Tastemakers

January 1, 2020

In all my years of experience as a diehard foodie and culinary thrillseeker, Galveston takes the cake for the greatest taste experiences I’ve ever had. It’s a city teeming with personality, fun, and flavor that will keep visitors coming back again and again while making the locals feel like the luckiest bunch in Texas. And if you’re looking for the perfect places to eat, you’ll find everything you’ve ever wanted and a million times more behind the restaurant doors of Galveston’s shores. Welcome, my new friends, to Tastemakers! Your personal joyride through the city’s hottest new restaurants!

If you’re from Texas like me, you’re probably well acquainted with our state’s laidback, no-frills style of barbecue. Succulent meats and steamy sides with portions fit for a king. Imagine all that and amp the presentation up through the roof and you’ve got Buck’s Barbecue Co., where their motto is “barbeque...elevated”. Founded by a self-taught barbecue master named Jim Buchanan, Buck’s BBQ set out on Day 1 with a mission to take traditional barbecue concepts and apply them in exciting new ways. And boy, do they deliver! They’ve got everything you could ever want for classic Texas barbecue with all the comforts and relaxation of a Sunday brunch café. Whether you’re in the mood for a full-flavored “Grilled Cheese-n-Brisket” made with homemade pimento cheese on Texas Toast, or a white-hot “Brisket Benedict” served on a savory scratch biscuit with Alabama white sauce and fried leeks, Buck’s BBQ has you covered all for affordable prices! And if you’re looking for something more on the sweet side, ask the staff about their secret off-menu brunch specials. You can find anything from sweet cream “Fruity Pebble Pancakes” to “Butterfinger Brisket Pancakes” topped with peanut butter and caramel. It’s a legendary barbecue experience you won’t want to miss, and it can be found at 801 Post Office Street right across from UTMB!

Maybe you’re in the mood to try something new. No, something newer than new. Something never-before-seen in the history of Galveston. Let me introduce you to the revolutionary Suki Poké By The Sea, Galveston’s first and only Poké café! Created by the incredible Chef Slevin Tran and his wife Suki, this restaurant prides itself on mixing all the fun and flare of traditional Hawaiian Poké with Japanese-American flavors in an inviting café experience. Here you can find Poké made from the freshest sushi ingredients and garden vegetables, all perfectly balanced after the finest Japanese cuisine. Complete with a rich variety of Boba teas, coffees, and authentic Southeast Asian snacks, Suki Poké is designed to be the perfect study spot for the hardworking student or the dream destination for the traveler in all of us. Come fall in love with “Suki's Rainbow Poké Bowl”, a mouthwatering marinade of five cuts of fish, five types of vegetables, and five kinds of fish eggs all cooked in an unbeatable blend of chef special sauces. Bring the whole family here at 427 Market Street for a culinary adventure they’ll never forget.

I can’t imagine Galveston, the eclectic Bohemian wonderland it is, without the iconic Gypsy Joynt restaurant. Many are familiar with this masterclass establishment and the indescribably flavorful foods it brings, but some of you may not know that the family-owned business recently opened a second location in town called Gypsy Joynt Jive. The Jive is a love letter to the world’s most delicious street food with that uniquely hippie twist that we’ve come to love from Galveston’s favorite nomadic restaurateurs. Every item they serve is a special recipe created from scratch by the beloved Weller clan, and this location is the latest in 20 years of restaurant owning tradition. Some of the most beautifully bizarre food I’ve ever heard of has been created here including their signature Chum Bags, sizzling walking tacos served in a bag of chips! If you’ve ever put chips in your sandwich (and I know you have), these things are to die for! While you’re at it, try out their Bobbers, three flavor-blasted sandwiches on homemade rolls that’ll leave you so satisfied you can’t wait to come back the next day! And don’t forget to finish off your meal with an ice-cold Bangarang Flip, a refreshing float made from your choice of fresh fruit, homemade lemonade, and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. With choices like Bobbers, Chum Bags, and Bangarang Flips, how could you not want to give this place a try? Come find Gypsy Joynt Jive on 2411 Strand Street next door to Bliss Lounge.

Just when you thought you’d seen it all, something new and exciting sprouts up ready to take the city by storm. This is the Galveston way, and it is also the way of Fish Company Taco, the island’s only fish taco restaurant owned and operated by a familiar face - Executive Chef Daya Myers-Hurt. She and her wife Laura originally owned The Lunchbox Café on 23rd Street before closing their doors in 2013. Now they are pleased to return to the island with a wonderfully fresh and innovative restaurant, drawing inspiration from Galveston’s extensive culinary history. Serving only Gulf Wild certified seafood and processing everything in-house, Fish Company Taco masters the delicate and delicious blend of southern and Asian flavors with their five signature tacos and fresh collar specials made from scratch every day. What makes this restaurant so iconic is their Oleander Dinner Series, a huge culinary arts celebration hosted on the second Monday of every month. With twenty open seats, one massive table, and dinners no fewer than five courses, Fish Company Taco prepares groundbreaking feasts for the city honoring the rich and illustrious history of the peoples who have shaped Galveston through the centuries including the Karankawa Native Americans and the Spanish conquistadors. Make sure to reserve your seating at the next Oleander Dinner Series event on January 13, 2020 for a legendary Spanish and Mediterranean feast seared and served on palm bark “Mermaid Tails”. Come get to know the Myers-Hurt family on 1914 23rd Street! You’ll know them when you see them by their golden front door.

That does it for my recommendations this time around, but please explore the rest of Galveston’s culinary community. There’s so much incredible food out there, and I’ve only scratched the surface. Do yourselves a flavor and go grab a menu! Support local business and keep Galveston beautiful!

 

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