerboating at its best.

Colorful powerboats from all over Texas and the Southwest converge on Clear Lake for fun and exciting activities on both land and water. Festivities begin with the Welcome Outlaws Shooter Pre-party at Barge 295 from 7 p.m.-10 p.m. on Wednesday, June 19. The excitement continues with the Stampede Street Party in Kemah, which is precluded by a series of events; Early Card Stop Run Party at Bayland Marina (O’Neals) and Topwater Grill (11 a.m. – 3 p.m.), Gunslinger Poker Run at Landry’s and a High Roller Gold Party at Kemah Boardwalk (5 p.m. – 9 p.m.).

The Outlaw Challenge rolls on into Friday, June 21 with the Shoot-Out and Poker Run Premiere #1 stop. The Shoot-Out boat staging, dock and safety meeting is held at Barge 295 at 9 a.m. The Shoot-out Competition Clear Lake Course runs from 9 a.m. – noon and annual Gunslinger Run #1 Card Pool Party, sponsored by DH Technology, is at Kenny Armstrong’s Casa. At 9 p.m. that night, enjoy the spectacular Fireworks on the Bay in Kemah, provided by Landry’s and easily viewed from Clear Lake and Galveston Bay. The evening concludes with the Miss Outlaw-Bikini Contest at CABO and Barge 295 at 10 p.m.

Awards will be handed out at the Gunslingers Poker Run and Finale Gala “Outlaws to the Max” on Saturday, June 22 from 7 p.m. to midnight at Marine Max in Seabrook.

More fun events will take place earlier that Saturday with a Shotgun Boat Parade on the Kemah inlet at 10 a.m. and then a Gunslinger, Lunch and Pool Stop at Harbor Walk, sponsored by Legend Marine Group, from noon to 2 p.m. At 3 p.m. is the Texas Tiki Dinner: Watering Hole and Dinner stop at Topwater Grill and Marina. Then Les le Bon Temps Rouler the party begins at Marine Max at 7pm.

Finally the 2019 Outlaw Challenge concludes Sunday, June 23 with the Steel Horse Stampede – Bike and Car (Poker Run) Rally. Registration will take place at Crazy Alan’s Swamp Shack Kemah at 8 a.m. Then the final stop will be the Seafood Buffet and awards at Topwater Grill. This significant Texas performance boating event has the support of seven local Texas cities and city councils, including Seabrook, Nassau Bay, Kemah, El Lago, Pasadena, Clear Lake Shores, League City, and Galveston.

The Texas Outlaw Challenge responsibly supports several local charities through generous event participant and sponsor donations. These proceeds help the following local charities: Shriners Children’s Hospital, The Bridge Women’s Shelter, Boys & Girls Harbor, Clear Creek Environmental Foundation, Kemah Lions Club, Seabrook Rotary, Seabrook Marine Group, Galveston-House Families Exploring Down Syndrome, and various Veterans groups. The Texas Outlaw Challenge supports the local community and businesses with a substantial economic impact that is estimated well over $1 million each year.

The future looks bright with more exciting Outlaw Challenge Events and Races being planned in 2020 and beyond. Various boat races, contests and festivities are in the works. The five-day high performance packed event features boats that will be powering into the area from coast to coast. Let’s all thank those power boaters, families, support crew, participating sponsors, and local Bay Area Houston cities that support this world class event. Remember please treat participants of the Outlaw Challenge with all the warmth, kindness, and any courtesies that you or your company can offer this elite group of guests to our Houston Bay Area. The Outlaw Challenge is a major economic shot in our arm for Clear Lake. A special thanks goes to Paul Robinson and his fine organization for keeping this spectacular marine happening in Bay Area Houston.

Cindy’s Smoked Amberjack Fish Dip Recipe

fish dip recipe Cindys Smoked Amberjack Fish Dip Recipe

CATCH! CLEAN! COOK!

tx amberjack Cindys Smoked Amberjack Fish Dip Recipe

Turn hard fighting Amberjack into delicious smoked fish dip.

By Cindy Nguyen

Though darker meats of the Gulf like Amberjack and Kingfish are not the most sought table fare, it’s hard for me to release a nice Amberjack knowing what a crowd pleaser these bruisers can be! It’s taken me a few tries to get this dip the way I like it and I hope you all enjoy it as well!

Marinate overnight:

  • 1lb – Amberjack fillets
  • Italian Dressing
  • 1 Tbs Brown Sugar
  • Dash of Old Bay

Smoke at 200° for 2 hrs

After removing from the smoker, using gloves, break the fish down into a bowl of flaky meat.

Add the following ingredients one at a time and blend until consistency reaches a nice heavy spread.

  • 1 Tsp Minced Garlic
  • 3 Stalks of Celery Chopped
  • 1 Chopped Jalapeño
  • 1/2 Chopped Red Onion
  • 1/2 Cup of real Mayonnaise (I use Duke’s)
  • 1 package of Cream Cheese
  • 1 handful of Chopped Cilantro
  • 1 Tsp of Saté Chili (this will give it a little heat and nice color)

Tip: Using a stand mixer will make this much easier.

Refrigerate and serve chilled with your favorite chips or crackers.

Cruisers Yachts 50 Cantius: Infinite Entertaining

cantius50 Cruisers Yachts 50 Cantius: Infinite Entertaining

SOAK UP THE SUN: Ample cockpit seating and a hydraulic swim platform makes summer days on the water a breeze.

The state-of-the-art Cruisers Yachts 50 Cantius perfectly blends luxury and function for unrivaled comfort

By Alyssa Jackson

Set sail on this 2018 50’ Cruisers Cantius that is perfect for extended-stay voyages, as well as quick day or weekend trips on the water. This one of a kind cruiser, handcrafted in the USA, is equipped with three staterooms and two heads, and plenty of space for endless entertaining. It also features easy joystick docking to ease the minds of it’s captains. With numerous lounging options, this yacht offers an abundance of comfort for your days on the water.

The master stateroom is full beam with an ensuite. It includes a luxurious and comfortable lounger and plenty of storage to bring along all of your trip’s necessities. The VIP stateroom encompasses panoramic windows for a beautiful waterfront view. The third stateroom features dual bunks for the opportunity to bring along even more family and friends. The accommodations on this vessel are abundant!

The salon’s unique open-floor concept and aft galley allows for infinite entertaining. The retractable windows create an oasis on the water by offering 360-degree ocean views. Plush seating surrounds the space to allow for plenty of relaxation and conversation. The creatively constructed galley with a retractable aft window offers an exceptional atmosphere of functionality and opens the space to create inclusivity for all onboard.

cantius salon Cruisers Yachts 50 Cantius: Infinite Entertaining

ROOM WITH A VIEW: The roomy salon and adjacent galley have everything you need to entertain family and guests.

TAKE A SEAT: The helm boasts innovative joystick and digital throttle features.

Cruise with ease with the innovative joystick controlling feature and digital throttles. Ample seating is incorporated in the cockpit for many guests, as well as a lavish bow lounge to escape reality and soak up the sun and beautiful views surrounding you. The list of amenities continues with a compact, yet efficient grill that sits within the transom, hydraulic swim-platform with convenient stairway, as well as a state-of-the-art audio system and descending blinds that transform the master stateroom into a media sanctuary. The gorgeous slate gray hull is truly picturesque as it gracefully glides along the water.

Not just known for her looks the 50 Cruisers is an efficient seaworthy vessel that will make your time on the water enjoyable while you travel to your desired destination. Cruisers Yachts reports that with the Volvo IPS 600 (435HP) at wide open throttle they reached a top speed of 32.93 knots (37.90 mph) at 2950 rpm. Best cruise came at 2500 rpm where the boat went 25.46 knots (29.30 mph), burned 42 gph for .70 statute miles per gallon, and had a calculated range of 282 statute miles at that speed.

This 50’ Cruisers Cantius is truly one of a kind. It is extremely spacious for its size and complete with many opulent amenities, bounteous accommodations and storage, and a perfect blend of comfort and extravagance for your memorable getaways. Come by Galati Yacht Sales in Galveston, Texas to take a look at the incredible Cantius.

STRETCH YOUR LEGS: Retreat to the full beam master statesroom and rest in spacious comfort after a long day of cruising.

The Boat Yard in Kemah

boat yard kemah The Boat Yard in Kemah

The Boat Yard is located at 1145 FM518 in Kemah, TX.

Everything you need for your boat, all in one place

By Xander Thomas

Any boat, any size, anything you need, The Boat Yard in Kemah is here to help. They are authorized to work on any brand, so no matter how many boats you need work on, from whichever brand, they got you covered.

General Manager of The Boat Yard, Chet Morampudi, says that they are one-of-a-kind, being the only dealer in Texas authorized to work on every make.  Not only can he fix up just about any water craft that one might bring in, but he offers any service the you might need for it.

“We do boat maintenance, engine service, fiberglass repairs, trailer repairs, all electronic installations,” Chet said.

He says that many places won’t work on fiberglass, but he wants his place to be a one-stop-shop for all boaters and sailors. He even offers mobile help, and for people within about a 15 mile radius who cannot bring their boat in, they will come to you to do the work.  Even if you are further out and want his assistance, they will actually bring a trailer to pick up larger crafts that the owner may not want, or be able to transport. They take it into the shop, and deliver it back to the marina once work is done.

“Even though some people are 20-30 miles away with a huge boat and no trailer, we can still provide them with trailering services.”

In general, he likes to be pretty considerate of the needs of anyone bringing him work.  He offers a service for fishing guides, that if they call ahead and tell him what they need done, he can order the parts ahead of time and get their ship in and out of the shop as quickly as possible.

“I know that it’s their living, and they have to be in and out quick, and we try to help them out. I just tell them to give me a call when they’re coming, and when they come in we quickly order everything they want,” he said, “Most people take like 1-2 weeks to get a boat done.”

He does this so that they aren’t losing out on any more income than they have to while getting the care that their boat needs.

On top of being able to work on everything and do anything you need, he also says that his prices are more than fair.

“We are still the lowest charging dealership around.  For most of them, the range is like $125 an hour, but we still do $110.” Chet said, “If they are first responders we only charge them $99.”

He likes to help those who help others, offering veterans, teachers and first responders 10% off on all labor.

“Also, they don’t get charged for finance fees,” he said, “They also get $500 off on make, prep, ready fees.”

The Boat Yard sells boats, as well.  He says that while he mostly deals new crafts, he does take trade-ins, and will do consignment.  So even if you don’t have your new vehicle for sea life yet, he can hook you up.

The Boat Yard is located in Kemah, at 1145 FM 518, right at the intersection of Lawrence Rd. and 518.

Recreational Shrimp Trawling

trawling Recreational Shrimp Trawling

How to catch shrimp with a sport trawl

By Capt. Joe Kent

Often I receive questions from anglers about shrimping and what it takes to use a sport (non-commercial) shrimp trawl.

The lure of going out and catching a nice batch of shrimp for either fishing or table fare intrigues many anglers with boats and just about all of them want to know what it takes to operate a shrimp trawl, license requirements and the pros and cons of going after shrimp around the Galveston Bay Complex.

As I once prided myself as a sport shrimper, we will discuss many aspects of this sport in hopes of acquainting those interested with some of the basic information.

First, let’s take a look at the expense of the trawl and related equipment needed.  The largest trawl allowed for sport or recreational use is a 20-foot trawl.  Most of the trawls on the market range from 10 to 20 feet.  Large trawls require a commercial shrimping license.

Like just about all sporting equipment, the prices for shrimp trawls run the gamut from reasonable to expensive.  On the average you should expect to pay around $600.00 for the maximum-sized sport or bait trawl and even the smaller sizes are not too far from that.

Recreational shrimpers must have a Texas Fishing License and a Saltwater Endorsement.  Additionally, each trawl must have a special tag commonly referred to as a shrimp tag.

Now, what type of boat and motor are suitable for recreational shrimping? While it is hard to pinpoint the best boat for this, there are certain features that are desirable and not desirable.

A Jon boat at least 14 feet in length powered by at least a 15 hp outboard is about the minimum and one suitable for back bays and protected waters.  Larger, more seaworthy boats are needed for open waters.

There should be plenty of unobstructed room in the rear of the boat for loading and unloading the trawl.  One thing for sure is that your boat will get quite dirty during the process.

Sport shrimpers are allowed two quarts of shrimp per person per day with a maximum of four quarts per boat per day.

Besides shrimp, many species of shell fish and small fin or bait fish are caught while dragging the trawl.

Now, before you take the plunge and purchase your shrimp trawl, let’s look at some of the pros and cons of recreational shrimping.

Operating a shrimp trawl by hand is a physically exhausting activity.  I shrimped up until about 20 years ago and gave it up due to the physical stress that a post-50 year-old just did not want to endure to have fun.

As mentioned earlier, shrimping will bring mud, slime, and all sorts of debris into your boat.  For that reason I had a 15-foot Jon boat designated just for dragging my trawl and putting out and retrieving crab traps.

Other not so fun things associated with this sport are hanging the net on submerged debris and other objects that take time and effort to untangle or get free.

Shrimping takes time away from fishing, if your are trawling for bait to fish that morning.

If there was one negative that I want to emphasize that would be not to have high expectations of catching a lot of shrimp.  Yes, at times, that is the case; however, the likelihood of your taking your limit each time is very low.

Now, let’s look at the pros of shrimping!  It is a fun sport with each retrieval of the trawl bringing intrigue as to what might be in the net.

Each quart of live shrimp you catch saves you about $20 at the bait shop.

Crabs are almost a given when shrimping and for those who enjoy eating crab, this would be a big benefit.

While it is illegal to retain game fish caught in a sport trawl, there are a lot of other fish that often are part of the  catch.  For offshore anglers, lots of chum is taken with each drag.

The surprise element is that there are always all sorts of marine life to be picked up off of the bottom, including lots of stingrays of all sizes.  Once an alligator gar got caught up in the net and that was not a fun experience getting it out.

I have mostly pleasant thoughts of the years I shrimped off of Seabrook and would bring home some good seafood and bait.

While there is a lot more to this sport, some of the pointers above may prove useful and should give you a better idea of what is involved and hopefully get you started!

The Bugatti in the Lake

bugatti painting The Bugatti in the Lake

By Lara Rodgers

Gremillion & Co. Fine Art will loan painting by German artist Eric Peters, that was inspired by the mystique of “The Bugatti In The Lake” to Keels and Wheels, May 3-5 at the Lakewood Yacht Club. Keels and Wheels, started by Bob and Judy Fuller 24 years ago, is the largest classic car and vintage wooden boat show in the country and has raised close to $2 million benefitting Today’s Harbor For Children.

Mr. Fuller, chairman of the event, is close personal friends with Peter Mullin, owner of the legendary historic Bugatti that rested at the bottom of Lake Maggiore for 75 years. The car was allegedly lost in a poker game in Paris by famous Champion Grand Prix driver, René Dreyfus to Swiss playboy poker player Adabert Bodé. Authorities seized the car at the Italian-Swiss border for lack of proper documentation and fees. Their policy was to destroy the car once the fine surpassed its value. The decision was made to lower the Bugatti into the lake.

Decades passed and it became only a romantic mythical legend for many years until it was discovered by divers in 1967. A local dive club resurrected the car in 2009 to honor the son of one of the dive club members who had been brutally beaten by a local youth gang and died from injuries caused by the incident. The car was auctioned off to raise money to benefit a local charity against youth violence. Peter Mullins, owner of Mullins Bugatti Museum in Oxnard, California won the car in the auction. Mr. Mullin has participated in Keels and Wheels for 10 years, exhibiting several of his prized Bugatti motor cars. This year he will feature his 1931 Type 49 Bugatti.

Erik Peters, a renowned German artist, was captivated by the enigma and romance of the story of the Bugatti In The Lake and was inspired to create the painting. Mr. Peters felt passionately that the Bugatti belonged in the lake. His luminous painting creates the illusion of the Bugatti being lowered back into the depths of lake. Light streams down through the rippled water as the car is lowered back to its resting place 173 feet below the surface on the salty floor of the lake. The paper hybrid canvas appears to replicate the rusted metal on the car.

Gremillion & Co. Fine Art is providing the artwork, supported by Bay Area Houston Magazine, to be on display at the Keels and Wheels event. The 7’ x 11’ work of art captures this mysterious, romantic experience of the Bugatti Type 22 Brescia Roadster, resurrected from the bottom of the lake. Houstonians, Bay Area residents and all who wish to attend will be able to experience the legend of the Bugatti In The Lake. Experts will be on hand to walk people through the experience and answer questions. The event will be held May 3-5 at the Lakewood Yacht Club in Seabrook, Texas.

Tickets to Keels and Wheels and this magical mythical experience can be purchased online at Keels-Wheels.com. The Eric Peters painting will be revealed in a special brief presentation in the ballroom of the yacht club on all three days at 1:00 pm. The Bugatti In The Lake is available for purchase during the event and a portion of the proceeds will benefit Today’s Harbor For Children.

La Izquierda Surf & Music Festival

ozi 1024x1024 La Izquierda Surf & Music Festival

32598559 1893748454248919 8019309188423352320 o 1024x683 La Izquierda Surf & Music FestivalBy Robert Kuhn

Who are you? The longer time passes between what we think and what we feel, the more opportunity there is for silence.

Almost one year ago, our community of like-minded(ish) weirdos all got together at the 91st Street fishing pier to celebrate La Izquierda, a cosmically aligned festival of surf and music. The vibes were through the roof. Anyone there that day will tell you something special went down on May 12, 2018. Whether it was the music, the surf, the yoga, or the beer, people all say it was magic. There were even waves.

We raised over $6,000 for Surfrider Foundation, Galveston Chapter, whose mission is the protection and enjoyment of oceans, waves, and beaches through a powerful activist network. They run plastic bag cleanups and campaigns, send people to Washington to be real, and meet up on a regular basis for solidarity. I think we can all get on board with that.

We brought loud and clear original music of all kinds to the hearts of the thousands of hand clapping attendees. We sent the grand prize long boarder to Costa Rica with his chica for an all-inclusive surf getaway. Jimmy’s on the Pier was slammed from morning to night with their best day ever, and dozens of up and coming craft breweries introduced themselves to the palettes of the drinkers who judged the friendly and democratic beer completion. Go GIB!

It was a huge success by everyone’s standards, so we are doing it again on the same second weekend of May.
Mark your calendars for May 11, 2019. La Izquierda Dos.
It’s right before Mother’s Day, so la Izquierda su madre.

We’re bringing some new all-star bands to the lineup like Los Skarnales, as well as several original crew from last year who rocked the seas and heavens.

All of the trophies last year were pieces created by Galveston area artists, and this year we’ve been given more space to allow the donors to show and sell their work. In fact, Jimmy gave us the whole pier so we’re open to just about anything. What do you want La Izquierda to be for you? What do you create? What do you share? It’s gathering momentum and we’d like more of you to be a part of it. We’ve even got a legit website, LaIzquierdafest.com. Communicate your ideas with us. Please let us know what you think, and come to Jimmie’s On the Pier on May 11th. I will be there.

JetSurfing Comes to Clear Lake

jet surf houston open JetSurfing Comes to Clear Lake

Think personal watercraft crossed with a wakeboard, a skate board, add a hint of dirt-slinging, engine-buzzing motorbike, and then multiply it.

jdav 199x300 JetSurfing Comes to Clear Lake

Jordan Davlin is bringing the exciting new water sport JetSurfing to Texas.

The man behind one of America’s newest water sports in the US is the dynamic Jordan Davlin, a native from Clear Lake City, Texas. He is an army veteran who served our country overseas, including Iraq. Afterwards he attended the University of Texas at San Antonio to study Business Management with small business concentration. Davlin is an entrepreneur at heart and has realized his dream with JetSurf Houston. He owned and managed 3 promotional and marketing companies in San Antonio before coming back home to Clear Lake in 2016 to support his family’s business. Davlin discovered JetSurf a year later and got involved after investigating the prospect of a unique and exciting new water sport product. He researched the Czech company MSR engines who designed and built the two stroke engine and state of the art technology driven by precision jet propulsion. JetSurf motorized surfboards sales and events are increasing all over the world, especially in Europe and Asia. It is just beginning to increase in demand and grow rapidly in America. These awesome motorized surfboards are quickly becoming one of the world’s most popular and fun water sports products.

Davlin represents JetSurf in the Greater Houston Area, which includes Seabrook, Lake Conroe, Galveston Island, and also South Texas, including South Padre Island. Moreover, Houston is the third largest boating, yachting, and sailing community in the country. Jet surfing is a versatile sport for all types, whether you enjoy a leisure ride, a day of exploring the water, big wave surfing, jumps and tricks, or progressing in the sport of competing in motosurf races. JetSurf Houston Academy allows easy access for anyone to rent a JetSurf board and enjoy the adventurous waterfront lifestyle. Many yachtsmen, sailors and boaters use a JetSurf in lieu of a dingy or raft. It is also a great boat accessory because of its mobility and portability. It travels well and is easily transported by car, boat, or airplane. A JetSurf board weighs less than 40 pounds, is under 6 feet in length, and travels at speeds up to 40 miles per hour.

JetSurfing is an absolute blast!

JetSurf Houston opens their doors on April 11 with a ribbon cutting ceremony and the festivities continue throughout the weekend. Their exciting, energy packed Grand Opening and race will be held on April 11-14 at Endeavor Marina storefront location. JetSurf Houston will be hosting the first motosurf race in Texas on April 13-14. Enjoy a day of electrifying, fun-filled water sport festivities, good food, cold drinks, and live entertainment. Demonstrations, practice races, qualifications, and heats begin sharply at 10am.

The certified trainers at JetSurf Houston Academy enjoy teaching people about the newest water sport, which is rapidly growing globally. The Academy offers JetSurf boards on a lesson basis. You will receive personal instruction as well as helpful tips and coaching from highly skilled and trained personnel. JetSurf boards can become easy to ride with proper training from JetSurf instructors, so whether you are a novice water sport enthusiast, just simply enjoy a leisurely ride, or want to learn how to race, you will love the experience of riding a JetSurf board. JetSurf motorized surfboards are the newest technology in water sports that have the most vibrant, eye-catching style.

JetSurfing and leisure boating go hand-in-hand.

You can easily purchase a JetSurf board at the JetSurf Houston showroom located at Endeavor Marina on Clear Lake. Bay Area Houston and Gulf Coast Mariner are proud sponsors of JetSurf Houston. For more information call 281-JET-SURF(538-7873), email Jordan Davlin at info@jetsurfhouston.com, follow JetSurf Houston on Facebook and Instagram, or visit Jetsurfhouston.com. JetSurf Houston Academy is located at Endeavour Marina at 3101 E. Nasa Pkwy, Suite H, Seabrook TX 77586, as well as Waterpoint Marina in Lake Conroe, and Offatts Bayou in Galveston.

SEE VIDEO HERE!

Coastal Artist Jake Jones

jjtarpon Coastal Artist Jake Jones

Artist Jake Jones takes old, discarded fish mounts and transforms them into vibrant pieces of art. www.freshfishgallery.com

Naples artist Jake Jones transforms old surfboards and fish mounts into oceanic works of art

Where are you from and where do you reside now?

I was born in California and grew up on the East Coast of Maryland. I currently reside down in sunny Naples, Florida. I do most of my work outside and it sure is nice in January and February to be able to create art in my driveway

What inspires your style of artwork?

My artwork comes from a life-long love of the ocean and the amazing creatures that inhabit it. Most of my work is done on ‘found items’ and I get a lot of satisfaction bringing something that was broken or discarded back to life.

jjonesturtle Coastal Artist Jake Jones
We love that you use reclaimed surfboards, old fish mounts and driftwood for your pieces. Can you tell us more about your process?

  I’ve always been an artist but my recent direction kind of goes back to the day that I found an old Sailfish mount on Craigslist for $50. It was just too cool to pass up. I knew I wanted to do something creative with it, but I wasn’t quite sure what. I ended up painting it lime green with a purple sail, hand brushed Polynesian style graphics on it and then put it back on craigslist under furniture. Someone bought it right away so I thought I might be on to something.  I also came across an old surfboard that was damaged so I removed most of the fiberglass outer shell to be able to carve into the foam underneath. I really enjoy the process of carving a surfboard and they are the creative pieces that I am most proud of.

Besides art, what else are you passionate about?

Well I have two daughters in college that I am very proud of and besides my passion for art, I enjoy working out and seeking new adventures with my girlfriend Tammy.

If you had to pick, where is your favorite place one of your pieces is currently hanging up on the wall?

I sold a few pieces to a local brewery and they featured my art on this very cool wall that was made from old whiskey barrels. I really loved the combination of textures and colors when my art was hung there. I always ask my clients to please send me a photo of my work in their home so that I can see it. I get a lot of enjoyment seeing how my work is displayed in people’s homes.

Where is your favorite place to travel and why?

For the most part I enjoy being close to the ocean but I have to say that in recent years I really enjoy the mountains and the people of Georgia. I did some hiking there along the Appalachian Trail the last two summers and I just really love that area.

How can our readers purchase and enjoy your art?

My website is FreshFishGallery.com and my Facebook page is www.facebook.com/freshfishstudios.

I really enjoy posting progress photos of the projects I have going and of course if you see something you like or want something commissioned please feel free to contact me! My email is artbyjake@gmail.com.

Are there any upcoming events or news you’d like to share with us?

I’m very excited about a gallery opportunity that is in the works, but besides that I just wanted to thank you for the opportunity to be interviewed!

Flippers Coastal Seafood

flippers seafood Flippers Coastal Seafood

Good Food Made With Love!

By Xander Thomas

Great atmosphere, great music, great food.  A great dining experience is when you can go into a restaurant and feel warm and welcome as if you are just part of the family.

“We try to make sure that we make you feel like you’re coming to Grandma’s house,” Delana ‘Mama D’ Gilland, General Manager of Flippers Coastal Seafood said.

Flippers focuses on Cajun and comfort food, as well as providing high quality service that will keep you coming back to try everything on the menu.  Of course, they do offer more than seafood for those who don’t eat from the ocean.

“It’s not just seafood that we have.  We have chicken tenders and the freshest salads you’ll ever want to taste,” Mama D said.

Owner Gernisha Compton is the oldest of seven, and has been cooking since she was very young.  She comes from a Louisiana background, and all of her food is made with love. According to Mama D, this is the secret to good food.

Flippers is a place that offers something for the whole family and doesn’t want anyone to be excluded.  They make sure everyone can find something good here, and make you want to keep coming back.

“We don’t want to single out anyone,” Mama D said, “people sometimes don’t bring their kids to places to eat, because they have smaller kids, so we engage in that.”

Although offering other options, the seafood might be the shining star of the menu.  Proteins are offered with the option to come fried, grilled or blackened, and according to Mama D, you can’t go wrong with any of it. But what is it that she would recommend?

“I say my favorite is the shrimp etouffee platter” Mama D said, “You get the etouffee, you get a side of another protein which is the catfish, the oysters, whatever.”

She says that the biggest sellers on the menu include crawfish (in season, of course), the Choose Two Platter which, offers your choice of two meats and two side, and the new appetizer, the crawfish fries.  It isn’t just the main dishes on the menu that will keep you wanting more, though.  The side items include perfectly golden-brown fried okra, crispy on the outside, soft on the inside hushpuppies, and possibly some of the best dirty rice on this side of town.

Flippers opened a year ago on Sept. 24 and they are already getting people hooked.

“We’re to the point where we can put their order in, all they have to say is ‘the usual’,” she said.

flippers rum cake Flippers Coastal Seafood

Flippers Coastal Seafood serves amazing desserts, including this massive rum cake!

And don’t forget about dessert! They have a huge rum cake, a decadent toffee pie and creamy banana pudding, all made in store, just to name a few.

Flippers Coastal Seafood is located at 628 FM 517 in Dickinson, between I-45 and 646, in the same strip as TJ Reeds.

“Come see us.  You’ll get to justify everything I say,” Mama D concluded.

Fresh Seafood Lettuce Wrap Recipes

By Betha Merit King

As sea life perks up from the winter water cool down, March is a good month for black drum, speckled trout, redfish and more. With fresh ingredients, you can make magical combinations that are healthy and interesting.

Gulf coast shrimp is arguably the most flavorful in the world, and many people’s favorite shellfish. Below are two colorful recipes which will intrigue your palate and delight your family or guests.

shrimp lettuce wrap Fresh Seafood Lettuce Wrap Recipes

Fresh Chili-Lime Gulf Shrimp Romaine Wraps

  • 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 Tablespoons freshly chopped cilantro.
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Romaine lettuce, for serving
  • 1 avocado, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup sour cream or Greek yoghurt

DIRECTIONS

In a large bowl, stir together shrimp, cumin, lime juice, cilantro, garlic, and 2 tablespoons oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss until combined, then let marinate in the fridge 10 minutes.

In a large skillet over medium heat, heat remaining tablespoon oil. Add shrimp and marinade, cook until pink, 2 minutes per side.

Assemble wraps: Add shrimp and avocado to lettuce, drizzle with sour cream/Greek yoghurt.

Pairs well with your favorite beer,  or sauvignon blanc.

fish lettuce wrap Fresh Seafood Lettuce Wrap Recipes

Fresh Fish Lettuce Wraps with Mango Salsa

MANGO SALSA

  • 1 ripe mango, diced into small pieces
  • 2 Tablespoons of red onion, minced
  • 2 mini red bell peppers, chopped small
  • 1 Tablespoon jalapeño pepper, minced
  • 1-2 Tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • juice of one lemon.

Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl, gently. Salsa is best made ahead, and chilled for an hour or so for flavors to meld together.

FISH INGREDIENTS

  • 12-16 ounces fresh catch filets of your choice (salmon works well too)
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil or butter if sautéing
  • salt and pepper to taste.

DIRECTIONS

Grill on medium-high heat for 8-10 minutes or until fish flakes easily. If sautéing, cook for similar time, turning once half way through. Let fish cool for a few minutes before assembling, tearing fish into bite size pieces.

EXTRAS

  • 1/2-1 avocado chopped
  • 1 to 2 heads Butter or Romain lettuce leaves, rinsed, drained, and dried.

ASSEMBLING

Place desired amount of fish onto a lettuce leaf, top with salsa, avocado, and more cilantro as garnish, if desired.

Pairs well with a vinho verde or pinot grigio.

Coastal Artist Anastasia Musick

musick tarpon Coastal Artist Anastasia Musick

Anastasia Musick with her tarpon painting “Eyes on the Prize.”

Interview by Kelly Groce

Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from and when did you start painting?

Originally I am from Kazakhstan but I have lived all over Europe and Asia (11 countries to be exact) before I was even 17!  Shortly after I came along, my family endured many hardships from the changing times, causing us to constantly move.

Like many young kids, I was fond of drawing, painting and anything artistic, but I tended to dedicate all of my time to this interest over anything else.  Certainly it was a good focus, as no matter where we lived or what the language, I had to start learning that particular year(s), I had consistency and stability in my artwork. I think was more beneficial to me than anything.

When I was around 11 years old, I was starting to paint and draw animals and floral art at a very rapid rate.  My mother would place the finished works in shops wherever we were living at the time.  By the time I was 15, I was being contacted for commissioned pieces of a very wide array of subjects, including freshwater fish, birds, and a lot of floral works.

How did you get into painting wildlife?

I have from the very beginning painted a host of subjects without boundary, but I would say that the time period I started focusing mostly on marine and wildlife was 2-3 years ago. My first saltwater piece was around that time as well.

musick swordfish Coastal Artist Anastasia Musick

“Dancing in the Moonlight”

Aside from art, what else are you passionate about?

Well to be completely honest, I don’t really have much time to do much else!  I paint 8-12 hours a day, 7 days a week, and when I am caught up I try to go fishing or enjoy my time on the water.  I take what I do incredibly seriously and try to give every ounce of energy I have to becoming better. After all, I have a lot of folks who have invested in me by owning originals.  I would be doing them a disservice if I did not increase their piece’s value over time.

I do love to fish but unless it’s a subject I am completely new to, it really does not make the artworks any better to continually see the same species—at least for me it doesn’t, but what does improve the paintings is pure repetition. This is the only requirement needed to have the knowledge or capability to paint or draw anything with success.

“Nine Lives”

What is your favorite fish to catch?

Redfish and Mahi.

Favorite location to fish or travel?

When time allows, I like to take either my paddle boat or kayak to a tiny little area in Charlotte Harbor that always is harboring at least a few hungry reds!  Within the last two years my vacationing has been sort of limited, but I have really enjoyed the various beaches I’ve visited in Texas and of course the boardwalk in San Antonio was a fun time.

Favorite fishing moment?

The very first redfish I caught had a little over 13 spots and I think that’s when I fell in love with fishing and wanted to dedicate that as my predominate focus.

“Ambush Queens”

How can our readers purchase and enjoy your art?

I have hundreds of pieces that I do reproductions of in small numbers, apparel and a host of other things available.  Easiest way to contact me is either to go to Facebook and search me out: Anastasia Musick. Also feel free to contact me on my business page: Musick Art Corporation. You can also find my website at www.AnastasiaMusick.com

Are there any foundations or organizations you are involved with that you would like to tell our readers about?

I work with CCA Texas, Florida and several kidney research foundations.  In 2019 I was selected to be the Texas CCA STAR Platinum Print Artist and would like to continue working with them and others.

“The Prospectors Bill”

Healthy One Pot Meal Recipes

By Betha Merit King

After the holidays it’s nice to have some lower calorie meals to help us get back in shape and shave off some pounds. Luckily for me, I have a birthday in December, too. Knowing my happy exploration into one pot meals, I was gifted with the latest and greatest kitchen helper: an Instant Pot.

The Instant Pot cooks meals in less time by utilizing pressure cooker technology. Doing research, it is obvious there is a long future of fabulous discoveries to be made. For this article, we’ll touch on two pasta dishes, that are vegetarian. For meat lovers, you can serve baked fish or chicken breasts or lean pork tenderloin, cooked separately.  There are a thousand more recipes that include meat, desserts, sauces, dips, and side dishes. The possibilities appear endless.

one pot Healthy One Pot Meal Recipes

Veggie Walnut Pesto Pasta

  • 4 cups water
  • 8 ounces whole-wheat rotini pasta
  • 1/2 cup lentils
  • 1 8-10 ounce jar of prepared Walnut Pesto
  • 1/2 cup baby arugula chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 1 14-ounce can artichoke hearts, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 or more grated Parmesan cheese
  • Freshly ground black pepper.

Pour 4 cups water into Instant Pot, add the pasta and lentils, stir well to submerge for even cooking. Secure the lid and move the steam release valve to  Sealing. Select Pressure Cook to cook at high pressure for 4 minutes. Let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes, then move the steam release valve to Venting to release any residual pressure.

When the floating valve drops, remove the lid and press Cancel to stop the cooking cycle. Use oven mitts to remove the pot and drain the pasta and lentils in a fine-mesh sieve. Rinse with cold water. Dry the pot and clean anything off the sides and bottom, and return it to the Instant Pot.

Press Sauté and add olive oil to pot. Once the oil is hot, add tomatoes, zucchini, and artichoke hearts. Stir until softened (5 min.). Add the drained pasta and lentils chopped arugula and pesto sauce, tossing well to coat. Stir in Parmesan and pepper to taste.

pasta recipe Healthy One Pot Meal Recipes

Cauliflower Mac & Cheese

  • 1 pound whole-wheat or regular macaroni
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1-2 Tablespoons spicy brown mustard
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 pound fresh or frozen cauliflower florets
  • 4-8 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • parsley and pepper for garnish.

Pour pasta into the Instant Pot and add 4 cups water, soy sauce, mustard and salt. Stir well to combine, then add cauliflower on top without stirring so the cauliflower layers completely cover the pasta. Secure the lid and move the steam release valve to Sealing. Select Pressure Cook to cook on high pressure for 3 minutes.

When cooking cycle is complete, let the pressure naturally release 10 minutes, then move the steam release valve to Venting to release residual pressure.

When floating valve drops, remove the lid and stir the pasta well, breaking up any pasta that has stuck together or to bottom (which is normal). Use your spoon to mash any intact cauliflower florets against the side of pot to help them dissolve into the pasta sauce. They will be hidden as part of the sauce.

Add the Cheddar and Parmesan and stir well. Adjust seasonings as needed.

Judy Olsen’s Boat Décor LLC Covers All Your Boat’s Needs

before after Judy Olsen’s Boat Décor LLC Covers All Your Boat’s Needs

Before and after

By Xander Thomas

The Clear Lake Area is one of the largest boating centers in the U.S.  With the number of crafts that take to our waters most of the year, given our lengthy warm season, someone must tackle the task of helping maintain these boats. Judy Olsen’s Boat Décor LLC is exactly the kind of place that can help these captains-at-their-own-leisure with all things canvas and upholstery for their boats.

“This line of work is definitely challenging but it is very rewarding to see the final product and that my customer is happy.” Olsen said, “We take pride in our work and provide excellent customer service.”

Judy has been in business for eight years, but she has been working with her mother as a seamstress since she was 15, and using a sewing machine since she was five-years-old.  She has experience with all different sorts of items and even used to make wedding dresses.

“I could not make any money making the dresses, I had maybe two orders” she said, “They were both very happy, but you cannot compete with China.”

Olsen’s current location opened in the summer of 2018.  She moved to this specific building because before her, it was another canvas shop and was already set up in a good way for her business. That made it easier to open shop right away, as there were already cutting tables and other items set up usefully for sewing. But getting her business set up in the exact spot that she wanted proved to be no easy task.

“As soon as I found out that they moved, I immediately called to get this spot, and was told that it had already been leased,” she said.

Business continued and Olsen secured a different location. Days later, she got a call that the deal on her preferred location had fallen through! Luckily enough, she was let out of her lease without a fee, and was able to move into the space that was already partially set up for her work.

She starting selling out of what used to be called “Sundowner Canvas” and that has helped her business.

“Sometimes people call the owners of Sundowner, and they say go to Judy, she does good work, she will take care of you,” Olsen said.

Before attaining a place to open business, Judy worked out of her own house, but that was not ideal.

“There was stuff everywhere. I only really had the master bedroom and kitchen for myself.”

She had a four-bedroom home at the time.  She was even having to cut materials out on the driveway.

Olsen does mostly work for boats, but she will make custom canvas pieces and even re-upholster regular furniture, if that is what the customer wants. She makes her own custom pattern for every item she does.

Boat Décor LLC crafts screens, furniture upholstery, custom covers for any part of the boat imaginable and bedding, such as sheets, pillows and even high-quality mattresses. They use top of the line marine products such as sunbrella, stamoid, strataglass, tenara thread, dot stainless steel snaps, and more.

A full list of the services Judy Olsen offers can be found at www.BoatDecorLLC.com. Call 281-928-8548 to chat about your boat or visit her at 900 Anders Lane Suite 11 in Kemah.

Fishmas Gift Guide

redfish earrings Fishmas Gift Guide

Gone Coastal Jewelry

Gone Coastal Jewelry features the highest quality nautical and coastal jewelry along with exceptional customer service. No matter which design you choose, their necklaces, bracelets, earrings, charms, pendants, rings and more fully embody the excitement, beauty and peacefulness of coastal life. GoneCoastalJewelry.com

columbia megavent2 Fishmas Gift Guide

Columbia Men’s Megavent™ II PFG Shoe

It dries quickly, drains water easily, and laces up fast. The latest Megavent™ hybrid shoe is made for the professional angler who needs an outsole that grips when wet, an upper that resists stains, and an overall design that performs when the excitement hits. Gulf Coast Mariner put these shoes to the test all summer in Cabo San Lucas and during the Texas Billfish Classic. They are extremely grippy boat shoes that don’t sacrifice comfort or durability. Columbia.com

Studio Abachar Pinup Girl Stickers

Impressive vintage-styled stickers from world-famous marine artist Amadeo Bachar. These 8” Clear vinyl stickers are printed with white ink behind Amadeo’s fish illustration to preserve opacity and unmatched level of detail. Each is coated with heavy UV to stand up to the elements— rain, wind and sun without fading. Also available in prints. Visit studio-abachar.myshopify.com

Cold Steel Bird & Trout Knife

The Bird & Trout knife is a much loved, lightweight tool that is enjoyed by hunters, fisherman and outdoorsmen the world over. Its lightweight one-piece construction and its versatile, ultra-skeletonized sheath make it effortless to carry and a joy to wear all day long. Made of Japanese AUS 8A Stainless Steel. Overall length 6 5/16” Blade length is 2 1/4” ColdSteel.com

Avid Angler Jewelry

Avid Angler Jewelry provides unique, realistic jewelry that has been designed and hand-crafted by fellow fishing and hunting enthusiasts. Be it sterling silver or 14k gold, these pendants, charms, pins, earrings, bracelets, tie-tacs and rings can be created to customize your collection. These inshore or offshore pieces express a love of nature and the outdoors and make a perfect gift. @AvidAnglerJewelryDesigns

YETI Rambler Half Gallon Jug

With rugged construction, FatLid™ insulation and a stainless steel handle, the Rambler® Half Gallon Jug is built to take on the wild. Whenever and wherever you need it, count on an ice-cold (or piping hot) sip from your Rambler to come to the rescue. Available in 2 DuraCoat™ colors and stainless steel. Yeti.com

Avet Patriot Series Reels

Give the gift of American Pride! All of your favorite Avet reels are now available in red, white and blue. The 6061 T-6 marine grade aluminum frame proudly displays our flag and features an anodized finish for superior corrosion resistance. Avet reels feature precision machined stainless steel gears and components and are proudly made right here in the good ole’ U. S. of A. AvetReels.net

The Galley: Warming Foods

By Betha Merit

Hot food may refer to temperature, like a warm bowl of chicken soup or an aromatic cup of hot chocolate. What’s more fun is to combine that hot with spicy heat, for a warmth from your mouth to your toes experience. Chili style is a very personal taste and creative specialty. No beans, yes beans, and 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 alarm options. Personally, I’ve never met a chili I didn’t like. Nostalgia makes me remember chilly fall nights and my mom’s chili (with beans) served with saltines.

Jalapeño cheese cornbread and Mexican Caesar salad keep the heat going. Add a Margarita as the perfect cooling beverage pairing. Whether concocted with your favorite tequila with hand squeezed lime juice and agave syrup over ice, or using pre-mixed Margarita in a bottle, ready to pour over crushed ice. It’s all good.

chili recipe The Galley: Warming Foods

Becky’s Chili Beans

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 small onions, finely chopped
  • 1 chopped bell pepper (optional)
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 5 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 Tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne (or to taste)
  • salt/pepper to taste
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 (24 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (24 oz.) can diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (15 oz.) can drained, rinsed kidney beans
  • 1 (15 oz.) can drained, rinsed pinto beans

In a large pot heat olive oil over medium heat, adding onions, optional bell pepper and garlic. Sauté about 5 minutes. Add chili powder, cumin, cayenne, salt and pepper, stirring for 2 more minutes. Add the beef, brown and stir to break up meat into crumbles. Add all tomatoes and sauce, and beans. Bring to a boil, reduce to low heat, and cook for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.

mex caesar salad The Galley: Warming Foods

Mexican Caesar Salad

SALAD

  • 1 head romaine lettuce, torn into bite sized pieces
  • 1/2 cup cooked corn kernels
  • 1/2 cup black beans (canned), rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 avocado, peeled and cubed
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried chili flakes (optional)
  • 2 handful tortilla chips, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup grated cotija cheese
  • lime wedges, to serve

DRESSING

  • 1/2 cup Caesar dressing
  • juice of one small lime
  • 2 teaspoons cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder

Combine all ingredients for dressing into a shaker bottle or jar. Shake well and set aside. In a large bowl combine romaine and remaining ingredients, reserving limes and crushed tortilla chips for serving. Dressing may be tossed into the salad or set out for self serving along with the tortilla chips.

Easy Jalapeño Cornbread

  • 1 (8 1/2 ounce) box Jiffy cornbread mix
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 3 Tablespoons jar or can jalapeños, diced and drained well
  • 1/2 to 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

Combine cornbread mix, egg and butter in a mixing bowl.

Stir in remaining ingredients and mix well.

Place mixture in greased muffin tin or 8” by 8” greased pan.

Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes of until cornbread is golden brown.

Fishing Cabo San Lucas

Blue marlin, wahoo and scenic Pacific views from one of the world’s hottest sportfishing destinations.

Photography by Brandon and Meagan Rowan

pueblo bonito beach Fishing Cabo San Lucas

The Pacific thunders against the beach outside of the Pueblo Bontio Pacifica Golf & Spa Resort

mr cabo Fishing Cabo San Lucas

EL ARCO: Meagan in front of “Land’s End” – Cabo’s famous rock arch formation.

The sun rises over Cabo San Lucas as the sportfishing boats make their way offshore.

We were greeted with calm seas on our outing.

This marlin hit a naked caballito (Bigeye Scad) on the shotgun line and absolutely lit up with color next to the boat. Capt. Ramone and First Mate Julio of RedRum Sportfishing were absolute pros and put us on the fish.

 

My first blue marlin breaks the surface. Caught with RedRum Sportfishing on the ‘ReelRum’

A pair of remoras are revealed on the underside of this marlin.

 

This wahoo hit a skirted plunger on the port rigger line. We had unbelievable ceviche and grilled wahoo that night.

The Tarpon Inn – Port Aransas, Texas

38434508 2037057679639960 7928543258009927680 n 292x300 The Tarpon Inn   Port Aransas, Texas

A portion of the 7,000 scales hung up on the walls in the lobby of The Tarpon Inn. Photo: Kelly Groce

Tarpon, Texas

Port Aransas, Texas was once upon a time called Tarpon, Texas because of the large numbers of Tarpon being caught in its surrounding waters. In the early 1900’s, the word about the abundance of Tarpon in the area began to spread and fisherman from all over the country began making their way south to see for themselves.

United States President, Franklin D. Roosevelt was one of these fisherman. Prior to WWII in 1937, FDR came to Port Aransas on a mission to catch a big Texas tarpon. FDR and his son Elliott fished with the famous fishing guide, Barney Farley. Barney Farley was a guide and a brother to Fred Farley who designed Farley Boats. FDR caught a 4’, 80 lb. tarpon that day (pictured right) and apparently had a blast while doing so.

If you caught a tarpon back then, the tradition was to sign and date one of its scales. These scales were then hung on the wall inside of the Tarpon Inn. FDR continued with this custom and added his scale to the wall.

FDR Fish The Tarpon Inn   Port Aransas, Texas

President Roosevelt catching a tarpon on a Farley boat off the coast of Port Aransas in 1937 with famous fishing guide, Barney Farley. Photo: Doc McGregor

The Tarpon Inn was built in 1886 with surplus lumber from the Civil War barracks. The building became a hotel after it was first housed by men working on the south jetty in Port Aransas. It’s been a popular place for fisherman and visitors to stay ever since.

The Texas Historic Landmark, The Tarpon Inn, established in 1886. Photo: Wikipedia

The walls in the lobby of the Tarpon Inn are covered in over 7,000 tarpon scales (a portion pictured above). Each scale has the signature and hometown of the angler, along with the date, size and weight of their catch. It is truly remarkable to see this sort of history on the walls. There are scales from all over the country, even the world. The oldest scale dates back to the 1890’s. The most famous scale in the collection is the one signed by Franklin D. Roosevelt himself.

The Tarpon Inn is a beautiful and historic place to stay if you plan on visiting Port Aransas. You can walk to nearby restaurants and bars, and watch large tankers and fishing boats go by from your rocking chair on the long, sea breezy porch. The beach and jetty is also just a short drive away. The rooms are very comfortable, but do not have televisions or telephones that way you can truly relax on island time.

 

The Tarpon Inn
200 E. Cotter Ave.
Port Aransas, TX 78373
www.TheTarponInn.com or 361.749.5555

 

 

Olympia Grill opens its League City location this fall

kriticosbros Olympia Grill opens its League City location this fall

The Kriticos brothers, known for superb Greek and seafood in Galveston, will open Olympia Grill’s League City location at the end of September.

Island veterans bring award winning seafood to the mainland

By Xander Thomas

Doctors are now writing some patients prescriptions to eat at Olympia Grill.

Yes, according to Larry and Tikie Kriticos, they have seen this happen. “We’ve actually had doctors take a prescription pad and write ‘you need to eat at Olympia,’” Larry said. They say that because of the restaurant’s focus on healthy cooking.

“We try to, beside make them happy, cook a healthy dish for them,” Tikie said. “Our restaurants are low salt, we only use two oils, olive oil and canola, and there’s no trans fats in our cooking.”

They have always paid attention to health when it comes to their food. They don’t use preservatives in their fish and shrimp, and they only buy wild-caught.  How fresh exactly is the seafood, you ask? “When he came in the door, he was looking around,” Larry likes to tell customers about the fish.

The Kriticos brothers have been working in restaurants all of their lives, beginning when they were very young and helping out in their families’ eateries.  Larry says their father and uncle have always had nice restaurants in Galveston, and that’s “what we grew up in.” But they don’t completely follow their example.

Tikie says that at very young ages, he remembers unwrapping gifts Christmas morning, eating breakfast, and his father having him get ready to go to work.  So to give their employees time to be with their families, he says, since they worked so many holidays, they close Thanksgiving and Christmas.

The first Olympia Grill was opened in 2004 on the Seawall, and about five years later was followed by the location on Pier 21.  Now, finally, in 2018 we are getting a location on the Mainland, but the Kriticos brothers say this hasn’t been an easy task.

greek salad Olympia Grill opens its League City location this fall

Gyro Salad

Tikie says that the “official” opening of the newest location has already come and gone multiple times, but that they are now looking forward to the end of September.

The important question is…  What will be the incentive to get people into that door?  Tikie says the happy hour specials will do just that.

“During happy hour only, it’s not on our menu, but Greek nachos,” Tikie said enticingly “with corn chips and gyro meat and tzatziki sauce and cheeses.”

What makes the food appealing is the pair of restaurants’ multitude of awards.  For two years in a row, in 2014 and 2015, Olympia won Restaurant of the Year.  In 2013, it was honored for the highest quality seafood in the U.S., out of 35,000 restaurants.

If you miss happy hour, don’t worry, there are plenty of items on the regular menu the brothers feel confident will not disappoint.

“Baked stuffed shrimp with a butter wine sauce,” Tikie says is one of their top best selling items, “being Greek, our hummus is the No. 1 app.”

He also says the flaming cheese is “exciting” because it “comes to your table on fire.”

Although born on the Island, their family is straight from Greece.  They speak Greek, they cook Greek, and they were more than happy to settle the age-old question.  It’s pronounced Yeer-oh, but Tikie says if you’re American you can say Jy-roh.

Olympia Grill’s newest restaurant is located at 2535 I-45 South in League City. For more information, email OlympiaLC@olympiagrill.com or visit OlympiaGrill.com

The Galley: Texas Slam of Shellfish

By Betha Merit

On the backside of summer, we aren’t quite ready for comfort food with its payload of creams, cheeses and calories. So, what are we going to do with our haul of Texas shellfish? Make a one-pot spicy broth meal with all of it. Served with crusty bread and herbed butter, of course.

And are you still thirsty from the high heat? Let’s get creative with rum. Colorful drinks are a great, celebratory aperitif. For sure you can offer a simple rum punch of fruit juices and regular Bacardi. And for fun, try a layered drink with raspberry rum for a nod to the “red, white and blue.”

slam shellfish The Galley: Texas Slam of Shellfish

Oysters, Crab & Shrimp in a Spicy Broth

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 lb. cooked crab meat
  • 1 lb. shrimp peeled/deveined
  • 1/2 lb. shucked oysters
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add garlic, bay leaf, and crushed red pepper. Sauté about 1 minute. Add the wine and bring to a boil. Add the tomatoes. Bring to a simmer. Cook for 10 to 20 minutes. Stir in all the shellfish and basil, cooking for about 2-3 minutes. Serve immediately in bowls, with warm crusty bread and herbed butter.

herbed butter The Galley: Texas Slam of Shellfish

Herbed Butter for Bread

Soften 1 stick of butter at room temperature. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon of dried basil, thyme, or tarragon. Also, add 1/4 teaspoon of dried garlic powder. Tastes better if made ahead of time for flavors to deepen.

Rum Punch

For the minimalist! Fill glass with crushed ice. Add 2 ounces orange juice, 2 ounces pineapple juice and 2 ounces rum (plain, flavored, or spiced). Stir. Repeat as frequently as you dare.


Bacardi Bomb Pop

Fill glass with ice. Pour a splash of grenadine over ice. Add 1-2 shots of Bacardi Raspberry slowly over ice, then 2 shots lemonade, then 2 shots Blue Curacao. Slow pouring keeps the layers separate, which mimics your old time 3 layer popsicle. It’s tricky.