I was desperate to escape the conference hotel where for the past two days I was stranded without a car and with nowhere to walk. The food on property was dreadful to the point where they overcooked the over easy eggs, dried out the pancakes and made frozen french fries seem like a gourmet treat. With a suggestion for the best filet, I was in a cab (at a cost of about $22 each way!) driving toward the center of Galveston, to the Strand area of shops/restaurants to find Rudy & Paco. The restaurant, next to the Opera House, serves seafood and steaks with Central and South American influences and flavors. The cab pulled right up to the restaurant which didn’t look appealing from the outside but once I opened the steel door, I entered an entirely different world.
Thinking that 6 p.m. was early on Saturday for dinner, I was dismayed to be told that the next bar seat wouldn’t be available for at least an hour (the wrong thing to say to a hungry person who escaped the tedium of the hotel and paid a crazy cab fare). Mentioning my disappointment to the hostess and host, they took my name and mobile number and said they would call me as soon as they could. In the meantime, I could wait at their sister restaurant/bar across the street. I passed on the “sit at the bar” option as my mood would veer toward a “pity party” liquid dinner had I gone there. Instead, I went in search of a different type of “pity party” treat – candy!
The candy of my childhood at La King’s
So I had an hour to wander the streets of Galveston which was easy to do as I window shopped here and there. It was the old fashioned candy store with ice cream counter of La King’s that I was on the hunt for as I really needed a chocolate infusion. Walking past many bars and restaurants, you can see the vibrant scene of the city in these few blocks (the other parts I walked past were office buildings, parking lots, and just blah concrete structures). Finding La King’s, I entered candy heaven and revisited a bit of my childhood candy store memories. While trying to decide just how many pieces of chocolate would soothe my escape, my mobile rang to let me know my bar stool was available. It wasn’t quite an hour, probably 35 minutes at that point. Paying for my treats, I made my way back to Rudy & Paco’s a few blocks away.
My happy place in Galveston – Rudy & Paco
Greeted by the host Paco, one of the owners, he apologized for the wait and my hotel experience. He said that the bartender would take good care of me. My seat was closest to the wall of celebrity photos and quite cozy at the end of the L shaped bar. The bartender brought me plantains to snack on as I perused the menu. While I was told to get the filet, there were so many tempting options available. Asking the bartender for help, she agreed the filet (Filete de Carne Presidente) was the way to go.
Plantain Chips a nice way to start my memorable meal at Rudy & Paco