Category Archives: Food & Entertainment

TABC Launches New Website

TABC

A top-to-bottom redesign of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission’s public website is live, offering users improved TABC search capabilities. Users now also have the ability to download application forms, and obtain quick and easy access to public information. The new site is the result of a more than nine-month redesign process relying on alcoholic beverage industry feedback. This includes those agency employees, state lawmakers and industry members. The site is…

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Saving Texas Wineries & Distilleries

wine tasting

Texas wineries and distilleries are facing a crisis. As Texas continues to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, tasting rooms at hundreds of wineries and distilleries remain closed. This limits consumer access, negatively affects sales, impacts jobs and reduces tax revenue for local and state governments. Gov. Greg Abbott’s Executive Order closing bars had the consequence of forcing Texas winery and distillery tasting rooms to close. Industry leaders recently announced the launch…

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Keto Bakeries Change Lives

A treat of keto-friendly cupcakes is shown at Keto Sweets & Treats in Alamo.

Karla Ugarte and Juan Palma were coming off nine solid months of new business success when they reached for more in opening their second Keto Sweets & Treats. The husband-and-wife team were building from solid ground with the customer and revenue gains from their Alamo bakery along Expressway 77/83. Moving into the bigger McAllen market with a location near the always busy intersection of 10th Street and Trenton Road was…

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Longhorn Cattle Company Is Back

Plates of hot meats and tasty sides are heaping and ready for Longhorn customers.

It was a day before the Longhorn Cattle Company reopening and owner Bill Turner was raring to go. “The fires are lit and the beans are cooking,” said Turner on June 2, the eve of his barbecue restaurant reopening after weeks of COVID-19 closure.  The San Benito mainstay business along the expressway is a destination restaurant in the Rio Grande Valley. The days of closure were long ones for a…

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Valley Businesses Regroup, Adjust To Life

Dien Nguyen says business is returning to his nail salon in San Juan. (VBR)

Adam Shidler stayed busy in the two weeks his Weslaco business was closed. Government-mandated shutdowns due to COVID-19 kept his downtown coffee shop temporarily shuttered. Shidler used the time to do maintenance and upkeep at Weslaco’s Daily Grind. Working in his shop, customers would see him inside and knock on windows and wave hellos. Weslaco’s Daily Grind’s customers missed their coffee shop – and the feelings were mutual.  “Our friends…

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Moonshiner Bring Slice Of Ozarks

Jerrod Leon Henry stands by his copper still in Los Fresnos.

Tape holds up a distiller’s and rectifier’s permit from the state to the front window of Jerrod Leon Henry’s emerging business. A gold 120-gallon copper still made in Tennessee sits inside of what will become the Rio Grande Distillery and Magic Valley Moonshine. It’s on Highway 100 on the outskirts of Los Fresnos. Traffic buzzes by on the way to Port Isabel and South Padre Island. Henry is bringing a…

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Linda’s Cakes Transforms to Serve Community

Andrea Bernes of Linda’s Cakes & Desserts Speciality Shop helps a customer with a purchase of goods like beans and potatoes now being sold at the Brownsville bakery. (Courtesy)

For Andrea Bernes, it started with a question that would transform her bakery in the coronavirus era. “A customer asked me if I would sell her flour,” said Bernes, the owner of Linda’s Cakes & Desserts Specialty Shop. Bernes mulled that over. It was mid-March and long lines were forming at grocery stores as the COVID-19 crisis arrived in the Rio Grande Valley.  “Then one of my suppliers asked if…

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The Smoking Oak Keeps Flame Going

Brisket sandwich from The Smoking Oak.

Mario Dominguez is a believer in the Central Texas style – and oak is the key. He starts the flame every Tuesday night at his hometown barbecue restaurant in Mercedes. It will then burn steady and sure for the next five days at The Smoking Oak. The line of customers starts forming before the noon hour at the BBQ restaurant on 546 Hidalgo Street. The oak burns slow, thus giving…

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Determination Tops Ranch House Burgers

Ranch House Burgers II in Mission. (Courtesy)

Ranch House Burgers II has new and temporary hours in the era of COVID-19. Every other day, the Mission restaurant is open from midnight to 3 a.m. Its customers are primarily police officers, state troopers and first responders. “They got tired of burritos from the convenience stores,” said Mike Barrera, the restaurant’s owner. “We’re a business, so we do charge for the meals to help keep my staff employed, but it’s…

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Fazoli’s Donates Free Meals to Pharr Families

Mayor Ambrosio Hernandez, the Pharr City Commission and PSJA ISD Culinary Arts program students accept a donation from Fazoli's during their Grand Opening celebration in Pharr in 2017.

The City of Pharr, Fazoli’s and local school districts are working together to help feed Pharr families in need. “Plans are underway to provide free meals to our families most in need on a weekly basis,” said Mayor Ambrosio Hernandez. “I wholeheartedly want to thank Jerry Maddox, Fazoli’s owner, for opening his doors and being so generous during these uncertain times. This is certainly a difficult time for many families…

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