Category Archives: Food & Entertainment

Festival to Celebrate Cultural Influences

Mexican performers from Oaxaca will entertain festival crowds with traditional dances. (Courtesy)

An ambitious five-day festival coming to McAllen in July will celebrate the past, present and future of Latino culture and its influence on the Rio Grande Valley. “We see the need to create a destination festival in the summer,” said Luis Cantu, vice president for international business and community development with the McAllen Chamber of Commerce. “It’s kind of a compilation of a lot of events we have done, but…

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Jumping to Heights of Success

The business plan is pretty simple. Offer modern facilities with kid-friendly fun, competitive pricing and top-notch customer service, and people will come. Xtreme Jump Trampoline Parks began in San Benito about three years ago and last month opened its newest location in Harlingen. They also have operations in McAllen, Corpus Christi and Laredo, with more planned in the near future for the Rio Grande Valley and other towns in Texas…

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Tampico Style Food on Wheels

Street tacos Tampico style are among the most popular menu items on the Food Mania restaurant on wheels. (VBR)

The kitchen is hot, customers are lining up, and Connie Chavirra is ready to serve. “You want jalapenos with that, mama?” she asks a customer, handing over a heaping plate of taquitos with slices of avocado, grilled onions and two lime slices on the side. Her husband, Gonzalo Martinez, is flipping over hamburger and hot dog buns on the grill, with a fajita quesadilla ready to go. The couple and…

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Tragedy Tests Will to Succeed

Baskets with burgers and fries are lined up ready to be served to Ranch House Burgers patrons. (Courtesy)

Building a business from scratch is enough of a challenge, and as Mike Barrera can attest, coming back from a tragedy will test you anew. Barrera was three years into establishing a successful restaurant business in Weslaco – Ranch House Burgers – when a fire struck in 2014 as he was making plans to get his second restaurant open in Mission. All that Barrera had built in Weslaco was gone…

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Local App Delivers Local Eats

Burgers are among the food items Ranvu delivers.

The grocery and restaurant meals delivery business has certainly grown to be hectic and ultra-competitive. In 2016, Ranvu was the first in the Rio Grande Valley to offer the delivery of groceries. Chief operating officer Dorance Cuba worked for months to develop a well-designed app high on functionality. He also made sure the app was easy for customers to use and maneuver. As a result of Ranvu’s early successes in 2016,…

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‘Crafty’ Approach to Business

Grain to Glass is the only craft beer venue south of San Antonio offering beer flights. (Courtesy)

While craft beers, including IPAs, are certainly gaining a foothold in the Rio Grande Valley, they still haven’t made a great deal of headway in this land of common lagers. But there’s a place that may help to expand the popularity of craft beers in the Valley. It’s Grain to Glass in McAllen, which is devoted to “Keepin’ McAllen Crafty.” After making some revisions to its original menu, the restaurant…

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Fresh, Tasty Tale of Success

Francesca and Carlos Hernandez team up as the beauty and the beast behind the success of a healthy food company. (Courtesy)

A beauty and beast team is riding a wave of success of almost fairy tale proportions with a line of fresh, healthy meals and other related products. On a good week, Beauty & Beast Cuisine cooks and packages in the neighborhood of 27,000 meals in its Edinburg kitchen. “It’s just been an explosion of opportunity,” said Carlos Hernandez, the beast in the partnership with his wife, Francesca, the beauty. “It…

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Discovering Guilt-free Donuts

Sophiah Rodriguez turned her personal quest for better health into a business with Keto Mini Donuts. (VBR)

In the spring of 2018, Sophiah Rodriguez was worried about her health. She was in search of something that could change the way she felt. “My health was not where I wanted it to be,” said the Harlingen native, born-and-raised. She then settled on trying a ketogenic diet, which seeks to dramatically lower carbohydrates by eliminating grains, rice, beans, potatoes, sweets, milk and fruit. The keto diet lowers insulin levels…

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Fresh Shrimp Key to Success

Dirty Al’s restaurant business is owned and operated by the Salazar family, left to right, Cameron, Al and Ethan. (VBR)

Little did Al Salazar know that a small bait and tackle stand on South Padre Island would become a multimillion-dollar enterprise that keeps growing as time goes by. Today, the family business owns and operates seven restaurants, and is about to open an eighth eatery, Josephine. Salazar, the family patriarch who wears no fancy outfits and who often advertises himself holding a beer mug, said he opened a fishing stand…

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Battle Born, Texas Made and On the Move

5x5 Brewing Co.'s Brunette Bombshell Limited 2018 Release is the brewery's first ever barrel-aged product. (Courtesy)

The “Battle Born, Texas Made” beers of the 5X5 Brewery Co. of Mission are now across South Texas with a variety of tastes from the Irish red to honey brown ale. In less than a year of operation, 5X5 has moved quickly in reaching 85 South Texas restaurants and bars. Their reach stretches from Rio Grande City to South Padre Island and north to Kingsville. The key, said Sean Downey,…

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