From its paradisiacal perch on North Padre Island, Black Sheep Bistro spices up its menu of fresh seafood, steak, and pasta dishes with an array of international flavors, ranging from Mexican to Martian. Rich, flavorful appetizers like Nacho Ordinary Crab ($8)—a savory pile-up of toasted corn tortilla chips and fresh blue crab meat, topped with pepper jack cheese—complements the Bistro's warm, colorful ambiance and gives taste buds a seamless segue way to entrees such as the locally famous Little Joe ($25), a filet smothered in blue cheese and caramelized onions, and the Pescado La Ticla ($15), the catch of the day grilled over mesquite coals and slathered in pico de gallo. Diners with ample post-prandial stomach space can close with a slice of Grandma's Homemade Apple Pie A La Mode ($4.50). Otherwise, savor a glass of Napa Valley wine on the outdoor patio and feel the ocean breeze playfully muss your hair as you indulge in a little people watching, fleeing-people watching, zombie watching, and zombie fleeing.
Soaring white columns crowned by a pediment beckon guests to the door of Fernando's Restaurant—and once they're there, the aroma of char-grilled steaks, Latin seafood, and chicken simmered in wine sauce brings them over the threshold. At cloth-draped tables set with red linen napkins, diners settle into leather seats topping cherry-toned wood chairs.
Servers bustle through several feet of open space in between tables, carting such dishes as the tender steak Fernando, paired with asparagus and garlic mashed potatoes, and the signature paella: yellow saffron rice with a bounty of clams, mussels, scallops, shrimp, fish, crawfish, squid, chicken, and chorizo. Fernando himself often takes to the kitchen or waits on his guests alongside the servers.
The bar hosts both early and late-night happy hours, and a dance floor with music—sometimes live, sometimes blasted from a passing car outside—gets guests moving.
Three-sided tables house massive hot griddles at Koby Japanese Steakhouse, where chefs deftly dance with blades and flames to transform food preparation into a show. During dinner, they dice meats, juggle knives, and drum rhythms against the tabletops. They sculpt fried rice into massive hearts before slicing portions off and delivering them to guests’ waiting plates. For the finale, they prepare different proteins—from chicken to lobster—in signature sauces before they disappear in puffs of steam from their freshly cleaned griddles.
A towering chalkboard announces the menu at Chef Mark's restaurant, which certified executive chef Mark Carpenter erases and redrafts each day. Drawing from nearly 40 years of experience, Carpenter oversees an experienced kitchen staff as they whip up hearty comfort breakfasts and lunches from scratch. The restaurant's countertops steam with freshly made platters of pot roasts, meatloaf, and pork chops, and a salad bar showcases colorful vegetables and dressings. Meanwhile, a dessert bar is piled high with trays of warm cinnamon buns, crusty rolls, cookies, and pies. After selecting their meals, customers retire to a sunlit dining room filled with white-clothed tables. The welcoming, communal atmosphere is accentuated by decorative flower arrangements, a bookshelf of reading material, and a prohibition on duck hunting of any kind.
Those passing by Tequila Coast often hear melodies played on classical guitar drift out from behind the restaurant's towering stucco walls. After walking inside, guests see a sunlit courtyard, where guitarists wander between wrought-iron balconies, a four-tiered fountain, and a Talavera tiled staircase, serenading evening diners who linger over Mexican dishes and glasses of tequila drinks. In the kitchen, chefs fold freshly made tortillas, Angus steak, and gulf-water seafood into appealing arrangements of Mexican food. Behind the lengthy bar, drink-masters dole out beer and wine under the glow of flat-screen TVs. Guests can also snap photographs amidst the restaurant's rustic decor and artwork, posing alongside friends or the plate of seven enchiladas they've been double-dared to finish.
A friendly owner and an array of housemade desserts add a down-home element to the dishes served at Atomic Omelette and Grill, where diner- and southern-style classics comprise an ample menu. For breakfast, signature omelets get a kick from pecan-smoked bacon and serrano peppers, and pancakes come in one of seven flavors such as bananas foster or white chocolate and macadamia nut. Later in the day, sliced rib-eye steak is stacked inside authentic philly cheesesteaks, and chicken-fried chicken is accompanied by garlic bread and gravy.