Brentwood Country Club is a case study in effective land reclamation. A spot that was once fallow fields and rice paddies now houses a stunning golf course ringed with palm trees and native plants, where players of all skill levels master the challenges of the landscape’s shifting winds and winding creeks. PGA professionals help visitors select perfectly matched clubs and gear in the pro shop, outfitting golfers with footwear, bags, and casual attire from brands such as Callaway, Polo, Titleist, and Ping. The clubhouse also welcomes players for postround unwinding, inviting them to share stories of their exploits or select from shelves of leatherbound Arnold Palmer fan fiction in a lounge lit by a crackling fireplace. In addition to spotless fairways, the 140-acre facility boasts an extensive tennis and pool complex and a rustic, wood-raftered restaurant ready for weddings and banquets.
As the star of CMT's Gator 911, Gary Suarage knows a thing or two about handling gators?the show documents Gary and his team's efforts to rescue gators from strange places and transport them to refuge. But to admire Gary's work, you don't have to watch it on TV or read an gator's grateful memoir. Instead, you can visit Gator Country, Gary's 15-acre reservation in Beaumont populated by crocodiles, snakes, and?of course?gators. Here, visitors get up-close and personal with some of the world's most intimidating reptiles while feeding them, snapping pictures, and learning about them during educational shows. For the bravest guests, Gator Country even offers a swimming-with-gators experience, during which the gator's mouth is taped shut, making it safe to divulge your secrets in its ear.
If the “Tortoise and the Hare” taught us anything, it’s that slow and steady wins the race. And at Tony's Barbecue & Steak House, slow and steady cooking has ordinary dinners beat with pork ribs and brisket that spend a good 12 hours sizzling over South Texas hickory. The barbecue meals are joined by hearty steaks, smoked ham and turkey plates, and quail dinners. Many of the menu items are cooked with one of founder Antonio Ruiz's secret recipes for dirty rice, barbecue sauce, and pork and brisket rubs. Before opening the first Tony’s Barbecue in Baytown, Ruiz spent 15 years developing his craft at a local barbecue restaurant in Houston.
Tuscany Italian Restaurant only has four appetizers on its menu, including garlic cheese bread and fried calamari. Having such few antipasti, though, means the kitchen can focus on crafting a wide array of hearty entrees, from pizzas and meatball subs to ribeye steaks drenched in cream sauce. Lovers of chicken or seafood can find plenty to salivate over?for instance, the linguine frutti de maro is a veritable ocean block party, fitting salmon, scallops, mussels, clams, and shrimp into the same forkful.