March 2017

Page 1



By: Alexis De Leon

By: Desiree Arnold


Burger Capital

The Heisenburger from The Post at Lamar Park



of Texas

2 The Bend

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THE COMPLETE SOLUTION FOR LASER HAIR REMOVAL Virtually painless Proven safety record All skin types, even tanned skin

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Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck) Abdominoplasty is also known as a tummy tuck and can have very dramatic results in improving the contours of the abdomen. It is often required to correct the changes that occur after pregnancy and involves removal of excess abdominal skin, tightening of the muscles and repositioning of the muscles. Because of the muscle tightening, returning to the gym should be delayed for six weeks after surgery. While liposculpture (also know as lipo or liposuction) can give you great results in improving the curves of the abdomen, it can leave excess skin that requires a tummy tuck to correct, and liposculpture does not tighten the muscles. If love handles also need to be corrected, then liposculpture can be done with a tummy tuck to dramatically improve and rejuvenate the entire trunk. Umbilical hernias can and should be treated at the same time and a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon is very capable of this. A mons lift to correct the sagging of skin below the abdomen can also be performed concurrently. It is very important to make sure your surgeon is well trained, has completed his/ her residency successfully and is board certified. Interestingly, there are surgeons who do not fit the above and still practice surgery and it is important to check credentials well. In plastic surgery, a membership in the American Board of Plastic Surgery confirms that the surgeon has successfully completed residency, passed their board exams, and follow the high ethical and professional standards set by the organization. It is also important to make sure that you have a good rapport with your plastic surgeon and his/her office staff.

At The Corpus Christi Institute of Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery, Dr. Vijay Bindingnavele, MD, FACS, who is a board certified plastic surgeon and a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, we put the patient first and strive to provide the best care with the highest standards and the latest proven technologies at the best value. Dr. Bindingnavele, has been performing these procedures in Corpus Christi for the past eight years.

Dr. Vijay Bindingnavele At The Corpus Christi Institute of Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery, Dr. Vijay Bindingnavele, MD, FACS, who is a board certified plastic surgeon and a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, we put the patient first and strive to provide the best care with the highest standards and the latest proven technologies at the best value. Dr. VJ, as he is known by many of his patients, has been performing these procedures in Corpus Christi for the past eight years. Dr. Vijay is a military veteran, from the United States Air Force, and is an active member of the Corpus Christi Community.

Dr. Vijay Bindingnavele Where Beautiful Results & Experience Meet.

4 The Bend

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Caring for a Loved One with a Brain Injury When a loved one has suffered a brain injury, a much-anticipated moment usually occurs when he or she is discharged from the hospital. It’s often a time of relief and excitement. It also will lead to a time of adjustment and change. To help your loved one with a return home, Corpus Christi Rehabilitation Hospital suggests: • Educate yourself about brain injuries. Look for local resources and join a family support group. • Provide structure and normalcy to everyday life. Establish and maintain routines. • Keep your loved one involved in family activities and communication. Treat him or her naturally. • Encourage your loved one to rest frequently to prevent fatigue. • Be respectful. Don’t talk down to your loved one. Value his or her opinions and preferences. • Talk simply. Use short and concise sentences. • Don’t compare current abilities to past abilities. Recognize present achievements. • Create a safe home environment. Remove loose rugs, clutter and electrical wires from walking paths. • Make sure rooms are well-lit, especially at night.



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Contents MARCH 2017 | The Burger Issue



Best Burgers

48 Wild Rag Vodka


Farm to Table

8 The Bend

[the lifestyle magazine of the coastal bend]

Monthly | Departments

Around the Bend 18 Style 22 Currents 26 Conversation 28 5 Best 30 Giving Back

Destinations 34 Quick Trip 36 Local Discovery

Health 54 Fitness 56 Be Well 58 Health Spotlight

Out & About 64 Arts & Culture 68 Celebration 74 Date Book 76 Social Hour

Cuisine 82 Farm to Table 86 Gardening 87 Dining Guide 88 The Drink 90 The Dish

History 96 Looking Back

Copyright Š 2017 Gemstone Media, LLC. The Bend: Coastal Life Magazine is published by Gemstone Media, LLC. No portion may be reproduced without express written consent. Editorial or advertising does not constitute advice, but is rather considered informative. Expressed opinions are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ownership.

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March 22nd 5pm - 7pm

PUBLISHER: Jordan Regas

CONTRIBUTORS: Justin & Kayla Butts Sharla Wilkins Jo Anne Howell Caroline Randall Freeman Jimmy Wilden Alexa Alley Alexis DeLeon Jinky Romero Desiree Arnold Jillian Becquet

ART DIRECTOR: Will Bowling

Wave Platter by Amy Lancaster Studio C Gallery, located within the Art Center of Corpus Christi, houses a variety of high quality, original artwork for your home or office, as well as, fine gifts and wearable art created by well respected Texas artists.


PHOTOGRAPHY: Jason Page Gabriel Mancha Dustin Ashcraft


Studio C Gallery


100 N Shoreline Corpus Christi, TX 361-881-8325






309 N. Water Street Corpus Christi, TX 78401 Phone: 361.792.3606



CONNECT WITH US @ @thebendmag on Instagram and Twitter #CBLife


Mon-Fri 11am - 2:30pm Sat-Sun 10am - 2pm

What's your favorite burger? #TBFavBurger

On the Cover

Catering Available! 100 N Shoreline Corpus Christi, TX 78401 361-882-2047

10 The Bend

The Heisenburger from The Post at Lamar Park was featured as one of the 50 Greatest Burgers in Texas by Texas Monthly last year. This juicy, house-blended patty is covered in sharp cheddar cheese and all the fixin's. If you think it looks delicious on the cover, you should try it in person. Photo by: Rachel Durrent

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Meet Our Pediatric Dentists

ties r a p ion ns t a u d gra s Reunio es Clas te Parti rties Privastmas Pa tings Chri ness Mee ners Busi arsal Din ering Rehe ption Cat Rece

Open for Lunch Mon - Fri (11a-3p)

After Hours & Weekends available for Private Parties & Events

Home of 9 All-You-Care to Eat Sides & Homemade Cobbler (while it lasts)

(361)884-4BBQ or

Maria B. Tiefenbach D.M.D.

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Nicole B. Pruitt D.M.D.

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Shanan Brown M.S. D.D.S.

As pediatric dentists, we focus on preventive care to help each child grow a healthy smile that will last a lifetime! • 361.992.9500

Located in Portland’s Exclusive Northshore Community...

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March | Staff Note












From the Desk of

Whitney Noble, Managing Editor Issue at a glance: “Beef, it’s what’s for dinner.” Did you know that this slogan is recognized by + Comprehensive Consultations + Microblading + Feathering + Minimal Discomfort + Color Matching + Sanitary

TINA LAIN Cosmetic Tattooer

Licensed certified intradermal technician specializing in creating beautifully structured eyebrows. The art of microblading is an advanced brow embroidery technique utilized to create a fuller brow. Tina has over 10-years of experience in the tattooing industry with a strong eye for detail and a steady hand. Her talent and experience allows expert performance of her craft while ensuring the best quality in cosmetic tattooing for her clients.


1041 Airline Road Corpus Christi, Tx 78412


12 The Bend

roughly 90% of Americans? I’d place a bet that the statistic is higher here. In Texas, we raise and eat a lot of beef. So in this issue, we pay homage to the mighty heifer through a burger feature – it’s big, it’s beautiful, and it’s what's for dinner.

People you will meet: I am a hugger. There, I said it. If there were a 12-step program for hug

addicts, I definitely would have hit the acceptance stage. To me, a bear hug is synonymous with a handshake. I’m sure it shocks some that, upon meeting, they stick out their hand, and I go in hard for a “hold me” hug. Some quietly acquiesce until the pain is over as I let go; others fully embrace it. Nancy Weaver embraces. She and her line of footwear are giving back in a big way. We have been emailing for just shy of one year regarding the Giving Back story, but we just recently met for the first time. She came to my house to drop off a pair of her fab dazzle sandals, and the two of us nearly acted out a slow-motion run hug through a meadow. It was magical to finally meet someone who promotes such promise. She literally helps women get back up on their feet. She and her shoes sparkle.

Behind the scenes:

The Bend’s biannual AT HOME insert is particularly exciting to me. It brings my love for magazines and my love for real estate together in one gorgeous publication. From the day I started in real estate, one of the top agents in my office, Tara Gallaspy, took me under her wing immediately. She let me follow her, listen to her, watch her, learn from her. At the time, she was selling a home on El Soccorro Loop on the Island for long-time clients of hers, the Krischkes. The couple was so warm and fun and allowed me to help out where I could. They’d talk about their plans for the home, they’d bring in sample tile to choose from, show me photos of the incredible chandelier they’d bought – a gift for themselves when they closed. The Krischkes had such vision for the home, and I couldn’t wait to see the end result. Well, years later, it is exactly as they imagined – even better. Check it out in this issue’s AT HOME, and prepare your eyes for a party.

Parting thoughts: I grew up in the ‘burbs of Chicago, and Charlie Beinlich’s Tavern has been making the tastiest burger since the `70s. My mom and grandparents, Marnie and Bobcat, would take my sister and me there as kids. We’d order the shrimp cocktail, a cup of chili, and a classic cheeseburger, Rare – with a capital R. My mom always says “I draw the line if a good vet can save it.” We like to eat our red meat still mooing. My theory is simple: If the kitchen will not cook the burger rare, the meat is not quality. Coming to Texas, I have learned many things, one being that I can always have a rare burger. Eat up, Coastal Bend, because there is quality here.

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A. Spacious dinette in Teal & Cream, w/two-tone cushions, three picture windows, overhead storage, side shelf, home theater stereo & double-trumpet light. B. Galley w/microwave, 2-burner cooktop, power vent hood, two-door refridgerator & double-bowl sink w/hi-arc faucet. C. Crimson & Cream version of dinette, showing LED & double-trumpet lights, folding convertible table, & side shelf. D. Bedroom w/underbed storage, two windows, shirt closets, overhead storage, individual reading lights & HDTV hookups. E. Entertainment center w/HDTV option on swing-arm bracket.

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March | Letter From The Publisher


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ince my entry into the world of publishing, I have seen a lot of local magazines produce a typical “Burger Issue.” Often times, it starts with a group of writers and editors sitting around a table spatting off some of their favorite burgers around town and forming a list that hails as the “best burgers” in the region. This would have been the easy road for us to take. But as I sat at our conference table, staring deep into the whiteboard, it hit me that coming up with a list of burgers and calling it a day would not be doing justice to a city that put Texas on the national burger map. If you have lived in the area for ten days or ten years, you probably already know that Corpus Christi is the birth place of Whataburger, where patrons would bite in and proclaim “What-A-Burger!”. Perhaps it is the spectacular baseball park, Whataburger Field, or the lit-up double-decker Whataburger restaurant along Shoreline that gave it away, but it was probably one of the first things you learned about Corpus Christi. Whataburger first opened its doors in 1950 with a modest hamburger stand on Ayers Street, but this wasn’t just another hamburger stand. As is the Texas way, they wanted to make a bigger, better burger. You can read more about Whataburger and Corpus Christi’s burger history on page 39. But Whataburger is just the first stop on Corpus Christi’s tour of burgers. To say that Corpus Christi is the “Burger Capital of Texas” simply because of our affiliation with the most popular burger chain in America is a nice nod to our past, but

it completely misses the mark on all of the great burger joints that have opened their doors since. Snapka’s opened its doors in 1953, followed by Hamlin Pharmacy in 1960. Both are still cooking up fresh, juicy burgers today. And if you have not yet sunk your teeth in to one of Jesse’s delicious burgers at Hamlin Pharmacy, you are missing out! In fact, Hamlin Pharmacy was our reader’s choice winner for Best Burger in last year’s Local’s List reader’s poll. Wallbangers has been in our city since 1984, serving up thick, hearty burgers on homemade buns. Executive Surf Club opened up in 1990 when Brad Lomax reinvigorated Downtown Corpus Christi and reinvented the traditional burger. Today, there are a number of new burgers sizzling around this great city. With creative chefs like Robert Flores at The Post at Lamar Park, Kristoffer Busk with Prime, and Jason Johnson at Padre Island Burger Company, Corpus Christi is carrying on its tradition of cooking up bigger, better, tastier burgers more than anywhere else in Texas. Corpus Christi didn’t invent the burger, we just made it better. Our staff didn’t invent the “Burger Issue,” we just decided to bring you something with a little more meat and flavor this month. So dig in, and be sure to nominate your favorite burger joint or two for this year’s Local’s List, because when you live in a city like Corpus Christi, it’s hard to have one favorite. Jordan Regas, Publisher

Favorite Pages I am a big fan of history and a big fan of burgers, so reading about Corpus Christi’s history of burger joints is super intereresting to me. It’s really cool to see some of the old mixed in with the new. I can’t thank Sharla Wilkins enough for all of the time and effort she put in to writing this feature. By the time you are finished, I promise you will be craving one of Corpus Christi’s famous burgers.

14 The Bend

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16 The Bend

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Around the Bend MARCH 2017


What’s Inside Necklines are an important thing to consider when trying to look your best, whether it's on a date, at the office, or just walking your dog in the park. From high-collar to plunging necklines and everything in between, the myriad of styles available on dresses, blouses and tops of all kinds is astounding.

[the lifestyle magazine of the coastal bend]


Around the Bend | Style

Necks None TO

Build the most flattering wardrobe by diversifying your necklines. By: Jarred Schuetze Photos: Rachel Durrent “Buy less, choose well.” A quote by fashion designer and icon Vivienne Westwood. As seasons come and go and trends die out, an individual’s wardrobe starts to become an overcrowded blur of fabrics, patterns and colors; there’s nothing worse than wasting good closet space on unworn or unflattering clothes. If an article of clothing hasn’t graced your body in over a year, toss it out or donate it, because there’s a reason you’ve ceased to wear it – you probably don’t think it’s flattering. We all have our favorite article of clothing, and it’s worn constantly, maybe even once a week. Why? Because it likely compliments the entire body, which is why the old saying “quality over quantity” is words to live by. Challenge yourself to establish a wardrobe of a select group of garments that showcase your body in the most flattering light. One sure-fire way to build a unique style all your own is by diversifying your necklines. How do you know which necklines will look best on you? The only way to know for sure is to go out and try some on - classic trial and error. However, here are some things to think about when deciding which necklines to wear. How prominent are your collarbones? Is your neck wide or thin, long or short? How broad are your shoulders? The most important question to ask yourself is how are you wanting to highlight or de-emphasize a certain feature of your body. There's no definite answer when it comes to flattery, it's all about developing a style that makes you feel beautiful, confident, and most importantly comfortable in your own skin. Be different, be bold and keep an open mind.

18 The Bend

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A simple and guaranteed way to ensure a classic and flattering wardrobe is through the use of neutral colors. Neutrals are always in style and always in season.




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Around the Bend | Currents

Currents By: Jarred Schuetze

Pretend City

A 3000 sq. ft. child-sized pretend city, a first for Corpus Christi, recently opened as an addition to Play, an indoor family entertainment center on the South Side. “Pretend” features a miniature Grocery Store, House, Pet Hospital and much more. Children can shop for fresh produce and fruits and veggies at the Pretend grocery store. The city also features a real kitchen, serving up house-made gelato and fresh coffee selections during all open hours, while their full menu is available from 10am-1:30pm Monday-Friday and 1-8pm on Saturday. Who is ready for some fun?


Migrate to this Hot Spot

The newest establishment to lock in a space in The Shops at Oso Bay is Flock Bar. Set to open in mid-February, this new bar is located on Ennis Joslin and features countless draft beers, delicious “flocktails,” and live music. Imagine yourself surrounded by dark, rich native woods with wildlife aflight. Glance over to the massive old-world bookcase located above the 44-foot bar. Then be astounded by the giant disco ball and walls covered with televisions to enrich your bar experience. Relax playing a game of pool or darts and on select evenings, enjoy live music, karaoke and more. 22 The Bend

Located on Airline, Play-for-all Playground is the first structure in Corpus Christi that aims to be totally inclusive and provide opportunities for people of all abilities to play together and have fun. The park features equipment such as two zip-lines; one that a person can hang on to and another that a person in a wheel chair is able to transfer the line on a suspended chair. The playground also offers a cozy cove for children with autism who may wish to seek out a quiet and safe spot if the environment seems overwhelming at times. It will also include a Rhapsody Outdoor Instruments set that features drums, chimes and metallophones. The Corpus Christi Parks & Recreation playground is now officially open to the public.

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“Making Lives Better” “Making Lives Better”

Gabriel Lopez, M.D. Board Certified in Pain Medicine Fellowship Trained in Pain Medicine

Specializing in Interventional Pain

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Are you suffering from ChronicBoard Pain? Eligible in Pain Medicine Dr. Lopez may be able to help.

Fellowship Trained in Pain Medicine

• Treatment options include injections * that reduce orall alleviate Treating typespain of and/or chronic pain a variety of pain relieving medications * Most insurances accepted

* Both Drs. are to fluent in Spanish • Treating all types of chronic pain including, but not limited back, neck, joint, muscle, leg, arm, hip, knee, pelvic, abdominal, headache, shingles and diabetic pain.

• Accepting new patients by self or physician referral depending 3825 SPID Corpus Christi, TX 78415 on insurance.

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• Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery • Certified by the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery • Certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery

HERVE F.GENTILE MD, FACS A BETTER YOU COSMETIC SURGERY & LASER CENTER Clinical Assist. Professor of Surgery (Plastic Surgery), Medical College of Georgia


Membership matters:

Dr. Gentile is member of the elite American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and others too many to mention. He is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

24 The Bend

Did you know that in most states including Texas, any licensed physician can perform cosmetic procedures without being Board Certified in Plastic Surgery? Cosmetic surgeons such as Dr. Gentile have completed rigorous training in facial plastic surgery and plastic surgery. It is incumbent upon YOU to check that your surgeon is indeed Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. WHY choose Dr. Gentile? … He has over 30 years experience in Cosmetic Surgery. His surgery skills leave patients not only looking and feeling younger, but the true artistry of a skilled surgeon’s hand leaves patients with a more natural, youthful look. When you decide to have plastic surgery, it is because you want a specific outcome…and this outcome is dependent largely upon which plastic surgeon you choose.

Dr. Gentile has been practicing exclusively cosmetic surgery, as well as non-surgical cosmetic treatments for over 30 years employing the latest techniques. His concern for safety led him to develop the first in-office accredited surgical center in South Texas 20 years ago. Dr. Herve Gentile is widely recognized as one of the nation’s top plastic surgeons with the nation’s highest credentials. He is nominated by the American Registry in the top 5% of America’s most honored professionals. Dr. Gentile is listed by Best Doctors©, Consumer Research Council of America©, and Castle Connolly’s Top Doctors© guide, as well as, many other professional accolades. All of these are chosen by an impartial resource that catalogs the top quality doctors after peer nomination with an extensive research and screening process.

Discover how you too can look great by simply calling (361) 881-9999 for a consultation.

We invite you to learn more through our website: *Financing available and all credit cards are accepted*

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Around the Bend | Person of Interest

Conversation with CoCo on the Radio

Embracing a sweaty Willy Nelson and holding Tim McGraw like a baby are just the beginning of CoCo’s story. By: Jordan Regas Photo: Gabe Mancha

Where did the name CoCo come from? I say that my Grandma gave me the name, but that’s not where the name came from. It just got picked up in radio school. When I went to radio school, I was the only girl in my class and you have to come up with a radio name and it was DJ Miss. Coconuts. I dropped the “nuts” after I graduated. I didn’t think it would ever stick, but I have been CoCo now for about 17 years. Everyone thinks it’s my real name, so if any one asks, it is on my birth certificate.

What are you doing when you’re not on air? I recently got this dog. He is a rescue, and he changed my life. So when I would normally be watching hours and hours of reality TV, I will take him out to the Oso Wetlands trail. His name is Tupper, as we found him here on Tupper Lane about nine months ago. I think he saved me more than I saved him.

Did you always dream of being a radio personality? I did a research paper in high school during

26 The Bend

my senior year over careers, and everyone was doing doctors and lawyers, and I was like – boring. It was so cookie cutter. So I started doing research on people like Howard Stern, because I knew I would love to do that. My teacher didn’t give me a good grade. She said it wasn’t a real job. Now I am like ta-da, here I am.

Would you consider yourself a morning person? Adjusting to the morning show was very difficult, because I went from Happy Hour and getting home super late. So when I started getting here around 4:30am, I was like, what the heck. But now I am used to it. It takes a lot of caffeine and tacos, if there is free food here, we are like wolves getting over to that break room.

What do you love about country music, and who are your favorite artists? I love the stories, and now that I am married I hear a song and I am like, that’s my husband. My husband and I danced to “Then” by Brad

[the lifestyle magazine of the coastal bend]

Paisley when we got married. I love Taylor Swift, I know that she is a teeny bopper, but I like her. I also like Willy Nelson, and Merle Haggard and Johnny Cash. If I’m not listening to K99, then I am either listening to Christian music or I Heart the `90s on the I Heart Radio App. I just love when it tells a story or it reminds me of my husband or my mom or a best friend.

What has been your coolest celebrity experience? The first time I met Willy Nelson was ridiculous. I was 21, and I remember he was so sweaty when he finished playing at Carl’s Corner. When he hugged me I kind of touched my face to his cheek and I remember thinking, I am never going to wash my face again. It had Willy Nelson’s sweat on it. Then I got to pick up Tim McGraw like a baby a couple years ago. I literally picked him up, and that was my meet and greet picture. I have a picture of Tim McGraw in my arms, holding him like a baby. Everybody was shocked. Miranda Lambert was a bartender backstage one night. That was cool, but I ordered a Sprite.


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Around the Bend | 5 Best




“A burger in need deserves French fries indeed!”

French Fries

Turns out, they aren’t even French! Though we have Americanized them primarily as a side to hamburgers and such, we have Belgium to thank. It all started as early as the 17th century when the Belgians would fry up small fish as a staple. However, in the winter, when the rivers froze and fish were hard to come by, they used fried potatoes as an alternative. The French eventually grabbed hold of the idea and spread it to the Americans and the British, which is how we are able to enjoy them today. Through fast food chains, French fries quickly became a side item that your burger could not live without. Ironically though, in much of the European world “French” fries are often known as “American” fries.

Next time you meet a Belgium native, thank them on behalf of all Americans for these delicious creations. As for Corpus Christi, here’s a list of various “French fries” sure to satisfy your appetite. By: Alexa Alley


Bella Luna Downtown “Truffle Fries”

Smothered in a house-made garlic truffle cream sauce, imported prosciutto, melted mozzarella and parmesan cheese, these are not your ordinary fries. A fan favorite at Bella Luna, these one-of-a-kind loaded French fries can be enjoyed as an appetizer or are even good enough to stand alone as an entrée. Either way, these extra savory fries are far from ordinary! 429 Schatzell St., Corpus Christi, TX 78401 (361) 887-4777


The Executive Surf Club “Battered Fries”

If you are having a hard time deciding between onion rings and French fries to accompany your burger, look no further! The Executive Surf Club offers the best of both worlds with their famous battered fries. They take their regular fries up a notch by dunking them in batter and deep frying to perfection to create delicious, crispy, golden fries that go perfect alongside any entrée. 306 N. Chaparral St., Corpus Christi, TX 78401 (361) 884-7873


Grub Burger Bar “Luau Fries”

Located on their menu under “snacks,” these fries are anything but. Grub Burger bar uses their signature skinny fries loaded with braised pulled pork, Monterey Jack and cheddar cheese, grilled pineapple, jalapeños and BBQ

28 The Bend

sauce to create this distinctive menu item. If you are looking for something extra savory with a hint of sweet, these fries are for you. Enjoy as an appetizer or alongside your favorite burger! 4902 South Staples, A-1, Corpus Christi, 78412 (361) 444-2424


Kuzina “Seasoned Fries”

At Kuzina, there are fries and then there are seasoned fries. Seasoned with a blend of paprika, garlic, salt, pepper and other spices, these have the satisfaction of your good old French fry with a little something extra. Order them as the perfect side dish alongside their various authentic Lebanese menu items! 3801 Saratoga Blvd., Corpus Christi, TX 78415 (361) 452-2301


Padre Island Burger Company “Sweet Potato Fries”

At this popular island establishment, the burgers are made even better with a side of fries. Although Padre Island Burger Company is known for tasty fries in general, the traditional burger and fries combo takes a unique turn when you opt for a side of sweet potato fries. A tad on the sweet side, these fries are still seasoned and fried to perfection, making for a deliciously satisfying side to the burger of your choice. 14414 TX-361 Corpus Christi, TX 78418 (361) 949-3490

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FREE Bundtlet when you purchase a bundtlet

Corpus Christi 5425 South Padre Island Drive, Suite 167 • Corpus Christi, TX 78411 • (361) 980-1000 Expires 4/17/17. Limit one coupon per guest. Cannot be combined with any other offer. Redeemable only at the bakery listed. Must be claimed in-bakery during normal business hours. No cash value.

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Around the Bend | Giving Back

Sandals Fashion Leader, fibi & clo, Relaunches with a Focused Mission By: Nancy Weaver

“Her Cause” foundation, formally called “Cinderella Cause,” helps victims of domestic abuse.


ibi & clo’s mission is to give every woman the opportunity to determine her own destiny and walk her own path to success. fibi & clo accomplishes this by designing fabulous sandals and products and cultivating an environment of teamwork and encouragement. They stand for nothing less.

When she heard that the woman on the other end of the phone, who headed up the charity, was a domestic abuse survivor, and that she had to escape her own abuser in the middle of the night barefoot and with no possessions, Weaver knew how to bring a sparkle back into the lives of victims of domestic abuse.

From this simple mission, fibi & clo is set to relaunch in an amazing and unique fashion. Besides the opportunity that fibi & clo will bring to women across the nation who wish to build their own business, fibi & clo also believes in giving back to those who need a little more help to getting back on their feet.

fibi & clo has teamed up with domestic abuse shelters throughout the state of Texas to donate sandals, time and money. You would have to be there to witness it, but the power of a new pair of sandals really can make someone’s day absolutely incredible, especially if they have just lost everything.

Many months before the relaunch of the company was even finalized, the leadership team decided to create a foundation called “Her Cause.” Nancy Weaver, one of the earliest and most successful members of the fibi & clo family, was chosen to head up this initiative (in reality there was no need to ask, Weaver jumped at the opportunity). Weaver had been calling charities throughout Texas, and during one call was told about the victims of domestic abuse, and how they would often undergo daring escapes to get away from their abusers.

Each shelter fibi & clo visits is unique in its own way, but they all shared a common thread; women helping their fellow women. The care and compassion of the women working at the shelters is amazing. They give their hearts and souls to help women in need.

30 The Bend

In addition to the sandals, fibi & clo routinely organizes giving events where fibi & clo fashion agents and volunteers can donate their time to create shoe boutiques within the shelters where [the lifestyle magazine of the coastal bend]

residents can “shop” for their sandal donation. It’s truly an amazing experience for everyone involved. “Giving is not just about making a donation. It is about making a difference.” ~ Kathy Calvin

In March of 2016, Nancy Weaver and a small team headed to a shelter in Tyler, Texas. After dropping off a shipment of shoes, the director of the shelter invited the team back to meet some of the women. Upon arrival, 90 women, all wearing their newly gifted fibi & clo sandals and all with huge smiles, warmly embraced the team. They expressed how the sandals made them feel special and brought a little bit of sparkle back into their lives. That moment is a driving force for everyone who participates with the “Her Cause” foundation.

If you’re interested in learning more, or would like to donate your time to the foundation, please visit

Striving for your

Best Smile Family | Restorative | Cosmetic The experience you can trust!

5756 S. Staples Ste. I, Corpus Christi, TX 78413 | 361.991.7791

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Serving South Texas Since 1947

ATRUST Healthy•Smile is a Beautiful Smile! CONFIDENCE • CARE

Providing Quality , Comfort and Trust to for the Coastal Allen Dental Group is here you. Bend.

Allen Dental Group is here for you.

GENERAL DENTISTS: Charles Allen, DDS. Sarah Pitarra, DDS. William Tinnell, DDS. Alex Vial-Nadeau, DDS. PROSTHODONTIST: Chad Allen, DDS, MS CORPUS CHRISTI 525 Doddridge Rd. 361.854.7999

SERVICES: • Comprehensive Care • Veneers • Dental Implants • Crowns • Teeth Whitening • Teeth Cleaning and more!

CORPUS CHRISTI 6200 Saratoga Blvd. #102 361.992.8900


Alex Vial-Nadeau, D.M.D.


Why physical therapy? • Reduce use of opioids • Avoid surgery • Avoid the higher cost associated with the "wait and see" approach, and worse long term outcomes • Accurately localize where the pain is coming from with a thorough evaluation of the lumbar, sacroiliac, and hip At CCPT we treat all orthopedic injuries and post operative repairs with the most effective techniques and Aquatic Physical Therapy is also available.

Lee Glover PT, OCS, COMT

Graduated from University Nebraska Worked in South Texas since 1992 Over 25 years experience

32 The Bend

361-994-5251 361-994-5257 Orthopedic Certified Specialist Certified Orthopedic Manual Therapist

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5959 S. Staples Ste. 105 Corpus Christi, TX 78413

Destinations MARCH 2017


What’s Inside Texan Warbird Adventures is ideal for those who are pro flyers as well as first-time flyers. It is the ride of a lifetime and ultimately unforgettable. There is so much history to take in and more to create.

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Destinations | Local Discovery

The Best View Travel Through History on the Texan Warbird Flight By: Desiree Arnold Photos: Courtesy Texan Warbird Adventures


ake off in a WWII vintage aircraft, and partake in the once-in-a-lifetime and unforgettable experience that Texan Warbird Adventures offers their flyers.

There is only a small group that can call themselves owners of this unique aircraft, and Trey and Brandie Hayden are one. Their airplane is a SNJ-4 or better known as the T-6 “Texan.” It is a single engine advanced trainer aircraft used to train the pilots in WWII. The couple began Texan Warbird Adventures in April of 2015. Trey’s extensive knowledge of the plane’s history is quite engaging and a treat for those who are aviation enthusiasts and history buffs. The Haydens are wonderful hosts. It is obvious they genuinely love what they do. Preserving and sharing a magnificent piece of history and an unforgettable experience with anyone interested is their objective. Before taking flight, a thorough brief is conducted by pilot, Trey. He brings ease to any anxious flyer. Next step is the introduction to one of the most breathtaking and one-of-kind aircrafts. It is difficult to truly know what to expect at first, but once up in the air, it is clear that any possible preconceived expectation has certainly been surpassed. Even the best imagination does not see this coming. The feeling is a continuation of excitement and amazement paired with a spectacular view that gets center stage. It offers perfection for professional photographers to get remarkable aerial shots of downtown Corpus Christi and Port Aransas beach. Twelve-year-old Madison Gallaugher was gifted a flight on The Warbird from her sister, Shaina. “Madison loves racing go carts and was looking forward to trying out flying,” said her dad, Shane. Madison gave a thumbs-up review after her first flying experience. 34 The Bend

John L. Alford, who is not new to flying by any means, took part in a flight of nostalgia in The Warbird. Alford, a US Navy retired Master Chief Petty Officer who served during WWII (SBD Dauntless gunner), Korean War and Cold War, still enjoys flying in the cockpit of a fighter plane at age 91. Also located on the premises is the Commemorative Air Force Third Coast Squadron Museum of Military History that houses personal artifacts of veterans as well as many other military items on display for viewing. The museum is an added pre-or post-flight bonus. Texan Warbird Adventures is ideal for those who are pro flyers as well as firsttime flyers. It is the ride of a lifetime and ultimately unforgettable. There is so much history to take in and more to create. Check this one off the bucket list and make memories with the Haydens. --Blue skies y’all. Contact: McCambell – Porter Airport in Aransas Pass The flight is half an hour and the cost is $300. Texan Warbird Adventures offers military discounts, group rates and gift certificates.

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For over 35 35 years, years,the theCoastal CoastalBend BendCommunity Community Foundation has their Foundation hashelped helpedarea arearesidents residentsachieve achieve their charitable this time almost charitablegoals. goals.During During this time over$97 $93million millioninin non-profitt grants been non-profi grantsand andstudent studentscholarships scholarshipshave have been made. For For the the past hashas made. past eight sevenyears, years,the theFoundation Foundation organized the last organized the Coastal CoastalBend BendDay DayofofGiving Givingwhich which last year topped $2.13 million for charities providing needs year topped $1.9 million for charities providing needs of the the most most vulnerable of vulnerablein inthe theCoastal CoastalBend. Bend.If you If you would like to join with us please call 361.882.9745. would like to join with us please call 361.882.9745.

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Destinations | Quick Trip

Adventures ‘round Round Top

Texas Antique Weekend

Antique Capital of Texas By: Jarred Schuetze Photos: Courtesy of Round Top CVB

Round Top, Texas is a historic community that has been referred to as one of the “Top 100 Arts Towns in America.” With a population of 90 full-time residents, it has an outsized reputation for its extraordinary arts attractions, its annual Fourth of July parade, and its twice-annual Arts and Antiques events. To get the full experience, be sure to plan your visit to coincide with the big antique shows held in the spring and fall. However, if you’re looking to avoid the huge crowds brought in by the shows, Round Top and the surrounding areas offer countless year-round activities that are sure to help you relax, unwind, and get back to the basics.

Bistro prides its reputation on the power of “word of mouth.” Stationed in a population of under 100 residents, this café continues to thrive from the steady traffic of customers coming in from both the Austin and Houston areas. You better not leave without trying one of their famous pies. The Royer’s ship thousands of pies all over the country through their mail-order website.

Where to Stay:

Located in the center of Round Top, historic Bybee Square hosts a vibrant arts scene with two galleries, a pub/pizzeria with live music, and a relaxing patio sheltered by gorgeous pecan and live oak trees. The square also provides a number of shops including boutiques, antiques and fine crafts. Take the afternoon and stroll through the quaint grounds of Bybee Square while you soak up the rustic culture of central Texas.

Belle of Round Top An 1880s Antebellum inspired Victorian Mansion, the Belle is located within the city limits and is walking distance away from unique shopping, antiques, dining and special Round Top events like the twice-a-year world-famous antique show in October & April. At The Belle, you’ll make wonderful memories while you enjoy all the historic culture this area of Texas has to offer. Enjoy a scoop of Blue Bell Ice Cream before bed and a freshly brewed cup of coffee or tea on the porches while the magnificent Texas sun rises and sets.

Where to Eat:

Royer’s Round Top Café Established in 1987 by Bud, “the Pieman” Royer, and wife, Dr. Karen, this iconic Texas 36 The Bend

Where to Explore:

Bybee Square

Where to Drink:

Rohan Meadery Blissful Folly Farm is a fifteen-minute drive southwest of Round Top in the picturesque countryside of south central Texas. The farm is home to Rohan Meadery, which is Texas’ oldest meadery and specializes in the recreation of mankind’s oldest fermented libation - mead. All of their products are smallbatched and made on-site. They are committed to quality, locally-sourced ingredients and small-batch, hands-on production techniques guarantees outstanding quality and taste in each of their artisanal Texan honey-wines. [the lifestyle magazine of the coastal bend]

Twice a year, more than 100,000 treasure hunters venture to rural Texas to shop and admire more than 60 antique and collector shows. Don’t miss the opportunity to purchase from dealers all over the country in the convenience of one central Texas marketplace. The Spring shows last two and a half weeks starting in March and ending the first week of April. You can find American and European antiques, vintage decorator and collectable items, art in all forms, glassware, guns, industrial and farm equipment, or pretty much anything your heart desires. Admission is free and most shows have free parking available.

Where to Learn:

Round Top Family Library The Round Top Family Library consists of two buildings. The largest of the two is housed in what was then the old Hope Lutheran Church, an exquisite gothic structure from the mid 1920s, that houses all the books available for the community. The second building is known as the Rummel House, and is used on a regular basis for children’s art classes, book clubs, and library board meetings. This complex has been serving the communities in Fayette and surrounding counties with a variety of programs and resources for many years.

Where to Shop:

Henkel Square Market Located on a beautiful seven acres in the historic district, Henkel Square Market is found in the heart of Round Top. The market hosts an assortment of unique shops housed in charming structures from the mid-1800s. The square also includes a new state-of-the-art 8,000 square foot event center, tastefully landscaped grounds, and a grove of magnificent oaks. Henkel Square Market is an inviting destination that is sure to charm you into spending the afternoon in the commercial center of Round Top life.




Bring your dream wedding to life with Omni. From sunset ceremonies with views of the bay to ballroom parties featuring delectable cuisine, the Omni Corpus Christi Hotel is committed to giving you a day nothing short of spectacular. Leave the details to us while you relax and enjoy the perfect destination for your perfect day.

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OM NI H O T EL S . C O M /C O R P U S C H R I S T I 361-887-1600


Burger the

Capital of


A tour of famous burgers around the Bend By: Sharla Wilkins Photos: Rachel Durrent

38 The Bend

[the lifestyle magazine of the coastal bend]


Fun Facts:

In addition to the specialty sweet sourdough bun, wheat bun, and Texas toast, Udi’s gluten-free buns are available for all burgers.


egend tells of birth of the hamburger in the late 1800s in Athens, Texas; a concoction developed by lunch counter owner Fletch Davis. Davis purportedly traveled to the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis and sold his creation of a ground beef patty between two slices of homemade bread, complete with mustard, mayonnaise, onion and pickle, at a concession stand. This new sandwich, dubbed a ‘hamburger,’ was documented by a reporter for the New York Tribune. The reporter, however, failed to mention the name of the inventor of this new sandwich. Several other states lay claim to the hamburger’s birth, stating their local hamburgers originated prior to the World’s Fair. Although the conception of the hamburger is disputed, the 80th Texas Legislature, taking into account research conducted by the McDonald’s management training center as well as other historical information and various interviews, declared Athens, Texas, the “Original Home of the Hamburger” in 2007. While the location of the first hamburger in America is disputed by multiple states, there is no question that Corpus Christi is the home of the first Whataburger (pronounced ‘waterburger’ by locals) opened in 1950 on Ayers Street. The Texas State Historical Association tells the story of this quintes-


A half a pound of meat is the centerpiece of this slightly spicy burger. The green chilis throw in a mild kick, while the sliced avocado adds a creaminess to every bite. Pepper jack cheese melts into the burger, contained between large, shiny, sourdough buns. 14414 TX-361, Corpus Christi (361) 949-3490 [the lifestyle magazine of the coastal bend]


sential Texas burger joint, started by Harmon Dobson and Paul Burton. They increased the size of the standard hamburger from two ounces to a quarter pound, the two-and-ahalf inch bun to five inches. Fresh beef and vegetables were used, and the burger wasn’t cooked until the customer ordered. Dobson and Burton hoped customers would be so delighted with the taste, they would declare “What a burger!” A broken car led to a change of venue for the first Snapka’s Drive-Inn. During a road trip to scout a location for their curb-service restaurant in the Rio Grande Valley, brothers Method and Rudy Snapka’s car heaved its last breath in Robstown. Deciding that was a fine location, the brothers opened the first Snapka’s there in 1948. The success of that restaurant began the opening of the first Corpus Christi location on Leopard Street in 1953. Truly a family business, both Snapka children grew up working in the restaurant, and daughter Kathryn Snapka still comes to the restaurant every Sunday to make homemade seasoning. Hamlin Pharmacy founder Karl Arnold began his career as a pharmacist working for Pharr Drug Store. Deciding to venture out on his own, Arnold opened Hamlin Pharmacy in 1960. All pharmacies at that time had soda fountains, so Arnold included what he was accustomed to in his new pharmacy. Cook Jesse Lerma has been with Hamlin since the beginning, and delivers delicious hamburgers and other fare to loyal customers. Arnold retired late last year, resulting in the closure of the pharmacy, but the soda fountain and gift shop remain, run and staffed by family, including daughter Karen Nicholson. That innovative change 67 years ago to the standard 2 ounce burger forever cemented Corpus Christi as the Burger Capital of Texas. Texans love beef, BBQ and grilling; not surprising, as we have the largest number of cattle in the country. Cattle ranches across the state supply beef to the U.S. as well as export it oversees. Corpus Christi burgers are as varied as the chefs who create them. And while it all may have started with Whataburger, Corpus Christi continues on with the tradition of creating bigger, better, unique hamburgers.

40 The Bend

TIMELINE: Whataburger opened in Corpus Christi in 1950. The cost of the first Whataburger hamburger was $0.25.

Snapka’s opened in Corpus Christi in 1953. The Texas Historical Society will place a historical marker at the restaurant in the near future.

Hamlin Pharmacy, now Hamlin Fountain and Gifts, opened in 1960. All ingredients are local, with the meat coming from Moody’s Quality Meats.

Wallbangers opened in 1984. The gourmet hamburger shop, whose motto is “Better Because You Build It,” goes through 3,000 pounds of ground chuck a week.

Executive Surf Club opened in 1990. Named by owner Brad Lomax as an homage to his group of approximately twenty surfer friends who called themselves the “Executive Surf Club” while riding the waves together in the 1960s.

[the lifestyle magazine of the coastal bend]

Hamlin Grand Opening, 1960


Created by owner George Polanski’s son, this massive burger is available as a single, double, triple or quad. Sautéed mushrooms, onions, tomatoes and jalapeños, crispy lettuce, bacon, fried pickles, mustard, mayo, ketchup, and Swiss and American cheeses are packed between two toasted buns. 4989 Ayers St, 2211 Leopard Street, Corpus Christi (361) 851-9099, (361) 882-5082

For the People:

Hosted part of the Hobb's Hot Rod Run 2016. This event raises money for Driscoll Childrens Hospital

The Ultimate was created by owner George Polanski’s son, Anthony, in response to what customers said they wanted in a burger.

The fried pickles are mouthwatering!


Yes, it's real cheddar all up in there!


Toasted buns made in-house from scratch, this sandwich showcases two pure ground chuck patties sealed around cheddar and bacon. Lettuce, tomato, pickle and onion lay beneath the crammed beef, as cheese oozes onto the veggies. Open wide for this burger gift! 4100 S Staples Street, Corpus Christi (361) 855-8007

Want Buns Hun? Special, homemade buns are made from scratch in-house daily, then buttered and toasted before being added to the custom-made burgers.

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Organic, hormone-free, 28-day aged, inhouse blend of round and chuck make up this specially seasoned patty. One-year aged cheddar tops the beef from Texas’ own 44 Farms. The brioche bun holds the lettuce, tomato, red onion, pickles, patty and cheese.



411 Doddridge Street #102, Corpus Christi (361) 452-0907

CHUCK - A more flavorful choice for hamburger meat, usually with an 80/20 to 85/15 lean/fat ratio. RIBEYE- Fantastic for ground beef with a great flavor and very tender, but is more expensive. BRISKET - This flavorful cut is naturally fatty, containing up to 40% fat, It must be defatted first so that it falls within the 80/20 to 75/25 lean/fat ratio. ROUND - A leaner meat with a good taste, the texture of this 90/10 to 95/5 lean/fat ratio meat doesn’t allow it to bind as well as chuck and brisket. GROUND BEEF - Is a conglomeration of muscles through the body. It is a generic label and can have a variety of lean/fat ratios.

Kids can't go wrong here.



Love pizza and hamburgers but can’t decide which to eat? This family-owned restaurant has the solution. Their concoction of a beef patty covered in homemade marinara sauce, mozzarella cheese, and pepperoni on a sourdough bun satisfies pizza and hamburger lovers alike. 6109 McArdle Road, Corpus Christi (361) 334-0067

42 The Bend


Get your name added to JP Bomber’s Wall of Fame by completing their Son of a Burger challenge. Finish a stacked 3 pound burger complete with lettuce, tomatoes, and pickles, half a pound of fries, 3 stuffed Jalapeño Bombers and a 32 oz. drink in 30 minutes or less to receive a t-shirt and the meal on the house, or pay $35 if you fail.

[the lifestyle magazine of the coastal bend]


The Daily Grind GROUND CHUCK - popular for hamburgers. It’s higher fat content allows for tasty burgers. 80/20 lean/ fat ratio GROUND SIRLOIN - also popular for hamburgers as it is also more flavorful. Usually 85/15 lean/fat ratio

Homemade brisket chili, winner of two chili cook offs, and melted Colby Jack cheese combine to create the taste of Texas. A brioche bun is spread with mustard before surrounding the chili-cheese covered grass-fed organic beef. Sliced red onions complete the flavor combination.

Yes it's chili and yes it's sooo good !

600 Leopard Sreet, Corpus Christi (361) 883-1633

GROUND ROUND - not as much fat, so it’s leaner. GROUND BRISKET - fattier meat with a unique texture and lots of rich flavor. GROUND RIBEYE - not as popular due to higher price. Similar in fat content and flavor to ground chuck. About 80/20 lean/fat ratio GROUND BEEF - trimmings from various regions of the cow.

More than Burgers Housed at Shoreline Sandwich Company, this pop-up gourmet burger restaurant opens Friday evenings from 6pm to 9pm.

[the lifestyle magazine of the coastal bend]



TEXAS MESQUITE BBQ & GRILL A sourdough bun toasted with Kerrygold butter contains a thick patty of hand ground ribeye and prime brisket. The homemade family recipe of creamy poblano mayo consists of poblanos, parsley, garlic, mayo, and secret ingredients. It’s so delicious, you may forget to even ask for the secrets! Not that they’d tell you. 14457 S Padre Island Drive #103, Corpus Christi (361) 949-0065

44 The Bend

More than Beef

In the mood for something more exotic? Texas Mesquite BBQ & Grill carries lamb, bison, elk, camel and kangaroo burgers, as well as fried alligator!

[the lifestyle magazine of the coastal bend]



This classic quarter pounder with cheese got its moniker from owner Method Snapka. After increasing the size of their burger from the standard at the time, but not sure what to name his new creation, Snapka drew inspiration from a southern beer from the Dixie Brewing Company. 4434 Weber Rd, 4760 Leopard Street, Corpus Christi (361) 855-8355, (361) 883-2272


The curb service restaurant’s delicious onion rings are cut by hand and fried using homemade breading

Old fashion drive in will bring back the good old days.



Kick it up a notch! Grilled jalapeños and ghost pepper sauce heat up this half pound burger. Cool lettuce, tomato, and pickles contrast the hotness, while the soft bun disguises the spiciness that is coming. Ask for extra water with this burger! 1645 Airline Road, Corpus Christi (361) 334-2221

By the lbs:


House of Burgers goes through 2,100 pounds of french fries and 2,400 house made ground beef patties each month.

Texas leads the nation in number of farms and ranches, with 248,800 farms and ranches covering 130.2 million acres.

98.6% of Texas farms and ranches are family farms, partnerships or family-held corporations.

[the lifestyle magazine of the coastal bend]

Texas is the top state for cattle and calves with 11.7 million, which is almost double the number of its runner-up state, Nebraska.


Marbling Marbling is fat in the muscle, and is an indicator of the quality or palatability of the meat. A higher fat content equals a higher flavor.

Veggie Burgers Found at these Locations: • Padre Island Burger Company • Grub Burger Bar • Hester’s at Lamar Park • Scuttlebutt’s • Executive Surf Club • Peony’s Place

Bacon Lovers Beware Grub Burger Bar goes through at least 2,500 hundred pounds of high-gluten flour, 975 pounds of bacon, 675 25oz ketchup bottles, and cuts, grinds, and cooks at least 7,000 pounds of brisket and chuck combined each month.



This 50/50 chuck and brisket blend is covered with Swiss cheese sliced in-house, topped with mushrooms that have been sautéed in absinthe liquor, slathered with mayo combined with Louisiana-made Tabasco sauce, and infused with Cajun seasoning. Made-from-scratch buns complete this Louisiana-inspired burger. 4902 S Staples Street, Corpus Christi (361) 444-2424

46 The Bend

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• House of Burgers and Wings • 8te • PRIME • Fuddrucker’s • Chili’s Grill & Bar • TGI Friday’s



off of French culinary fundamentals, where all of your sauces are based off of five mother sauces. The school focuses on the French culinary art, so if one can successfully cook the recipes for French cooking, they translate to cooking for all other cuisines. All of our recipes here are based off of classic French-based recipes that mesh well together. Take for instance, all of the ingredients on The Chronic are made together on a French dish. We have transformed it to a hamburger.


This Corpus Christi classic is covered in refried beans, Fritos, onions, cheese and salsa. It's one gnarly burger! Try it with the hand-cut battered fries. 309 N Water St, Corpus Christi (361) 884-7873

Q&A: Jason Johnson,

Corpus Christi native, Chef/Owner of Padre Island Burger Company Why did you to decide to go into the restaurant business, and how did you end up at the Culinary Institute of America?

That's right, folks, Fritos!

I’ve always had a passion for cooking for my family. That transitioned to me becoming the chef for my Boy Scout Troop, and that pushed me into cooking for family dinners, which progressed into a career in the culinary field. I started out an Aggie at Texas A&M College Station as a Food, Science and Technology major. I decided I wanted to do Culinary Arts, and A&M didn’t offer anything in that field. I visited the top three culinary schools in America with my family, and Culinary Institute of America just blew us away.

How did you settle on Padre Island for your restaurant location, and what’s been its evolution?

We spent about a year finding a location – it was a big deal. This building, which was a La Paletera ice-cream shop, became available, and I turned it into what I thought was going to be a bar with a backdrop of cheeseburgers to accompany it. Originally, we started with three different steaks on the menu. We had pasta, shrimp, a few different sides, and our burgers. Over time, the community has shifted our focus on to just cheeseburgers and fries. They didn’t want steaks, they didn’t want shrimp, they wanted our burgers. We’ve shrunk our menu to focus only on what we’re good at, which is cheeseburgers.

What is the key to making a perfect hamburger?

Use the freshest meat you can get. Make sure it’s never frozen, as that degrades the quality of the meat. We prepare the burgers with salt and pepper only. Our cheeses are all real cheeses, and we put it together as simply as possibly. There are no hidden ingredients. We cook on gas and only use a flat-top for our burgers to get a sear on both sides. It’s the most contact on the meat. We don’t grill the hamburgers, because it doesn’t sear all of the meat, and it allows a lot of the juice to get out of the meat.

What is something most people don’t know about hamburgers?

The FDA, on all frozen meat, allows you to put twenty percent tumor meat into the mix, because when you freeze a tumor, the ice crystal cuts through the tumor and it allows you to not feel the texture difference. The FDA has found there’s no protein or any issue with tumor meat, so, most of frozen hamburger meat is twenty percent tumor meat, because it’s cheaper. So that’s why it’s such a big deal to make sure you get a fresh hamburger meat that’s never been frozen, because then they’re allowed to use zero tumor meat, and then you’re only talking about pure ground beef hamburger. Hamburger meat, if you freeze it, gets that crystal inside of that meat, and it actually tenderizes the meat, and it becomes mushy. So, a frozen hamburger turns into a mushy hamburger patty, whereas a fresh one stays crisp on the outside and juicy on the inside.

Have you noticed anything unique to Texas burgers vs. other parts of the country?

Nobody does it as big as we do. Nobody does it as tasty as we do. A half How did your background help you pound hamburger is pretty unique to learn to make delicious hamburgers? Texas. You don’t find many half pound hamburgers up north. Culinary principles are taught based [the lifestyle magazine of the coastal bend]


With a population smaller than the attendance at most high school football games in South Texas, Sandia Texas might seem like the kind of town to keep in the rearview mirror. However, six months ago, Royel Aguilar changed all of that with some hard work and a lot of spirit.

By: Alexis De Leon Photos: Rachel Durrent

48 The Bend

[the lifestyle magazine of the coastal bend]

“We are truly handson, the entire fermentation, distilling, labeling, and bottling, has all had our hands on it. Every bottle cap that you remove, I’ve put my hands on.” – Royel Aguilar

[the lifestyle magazine of the coastal bend]



rowing up in the small town of Sandia Texas, Royel Aguilar was no stranger to working hard to create something new. “My dad was a mechanic, so I started doing mechanic work at the age of eleven. Bought my first car when I was 15 years old, and I was rebuilding engines in high school,” Aguilar explains. “I was about two months from my high school graduation when I quit school and decided that I needed to go to work. My uncle had a mechanic's garage in Corpus, so I worked over there for a couple of years.” After years of learning various trades, Aguilar’s entrepreneurial blood kicked in, and he started his own business. “I was doing construction, a lot of welding, fence work, some electrical, plumbing, wood work, you name it,” he recounts. Along with his day job, Aguilar had a passion for making wine and a knack for cooking, which friends and family of the distiller will say led to Wild Rag’s creation. Just six months ago Aguilar and his wife, Lupita, combined their skills and passions to create the South Texas Distillery that is now home to Wild Rag Vodka. This homegrown South Texas vodka

50 The Bend

has literally been built from the ground up. While Lupita handled the legal work that goes into getting a distillery off the ground, Aguilar was building the tasting room piece by piece, and after approval, created a recipe for the first eight barrels of vodka. Aguilar’s sister-in-law, Cecilia Casas, drew up the first sketches of the Wild Rag Vodka logo. “We knew we wanted Texas on the logo no matter what, but my sister actually came up with the idea to have the bandana, also known as a wild rag, on the state of Texas with the point of the bandana pointing to Sandia,” Lupita recounts. In congruency with keeping the distilling operation as local as possible, Aguilar uses ingredients from the Valley and Louisiana. “They were doing a sugarcane-based wash, in really only two places. The sugarcane is grown in the Valley, and it usually goes to Louisiana to be refined and distributed. We use a semi-refined granular sugar, it’s not something you’re going to find in your kitchen,” Aguilar states. When it comes to the highest quality of vodka, Aguilar relies on taste and scent to tell him when he’s distilled a quality batch. Aguilar says, “You’re looking for smoothness. You want it to go down with ease. You don’t want it to burn you. Different [the lifestyle magazine of the coastal bend]

What is a still and what’s it made from? A still is the apparatus used to distill liquid mixtures by heating to a boil and then cooling to condense the vapor. Aguilar uses a still made from 99.9% pure copper. There are a few reasons to use copper, and one is that copper removes sulfites from the alcohol, so in the end you get a much cleaner alcohol. During distilling, sulfur may come from the yeast, which binds itself to the copper. This then turns to copper sulfate that sticks to the interior walls of the still. When the batch is complete, the copper sulfate gets washed out of the still and doesn’t end up in your liquor.

parts of the world, overseas, their vodka tastes more like they like to feel the burn of it. United States is different. They enjoy the smoothness of it. Our main focus is to get the smoothest vodka possible. Scent is important too. The tasting process is a constant, learning process every day.” “Royel won’t put out a batch if he doesn’t think it is good. He has thrown out huge batches before, because they weren’t up to his standards,” Lupita remembers. Aguilar thought about taking a distilling class but ultimately decided against it. “Everything I’ve ever done in my life I’ve learned to do on my own, trades and skills I mean, this is going to be the same thing; I want to keep this [distilling] the same,” he explains. Vodka distilling in comparison to other spirits occurs relatively quickly. Aguilar walks through the steps, “From fermentation through distillation, bottling and everything, we’re looking at about 20 days. Anywhere from 12-14 days is fermentation, after that is distillation, which will take you about 6 days. After that you are filtering, blending, and bottling. For each barrel, we get about 20 bottles of vodka.”

Along with being purely Texan, the allure of the South Texas Distillery, Aguilar explains is, “We are truly hands-on, the entire fermentation, distilling, labeling, and bottling, has all had our hands on it. Every bottle cap that you remove, I’ve put my hands on.” What began as just 8 barrels of fermentation has already expanded to over 20. Another expansion is expected soon as well as a new flavor to join the ranks of the original and cinnamon flavor vodka or “torch.” Aguilar hopes Wild Rag Vodka tells the story that, “It doesn’t matter where you come from, if you set your mind to do something you can do whatever you want.” Cheers to that.

52 The Bend

[the lifestyle magazine of the coastal bend]

Health MARCH 2017


What’s Inside As early as the 1920s, Health Food stores have been opening across America. The Coastal Bend is lucky enough to have one of our very own. One texan native shares her store and passion for quality food right here in Rockport.

[the lifestyle magazine of the coastal bend]


Health | Fitness

Observations of an Aging Athlete

Awareness, Acceptance and Action


By: Janet Freeman y father always said of having another birthday, that, “It beats the alternative!” But I don’t like the idea of “getting old” and like a lot of people, I don’t always gleefully embrace change. In my fitness journey, I find that my biggest obstacle to aging gracefully is my ego.

I’ve heard it said that until you truly accept something, you are powerless to change it. The progression looks like this: “Awareness – Acceptance – Action.” For me, between Awareness and Acceptance, enters Ego. Case in point: Whoever said “It’s as easy as falling off a bicycle” was clearly only considering the initial phase of that activity. True, my sudden, unintended dismount several years ago took no effort on my part, but the landing hurt like hell! In the process, I managed to both jam and hyperextend the large joint at the base of my left big toe, in route to a literal face-plant. However, I resumed my normal activities as soon as the throbbing stopped. Fast forward 5 years or so, and I became willing to be Aware: “You know, that foot hurts pretty consistently, and the joint is kind of misshapen. Maybe I should see a doctor to find out exactly what’s going on with it. I wouldn’t want to do permanent damage.” Enter the orthopedist, who very professionally ar-

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For the past 6 years, Freeman has trained with Pinnacle Performance & Fitness in Corpus Christi. She finds that rolling out of bed and going straight to the gym (with no time to consider other options) makes consistency with an exercise plan easy. Clean nutrition can be more of a challenge. Freeman says,

“I’ve found it to be true that lean people always know what they are going to eat next. Since I’m not good about advance meal prep, certain vegetables and fruits are always on hand, to throw together as quick sauté, grill mix, or cold salad. And we go through a ridiculous amount of eggs!”

ticulated, “You know, most people who have an X-ray that looks like that, aren’t still running.” I could have surgery to clean up the multiple bone spurs (followed by weeks of sitting with my foot up); I could modify my activities; I could buy new shoes; or some combination thereof. Acceptance, followed by Action, came slowly. I announced to my husband that I was going shoe shopping – “Doctor’s orders!” I substituted time on the elliptical for some runs. With my trainer I finally traded “No really, I’M FINE” for “Yeah, okay, I’ll modify that movement.” I love leopard crawls – they’re great for your core (and sound kind of sexy) but I’ve traded them for the inverse and less appealing “dead bug” – taking all pressure off that crunchy sounding toe joint. I must conclude that “grace” in aging is derived from our willingness to adapt. With quality of life directly related to health and mobility, I will meet myself where I am, right now; and do what I can, today, to keep moving.

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Health | Be Well

Kimmi’s 5 Health Tips: • Eat as close to the earth as possible • Slow down when you eat • Stay hydrated • Decrease sugar intake • Eat good fats

Where the Freshness Lives Kimmi’s Fine Foods is uniting quality food with quality of life in Rockport. By: Jordan Regas Photos: Rachel Durrent


self proclaimed recovering sugar addict, Kimmi Moake is sharing her passion for fine foods and a healthy lifestyle.

Located in Rockport's Cultural Arts District, Kimmi's Fine Foods is a hub for fresh, high-quality foods, wellness, community activities, and a local gathering place for anyone in search of a better life. A little over five years ago, Kimmi Moake first opened the doors to her health food store under the name of Coastal Bend Health Foods. Today, her store has evolved into Kimmi’s Fine Foods: A Heritage Market and Healing Arts Center. It’s much more than a local market, it’s a community where Moake shares her passion for food and quality of life with every customer who walks in the door. Moake’s journey began as a child. She cooked a lot growing up, and food was never wasted in her house. She moved away from Texas for a few years while attending

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“To me, eating a heritage diet is eating the way our ancestors ate, and that is as close to the earth as possible. If your great grandparents couldn’t get their hands on the food, you probably shouldn’t be eating it,” said Moake. college at Washington State where she worked for a program called Farms for Food. “The farms couldn’t pay you, but you could work for food. So we would get all kinds of apples and boxes of produce. I always had fresh food in college,” said Moake. She finished her degree in Fresh Water Ecology and moved to Rockport to work for an environmental consulting firm in 2006. At the time, there was not a health food store or farm co-op in the area, something she had gotten used to while living in Washington State. Her boyfriend, now husband, convinced her to open a store of this kind, which lead to the opening of Coastal Bend Health foods in 2011. After celebrating her five-year anniversary, Moake decided it was time for people to see her store from a different perspective.

[the lifestyle magazine of the coastal bend]

Your Hometown

“There are a lot of people who eat really well and don’t realize they are eating healthy. Changing the mindset from health foods to fine foods has changed the mindset of my customer base. I have been getting a lot more customers in,” said Moake. She is selling a lot more food and higher-quality products that customers can’t find in the typical grocery store. She works with as many Texas-based companies as possible. Produce is sourced from Four String Farm and an organic supplier. Also, she would like to work with backyard gardeners more who have excess produce. Moake refers to the model as a heritage market.

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“To me, eating a heritage diet is eating the way our ancestors ate, and that is as close to the earth as possible. If your great grandparents couldn’t get their hands on the food, you probably shouldn’t be eating it,” said Moake. Kimmi Moake is a Nutritional Therapist Practitioner and educates her clients on eating a proper, nutritional, dense diet. Kimmi’s Fine Foods hosts scheduled group classes, one-on-one consulting, and helpful advice to any curious customer. Also, Moake hosts field trips for local schools. The customers are like extended family. There is a lot of hugging and conversation. Most of them have been customers who have turned into friends. Moake gets to work with some of her best friends who share the same building, which includes a smoothie shop and massage therapist.

Mark Silva, Agent 5515 Saratoga Blvd, Suite A Corpus Christi, TX 78413 Bus: 361-992-3341

“I think it’s my path in life. It was a gift that was given to me. I am going with what feels right, and I am grateful that I recognized it at such a young age. But I have also been in a position where I haven’t been as healthy, and I know what that feels like and I don’t want to go back there,” said Moake. “Plus, I love eating good food, and when you eat good food, you eat healthy.”

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Health | Health Spotlight

Urgent vs Emergency Care By: Jordan Regas

Knowing the difference can save you time, save you money or save your life.


ith the surge of urgent care facilities and freestanding emergency departments popping up around the Coastal Bend, navigating the current healthcare landscape can get confusing. A while back, my wife was experiencing some fairly severe back pain. She couldn’t remember a specific incident where she suffered an injury or pulled anything, so our immediate response was to search the internet in an attempt at a self-diagnosis. The pain intensified, so we jumped in the car and drove to what we thought was the nearest urgent care facility around the corner, but where we actually ended up was a freestanding emergency room. As it turns out, confusion with deciding what action to take in the midst of a medical situation is fairly common, which makes it that much more important for patients to educate themselves on the differences between the level of care, costs, and facilities that differentiate freestanding emergency rooms, urgent cares and hospital ERs from one another. “Some cases are easy, like when you have a really bad cut or when you’re bleeding, you are going to go to an ER: If you feel like your life or your limb is in jeopardy, you are also going to go to an ER,” says Dr. Jared Shahan, an Emergency Medicine Physician with Physicians Premier ER. Dr. Shahan believes the craziest thing about the distinction between deciding what type of care to seek out often falls to the patient’s discretion. According to Dr. Shahan, about 80% of all cases that walk into an emergency room don’t get admitted to the hospital or scheduled for surgery. “I think we all have family members or friends that we know of that to them a cut, just a small cut on the arm, they think they are going to bleed to death and go to the ER. When you go to an ER, it’s really up to the medical professional to properly screen you,” says Dr. Shahan. Dr. Shahan suggests patients should use their insurance hotline more often. The nurse on the line will be able to direct patients on the proper action to take. In most cases, people

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can save themselves a lot of money with a simple call. As a general rule of thumb, Dr. Shahan suggests, “If you are suffering severe chest pain, you should go to an emergency room. If it’s the worst in your life anything, chest pain, back pain, headaches, abdominal pain, things that truly keep you from functioning, you need to go to an emergency room. If you have problems with speech or can’t move your arm, you go blind, you need to go to an emergency room.” Urgent cares do have the ability to do X-rays, splints, and can take care of minor emergencies. The downside is you are not getting the opinion of a Board Certified Physician. However, they should be able to look at a patient and know if it is a true emergency and refer patients to an ER if needed. Common urgent care conditions present as sore throat without a fever, runny nose, head cold, allergies, and rash. Cost is a big factor in choosing to visit an urgent care center. Patients are charged a facility fee of about $1,500 to go to a hospital ER or freestanding emergency room. Putting emergency room on the name of your clinic is state regulated. The same is true for urgent cares in the state of Texas. When entering the clinic, pay close attention to the signage. A freestanding ER is required to have registered nurses (RNs) that are trained in all life saving processes, have a backup RN on call 24 hours a day, ER trained physicians with 1,000 hours of working in an emergency room available around the clock, and physicians on back-up call. My wife and I choose to err on the side of caution and will get treated at a freestanding emergency room, but the important thing is that now are educated. “When you go to our ER, if you are not having an emergency, it’s up to our providers to notify you and to educate you on why you shouldn’t be there. But at the end of every visit, we give our patients the right to be seen. If they have been educated on the costs, and that they are in an ER and will be charged an ER facility fee, we have given them the option,” says Dr. Shahan.

[the lifestyle magazine of the coastal bend]

How to Distinguish Between Urgent Care and Freestanding Emergency Medical Care (FEC) Facilities • Look for the signage: FECs are legally permitted to advertise for treating medical emergencies. Words like “emergency” and “ER” will be on the signage for every FEC facility. • Review billing disclosures: Texas Association of Freestanding Emergency Centers (TAFEC) members provide full disclosure that patients are at an emergency room, and as such, will be billed accordingly. This includes covering the costs associated with state-of-the-art medical equipment and ER-trained physicians around the clock. Just as with a hospital ER, all costs are not always immediately available. *source:

[the lifestyle magazine of the coastal bend]


Special Promotion


Healthy Tips: • Know your family history! Having a relative with heart disease increases your risk, and more so if the relative is a parent or sibling. • An average of 40 minutes of moderate or vigorous aerobic activity, done 3 – 4 days a week, helps lower blood pressure and cholesterol • Choose foods low in saturated fat, trans fat, and sodium.

How Old is Your Heart?


re you young at heart, or is it older than you think? Now you can learn more about your heart’s age thanks to a new online tool from CHRISTUS Spohn.

Each year, heart disease remains the number one killer of men and women in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control. More than 600,000 lives are claimed annually, accounting for the cause of 1 out of every 4 deaths. But experts say we can combat these statistics through simple lifestyle changes and annual testing.

By: Alexis Mays

Wellness Team. “Knowing exactly how and where you can improve your health is key,” Cruz said. Experts agree in having cholesterol and triglyceride levels checked yearly, and also having your BMI and blood pressure checked regularly. Your cholesterol, BMI, blood pressure and weight are numbers that are used in the CHRISTUS Spohn Heart Risk Assessment, which renders a personalized health report and identifies areas that could lead to cardiovascular disease.

“The truth is, 80% of heart disease is preventable with healthier lifestyle choices like keeping your blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels in check,” states Erin Wilder, Executive Director for the American Heart Association.

“Seeing what daily steps can improve your heart health makes a big difference,” Cruz said. “Some simple changes can significantly improve your heart’s health such as staying physically active, maintaining a proper weight and eating foods low in saturated fats and cholesterol.”

Promoting heart health is a priority for CHRISTUS Spohn Health System, that’s why they’ve launched a new Heart Risk Assessment online to help you know where your heart health stands.

The new tool and community education are all aimed at fostering and maintaining healthier hearts in the community, added Wilder.

Simply log on, answer a few quick questions about your health history and lifestyle, and you’ll receive a snapshot of your heart’s biological age compared to your actual age. And it’s the first step in maintaining a healthier heart, says Christie Cruz of CHRISTUS Spohn’s Community Health and 60 The Bend

“We encourage everyone to be proactive and know your numbers to lower your risk of heart disease and stroke,” she said. Head to to start the heart risk assessment.

[the lifestyle magazine of the coastal bend]


[the lifestyle magazine of the coastal bend]


Home insurance from someone you can trust.

Home insurance from someone you can trust.

help you get help. the protection that If you need home coverage, I can I live and work right here in our community. I know what the homes are like fitsinyour I liveAgent and work right here ourneeds. community. I know Al Armadillo, in the area. So361-985-7488 I can offer advice you can trust to help you get the protection what the homes are likeIfin the area. canhome offer that fits your needs. you’re readySo to Italk advice you can or trust to some help you get the protection insurance or need some advice toAllstate talkInsurance home insurance need advice about protecting If you’re ready© 2016 Co. that fits your needs. about protecting imall that’s important to you, call me today. I’ll make you feel rightallatthat’s home. portant to you, call me today. If you’re ready to talk home insurance or need someI’ll Al Armadillo, Agent you feel right at to home. advice about protectingmake all that’s important you, 361-985-7488 call me today. I’ll make you feel right at home.

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62 The Bend

[the lifestyle magazine of the coastal bend]



If you need home coverage, I can help. If you need home coverage, I can help. If you need home I live and work right here in our community. I know what the homes are like I live and work right here in our community. I know in the area. So I can offer advice you can trust to help Iyou gethelp. the protection coverage, can what the homes are like in the area. So I can offer that fits your needs. advice you can trust to help you get the protection I live and work right here in our protecting If you’re ready to talk home insurance or need some advice about that fits your needs. community. I know what the all that’s important to you, call me today. I’ll make you feel right at home. If you’re ready tohomes talk home need So some are insurance like in theorarea. I Al Armadillo, Agent advice about protecting alladvice that’s important you,to can offer you can to trust 361-985-7488 callhelp. me today. I’ll make you feel right at home. If you need home coverage, I can

Out & About MARCH 2017


What’s Inside Brunch on the Bay is the one place to sample bites from some of the best brunch hot spots in the Coastal Bend. The 2nd annual Brunch on the Bay is set to be even bigger and better than last year, featuring brunch samples from 14 restaurants, Bloody Mary bar, mimosas and live music. Tickets will sell out, so reserve your spot at This will be one morning you do not want to sleep in.

[the lifestyle magazine of the coastal bend]


Out & About | Arts & Culture

“Performing live is pure magic.”

Pure Magic

The Music of Shayna Sands Here to Stay in the Town by the Bay By: Jimmy Willden Photos: Contributed


or Shayna Sands, one of the most prolific songwriters in South Texas, the beginning of her creative journey in music came the first time she saw her father’s upright piano at three years old, understanding immediately that it could be used as a tool for expression. While she continued to explore the piano for most of her adolescence, it wasn’t until she picked up the guitar that she began to take songwriting seriously. She’d write about anything and everything in sight. Ultimately, it was a creative writing class Sands took at seventeen that she credits for writing her first true song. “I had a lot on my mind at that time and was

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[the lifestyle magazine of the coastal bend]

suffering from acute anxiety,” said Sands. “I ended up writing some poems and putting them to music. I wrote my first song when I was seventeen and called it Mother Dear. It was a letter to a mother in jail.” Since then, her songwriting endeavors have taken her to New York and back again, and she’s all the better for it, finding her place out on the stage. “Performing live is pure magic,” Sands said. “I think that to give a great performance, is to give countless hours of hard work and dedication and at the same time accessing something much, much greater than ourselves.” Indeed, Sands’ voice as a songwriter accesses a raw truth many songwriters endeavor to find,

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Enclave Office:

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but rarely do. Such is true in her song, “Corpus Christi,” written while she was packing to move to New York. Eventually returning to Corpus Christi from New York, Sands discovered that her hometown’s music scene had evolved, but still could be so much more.

“Take time out of your day to enjoy music. It is a pure, spiritual oneness with creativity, with community, and with the divine.” “[Corpus Christi] needs people who care about keeping the music alive; to take action,” said Sands. “Of course, music is for people to enjoy even when they don’t have the money. But if you can appreciate the hard work that goes into performing, support it; give back.” Currently, Shayna Sands and her band are regular fixtures at Vino Mio, Cassidy’s, Executive Surf Club, and House of Rock. She’s also pursuing a degree in music, recording an album, and planning a national tour in the near future -- but Sands doesn’t take these experiences lightly. It all comes down to the music.

In her song, ‘Corpus Christi,’ Shayna Sands says: “I wrote that song when I was packing to leave Corpus Christi. This city has its own unique character, but the feeling of leaving it is probably the same for anyone leaving a small hometown.”

“Take time out of your day to enjoy music,” Sands said. “It is a pure, spiritual oneness with creativity, with community, and with the divine.”

Shayna Sands can be seen performing next at Cassidy’s annual St. Pat’s Block Party on Friday, March 17th.


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66 The Bend

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Ro c k p o rt Center for the Arts In the Galleries PeĂąa

Carol Koutnik & Joe PeĂąa April 8 - May 13 Reception 5 pm April 8

In the Sculpture Garden

Preening Heron Kent Ullberg Coming March 2017 Koutnik

Ullberg [the lifestyle magazine of the coastal bend]

902 Navigation Circle, Rockport, TX 361.729.5519 |


Out & About | Celebration

A Charming & Rustic Heartfelt Wedding

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Gathering friends and family for this wedding full of love and charm is one to remember forever and ever amen.


innamon Shore was the perfect backdrop for this family-filled wedding of Kelsey Threadgill and Hunter Myrick. Kelsey, the sweet bride, wanted to set the scene for a rustic yet elegant evening for family and friends. The Great Lawn was set for the ceremony with antique wooden chairs facing an arch draped with floral and antique wooden shutters. The weather could not have been more perfect as the wedding party dressed in a striking teal and men in dressy khaki, took their place and the bride's adorable nephews pulled her infant niece in a custommade wagon dressed in greenery and floral. After the ceremony, guests walked across the lawn to a large tent where dinner was served. Delicious BBQ and sweet tea, a family favorite, was served all night. The tent was lit with bulb lights and large willow wreaths covered in greenery and soft blush floral hung above the tables and dance floor. A pastel satin linen was used and

paired with the antique wood chair. Handmade wooden boxes were crafted by a family friend who made the floral centerpiece extra sweet. Complimentary hydrangeas, garden roses, and lots of greenery matched the bouquets and special set head table. Two chairs paired together read “better” “together” as the bride and groom took their place. Guests of all ages danced the night away to the best toe tappin' country music, and several special dances made the night extra fun. The bride's aunt and uncle led the Grand March all throughout the lawn with an especially long line that made for an especially fun March! At the evening's end, guests lined up with sparklers and lit the way for Kelsey and Hunter to get away. This was a beautiful evening with family and friends and one Kelsey and Hunter will remember forever. The bride and groom honeymooned in Nassau, Bahamas and reside in Portland, Texas.

Wedding Coordinating and Design: Jo Anne Howell, Oh Goodie Designs+Events

Tent and Rentals: Butler Signature Events

Venue: Cinnamon Shore Great Lawn

Photography: Twinty Photography, Austin

Floral Design: Greens and Things, Portland

Catering: Mac's BBQ, Portland

Band: Cactus Country Hair and Makeup: Vixen, San Antonio Invitation Suite and Printing: Harper Gray Designs for Oh Goodie Designs+Events

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Sample the best of brunch all around the Coastal Bend in a fun, family friendly way. SPECIAL THANKS TO:



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Brunch on the Bay Menu The Bend Magazine is thrilled to host the 2nd Annual Brunch on the Bay for the Coastal Bend. Brunch on the Bay is a one-of-a-kind, family friendly brunch experience, showcasing the best brunch hot spots around town. Sample an assortment of brunch bites from fourteen different restaurants and sip down a refreshing Bloody Mary from the Bloody Mary Bar. Enjoy live music, drinks, competitions and fun activities for kids. This year’s event will help benefit the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Center of Corpus Christi. Don’t miss out on this ultimate brunch experience. This will be one morning you do not want to sleep in. It all goes down on March 26th from 11am to 2pm at the Art Center of Corpus Christi.



just opened their doors this March and are anxiously waiting to show off the following items from their brunch menu.

a new downtown restaurant that is striving to bring the best of the city all under one roof, including their brunch menu.

- Thai Chicken and Waffle - Candied Bacon - Iced Thai Tea-


BLACK SHEEP BISTRO “curiously unique” from their atmosphere to their savory brunch menu items. Wait to be amazed. - Chicken Beignets with Garlic Honey - Salmon Quiche Muffins with Fill Crème Fraiche

CITRUS BAYFRONT BISTRO specializes in sandwiches and soups. These classics are perfect for both breakfast and lunch. - Breakfast Croissant - Chicken Pot Pie - Fish Tacos

Pastries Quiche Prime Rib Carving Station Fruit Tray Omelets

THE GLASS PAVILION is tucked inside the Omni Bayfront Hotel, but it is no secret that they have seriously great food. - Crab Benedict

SHORELINE SANDWICH CO. HARRISON’S LANDING is bringing back their breakfast menu in May. Be the first to try these items at Brunch on the Bay. - Shrimp and Grits - Bacon and Egg Quiche

- Breakfast Tostada - Lox



is always serving up something new and delicious. They’ll keep you wanting more with these fresh brunch items.

puts love straight into their food. They also won favorite bakery and brunch in the 2016 Local’s List Poll. If you don’t believe us, come try them for yourself! - Savory Tarts and Savory Scones - Sweet Potato Hash

is a new downtown Italian market with fresh foods that will feed your soul. You’ll eat made-from-scratch meals using mainly locally-sourced ingredients. Sweet! - Fresh Donuts - Pastries



brings brunch to a whole new level with a twist on some of the classics. They’re bringing their favorites to share with you.

twenty years strong as downtown favorites. Their entrees are complete with the freshest seafood guaranteed.

- Tuna Poké Tostada - Briskets and Gravy

- Pineapple French Toast - Eggs Orleans and Eggs Sardou

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We’re Open Every Saturday!

Dental Braces for Children & Adults

NO COST Initial Consultation - includes exam by Orthodontist, digital photos, & x-rays

Invisalign® and Invisalign Teen®

Insurance Accepted - we file your claim for you!

Payment Plans Available - 0% in-house financing available

Convenient Appointment Times - Saturdays, evening, early morning & lunch hour

Roxanne Robertson, DDS, MS Colin Mihalik, DDS, MS Stephan Ramsay, DDS, MS

(361) 992-2483 4750 S.P.I.D., Suite 101, Corpus Christi, Texas | Exit Everhart from SPID

The Texas State Aquarium offers up five-star entertainment for every age, every day. Rave over the new Tentacles exhibit, where you can touch a moon jelly, then thrill to a Wild Flight Show as hawks and falcons soar overhead. Touch and feed stingrays in Stingray Lagoon,and marvel at our dolphins’ athleticism in Dolphin Bay. The reviews are in...the Texas State Aquarium is the clear winner for memorable experiences and fun!

Visit the Aquarium today.

North Beach | Corpus Christi

Caribbean Journey Experience It This May 72 The Bend

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Special Promotion



The Corpus Christi Symphony Orchestra is on the search for their next maestro. The finalists are showcasing their talents as guest conductors throughout the 2016-2017 season.


he Corpus Christi Symphony Orchestra’s (CCSO) 2016-2017 season began with five finalists, five concerts and five auditions, with the choice of Corpus Christi’s next Maestro in the hands of the city and symphony goers. Each finalist was asked to create a program to showcase their talent and conducting style, allowing audiences to discover what they can expect from each Maestro. The season is quickly winding to an end, but there is plenty more to see before Corpus Christi will know who its next Maestro will be. The last finalist to take the stage before the votes are tallied is Richard Buckley. Maestro Buckley, a second generation conductor, is the Artistic Director and Principle Conductor of the Austin Opera. He is the past conductor of the Oakland Symphony and has appeared as guest conductor of numerous prestigious symphony orchestras, including the London Royal Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, and Los Angeles Philharmonic. Get to know Maestro Buckley and how he is putting the orchestra in the spotlight on April 8th with his program.

Meet Maestro Richard Buckley: What made you decide to pursue conducting? My father was a conductor. I used to watch him and follow

scores at his rehearsals. I left home at 14 and went to a conservatory as an instrumentalist. It was there after 3 to 4 years that I decided I would at least try to see if it was something I had talent for. I had to have separation from my father first to be sure it was my passion and not his influence. I then set forth and have been blessed with a very fulfilling musical life.

Do you have any favorite composers?

That’s a hard one. As an American conductor, we are required to have broad ability and interest in many styles, periods and nationalities. I am a big orchestral color conductor. So, I would say anything from the early romantic period through present day. Beethoven, Brahms, Mahler, Strauss, Stravinsky. But at the same time, the incredible beauty of Mozart cannot be resisted.

Tell us a little bit about the program you will be conducting with the CCSO?

I wanted to have the orchestra be the star, so we first decided not to have a soloist. Then I looked at the repertoire that had not been done in the past five years and started to think of the pieces that either have never been performed by CCSO, or not for a long time. Gradually, it became a program of highly individualistic nationalistic composers, all three having s specific musical voice that was derived

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from their culture or historic circumstances. The listener hears folk tunes or very idiomatic music that is infused with their homelands, and each piece communicates clearly the world that they came from. To do this, the orchestra must stretch itself, its fantasy, past the technical difficulties of the pieces, into an aural world that brings smells and tastes to mind. The empowerment of their imagination is what will make this a wonderful concert experience.

If you could say one thing to entice people who have never been to a CCSO concert, what would it be?

Symphonic music, and its live performance, is one of the few safe havens that allow us to experience our emotions. In this hectic world, music, but specifically symphonic music, let’s us experience an emotional palette large and differentiated. Many in our society have buried their emotions to get through the day. But a CCSO concert will allow you to investigate inside your being and envision all sorts of things you might not have imagined!

When you're not conducting, what can we find you doing?

I love to eat! I am a passionate wine enthusiast, and I like all things Italian! Mangiare, bere, e vivere!

For More Information: 361.883.NOTE (6683)



Mark Your Calendar


Spring Break on the Coast Mar. 17th

Lineup on the main stage are Randy Rogers Band and Cody Johnson with Jon Wolfe and Mike Ryan. Concrete Amphitheater, (361) 265-0509,


St. Patrick’s Day Block Festival Mar. 17th – 18th

The 6th Annual St. Patrick's Festival will be the biggest and best yet! This will be the first year to have a two-day event, so there are no excuses to miss the fun! There will be two stages with over 20 bands and celtic dance groups scheduled to entertain you on both days. Bring an appetite for amazing food, and check out the arts and crafts. There will be 40+ food trucks and vendors spread out over the four blocks. The green beer will be flowing as well as several premium beer options. Downtown Corpus Christi,,



Conductor finalist, Hector Guzman, promises to not let you take a rest during this high-energy, movie-inspired concert! Listen to the sounds from the movies Avatar, Gravity and Lord of the Rings while being transported to the far reaches of the alien universe and back down again to Middle Earth. Even Frodo and Bilbo Baggins may not be able to save you from an experience this breathtaking and heart pounding! TAMUCC Performing Arts Center, (361) 883-6683,

A unique sensory evening inspired by the Fat Tuesday celebration in New Orleans with added drama and theatrics as befitting a thespian event. The Harbor Playhouse and surround will be transformed into a feast for the senses with eclectic music, pulsating dance performances, cutting-edge fashion, the delectable smells of mesquite, roasting ribs and expensive cigars all savored while sipping ice-cold libations. Executive Surf Club, (361) 816-6095,

A Night at the Movies and More! Mar. 11th

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CC Songwriters “In the Rounds” Mar. 12th

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editor's pick

COMMUNITY Brunch on the Bay, Mar. 26th

For a second year, we are serving up a one-of-a-kind family-oriented brunch experience for the Coastal Bend, while showing off the quality and uniqueness of our local dining scene. Sample the best brunch from all around the Coastal Bend in a fun, family-friendly way, downtown in the heart of the Marina Arts District at the Art Center of Corpus Christi. Enjoy food, live music, drinks, and fun activities for the kids. Art Center of Corpus Christi, (361) 792-3606,



Men Who Cook Apr. 7th

Let’s Get Cookin’! A fun and tasty way to support Ronald McDonald House Charities of Corpus Christi and cheer on a cooking team from your community! Before and during the competition, you can vote and rally for your favorite cook. At the event, guests enjoy samples of signature comfort food and gourmet dishes from our hand selective cooks and cast votes for their favorite dishes. 3402 Fort Worth Street, (361) 854-4073,

Wings Over South Texas Apr. 1st – 2nd

The 2017 Air Show will feature the U.S. Navy's Blue Angels and highlight military aviation. NASCC,,


Guild Hall Museum Exhibition Through Apr. 30th

This exhibition, from the Guild Hall Museum, East Hampton, New York, includes 73 works of art by 40 artists, honoring them from the past 120 years as they have made East Hampton a thriving center for creative expression and artistic experimentation. Works included in this exhibit are by impressionists, surrealists, abstract expressionists, pop artists, photo realists, `80s and `90s neo-expressionists, and contemporary artists. Paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, photographs, and mixed-media works trace the progression of art movements in America from Impressionism to experiments by contemporary artists in the 1980s and 1990s. Art Museum of South Texas, (361) 825-3513,


Kids Discover Reptiles & Amphibians of South Texas Mar. 18th

Texas Master Naturalist Chad Huckabee teaches kids from three to 93 about habits and habitats of frogs, toads, iguanas, turtles, tortoises, lizards, snakes and other creatures, ones you may—or may NOT—want to have as pets, in the Kids Discover Reptiles & Amphibians of South Texas class, from 10 to 11 am or 3 to 4 pm. South Texas Botanical Gardens & Nature Center, (361) 852-2100,

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Out & About | Social Hour

Celebration of Courage Benefiting: New Life Refuge Ministries Photos by: Debbie Noble

1. Alyssa Shephard, Christina Hunter, Chrissy Romeros & Emily Paulison 2. Deeanne & Bobby Galvan, Meredith Carter


3. Robert Strom, Tanya Land, Vicki Reeves & Jason Rodriguez 4. Ken & Lacey Harrelson 5. Laurie Cazales, Trish Fraizer, Kerri Rikke, & D'ann Tatshe

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5. [the lifestyle magazine of the coastal bend]

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14717 S. Padre Island Dr. Corpus Christi, TX 78418


Out & About | Social Hour

KEDT Food and Wine Classic Photos by: Rachel Durrent

1. Louis Posada and Regina Garcia-Posada, Rob & Stacey Hall 2. Sean Kelly, Emily Saenz & Hector Zertuche 3. Michelle & Gilbert Sanchez


4. Jason & Desi Houze 5. James & Barbie Baker, Amy & Anthony Navarrette 6. Timi & Jamie Babney 7. Elena Rodz, Amanda Merchant & Karen Ernst


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SAVOR YOUR SWEETS Come enjoy our new shakes and sundaes!


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(or one oyster...)

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Cuisine MARCH 2017


What’s Inside The mighty mollusk of the sea may be a bit irregular in shape, tough to open, and rough around the edges, but it is a true treasure to consume. Keep this simple rule in mind for the freshest tasting oyster, stick to eating them in months with an 'R' in them.

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Cuisine | Farm to Table

The Flavor of the Sea Served on the Half-Shell Grilled Oysters with Garlic Butter and Kale Slaw


By: Justin & Kayla Butts Photos: Rachel Durrent ome flavors are too good, too pure, too clean to cover up. They just need a little help to unlock their secrets. Oysters have wonderful secrets.

Oysters, despite their rugged appearance, are really quite delicate. They live in beds scattered along the floor of the sea. Seawater flows continuously through oysters in rolling, receding, and advancing tides. If the water is too cold, too salty, or not salty enough, the oysters cannot live. If there are heavy rains up in the Hill Country, hundreds of miles away, the rivers will fill and flood eventually into our bays along the

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coast. We may not see a drop of rain in The Bend for six months, but the surge of freshwater can kill entire oyster beds. But, when conditions are right, oysters are incredibly resilient. A single oyster can filter up to fifty gallons of seawater per day, cleansing and purifying the ocean. It is one of the miracles of nature that oysters, by doing so much good for the environment, become so delicious as a result. Oysters are rich in zinc, calcium, iron, and selenium. The metallic taste of oysters comes from these healthy minerals of the sea. Oysters are also rich in protein and vitamin B12. The tiny oyster, with its

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intense and unusual flavor, is also a powerhouse of nutrition. If you prefer your oysters raw, icy-cold, served on the half-shell in their own juices, finished with a crisp white wine, we salute you. If you don’t take your oysters raw, or if you want to elevate the flavors to another level, try this simple preparation. For thousands of years, hardworking folks waded into the water and harvested their oysters by hand, then cooked them in their shells over a fire. Fire is still the best way to unlock an oyster’s flavors. Two minutes on the grill, and they are ready. A simple garlic-butter sauce accentuates the flavor of the sea in oysters. We added chives and edible flowers from blooming bok choy. These beautiful yellow flowers have a light, fruity, almost peppery flavor to balance the brininess of the liquid. The central ingredient of our slaw changes to reflect the harvest of our gardens. In March, our slaw features Scarlet Bor kale, Late Flat Dutch cabbage, Danver’s Half-Long carrots, and other freshly-picked vegetables. You can find these ingredients in your garden, at Kimmi’s Fine Foods in Rockport, or at one of the local farmers’ markets. Oysters are a gift from the sea, but they are also a gift to the sea. They cleanse the surging tides and hold their secrets in their shells, to be opened at your table, and revealed in wave upon wave of flavor.

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Grilled Oysters with Garlic Butter

Kale Slaw

Serves 4

Serves 6

Prep time: 10 minutes

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes



2 dozen whole oysters

3/4 cup sunflower seeds

6 tbsp unsalted butter

1 egg yolk

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 tsp salt

Juice of one lemon (about 2 tbsp)

1/8 tsp red pepper flakes

1 tsp Dijon mustard


1/2 tsp salt

Preheat grill to medium-high. Scrub oysters with a coarse bristle brush under cool running water. Discard any oysters that are open. Place the oysters flat side down on the grill. Close the lid to the grill and heat for 2-3 minutes. Remove oysters from heat and set aside.

1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Shuck any oysters that did not open during the cooking process using a flathead screwdriver. Using a knife, separate the oyster muscle from the shell. Serve oysters on the half shell with garlic butter.

1 cup carrots, shredded

Garlic Butter: In a small saucepan, heat butter over low heat. Once butter is mostly melted, add garlic, salt and pepper. Cook an additional 30 seconds to 1 minute, stirring constantly. Serve warm, spooned onto grilled oysters. Top with minced chives and edible flowers.


1 tsp poppy seeds 1 tbsp honey 1 cup kale, shredded 1 cup cabbage, shredded 3/4 cup golden raisins

Preheat oven to 400°F. Spread sunflower seeds on a baking sheet. Roast for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside. In a medium-sized bowl, beat egg yolk well. Slowly drizzle olive oil into egg yolk and whisk well to incorporate. Continue to add olive oil a little at a time while whisking mixture, until a mayonnaise consistency is reached. Add lemon juice, Dijon mustard, salt, pepper, poppy seeds and honey to egg mixture. In a large bowl, combine kale, carrots, and cabbage, fold in prepared poppy seed dressing, golden raisins, and reserved sunflower seeds. Serve with grilled oysters, fish, or barbecue.

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Cuisine | Gardening

Did you know? • Tomato is actually a fruit.

Farmer’s Secrets for Growing Tomatoes! These Farmer’s Secrets will Help You Grow More Tomatoes and they Will Taste Even Sweeter! By: Justin Butts Photos: Rachel Durrent


omatoes are the most popular garden vegetable in The Bend, but they are also one of the hardest plants to grow. The typical tomato plant yields between 5 to 20 pounds of fruit. But these techniques will help you produce more than 50 pounds of ripe, red tomatoes from each of the plants in your garden!

Full Sun, Well-Composted Soil Begin by planting your tomatoes in rich, well-composted, well-drained soil in a space that gets at least eight of direct sunlight per day.

yields through the end of the season. The smaller the variety (Juliette, Super Sweet 100), the easier they are to grow.

Bury Plants Deeply Bury your tomato transplants 2/3rds of the way into the ground. Each of the tiny hairs down the stem is a potential root. A vigorous root system makes a more prolific plant.

The Essential Soil Amendments

Strategy for Tomato Varieties

Before you bury the transplant, throw a handful of homemade wood ash (from native trees only), and another handful of crushed oyster shells (from a local feed store) into the bottom of the hole.

Some plant tomato varieties mature quickly (Early Girl), and others thrive in the heat of summer (Solar Fire, Heatwave). This gives you early production and extends your

Wood ash is rich in potassium for plant health and flavor of the fruit. Crushed oyster shells offer calcium, which helps prevent blossom end rot. Sprinkle more wood ash

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and crushed oyster shells around the base of each plant.

Preventing Fungal Diseases Dust the leaves of the plants with horticultural corn meal (from a local feed store) to prevent the fungal diseases that cause yellow or black spots on tomato leaves.

Mulch Thickly with Native Leaves Mulch your tomato plants thickly (up to twelve inches or even deeper!) with native leaf mulch. An ultra-thick layer of leaf mulch will keep the soil nice and cool and help your tomatoes produce even in the hottest weather.

Companion Plant for Pest Control Plant four collards plants or (at least) a dozen marigolds around the base of each tomato. Collards emit an odor that repels bad insects from your tomatoes. Marigolds repel nematodes.

Use a Sturdy Trellis Shoddy, concentric ring trellises will probably collapse under the healthy plants you will grow with these techniques. Use sections of hog panel wired to metal t-posts to hold up your vigorous vines!

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• Tomatoes originated in the Andes Mountains of Peru. Cortez was the first European to taste tomatoes when he encountered the Aztec Empire in 1519. Cortez sent tomato plants back to Spain and they quickly spread around the world. • The fruit was largely feared in Europe in the 1700s! They called the fruit “poison apple” as many of the wealthy who ate it would become seriously ill and die upon eating it. But what was really poisoning these Europeans was their fancy pewter plates and the high lead content in them. Tomatoes, high in acidity, reacted with the lead, and killed many. The pretty fruit was deemed the culprit for 200 years. • The French called tomatoes "love apples." They believed tomatoes to be an aphrodisiac. Early American colonists wrongly believed that tomatoes were poisonous, and called them "wolf peaches." President Thomas Jefferson, who lived for years in France, helped popularize tomatoes in America.

Cuisine | Dining Guide

Dining Guide

Corpus Christi

Padre Island

Port Aransas

Outdoor dining

Live music

American $ = Under $10 $$ = Mostly $10 - $20 $$$ = $20 and up The Bend Magazine Dining Guide is a select list of restaurants around the Coastal Bend. Implicitly, the magazine’s editors recommend all of these restaurants and they are not advertisements. Listings are updated monthly and appear based on space availability. Reviews and articles are written by our editors as a service to readers. Restaurant owners: If you have news about your restaurant or a correction to our listing, we’re all ears! Send an email to or call (361) 792-3606

8te $

A shabby chic interior feel with classic comfort dishes that have a simple twist. They have it all breakfast, lunch, and dinner! 1220 Airline #250, (361) 723-0261, Andy’s Country Kitchen $ You will feel right at home just like eat’n in mom’s kitchen. Great southern comfort food that gets back to the basics! 5802 S Staples St, (361) 993-0251, Atomic Omelette & Grill $ Omelettes are just the beginning here! Comfortable atmosphere with a flavor for casual dining and handmade family recipes. 6313 Wooldridge Rd #10, (361) 334-3942, Citrus Bayfront Bistro $ Enjoy everything homemade, even down to the pie crusts with a gorgeous view of the marina. 100 N Shoreline Blvd, (361) 882-2047, Gears $ All of Gear’s breads are baked in-house along with the cinnamon rolls and cookies. The meats are cured and smoked also in-house, and sauces are made from scratch. N Mesquite St, (844) 224-3277,

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Hamlin Pharmacy & Fountain $

The last Soda Fountain in Corpus Christi, TX! Although they’ve expanded and changed over the many years, their old fashioned values and friendly service has remained the same. 3801 S Staples St., (361) 8537303, Irie’s Island Food $ With bold purpose and flavor craving taste buds, they set forth a new twist on local fare and many culinary delights from islands around the globe. 503 N Alister St, (361) 749-2310, Liberty Hall Inferno $$ Herbs and vegetables grown on site, your dining experience will be unforgettable! 106 E. Cotter, (361) 749-4888

MacDaddy’s Family Kitchen $$

Serves BBQ, Fried Chicken & Seafood. Big tables for big groups, they’ll also deliver! 118 Beach St,(361) 749-2271

Padre Island Burger Company $$ Burgers, burgers, and burgers! Build it yourself or choose from their handcrafted menu. 11878 TX-361, (361) 949-3490,


Cuisine | The Drink

Sweet with the Heat The Post at Lamar Park knows how to make the medium-sized chili pack a big-sized punch! By: Jinky Romero Photos: Taylor Cravey

Although it’s called a martini and served in a martini glass, it’s essentially really in the Margarita class. It’s thought that the very first Mexican Martini originated at The Cedar Door in Austin, Texas. Although recipes vary, it’s likely made primarily with tequila and orange liqueur. Due to its size, customers are often given the cocktail shaker so they can pour themselves the remaining!


ith only a year and a few months under their belt, The Post at Lamar Park has quickly established themselves as one of the premiere spots in the Coastal Bend. The chill atmosphere, the stand-out dishes, and, of course, their unique and innovative cocktails have been their ladder to the top. One of the more popular cocktails is their Mexican Martini. As one of the very first drinks on the menu, the owners who started this “gastropub” collaborated to craft and perfect the cocktail. The Post’s Beverage Director, Jacob McClain, is one of the creators of the Mexican Martini. He describes the cocktail as a well-rounded

88 The Bend

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and balanced drink that gives off that vibrant coastal vibe that our city is known for – and he’s not wrong! The drink is deliciously spicy. The jalapeño-infused tequila mixed with Combier and fresh lime juice with some house-made syrup, complimented by a splash of olive juice to give it body, creates the perfect blend of sweet with heat. It’s a balance that will definitely make you want more than just one round. It’s fun, fresh, and has just the right amount of spice to twist up the traditional martini. 411 Doddridge St #102, Corpus Christi, TX 78411 (361) 452-0907

Cuisine | Dining Guide Surfside Sandwich Shoppe $ Dine inside or outside on the patio, and enjoy their large assortment of sandwiches and sides or have a nice cold beverage. Don’t forget the homemade desserts! 15113 S Padre Island Dr, (361) 949-0505,

Sang’s Imperial Café $$ Culturally dynamic décor brings an international ambiance to the atmosphere. Their commitment to the healthiest and freshest food shows through from the dishes to the sushi bar. 4650 Corona Dr, (361) 808-8881,

The Blue Cove $$ Indulge in the art of food with The Blue Cove. Family owned and served with love, this quaint little place will soon become your go-to spot for a weekend bite. 1945 Horne Rd, (361) 855-2927,

TakeNiwa $$$ Sit in Hibachi and watch their talented chefs prepare your dinner. Or treat yourself to juicy steak and full sushi bar, your choice! 5216 S Padre Island Dr, (361) 356-6888,

The Glass Pavilion $$ Casual hotel eatery offering simple American mains and views of the sea. Did we mention they also offer a breakfast buffet? Stop in for breakfast, lunch, or dinner! 2nd Floor Omni Corpus Christi Hotel, 900 N Shoreline Blvd, (361) 887-1600,

Hoegemeyer’s BBQ $$

The Grille $ Ensures you’ll always have the variety that is the spice of life! With ingredients sourced from Texas, burger patties and soups are all made from scratch. 3063 Main St, (361) 775-1000,

Owned and operated by 3rd generation BBQ restaurant owners. They mesquite smoke the finest meats available and strive to provide the best food and service to their customers. 1702 US Hwy 181, (361) 704-6249, 15013 Northwest Blvd., (361) 933-0143, m

The Groove $$ A little something for every discriminating craving with an eclectic dining experience. Nothing is ever frozen or put in a fryer! 2001 N Hwy 35, (361) 729-3663,

The Post $$ Enjoy this pub in a communal setting with dishes that are meant to be shared, all alongside a cocktail or beer of course! 3850 S Alameda, (361)452-0907, Town & Country Café $ This down-to-earth dinner serves the best in homestyle American comfort food for breakfast and lunch. 4228 S Alameda St, (361) 992-0360,


Barbeque Smoked fresh barbeque on a strong German heritage background and a satisfaction for something unique. South Texas barbeque that comes from the heart. 711 Concrete St, (361) 884-4227, ll

Mike Cotten’s BBQ $$

(Corpus Christi) Bar & Grill

Boathouse Bar & Grill $$ The best thing about the Boathouse Bar & Grill is that there’s something for everyone; a mouthwatering menu, 4 full bars with HDTV’s, waterfront patio dining, friendly service, and a fun, relaxing atmosphere. 15241 Leeward Dr, (361) 589-9601, Brewster Street Ice House $$ Who says that you can’t have 4-star food in a casual environment? Not the Brewster Street Grill! Bring your kids or stay for a concert, they have it all. 1724 N Tancahua, (361) 884-2739,

Aka Sushi $$ Creative and daring rolls that work well together. The authentic Asian cuisine made with the chef’s homemade recipe will be sure to surprise you. 415 N Water St, (361) 882-8885

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Executive Surf Club $$

The perfect casual family dining spot. All the while supplying the most beer on tap in the city. 309 N Water St, (361) 884-7873,

FINS Grill and Icehouse $$

For the past 11 years, they’ve featured fresh seafood, 1/2 lb Angus beef burgers & chicken. Full bar and you “You Hook ‘Em, We Cook ‘Em” for the fisherman. 420 West Cotter, (361) 749-8646, Stingray’s Taphouse and Grill $$ An industrial-chic elite sports bar that provides you ‘raving fans’ a unique dining and entertaining experience, right around the corner from the beach! 401 Beach St, (361)749-2287,

The Brewery $$ Brick oven pizza, pub food & burgers sound good? How about a fresh brewed-in-house beer? 429 Alister Street (361) 749- 2739,

Café BonnA-Petit $ Chef Sophie will always make you feel warmly welcomed, just as her gourmet dishes do. And don’t forget to grab a to-go dinner! 4301 S Alameda St, (361) 334-2579, Daily Grind $ A coffee bar with personality, they offer the finest in gourmet, rustic, or straight-up coffee favorites. Hungry? Stick around for their daily quiche specials, scones, and sandwiches. 302 S Austin St, (361) 790-8745,

Fillingood Bakery $ With fresh bread baked in house, they make breakfast and lunch a delight! 3819 S Alameda St., (361) 225-4663,


Cuisine | The Dish

All Local, All Heart From the creative minds behind local favorite Munchies Bus comes a new downtown spot that aims to serve the best our local food, music, and art scene has to offer. By: Jinky Romero Photos: Rachel Durrent


t all started with a similar vision – to create a “cultural epicenter” in the heart of Corpus Christi where local food, beer, art, fashion, and music can come together. With this, The Exchange was born. The team of Hank Harrison, Xavier Ramos, Jeremy Wells, Chris Navarro, and Tony Nichols now find themselves on the precipice of changing the city’s downtown scene forever. The set up of The Exchange is unlike anything the Coastal Bend currently has. It’s won’t just have one but four familiar brands that will be in-house to serve the customers. Munchies Bus, Chef Tony’s Custom Cuisine, Green Light Coffee, and Moonlight Macaroons will all run separate portions in the hub – making The Exchange home to some of the best coffee, the best pastries, and the best meals that can be found in our city. The main restaurant will serve American

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Fusion, with dishes like beer-braised pork belly with butternut squash purée served with quinoa and kale, a shrimp dish called “Shrimp Threeways,” which is sautéed Cajun shrimp on top of wild rice with pineapple mango salsa and pineapple poppy seed Sriracha sauce on the plate, and the American classics like burgers, pastas, and grilled cheese (with a creative twist, of course!). “[The Exchange] will literally breathe creativity - from the floor to the ceiling and especially all over the walls and your palate,” CEO Jeremy Wells shares. With The Exchange, it seems like there are no small plans. And with all this and more on the horizon, it won’t be long until it cements itself as the catalyst for this new era in the city – an era that smells a lot like local. 224 N Mesquite St, Corpus Christi, TX 78401 (361) 414-9788

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The Exchange also comes alive as a bar equipped with 100 craft beers from all over the country, art by the people and for the people, and music-based block parties.

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Cuisine | Dining Guide Hester’s Café and Coffee Bar $ Looking for a true family experience where love is the number one ingredient, along with the simple but important concept of quality and the healing powers of good food. 1902 N. Shoreline Blvd, (361) 885-0151, 1714 S Alameda St, (361) 885-0558, 3812 S Alameda St, (361) 855-1892, JB’s German Bakery $ Committed to maintaining the highest German standard, every product is handmade following age-old German traditions and recipes. There are no short-cuts at JB’s. 15137 S Padre Island Dr, (361) 949-5474,

Sugarbakers $

Great cuisine with a French and European influence. They use locally-sourced ingredients whenever possible with mostly everything made from scratch. 2766 Santa Fe St, (361) 884-9541, French Bleu Bistro $$$ True playful twists to classic French bistro dishes. The chef’s commitment to the use of fresh, local, peak-ofthe-season products is evident in the quality of each dish. 500 N Water St, (361) 887-2121, Dragonfly $$$ A fine multitude of international backgrounds to the cuisine prepared entirely from scratch daily by the owner and culinary artist. The menu is full of unforgettable flavor profiles to satisfy any craving. 14701 S Padre Island Dr, (361) 949-2224, Gr

Italian Authentic New York Pizza $$ True, authentic New York Pizza right in your hands in Corpus Christi, complete with red-checkered tablecloths. 5838 S Staples St, (361) 986-1151,

Bella Luna Downtown $$

Authentic gourmet Italian cuisine always made fresh to order in the heart of The Marina Arts District. 429 Schatzell St, (361) 887-4777,

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Bellino’s $$

Comfortable and welcoming with a trattoria style authentic cuisine. You won’t find these dishes anywhere else in Corpus Christi! 3815 S Alameda St, (361) 8148998, 523 S. Fulton Beach Rd, (361) 729-9003, Brooklyn Pie Co. $ Enjoy a slice or indulge a whole “pie” of their delicious secret pizza tradition. 15326 S Padre Island Dr, (361) 949-1100,

Grimaldi’s Pizzeria $$ Distinctive and authentic pizza baked to perfection in a signature coal burning oven you can see right from your seat, offers a unique crisp flavor. 5488 S Padre Island Dr, (361) 980-8600,

House of Rock $ Great pizza and appetizers, cold beer, and live entertainment! Does it get any better? $$ 511 Starr St, (361) 882-7625, Mamma Mia’s $$$ Warm and cozy mom and pop Italian experience will make you feel like family. Entrees are delicious Italian culture on a plate. 128 N Mesquite St, (361) 8833773, Mesquite St. Pizza and Pasta Co. $$ Their 60-year-old pizza oven brought in straight from Brooklyn New York makes for the perfect pizza. Plus, all the crusts and sauces are made in house. 617 Mesquite St, (361) 882-7499, Padre Pizzeria $ For over 15 years, their famous Padre Pizza dough is handmade, hand-tossed and prepared daily. 14493 S Padre Island Dr, (361) 949-0787, Port “A” Pizzeria $$ Bring the kids, as this family-friendly pizzeria offers an all-day buffet, video games and draft beer. Or, order straight off the menu! 407 E Avenue G, (361) 7495226, Trattoria Taddei $$ The chef’s recipes and experience, all with a genuine Italian flavor, come down from his home region’s authentic traditional cuisine personally passed from generation to generation over many centuries. 920 Louisiana Ave, (361) 884-4400, [the lifestyle magazine of the coastal bend]

Venetian Hot Plate $$$ Quality cuisine and a quaint, yet energetic atmosphere, giving a real touch of Italy. 232 Beach St, (361) 749-7617,

Mediterranean Ginger Café and Grill $$ Eastern hospitality and authentic Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine, there’s so much to love about these Persian, Turkish, Lebanese, and Indo-Pakistani specialties. 7009 S Staples #103, (361) 946-9834,

Mexican Molé $$ The vision lies in freshness, tradition and distinction; Mole’ is where true Central Mexican Cuisine can be enjoyed. 6042 S Padre Island Dr, (361) 334-6081,

Per uvian Costa Sur Wok & Ceviche Bar $$ This cevicheria is a true Peruvian party on your palette. The dishes are fresh takes on traditional originals from Peru. 15113 S Padre Island Dr #101, (361) 9458303,

Seafood Black Marlin Bar & Grill $$$ Sit indoors, sit outdoors, see the Gulf Coast from any seat in the house while diving into top-quality coastal cuisine, live music and the best views around. 258 Snapdragon, (361) 749-4653, Blackmarlinbarandgrill. com

Lance's Black SheepBistro $$

A unique, trendy atmosphere that transcends age and style with a menu full of foods rich, colorful, and full of flavor. 15201 S Padre Island Dr, (361) 949-4819, Doc’s Seafood and Steaks $$ Lively and enjoyable selection for surf ‘n’turf in an open-air setting overlooking the water, plus live music. 13309 S Padre Island Dr, (361) 949-6744,


Cuisine | Dining Guide Glow $$ From a renovated boathouse, they offer simply-cooked bistro fare using the best local seafood and produce. Bright, relaxed atmosphere with white-washed ship lap wood walls and a full bar. 1815 Broadway St, (361) 727-2644,



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Harrison’s Landing $$

Tavern on the Bay at Harrison’s Landing is Corpus Christi’s newest outdoor restaurant and bar located in the heart of the city’s marina, and is the only place in town with a floating bar! 108 Peoples St, (361) 881-8503,

Island Time Sushi Bar & Seafood Grill $$ Stop in for fresh and inventive sushi, seafood, appetizers and desserts! Check out the weekday specials! 14225 S Padre Island Dr, (361) 949-3046, Laguna Reef $$ Bring in your own catch straight from your boat, or order off their tasteful menu! With excellent views of the marina, family owners & operators, Laguna Reef is the place to be. 4242 Laguna Shores Rd, (361) 937-2600,

Latitude 28˚02’ $$$

Contemporary dining experience specializing in tasty fresh, local seafood. Eye-catching walls that serve as a gallery space, holding colorful works by local artists. 105 N Austin St, (361) 727-9009,

Lisabella’s Bistro $$$ Casually coastal elegance with a family-friendly setting. The menu boasts a remarkable gourmet twist to your favorite fare, and a full bar that goes beyond just ordinary. The mermaids may even share their secrets. 5009 Hwy 361, (361) 749-4222, Rock & Rolls Sushi Lounge $$ At Rock & Rolls, they’re dishing out the most delectable and delicate fish from islands all over the world. Delight in a “sound check” or cold appetizer, an “opening act” or hot appetizer, then “plug in” for some rolls and sashimi! 15121 S Padre Island Dr #101, (361) 9491110,


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Roosevelt’s at the Tarpon Inn $$$ Gourmet dining at its finest in a beautiful Louisiana style home that sets the perfect tone for a taste of luxury. Historic background gives a unique sense of its [the lifestyle magazine of the coastal bend]

famous visitors. 200 E Cotter Ave, (361)749-1540, Saltwater Grill $$ Unique family atmosphere with fresh and tasty seafood that will leave you coming back for more. 2401 Cimarron Blvd, (361) 993-7258, Scuttlebutt’s Bar & Grill $$ Extensive menu, makes sure to have something for everyone. Foods made from scratch from the dressings to the burger patties. 14254 S Padre Island Dr, (361) 949-6769,

Seafood & Spaghetti Works $$ A unique dining experience, you’ll find the very best in seafood, steak, Italian dishes, pizza, soups, and desserts all made from scratch. 901 S Alister St, (361) 749-5666, Shells $$ Warm, inviting neighborhood restaurant offers a creative and far-ranging menu that reflects a variety of world cuisines. Shakes off the old and tired and gets down to real good food. 522 E Avenue G, (361) 749-7621, Shempy’s Grill $$ Laid-back setting with a variety of delightfully cooked fish will turn anyone into a seafood lover. 3913 Highway 35 S, (361) 727-0019, Snoopy’s Pier $$ Outdoor dining experience and local harvested quality with an on-site fish house and shrimp breading facility that enables the freshness. 13313 S Padre Island Dr, (361) 949-8815, The Boiling Pot $$ Roll up your sleeves and take manners to a new level for a great Cajun experience. 201 S Fulton Beach Rd, (361) 729-6972 The Pheonix $$ This international bistro/nouveau American fine-quality cuisine is prepared daily using many ingredients from the Corpus Christi Farmer’s Market creating a constantly eclectic seasonal menu, where guests can choose to sit indoor and outdoor. 337 N Alister St, (361) 749-9277, Facebook/The-Phoenix-Restaurant-and-Bar Trout Street Bar & Grill $$$ Cajun-inspired seafood in an airy environs is a wondrous way to enjoy food and cocktails inside the nautical themed restaurant or on the outdoor deck offering marina views. 104 West Cotter, (361) 7497800,




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[the lifestyle magazine of the coastal bend]

Cuisine | Dining Guide

Water Street Oyster Bar $$

Long-standing, well-known Corpus Christi landmark operation serving oysters, sushi rolls & Gulf seafood in a historic, brick-walled space. 309 N Water St, (361) 881-9448,

Water Street Seafood Company $$$

Locally owned and operated and voted “Best of the Best” seafood. Fish is fresh never frozen, while sauces and dressings are all made in house from scratch. 309 N Water St, (361) 882-8683,

Yardarm $$$ Savory seafood dishes with great bay view seating. Family owned gives off a special ambiance in the atmosphere as well as the entrees. 4310 Ocean Dr, (361) 855-8157

Steakhouse Katz 21 $$$ Sets the standard for premier fine dining experience. Prime steakhouse specializes in dry-aged prime beef and fresh gulf coast seafood. 5702 Spohn Dr, (361) 884-1221, Niko’s Steakhouse $$$ Committed to the motto “Great food, Great times, Great experience.” Casual and elegant atmosphere that will exceed any steak lover’s expectations. 5409 Saratoga Blvd, (361) 992-2333,

Republic of Texas $$$$

Thai Thai Cottage $$ Unique and refreshing, Thai curries meet teriyaki and Chinese dishes in a cozy red cottage. 5830 McArdle Rd, (361) 993-0777,

Vietnamese Vietnam Restaurant $$$ Local fine dining with an extensive menu and eye catching Vietnamese culture spread throughout the dining area. 701 N Water St, (361) 853-2682,

One of the top dining destinations. A multi-level steakhouse offers diners beautiful panoramic views of the CC Bay. All the ingredients for the perfect experience! 900 N Shoreline Blvd, (361) 8871600,

[the lifestyle magazine of the coastal bend]


History | Looking Back

Fishing guide Barney Farley displays President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s catch as boat captain Ted Mathews and Elliott Roosevelt look on.

Silver Kings of the Coastal Bend Tarpon fishing drew people from around the nation to the Coastal Bend. By: Jillian Becquet Photo Credit: From the John Fred’k ‘Doc’ McGregor Collection at the Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History


f you’re an avid angler and haven’t caught a tarpon off the waters of Corpus Christi, it’s probably not for lack of trying. For the first half of the 20th century, tarpon, a migratory fish, were said to be so plentiful off the coast of Port Aransas that their mid-air acrobatics would land them in your boat without need for a rod and reel.

In May of 1937, President Franklin D. Roosevelt arrived in Port Aransas and set out to fish without the help of a local guide. The president and his party brought their own boat on the trip, but without the knowledge of local guides, Roosevelt’s fishing trip was at first uneventful. Once he was aboard a Farley boat with guide Barney Farley, his

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luck changed. Paparazzi were able to catch the president pull in huge tarpon, and the footage was shown on newsreels around the country. Farley boats were specifically designed and built for tarpon fishing off of Port Aransas, and locals and tourists all sought out these boats for their fishing trips. Generations of the Farley family-built boats in Port Aransas began in 1915. They were built specifically to handle the rough Gulf waters and had low sides for easy access to fishing from any part of the boat. Historians and scientists have many ideas about where the tarpon went—from drought to the dredging of ship channels—but through history, finding yourself aboard a Farley boat was always a great way to land a tarpon.

[the lifestyle magazine of the coastal bend]


[the lifestyle magazine of the coastal bend]


Phil Neessen, the owner and president of Neessen Automotive, has been in business in the Coastal Bend area for 37 years now. He is a second generation car dealer who is currently working with his son to create a third generation of locally owned dealerships. Phil’s concentration when he began and still to this day is to treat his customers with honesty and respect.. to “treat our customers like neighbors!” Neessen and his wife, Gayle, have 3 grown children and one grandchild. They have a deep love and appreciation for the entire Coastal Bend Community.