Cuisine along the upper Texas coast goes beyond the deep-fried
When it comes to culinary culture on the upper Texas coast, seafood automatically leaps to mind. But it’s more complicated, in a delicious way. There are Cajun, Mexican, Greek and Asian influences, to name a few, along with deep-fried Texas traditions. And don’t forget barbecue.
We asked locals what they would recommend to visitors seeking to explore the local cuisine scene. Here’s what a few of you had to say:
Fresh local seafood — grilled, blackened or fried to perfection. There is nothing better than fresh seafood enjoyed on our beautiful island.
When people come to Galveston, they want fresh seafood from the Gulf. Local restaurants are great about having fresh, Gulf seafood, or you can always get it to take home at places like Katie’s.
Jennifer Citti Prochaska
Fish tacos are a must-try on the island.
I am a card-carrying shrimp-a-holic. I have loved shrimp for as long as I can remember, but growing up in New Jersey, fresh shrimp wasn’t an option. It’s such a pleasure to have fresh shrimp. Our local seafood crop is so easy to get. If you’re a seafood lover like I am, it doesn’t get much better than that.
Local seafood. I think some of the best grilled shrimp in town are served with bun at Pho 20. Also Mexican, not Tex-Mex, we have some tasty Mexican food here to be proud of and, of course, a little of our Acadian past with red beans and rice and other Cajun things.
Stephen F. Duncan
Seafood with a view.
A great plate of Mexican food simply tastes good after a few days of seafood and burgers. Tortuga’s has the best, and I think I’ve eaten at every Mexican restaurant in town. I have to have my Mexican food and salsa fix at least once a week.
Mexican and barbecue, unless they’re from Texas. Then I go for the seafood.
Barbecue and Mexican food. This is Texas after all.
Breakfast burrito: It’s just a Galveston staple. It seems like everyone I know loves Bronco Burrito in particular. Breakfast burritos are a great value and comforting to many Galveston residents in the same way biscuits and gravy are to people elsewhere in the South.
When visiting the upper Texas coast, it would be a crying shame to leave without trying the many versions of crab cakes served at area eateries. Barry Terrell, owner of Tookie’s Seafood, 1106 Bayport Blvd. in Seabrook, graciously shares this recipe.
Tookie’s Seafood Crab Cakes
2 egg yolks
1 tablespoon of mayonnaise
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning
1 tablespoon Creole mustard
5 tablespoons Frank’s RedHot
5 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 pound regular lump crab meat
1 pound jumbo lump crab meat
In a mixing bowl, combine all wet ingredients, Old Bay and parsley and whisk thoroughly.
Add panko to liquid mix and whisk again until panko is well blended in mixture.
Next, remove any shells from crab meat and lightly fold regular lump crab into mixture.
Last, add the jumbo lump meat into the mixture and lightly fold.
Form mixture into 10 equal-sized round cakes, about 1-inch thick.
Add oil to a large skillet or sauté pan and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side while covered with lid. Serve with your favorite sauce and enjoy.