Category Archives: Food & Entertainment

Custom Raspas for a New Age

Ashley Vasquez knows what it’s like to start small. “We started with a shack,” Vasquez said of Iced Cube, the millennial-inspired version of a raspa stand she and her husband, Jonathan Segura, started in Elsa in June 2018. “It was the most humble beginnings you can think of.” Iced Cube didn’t stay humble for long. Tapping into pop culture, social media and offering flamboyant creations that transform old-school raspas into…

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McAllen Toys R Us Site Redevelopment

The former Toys R Us site adjacent to La Plaza Mall in McAllen will soon undergo redevelopment by Houston-based Murdoch Capital LLC and Parkway Partners. Property plans have not reached finalization, but the partners report positive feedback in the preliminary stages of its marketing. “McAllen has a strong reputation for high retail sales volume, so we jumped at the opportunity to purchase this site as soon as it became available,” said…

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All in the Family: Salsa

Rebecca Garcia with jars of Blanquita’s Salsa made using her grandmother’s recipes. (VBR)

Rebecca Garcia was born into a large extended family with roots in Monterrey, Mexico. Her grandmother bore 11 children while her grandfather started a restaurant business, serving up barbacoa and other Mexican specialties from a small trailer. The family migrated north to Nuevo Progreso and eventually to the Harlingen area, along the way building and growing a restaurant business that thrives today. Starting out in trailers much like her grandfather…

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Building a Better Burger

Owner and chef Frank Macias with the Trump’s Burger Wall, piled high with American and Mexican flavors representing the cultural mix of South Texas. (VBR)

Frank Macias at times seems a bit surprised by his success. All the while, he is confident in the skills and vision that took him down a road from food truck operator to restaurateur with a plan for the future. The owner of Frankie Flav’z in Harlingen, Macias’s first job was flipping burgers at McDonald’s when he was 16. He bounced around from eatery to eatery until he was 22,…

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Idea Takes Flight Across RGV

Daniel Pompa and Bobby Saenz took an idea and built into a Valleywide chain of restaurants. (VBR)

They came from two different walks of life – the cook and retail store manager – and in a Brownsville kitchen during an Easter break, they mapped out the beginnings of a business plan. It was 2010 when Bobby Saenz, with years of retailing management experience, approached Daniel Pompa, a graduate of a culinary school, and made a pitch. “I had a vision of a restaurant – burgers, wings, country…

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Beer Center of ‘Experience’

Manager Kevin Norrell inside the glass-enclosed keg storage area at the Yard House in McAllen. (VBR)

Three thousand gallons of beer is kept at a temperature of 36-38 degrees in a glass-enclosed keg storage area that can be viewed from inside La Plaza Mall in McAllen. With some 130 beers on tap, the recently opened Yard House boasts the largest assortment of draft beer in the city. The cold beer is delivered to the establishment’s centerpiece, an island bar lined with colorful taps, through more than…

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Raising Cane’s Opens in Harlingen

Raising Cane’s is now open at 2120 S. 77 Sunshine Strip in Harlingen.

On Nov. 13, Raising Cane’s celebrated the grand opening of its first Harlingen restaurant located at 2120 S. 77 Sunshine Strip. Raising Cane’s hosted a “Lucky 20” drawing before opening its doors and awarded 20 customers free Cane’s for a year. In addition, the first 100 dine-in customers ages 13 and older to purchase a Combo meal received a free limited-edition Cane’s t-shirt. An extra freebie for each of them was a…

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A Cut Above the Competition

Norma Aguinaga shows off a box of fresh-cut Certified Angus Beef steaks ordered by a customer. (VBR)

Norma Aguinaga believes in divine intervention. Without it, Lord and Moe’s Meat Specialty Shop might not exist, and she might not even have a husband. “God still works miracles today for those that believe. Every customer that comes in here was brought by the Lord.” Norma and husband Erasmo began their journey together while working at Texas Meat Purveyors in Harlingen. That’s where they met and later married. With combined…

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Pressing for a Healthy Diet

Maribeny Jenis Otero’s fight against cancer led her to develop healthy products she markets at B.veggie. (Courtesy)

Maribeny Jenis Otero took a setback in her life and turned it into an opportunity to help others improve their health. Jenis is a cancer survivor and overcoming the disease meant changing her diet with an emphasis on plant-based nutrition. It would also lead her to create healthy juices she used to boost her health. When family and friends got a taste of her homemade beverages, they encouraged her to…

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Venue Gives Valley Boost

Welcomed with great fanfare and full houses, the $88-million, 219,000-square-foot Bert Ogden Arena opens a new chapter in the Rio Grande Valley as the largest entertainment venue in South Texas and a boon for regional economic development. An estimated 5,000 people turned out for grand-opening ceremonies and arena tours in August, entertainer Luis Miguel performed a sold-out concert in September, followed by a near sell-out for a WWE wrestling card.…

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