Each month the Red Tuna Shirt Club awards its members with a colorful cotton T-shirt artfully depicting aquatic images of top-rated saltwater charter businesses or guide services. Participants receive their trawl-happy threads by mail along with an informative overview of the featured captain’s backstory and favorite Power Ranger. Previous jerseys hailed from such vivid fishing locales as Costa Rica, the Bahamas, and Key West. Once a design is spotlighted, it is never repeated, making each shirt a collector's item and a poor choice for a dust towel; memberships may be given as gifts to the men and life-size fish in your family.
Dark wood and glowing lamps create an inviting atmosphere inside The M&M Restaurant & Bar, maintaining the building's place as a local institution in three centuries. Built for $500 in 1844, the restaurant has served generations of diners and even withstood the deadly hurricane of 1900. Changing hands and identities across the years, The M&M served as a saloon at the turn of the century, a grocer through Prohibition, and a boarding house during community productions of Oliver!. Today, chefs put together a menu that focuses on fresh seafood and juicy cuts of seared meats complemented by a rousing selection of libations. Families gather around tables topped with white linens or booths lined with green and brown fabrics, and summer months coax guests out onto the spacious patio.
Hailing from humble beginnings in a renovated Mississippian gas station, McAlister's Deli has revolutionized the concept of fast food with healthy fare recognized by Parents in 2009. Premium ingredients, such as Black Angus roast beef and black forest ham, pile upon stuffed potatoes or artisan bread, sating hungers and silencing stomachs before they recite bank-account numbers. As patrons wait for servers to deliver meals, they sip signature sweet tea, swirled together onsite daily from pure cane sugar and a rainforest-certified black-tea blend as dictated by a closely guarded recipe.
The chefs at Steve's Landing on Bolivar Peninsula, a short ferry ride from Galveston Island, are very picky about the sources of the ingredients in their surf and turf. There is, however, one ingredient they never turn down: a customer's own catch of the day. They can park their boats at the restaurant's dock after a day on the water and bring in their fish for chefs to filet and prepare in the fashion of one of the restaurant's featured dishes. This means that their locally caught filets can be transformed into fish tacos or be drizzled in chimichurri sauce just like the house salmon. Guests can also enjoy waterfront dining and an outside patio bar with their meals.
Along with these American classics, the cooks prepare the fruits of the sea in a variety of international flavors. Fresh snapper, fresh fruit mojitos, and crab cakes await hungry customers. They marinate shrimp in a tandoori sauce, serve jumbo lump crab cakes with a Cajun remoulade, and serve up fresh mounds of oysters during oyster season starting every November. All of these dishes can be paired with one of the house's premium steaks––including a 10-ounce filet mignon and a 12-ounce ribeye––to create the perfect balance of flavors.
In a brightly colored, inviting storefront, Orange Leaf's self-serve machines flow with swirls of frozen yogurt mixed daily and made with fat-free milk. Like the furniture in a mansion, the flavors chosen from the extensive menu rotate daily, and they include such concoctions as cheesecake, gingerbread, brownie batter, and peppermint. At least 30 varieties of topping await ascension to their cupped resting place, including seasonal fruits, favorite sweets such as M&M's and Butterfingers, and hearty nuts.
The staff at Orange Leaf rejects the oft-touted claim that Americans don’t care about nutrition. The problem, they say, has more to do with selection than anything else; most low-calorie sweets don’t hold a candle to a fudge brownie or a warm slice of apple pie. They kept this in mind when crafting their frozen-yogurt recipes, working tireless to develop a healthy—and equally delicious—alternative to the dessert status quo by turning to decadent confections and just-picked fruits for inspiration.
Their experiments thus far have yielded more than 60 frozen yogurt flavors, which take turns pumping through the self-serve machines that line their colorful shop’s wall. Before taking a seat in a bright orange chair, guests fill their dishes with cool, low-fat swirls of chocolate cheesecake, strawberry banana, and a classic tart that bites as pleasantly as a teething kitten. Juicy pears, crunchy granola, and gooey chocolate sauce headline a smorgasbord of at least 30 toppings ready to scooped or poured into cups before their final weigh-in.