in [ ]
April 2012 Find out what's
Rambling on the Rio
takes a look behind the curtains of Laredo
Theater Group International. Take a look at
Youth Fascination Starring
Claud Perez Entertainment Ink Interviews Luis Elvis Salazar
Best of Laredo
Check out the latest
Check us out at inlaredomagazine.com
] AM Limelightâ€™s Spring Fashion Show.
Zapata County Fair
Jim Hogg County Fair
In Last Month
Ultimate Music Experience at South Padre Island UME Photos by: Rebecca Britt Photography
Editor’s Note: This month seems to be the start of a great summer. I know it’s not officially summer yet but it sure feels like it. There are many great upcoming events coming to Laredo and there will be plenty of amazing entertainment options to choose from. Laredo is always growing and I think this year is a tremendous year for our city. We’re getting a new golf course and a new stadium, both which will be completed soon. Now is the time to get out there and support these venues. There is so much to do in our city now so lets take advantage of it. On this issue we asked the question of if the upcoming Mass Chaos tour would be the last rock show. The truth is there is a hunger for that type of genre of music in Laredo. Laredoans just need to show their support by purchasing their tickets early. The LEA offers great views from anywhere in the facility. Why go to the SBC in San Antonio and pay $60 for sky high nose bleeds when you can enjoy better seating right here at home? Do you really want to fill up your gas tanks when gas is nearly $4 per gallon? I’d rather drive 15 minutes to get to a venue here in town and not have an atrocious time finding parking. In reality we have it easy here so lets take advantage! We have a great issue ahead for you and next month’s will be even bigger. I simply cannot wait to share what’s in store of you. We’ve had great feedback about our premier issue and we cannot thank you enough Laredo. I will see you out at the Rattlesnakes games, the Lemurs, and all other events. See you there! Ambrose Lerma Jr email@example.com
Rambling on the Rio
In Theatres This month we profile the up coming horror film, Cabin in the Woods and review last month’s John Carter.
All the world’s indeed a stage. Laredo Theatre Group International has raised the bar by greatly expanding the scope of theatre works in Laredo.
Pg. 8 The Southbound Music Fest is over. We recap the highlights in case you missed it!
Pg. 10 Is your full coverage insurance really full coverage? Find out!
Motion Sensor. The future of gaming?
This month we sit down with Luis “Elvis” Salazar for a look into this teen’s young entertainment career.
Laredo Golf Mecca. Laredo inches closer to a new golf course opening.
Pg. 14 Best of Laredo This month we feature the Sweet Pastry Shoppe, Pizza Ricco, and Obregon’s.
Cover Story: The Last Rock Show?
What can you do to help choose the entertainment that is brought into the LEA? You have the power. PG. 24
Youth Fascination Profiles
Claud Perez A deeper look into some of Laredo’s beauty.
Monthly Calendar PG. 30
Drink Laredo Happy Hour Guide
PG. 31 5
Rambling on the Rio By: Chris Morgan
“All the world’s indeed a stage…” Admit it, if you’re a fan of the rock band Rush you’ve already completed the above lyric in your head. And, those who have studied a bit of literature will also know that Neil Peart’s lyrics paraphrase Shakespeare’s “All the World’s a Stage” monologue from As You Like It, one of the Bard’s lesser known works, certainly lesser known than this very familiar line. Shakespeare’s monologue goes on to show the parallels that a stage play has with life, how all of us are merely performers in this great big production about the human condition. And, to turn the metaphor on its head, this living quality is what makes attending a theatrical production such a unique event compared to other forms of entertainment. Once you’ve been to two or three plays or musical productions, you notice that while the actors don’t interact with the audience, they are very aware of its presence. And that “sharing the same moment” feeling draws you in to where you think, no, where you FEEL they’re performing just for you. I first became addicted to theatre in my mid-twenties after attending plays produced by the members of Laredo Little Theatre. Soon, other groups began putting on productions and there was a bit of tension as the competition for Laredo’s fledgling live theatre audience heated up. 6
Over the years the tension eased as groups came and went or merged and a sense of cooperation came to be felt in the community. Because, at the end of the day, it’s all about the work, and Laredo certainly has acting, production and writing talent to keep the theatre community growing. One such merger led to the formation of Laredo Theatre Group International (LTGI). Led by co-founder Joe Arciniega, LTGI has raised the bar by greatly expanding the scope of theatre works produced for the Laredo stage.
This increased level of cooperation will lead to further growth in the quality and variety of theatrical shows presented in Laredo’s many fine venues. I hope this growth also leads to a growth in not only audience size, but those interested in the productions themselves, whether it be on the stage or behind the scenes, a growing, vibrant theatre community is something every Laredoan should be proud of. Keep laughin’, amigos.
The first difference one notices about LTGI is the ambitious reach in terms of the works selected for production. My first experience with LTGI was when I noticed an ad in the Fall of 2009 that they were putting on Man of La Mancha, the 1960’s era Broadway musical based on Cervantes classic novel, Don Quixote. My first thought was, “Wow, I wonder how they’ll adapt such an elaborate production for a Laredo stage.” Ha! I soon learned that the “Laredo stage” used for this show was the newly constructed state of the art theater located in the Center for the Fine and Performing Arts building at TAMIU. As the program for Man of La Mancha pointed out, this was the premiere show in this wonderful venue. As I settled in my seat and took in the wonderful surroundings, I knew something I hadn’t experienced in Laredo was about to happen. During the opening scene, the elaborate accuracy of the costumes, the detailed set, and especially the live orchestra gave me a “We’re not in Kansas anymore” feeling. This wasn’t just the next step in the evolution of the Laredo theatre community; this was a leap… a surge, if you will, to a level of quality entertainment Laredo stage aficionados have been craving. Since then, LTGI has put on several ambitious shows to the delight of their patrons, leading up to their recent production of Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Given their success, one might expect LTGI to act as if they were the only show in town. But to quote Shakespeare again, “ay, there’s the rub.” I have noticed a fantastic level of encouragement and support from the LTGI members towards the members of Laredo Little Theatre and other theatre groups and students, and I’ve been glad to see the support and respect is mutual.
Photos Courtesy of: Armando Lopez
In Theaters Photos Courtesy of Lionsgate
Cabin in the woods It has been nearly three years since production was completed on this horror project. You might say to yourself, “Wow!” It took three years to wrap up a horror movie? This must be an epic movie right? The Cabin in the Woods was produced under the studio MGM back in 2009. It was originally set to premier across the country on February 5th, 2010. The film was then delayed almost another year, when it was pushed back to January 14th, 2011, all with the intention of giving the film a post-converted 3D treatment. Then the inevitable happened, MGM declared for bankruptcy. A few months later, the studio was forced to sell the rights to Lionsgate, which then decided to hold the release of the film until April 2012. The Cabin in the Woods is co-written by Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard. The film’s co-producer, Joss Whedon has a bit of a cult following by TV fans of
By: Vincent Moreno IN THEATERS April 13th NATIONWIDE
such shows as, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” the prematurely canceled “Firefly” and the feature film, “Serenity.” For those who love Pixar, Whedon was also a co-writer to the screenplay of the first “Toy Story” film. For director Drew Goddard, writer of the low-budget box office hit “Cloverfield,” this marks his directorial debut. Chris Hemsworth (Thor, Star Trek), leads a relatively unknown cast of TV actors, for the exception of actor Richard Jenkins, who is an Academy Award® nominee for the film, “The Visitor.” He recently appeared in another praised re-make, “Let Me In” in 2010. A couple of notable crewmembers are cinematographer Peter Deming, who is a frequent collaborator of Wes Craven, and composer David Julyan, who scored has worked closely with director Christopher Nolan. 8
As of now, the horror film has been given early praise by those critics invited to advanced screenings. Peter Debruge, a film critic for Variety writes, “not since Scream” has a horror movie subverted the expectations that accompany the genre to such wicked effect as “The Cabin in the Woods,” a sly, self-conscious twist on one of slasher films’ ugliest stepchildren: the coed campsite massacre”. We may arrive to the cabin with some familiarity of what’s to come, but we have no idea how the game will play out. So hold your popcorn tight, this one should be interesting! THE CABIN IN THE WOODS Dir. Drew Goddard Rated R for strong bloody horror violence and gore, language, drug use and some sexuality/nudity. (Motion Picture Association of America) www.discoverthecabininthewoods.com
Last Month Reviewed John Carter The movie wasn’t preaching to re-invent the formula of the Sci-fi genre, but director Andrew Stanton chose to stay as faithful to older source material as much as possible. John Carter was thoroughly entertaining, providing much humor, via Woola, the comic relief reminisint of Jar Jar Binks in the Star Wars prequels. John Carter is a fun adventure, filled with thrilling action sequences, epic landscapes, and an added dimension aimed to transport moviegoers deeper into the world of Barsoom. The visual FX is one of two technical merits of the feature, as you will notice where most of the budget of the film was entrusted in the CGI department. The second, is composer Michael Giaccino’s inspiring and most entertaining score to date. Can Oscar nominations for VFX and original score be possible? We’ll see next year. It was by far Stanton’s biggest gamble to date, undertaking one of the biggest live-action film projects in the history of cinema. The film didn’t suffer any deficiencies from a director whose primary platform is animation, but the film isn’t perfect by any means. It is an admirable effort on Stanton’s part, and on the most part, a very strong picture. I’d welcome a sequel, but as it turns out, the domestic moviegoers didn’t flock to Carter in theaters, which makes it one of the biggest box-office disasters to date. Ironically, it’s Carter who needs a savior, and the Disney studios only hope for a financial rebound, is the foreign markets. JOHN CARTER is “IN” with a rating of (B-) 9
Review By Roland Ortegon
Last month, Chris MorganMoreno previewed B-Live’s epic By: Vincent revolution. Epic it was. Their Southbound Live Music Fest featured indie (independent) music and rocked Laredo’s Old No. 2 for four dates from March 10th19th. The revolution’s pre-party opened appropriately with local rock/blues unit Stereophonic Revival. Along with Austin’s Pillow Talk, a calming combo of folk and fun, this first night foreshadowed an unforgettable festival. Officially beginning the B-Live show were fellow Texas capital dwellers: The Shivery Shakes. Dressed in denim and shades, their old fashioned, echo-effect tune “Wait” sock hopped like malt shop rock. After attacking a Mickey Mouse piñata, their retro ride lead to California quartet: Bleached. Gritty guitars and catchy choruses emitted from badass, head-bobbing, shoulder-shaking blondes. An extended “Searching through the Past” erupted before an explosive encore. By this point, the crowd was sweetly soaked in slurring spirits. Suitably, San Antonio’s facial-haired, four-piece Hacienda went well with beer. Their soulful vibe and completion of Shivery’s Mickey murder created calming, comical closure to Southbound’s first night. Night 2 and no piñata in sight: just casually crowded locals enjoying a dynamic set from The Kingston Springs. Alternating singers and instruments including horns, banjos, and percussion displayed dynamic folk rock variation. Variety unfolded further with B-Live’s next “band.” Replacing multiple members with keyboard contraptions, Class Actress shined in a dual Brooklyn Broadway show. Their pop blasts and dreamy
trances enchanted Laredo’s dancing masses. With the 80’s part of the party completed, J. Roddy Walston and the Business’ loud, proud sound stormed the Southbound stage. This Baltimore brand of rowdy rocking roared with revolution. Only slightly reducing their rioting resonance was “Brave Man’s Death,” a passionate track highlighting Billy Gordon’s groovy guitars gliding alongside Walston’s wall-shattering wails and playful piano piece. The ballad’s bittersweet vibes addressing dying with dignity resurrected after chaotic, crowd-moving closer “Used to Did.” Night number 2’s nightcap meant the revolution rested in peace for the next 96 hours. But B-Live were only halfway done delivering a dignified assembly of independent artists. The festival’s third show landed on St. Patrick’s night. Green garments looked great on Gateway city concert guests. As patrons tasted their jade stained beer, Pretty Visitors represented Laredo’s homegrown revolution. Fronted by local legend Tony Shepherd, their tight tunes rocked and resounded. Ensuing reverberations emerged next from Philadelphia. 5 members made Juston Stens and The Get Real Gang the lineup’s largest band so far. Impressively present was intense selection “In the Blink of an Eye.” The song’s fitting title reflected the swift, visual spectacle involving crowd-diving band members during their set’s end. Closing out Southbound’s last Saturday slot were Mannequin Men. These Chicago-based, playful rockers equally embraced their British-flavored punk sound among their inebriated Irish pride. Tossing back tequilas and mingling with audience members made Kevin Richard’s welcoming charm more remarkable than his wearisome, screech-10
mingling with audience members made Kevin Richard’s welcoming charm more remarkable than his wearisome, screeching squeals. Redeeming the reducing momentum for revolution were drummer Seth’s smoother singings. His happy lead on “Hobby Girl” refreshed scattering spectators now too busy crowding the back area to request an encore. Sadly, the only “Otras” heard demanded green beer. With Saint Patty suitably celebrated, Southbound’s sole remaining show could either repeat night number 3 ’s restraints or resurrect Laredo’s regular rock scene into a revolutionary renaissance. Which would it be? B-Live’s last lineup for “Laredo’s little music revolution” began with talented locals. Monday it was, but Automatic Weekend awesomely wailed like it wasn’t. Making that momentum morbid were Nashville’s The Black Belles: four ghostly, Goth girls wearing witch hats. “Cooky, mysterious, and spooky,” (Mizzy, 1964) These Maddams Family ghouls’ concise hauntings whirled with eerie organs while lively drummer Shelby Lynne’s piercing pounds completed their creepy sound. But the coffin couldn’t close without an anxious crowd chanting “one more song!” begging the Belles comeback. After appetizers of guitars and graves, hungry attendees awaited one more main course. The Strange Boys served up a comforting conclusion for Southbound. Heavenly harmonicas and mellow moods resembled true, relaxing Spring Break essence. Equally reflective were inspiring lyrics from “Brave” aptly summarizing B-Live’s ambition. “You gotta be brave” and take chances. Risks occur when promoting an independent rock festival for a city lacking rock radio. They’re even more abundant when attempting to revolutionize a musical movement. However, life without risks is a life with neither victory nor reason for celebration. And no celebrating means even less excuses to party. No doubt B-Live Promotions (BLP) presented a party of epic proportions. Yet, was it a revolution? It’s hard to say. Relevant revolutions take time. Easier said is that Southbound Live Music Fest remarkably reignited Laredo’s rock scene. Mostly recreational, slightly rebellious, and overall revitalizing, Southbound ‘s four-day festival reflected a musical revelation. With future gigs like Deer Tick’s May 1st date and more approaching, BLP is quickly becoming a beloved belief for those betrayed by replaced rock stations. Between B-Live and In Laredo, readers can be sure to behold the beginning of a revolutionary beacon of hope. Because witnessing the live experience is to truly experience life. 12
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By: Dora A. Juarez
In the entertainment world artists have been known to pay homage to late icons. A few examples range from covering songs to donning similar outfits. One of the most popular celebrities who are impersonated has been the late Elvis Presley. In a city like Laredo, Laredoans would be shocked to know that Laredo has it’s own Elvis impersonator, 17 year old Luis “Elvis” Salazar Jr. The Salazar family has been supportive of Luis’s choice to do Elvis impersonations around the Laredo area. Many observers wonder about how Luis got started impersonating “The King”. Luis agreed to share with us just his life and view as an Elvis impersonator. EI: Thanks a lot Luis for lending us your time here at Entertainment Ink. Just so people know, what is it that got you started as an Elvis impersonator? When I was around 7-8 years old my dad would listen to radio stations that would play all the oldies songs. During one of those days I heard the song ‘’Jailhouse Rock’’ and listened to the song. After-
wards I asked my dad who sang the song and he replied, a man named Elvis Presley’ who is considered ‘’ The King of Rock and roll’. I asked him if he would buy me his C.D, which he did. From then on, I would look for CD’S or even cassettes that contained his music. I even had my mom dress me up with an Elvis costume for Halloween. EI: What has been the biggest thing that’s happened to you doing your Elvis impersonations‘? Going to the American Idol auditions and reaching the 3rd round where I sang an Elvis song ‘’ Follow That Dream’’. There I performed for Randy Jackson, Stephen Tyler, and Jennifer Lopez. After my audition was over, Jennifer Lopez told me that I sing good, I have good hair, and I look good but to try again for the next season. It was a fantastic experience. Also at Los Fresnos Texas, they have a ‘’Tribute to Elvis Festival’ on January 8 for his birthday and in August 16, the day he passed away. This past January I performed once at noon and once again that 14
evening where there was a very big crowd. After my performance a lady from Canada came up to me and hugged and kissed me. She told me that if Elvis were still alive he would have been real proud of me.
For any events you can contact my representative at this number (956)-326-0880 or find me on Facebook which is ( Laredo’s Best Known Elvis Impersonator Luis Salazar Jr ) or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
EI: How have the people in Laredo and surrounding areas reacted to your impersonations?
EI: What would you like to say to end the interview?
Most people that see my performances actually think that I’m not singing or that I’m lip synching. Also I do get a lot of positive feedback which just fires me up and motivates me to do even better on my next performance. EI: In your way of honoring the King of Rock-nRoll, are there any habits or rituals you follow as Elvis Presley did? Elvis was very close to his mom and he would confide a lot of things to her. I seem to be like him in more ways than one. When he was very young he would sing at their church and when I go to church with my family I really feel all those songs deep down inside of me and I sing my heart out. My family and I do a lot of volunteer work and every time we visit a retirement home or adult recreation center there’s always 2 or 3 folks who are big fans of Elvis. Elvis would have been 76 years old this past January 8th. Some of the ladies come up to me and ask me if they can dance with me and I kindly say “of course my pleasure”. I have also volunteered at the Bethany House, Sacred Heart Orphanage, The Bikers 4th of July Get together, and the food bank to do fundraisers as well as many other local events.” EI: What is it that you want to achieve or leave an impression of when you do your shows? As an Elvis Tribute Artist I like to let people know that even though he’s been gone for more than 35 years his legacy will live on for many, many years to come. Even though I’m only 17 years old I love and cherish his music. I also send a message to youngsters, like myself, that we are all born with some kind of talent and that we just have to figure out what it is and work at it real hard. EI: Do you have any links that fans can check out or contact info for anybody who wants to know more about your or book shows?
First of all I like to say thank you to Ms. Juarez and to Ambrose for this interview on In Laredo magazine. Also I want to say thank you to my family who have been very supportive with my career. I want to say thank you to my brother Joseph who produced my first CD which we have on sale and thanks to all of the media for their support. Thanks to all of my Elvis fans and I hope to see you all in my future events. Even though I only have two years of experience in singing and performing publicly, I feel like a veteran singer because I love what I’m doing and I continue to practice day in and day out. One of my dreams is to sing live at either the Memphis Elvis festival or in Las Vegas.
Meeting the Salazar family was such a great experience in seeing a family providing so much love and support on helping Luis achieve his dream in honoring Elvis Presley. The family has made so many sacrifices and gone through financial difficulties but still manage to support Luis in pursuit of his dreams. Luis is looking for any donations or sponsors to help. If anyone is interested in helping the family out with donations, sponsorships, or if you’d like to book a shows please contact Luis. Thanks again to the Salazar family and I really hope that we see Luis again on American Idol as finalist or even as the next American Idol. Until next time this is your entertainment minion signing off, over and out! 15
Your Full Is
Coverage? “But my agent told me I had full coverage!” “Every policy has limitations.”
By: Fred Gonzales
The average consumer would think that they are covered fully should an accident happen especially if they purchased “full coverage” auto insurance. The reality is that purchasing auto insurance is like eating at a cafeteria. At a cafeteria, you can pick your choice of entrée, sides and desert. Perhaps you’re in the mood for chicken and not fish. You might want green beans instead of corn. Finally, you may want some apple pie and not cake. Like a cafeteria, with auto insurance, you can pick and choose the coverages that you want. 1. Every policy has coverage options 2. Every policy has limitations 3. Every policy has exclusions 4. Most policies do you not cover vehicles at re placement cost value. You can choose coverage options. A customer walked into our office the other day seeking “full coverage” auto insurance. He wasn’t happy with his previous company because that company denied a claim for medical bills that he incurred as a result of an auto accident. This is a scenario that we hear too often. I proceeded to explain that the reason his previous company didn’t cover the $5,000 hospital bill was because he didn’t purchase coverage for medical bills. I said to him, “you see here” pointing to his previous policy declarations page, “you weren’t paying for that coverage.” With a disheartened look, his rebuttal was (as it usually is), “but my agent told me that I had ‘full coverage’.” Here’s where I have to put my “teaching hat” on. I proceeded to explain that coverages like Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage are optional coverages and, in Texas, you have to sign rejection forms thereby rejecting those coverages. Then he said, “my agent just told me to sign a bunch of forms but I didn’t know what I was signing.” Unfortunately, this too is a common scenario. Every policy has limits. For example, if you purchase the minimum liability limits of say $25,000 for property damage to others and you crash into another person’s house and it burns, then $25,000 is all that the policy will pay. If $25,000 isn’t enough to repair the house, then you’re stuck owing the difference. Always ask for higher 16
limits. It doesn’t cost much to double or even triple your liability limit.
Every policy has exclusions. Whenever I talk to a customer about exclusions, I always remember the story of the businessman in Texas whose wife caught him cheating. The wife got so angry that she ran over him with her car. They tried to file a medical claim with their auto policy but the insurance company denied the claim because “intentional acts” are not covered. Her response was, “it was an accident.” The insurance company said, “You ran over him 12 times!”
If you purchase collision coverage for your vehicle and it is deemed a total loss, the settlement is usually on an “actual cash value” basis. That is, the insurance company will pay what it’s currently worth not the cost to replace it. That could present a problem when you owe more on your vehicle than it’s worth. If that happens, then you’ll be stuck with a balance owed to the finance company.
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In sum, these are just a few reasons why “full coverage” auto insurance does not exist. When you’re shopping for any insurance services, always choose someone who has the heart of a teacher that will always place your interests before theirs. Hopefully, you’ll have a clearer understanding of what coverage options are available so that you’ll make a more informed decision. For more information about insurance please contact Fred Gonzales at Alphasure Affordable Insurance Services. 956729-9500 or go by 1620 Chihuahua Street
Best of Laredo
Many of you Laredoans may be wondering where to get the best of the best of the best when it comes to dining, drinking, clothing, and other services. Well, we at In Laredo magazine & Drink Laredo.com are tired of not knowing where to get the best! It is up to all of us to submit our votes so that we can give credit where credit is due. You must be a registered user of drinklaredo.com in order to vote or nominate in a poll. We welcome you to the Best of Laredo and remember only you can choose the Best of Laredo. Who picks the winners?! Laredoans, who vote online at drinklaredo.com. You have the power to pick the best. It’s time to show appreciation and recognize the things, people, and places that make Laredo great. When does voting end? Voting ends on March 2013
The business/person I want to vote for is not listed as an option. Can I nominate somebody? Yes! Simply log into drinklaredo.com, find the poll in which you’d like to nominate somebody, type in your nomination in the “New: Submit your response.” box and your nomination will automatically be added. I’d like to see a new category, can I make a suggestion? We’d love to hear feedback on the Best of Laredo. You can contact us with your suggestions for new categories. If accepted, we’ll add it on next year and notify you of the decision. For more information about the Best of Laredo please contact us at email@example.com
Food Shops Drink Arts & Entertainment Around Town20
By: Jorge G. Guerra
Located at 1202 E. Del Mar Boulevard Suite # 105 Sweet Pastry Shoppe is located right next to Tonos Bar and Grill. I was unaware that they had been established for almost four years now the first time I visited in mid March. Their small pink sign never really caught my eye. Being a Hispanic male, let’s face it, I haven’t been programmed to be attracted to petite pink signs. Although, when I walked in it was apparent that many other Laredoans had been lured into the quaint Shoppe. It was barely four in the afternoon. Their sign indicated that they would be open for another two hours and had been operating since ten that mourning. Yet they were practically out of merchandise. As soon as I entered, I noticed another thing. The air was infused with delicious aromas. I smelled raspberries, lemon, chocolate, and apricot. The scent was mingling with strawberries, coconut, vanilla, and cheesecake. I looked up and saw their two flat screens. One on loop with footage of the Shoppe’s baked delights, showcasing their products and the other on cable. “We are baking at the moment,” the cashier informed me when she came out to greet me from the kitchen. “It smells wonderful in here,” I complimented. I continued to take in their décor. Clean, white wooden counters with spotless glass display the Shoppe’s unique creations. Where they were bare, the television show helped my imagination fill the shelves. “Man you all pretty much sold out today.” The comment didn’t faze the cashier, as if that was the norm. I didn’t know if she was just a bit tired or if the grey walls were broadcasting a bit of gloom. She smiled quickly, and the warmth of the wood floors and rosy signs caught my attention again. “So what will you have?” I was asked. I looked at their menu. Glanced over the delicious pastries; none with prices over $1.25 except the tempting brownie. Thought about ordering a pie or cake to take home and share with the family. The flan at just $22 would’ve been my choice if I were leaning towards a big order. Browsed through the selection of nineteen assorted cup cakes, and decided I would choose this appealing sweet. Which one did this writer choose? “Red Velvet, if you please.”
Best of Laredo Nominee
Sweet Pastry Shoppe Category: Desserts
Sweet Pastry Shoppe 1202 E. Del Mar Boulevard Suite # 105 Monday- Saturday 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.. 956-796-1213 Log on to drinklaredo.com and vote for Sweet Pastry Shoppe under the food category for best desserts!
By: Jackie Verastigui
Living in a city dominated by fast food chains it’s difficult for people obsessed with food to find a unique, one of a kind dining experience. When it comes to Pizza, most consumers are dedicated patrons of national pizza chains that can leave a generic taste in your mouth. Laredo’s Pizza Ricco has re-opened under new management to continue to bring you their 24” GIANT pizza, the biggest pie in Laredo, and arguably the best pizza crust and sauce in town. New owner, Gerardo Lanz, has brought great changes to the restaurant including delivery around a 3-mile radius of Springfield. In addition, customers can expect the same great taste and revamped specials. Lanz hopes to make Laredo fully aware of Pizza Ricco by stepping up in advertising. The quaint restaurant offers an atmosphere that is bright and inviting with a cheerful dining area decorated in a bright Italian wall color scheme. The size of the restaurant is perfect for meeting someone up for lunch, a fun date, or even a small, intimate birthday get-together. Their 2 flat-screens televise cartoons as Pizza Ricco pushes for a family friendly atmosphere. Cooper, Juan, or Alma, personable Pizza Ricco employees, can be seen meticulously hand-tossing the dough and working on orders. In full view is the prep area where you can get a clear view of the cooking process of your pizza. You can even stare impatiently as the oven holds your pizza hostage. Most people can eat half a pizza with the right hunger levels but with the same amount of hunger Pizza Ricco can fill you up with two slices! Pizza Ricco hears constant positive feedback on Facebook and in-person from their following of regular customers; they are in love with the thick and hand-tossed crust! The Pizza has a great and filling dough that people who love thin and deep dish crust can both enjoy. The pizza is topped with a one-of-akind pizza sauce recipe. Pizza Ricco carries specialty pizzas, efficiently named, “Eatza Meatza” and “Veggie Weggie” and “Peppy More.” Besides the expected ingredients, Pizza Ricco also offers obscure topping such as anchovies and shrimp. They also boast a variety of menu choices including pasta, paninis, desserts, ice creams, and buffalo wings. However, Pizza Ricco makes it acceptable to eat dessert first with their winning menu item, their cinnabread dessert. It is the distant cousin of the funnel cake as Pizza Ricco covers it in powdered sugar and serves it with a caramel or chocolate dipping sauce. Customers may want to be aware that Pizza Perfection has a wait time, but as Cooper says, “customers go away pretty happy.” Pizza Ricco has been open for a few years, but don’t let their discreetly advertised pizza fool you: Pizza Ricco is one of Laredo’s hidden gems with a menu that can satisfy hardcore diners. Pizza Ricco is located at 5460 Springfield Ste. 108. Their operating hours are Monday – Sunday from 11:30 a.m. – 11:00 p.m. Orders can be placed at (956) 712-1099.
Best of Laredo Nominee
Pizza Ricco Category: Pizza
Log on to drinklaredo.com and vote for Pizza Rico under the food category for best Pizza!
By: Jackie Verastigui
It is okay to admit that Laredo is bombarded with a variety of Mexican Restaurants. Thankfully, there are certain restaurants in town that stand out. Gumaro Obregon, owner of Obregon’s Mexican Restaurant, finds that the excellent taste of his vast menu makes Obregon’s the best in town. The restaurant offers a casual dining experience with excellent service and fresh food at every visit. Regular customers rave over the excellent service, variety of plates, and Obregon’s affordable prices. The restaurant has customers in-and-out all day because of an allencompassing menu that includes authentic Mexican dishes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Laredoans who refuse to wake up before 12pm are in luck; Obregon’s offers their breakfast menu all day! Obregon’s is the perfect restaurant to cure the need for homemade caldo de rez or piping hot and flavorful menundo. Laredoans needing to fufill cravings for a tostada Siberia will be rewarded with a satisfying version of the beloved Mexican staple. Obregon slathers generous portions of aguacate and sour cream on their tostadas. In addition to these star menu items Obregon’s carries everything from breakfast tacos, marisco plates, and parriadas. All meal orders come with fresh salsa with chips; after placing lunch orders, customers can also expect a unique tasting, small soup or fideo to accompany their traditional Mexican plates. Obregon opened his first restaurant after years of experience in the restaurant business. His wife, Graciela, has helped him in meticulously overseeing the day-to-day running of their restaurant since 1970. They opened a second location five months ago at 303 Market St., which was formerly Las Cazuelas. The family continues to maintain the restaurants as family owned and operated. Their daughter, Jessica, manages the Market St. location. Their 42 years of success serving the city of Laredo is not only a product of their varied menu but their excellent service as well. The Obregon family is usually on-hand at the restaurant overseeing that their wait staff live up to their friendly and attentive reputation. The great service coupled with their location, right off of Interstate 35 and Saunders, has begun a tradition of Paisanos who stop yearly at the restaurant on their holiday excursions to Mexico. Keeping with their cheerful and friendly atmosphere, Obregon’s is a great place to meet up friends for lunch or taking the family out after religious services; the restaurant is well known for wallet-friendly prices. The restaurant also caters to the technology crazed customers by offering Free WIFI. The restaurant is intimate and charming, and has a color scheme that is a nod to customary Mexican décor. The restaurant is framed by huge windows that bring back the nostalgia of road side diners. The flanking of the restaurant by ripe banana trees and the lush baseball field across the streets can transport visitors to another time and place outside of Laredo circa 2012; the bring pop of vibrant green is worth the trip alone. Obregon’s#1 West Saunders St. (956) 723-6680 Obregon’s #2 303 Market St. (956) 462-5298 Log on to drinklaredo.com and vote for Obregon’s under the food category for best Mexican Restaurant!
Best of Laredo Nominee
Obregon’s Category: Mexican Food
By Chris Morgan
Choose How you can help bring the entertainment you want.
There’s an old joke about crooked elections that contains the punch line, “Vote early, and vote often!” Strangely enough, that’s not bad advice to keep in mind when buying tickets for the shows that you want to attend. Generally, venues such as the Laredo Energy Arena (LEA) work with promoters to bring events to town. The promoters assume the risk of paying the entertainers, renting the venue and incurring other costs such as marketing and promotion. In turn, they recover their costs and hope to make a profit from ticket sales. Sometimes, they’ll use advertising sponsors to help cover some costs but proceeds from ticket sales are the main moneymaker. So, what makes a promoter happy? Or at least less nervous? Ticket sales. Especially early ticket sales. Even if a promoter sells enough tickets on the day of the event to turn a profit, the anxiety caused by the uncertainty is more than enough to drive promoters crazy. When they put $100,000 or more on the line to produce a show, they want to see ticket sales and they want to see them early. If weeks in advance of the event they know they have a profitable show that frees them up to begin work on scheduling other shows. However, what too often happens is slow ticket sales cause them to increase their marketing and advertising costs and spend extra time right up until the day of the event to attempt to make the show a success. This type of stress does not make for a happy promoter. Laredo historically has a reputation of being a “slow sales” town. This is one reason why you and I have noticed nationally known acts play in Corpus Christi and the Valley while skipping Laredo. Some promoters just can’t risk losing the sums of money it takes to put on a show featuring the more famous entertainers.
Save the Rock!
One recent event at the LEA that had a smaller than expected crowd was the Bellator Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) event held in mid-March. What was surprising about the low turnout was Laredo has a strong MMA fanbase. Almost every UFC telecast brings standingroom-only crowds to local sports bars that show the fights. And, according to Xavier Villalon, General Manager of the LEA, those in attendance at the Bellator were 24
very impressed with the quality of the matches. Those that missed out on the Bellator matches have another chance to enjoy an evening of live MMA fights. If you’ve never attended a boxing or MMA fight in person, you will learn that there is an electricity in the air you won’t find if you watch the same event in a bar. According to Villalon, the LEA will be hosting another exciting night of MMA fights the last weekend in May. Although at the time this magazine went to press there has not been an official announcement, Villalon assured me that the promoter has faith that Laredo fight fans will support this event in such a way to encourage future MMA shows at the LEA. One concern that I had previously assumed would be huge for promoters was the fact that as of recently, Laredo’s only rock station switched formats. Because of the obvious musical tiein, promoters often advertised their upcoming concerts on radio stations that played the type of music put out by the artist in question. With no radio stations playing rock-n-roll, promoters don’t have the same incentive to advertise their rock concerts on radio. That has led many rock fans to speculate whether that will lead to a decrease in rock acts that come to Laredo. According to Villalon, promoters have long brought rock acts to Laredo, even when the only rock station in town featured classic rock. Promoters have utilized various methods of advertising to promote their shows. For example, print ads let fans know that the Mass Chaos tour will rock the LEA on April 25th. This show features Godsmack and Staind as co-headliners with Halestorm opening up the night of noise. (If you’re familiar with these bands, you’ll know I mean that in a
good way; a very loud, rocking, good way). When the show was first announced, local rock fans on Facebook were pumped to have such a powerful line-up come to our town. I mentioned to Villalon some of the concerns I have heard from rock fans who are worried that in the absence of rock radio, could the Mass Chaos show be the last big rock show to come to Laredo for a while? He was very direct when he said the best way to encourage a promoter to bring more rock acts in the future was to pack the house for the this concert. If a promoter realizes that Laredo can provide a sellout or close to it in the absence of having a rock radio station to help promote the show, then future events will be held. It’s that simple. Because of Laredo’s demographics and proximity to Mexico, Spanish-language acts have historically done very well when playing the LEA. The recent Manà show and the upcoming Gipsy Kings show on May 4th have had a strong response from fans. Granted, being able to draw fans from as far away as Monterrey helps tremendously, as does the large number of local fans that enjoy these genres. Also, Laredo has always strongly supported acts playing Tejano and Norteño music. Because they do not want to be left out, fans buy their tickets early, and they support almost every act that comes to town in strong numbers. These fans know what it means to buy early and buy often. Laredo has that potential for rock concerts as well. Granted, it will be a while before the rock fan base grows to the point where a fear of a sellout will drive rock fans to buy tickets on the day they go on sale, but we have the power to move in that direction. The
recent success of the Southbound Music Fest put on by local promoters B Live Entertainment demonstrated that Laredo rock fans will support bands they’re not familiar with. So, imagine what is possible when established, nationally known acts announce a concert date in Laredo? Through word of mouth, we can get friends excited about the shows and generate ticket sales and crowded venues…all of which is good for Laredo. In another move to secure a loyal fan base for LEA concerts and shows, the LEA has recently launched the LEA VIP Executive Club. According to Villalon, the goal of this club is to provide the frequent LEA patron with special amenities not available to the general public. Perks available to VIP members include access to presale tickets and preferred seating, access to an exclusive “no-line” VIP entrance to the arena and a parking pass, as well as “enhanced, personalized customer service”. Additional details will be available in an upcoming issue of In Laredo magazine. If you would like additional information before then, please contact Anissa Treviño with the LEA at (956) 523-7736. Concert promoters and local venue operators like Villalon of the LEA are doing their part to bring strong, high quality entertainment to our little corner of Texas. We want to encourage them to continue to do so, and to bring a wide variety of shows. And the best way to give that encouragement is to get your mouse over to www. ticketmaster.com for ticket and event information at the LEA and buy your tickets.
Of course, if you’re okay with trading away a little convenience to save some money you could always visit the LEA box office where the price you pay is the price shown on the ticket. No convenience charges, no additional fees. And now they’re even open on Saturdays. Visit the LEA webpage at http://learena.com for more information on box office hours and upcoming shows. So, you really do have the power to bring the shows you want to Laredo. All it takes is a little bit of effort, and a little bit of commitment. Think of it as investing in Laredo’s entertainment future. Buy your tickets early, and often.
Register now for Summer and Fall classes!
Laredo Community College 956.721.5109
Not afraid to break a sweat, Claudette “Claud” Perez, 20, is a girl who enjoys being outdoors. A sun soaker and hill climber, this free-spirited female is a rare one to find. Anthony Zedlav: How would you describe yourself? Claudette Perez: Well first of all I would like to say that I’m down to earth and fun. I love to see people smile so i try my best on making it happen. Zedlav: What do you do right now? Are you attending school? Perez: I am a full time student at Laredo Community College and I am currently employed at Rapture Retail & Resale and at times I work at Mellow Yellow Novelties. Zedlav: So you have two jobs? Does it ever get stressful? Perez: No, not really. Since i usually only work at Rapture it feels like a normal work week. Zedlav: What do you like to do here in Laredo? Perez: I like finding places that seem interesting and
adventurous enough for me to make a new memory. Usually places that are outdoors. Zedlav: So your an outdoor type of girl? What are you favorite outdoor activities? Perez: I like anything really, from being at parks, festivals, concerts, being at the ranch or going tubing. I just love nature and earth. Zedlav: We have a lot of festivals that go on in Laredo, which one would you say is your favorite? Perez: I would probably say the George Washington Celebration. Zedlav: Why? Perez: You get to see people gather around and enjoy what Laredo has to offer. The food, movement, local talent, and of course the Carnival! Zedlav: The carnival is the best part! Did you go this year? Perez: I actually didn’t. It was rainy and the weather didn’t seem welcoming enough, plus i worked. 28
Zedlav: Thats a bit of a bummer. So you said you like being outdoors, where outside do you usually like to be at? Perez: I have my secret spots that i can’t share [laughs]. Zedlav: [laughs] What about indoors, where do you like to go? Perez: I like to go to bars! I like anything that’s pretty chill and plays great music. Zedlav: Which bars would you say are good to go to in Laredo? Perez: I really like to go to Buckets, Hals, and Old no. 2. My fav would be $5 dollar pitchers on Tuesdays at Buckets! Zedlav: What is it about this city that you love? Perez: I really love the food. There is no place like home when it comes to mexican food. We literally have the best tacos!
Zedlav: Where would you say one could get really great tacos at? Perez: Breakfast would probably be Paulitas, and Lunch or Dinner tacos would totally be Taco Villa! Zedlav: What are your future goals? Perez: I want to be clinical psychologist and I want to transfer to UTSA or TX State. I really want to enjoy life and do something where everyday I can say “ I love my job!” WIth an open mind and a laid-back personality, Claud is one girl who is down to pop open a beer and have an interesting conversation with. Adventourous and sweet, she is one girl who is beautiful both inside and out.
Calendar April, 2012 In Town Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Walk April. 14 Location: Texas A&M International University Join us for a fun 3-mile walk as part of the “Rock the Cure” Campaign. Registration begins at 8 a.m. Walk starts at 9 a.m. Student music recital April 17 Laredo Community College Time: 7:30 Third Annual Jazz Festival April 18 CFPA Recital Hall, Tamiu Free Time: 7:30-10:30 The Fantastics play Laredo community College April 19 & 21 at 7:00 pm April 22, at 3:00pm The Happen-Ins w/ The Blind Pets, and Somewhere In Between April 20 where: Average Joes Nothing More April 21 where: Average Joes $5 cover Laredo Rattlesnakes vs. Houston Stallions April 22 Laredo Energy Arena Time: 3:05 pm
Vallejo & Este Vato In Laredo magazine launch party! April 27 where: Average Joes
MASSCHAOS TOUR 2012 feat. Stained, Godsmack) April 27 Laredo Energy Arena Grupo Fantasma as Brownout April 28 where: Average Joes VMT Dance Concert Laredo Community College April 29 Fine Arts Theater $5 Deer Tick w/ Turbo Fruits May 1 where: Old#2 Tickets $10 blivepromotions.com Gypsy Kings May 4 Laredo Energy Arena
Out of Town Texas Burlesque Festival April 12 at The Marchesa Hall & Theatre, Austin, TX Age Suitability: 18 and up http://www.texasburlesquefestival.com Tickets at www.themarchesa. com Time: 7:30p to 11:30p
Strawberry Festival April 13, 14 & 15 Poteet, TX http://www.strawberryfest.org/
Zac Brown Band April 27 Cowboys Dancehall San Antonio, TX
Tyga April 14 603 Red River Austin, TX Time: 9:00 pm
Nocturnal wonderland texas April 27 & 28 Rockdale,Tx Tickets: www.Nocturnalwonderland. com
Evanescence April 17 801 Red River Austin, TX 7:00 pm - 11:45 Aaron Watson April 20 Cowboys Dancehall San Antonio, TX Austin Reggae Festival April 20-22 Auditorium Shores Austin Tx http://austinreggaefest.com/ Mike Epps: I’m Still Standing Tour April 21 San Antonio, TX
Janes Addiction May 7 Lila Cockrell Theater San Antonio, TX Pachanga Latino Music Festival May 11 Feat: Calle 13 & more Fiesta Gardens Austin, TX pachangafest.com To add your event contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
R3hab April 21 Cine El Rey Mc Allen, TX Eddie Vedder April 25 Lila Cockrell Theater San Antonio, TX The Black Keys with Arctic Monkeys April 25 Frank Erwin Center 1701 Red River Austin, TX 78701 Time: 7:30 pm
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Happy Hour Guide Agave Azul 120 West Village Boulevard, -(956) 7222985 Tuesday Karaoke 11-12 pm Happy hour all week 5pm-8pm Thursday- Djs, Electro house Friday- Indoor and outdoor Djs (college night) Saturday- Everyone Classy night AJi 120 West Village Blvd. Ste 115, 956.725.2900 Happy hour 6pm-8pm Applebees 7601 San Dario Ave, (956) 725-9900 Every Tuesday *girls night out* $10 bottle of Barefoot wine 3-6 pm & 9-close Everyday Half on appetizers Everyday Domestic Brewtus $2.99 Monday & Thursday $2.99 Long Island. Thurs Karaoke Average Joes 9652 McPherson Rd., (956) 724-6767 Happy Hour everyday from 5pm to 10pm it’s $2 dollar you call it’s. Sun- Thurs 10pm to 2am $2 dollar bud, bud light, Miller lite, Coors Lite and Select and $4.00 you call it’s. Karaoke Sun-Thurs 10pm to 2am Chelseas 1308 Iturbide Street, (956) 727-3009 Thursdays and Sundays buckets $12, well drinks $3 and cucumber martinis $3 beer and drink specials are all nite Chilis Grill and Bar 5702 San Bernardo Ave, (956) 725-9939 Happy hour Select Domestic Beer Regular $2.25, Large $3.25 Classic margarita $3.99
Cowboys 1406 Jacaman Rd Happy hours : (8pm-2am) SundayWednesday, (8pm-11pm) Thursday- Saturday Djs Republic 401 Shiloh,(956) 243-2808 $1 drinks Happy hour 5-10 p.m. Hals Landing 6510 Arena Rd, (956) 727-4257 $3 all day everyday Hayashi 5706 San Bernardo Avenue, (956) 723-8822 Domestic Beer $2. House sake $4. House wine $4 Martini $5 (komoto Dragon, cucumber, watermelon,carribbean, sour apple, pomegranate, squeeze tini) Lavish 1701 Jacaman Rd, 956.283-5737 weds. ladies $2.00 u call it,guys $3.00 u call it Thursday $3.00 u call it before 12:00 Fridays and saturdays $3.00 u call it before 11:00 Logans 5300 San Dario Avenue, (956) 728-8513 Happy hour 3-6 pm & 9-close 22oz Drafts $2.99 Budlight, Budweiser, miller light, coors light. House margaritas $1 off. Well drinks $1 off Wine $1 off Nectar Art and Wine Gallery 1406 Jacaman Rd Mon, Tues, Weds 4pm- Close $2 Domestic, $3 Import, $4 You call it Weds, Thurs, Fri After 11 pm $3 you call it Saturday 4-10pm $2 Domestic, $3 Import, $4 You call it
OceanDrive Bar: House specials $3 you call it. $6 Liter FridaySaturday. Old #2 313 W Village Blvd, (956) 722-3371 Live music every Thursday Friday and saturday. $3 Jack Daniels everyday Texas Road House 5722 San Bernardo Avenue , (956) 7271164 3-6 pm Monday-Thursday 22oz Draft beer Miller,Budlight, Budweiser, Michelob ultra Happy hour: 10oz margaritas $2.49 TKO 4100 San Bernardo Ave,(956) 729-8700 Happy hour open-9pm $2.50 Domestic pints, long necks, well drinks. Margaritas $3 premium Tuesday- 9pm-close $2.50 domestic, $2 wells/pints/Long island. Shots: $3 Jager Bombs, $3 Royal F*ck Ladies: $3 appletini, $3 Rasberry margarita Wednesday: $2.50: Bud select. $3: well drinks, Jager shots $4: Bull Blasters, Purple Geckos, Royal Fucks, Sex on the beach Thursday Karaoke 9pm- 1am Xoticas 8307 San Lorenzo Dr ,(956) 728-7529 Mon- Fri Happy hour 5-7 p.m. No cover Half Price drinks Tuesdays: 2X1 Dances
Cover story on the Laredo Energy Arena