Category Archives: Food & Entertainment

Seeing Good In Life After Great Loss

These Bananas & Ice Cream scoops were the first Denise and Marshall Eason made in late summer 2016 with their “lucky dozen” ice-cream churners Marshall found in an end-of-season sale.

When Denise Sandoval met Marshall Eason in the hallways of McAllen High School, she didn’t realize it was fate.  Denise moved to McAllen from Monterrey at age 9, already fluent in English and Spanish. Her mom’s first language was English, having been raised in Chicago until she was 13 and her parents decided to return to Mexico. Her father had left his native country to serve in WWII, deciding later…

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Queen City Food Park Coming To Mercedes

Queen City Food Park owners Ashley and Roy Gonzalez.

  The Mid-Valley area will soon be getting a second food truck park when Mercedes opens its version in early 2022. The Queen City Food Park will be located right alongside the south side of Expressway 83 on its access road where it intersects with Virginia Street. Its owners are Ashley and Roy Gonzalez, who began the process of having a food park in mid-2020. The couple has worked closely…

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Mercado & Cantina Give A New Vibe

Culture and community merge at Mercado Weslaco.

Cantina La Campana can be a bit hard to find – and it’s by design. The bar is tucked in the back of Mercado Weslaco. A customer has to walk a hallway of mini-stores featuring Mexican merchandise to reach the downtown cantina. Get a feel for the Mercado before getting to the bar in the back. “It adds a mystique about our place,” said Steve Valdez, who owns La Campana…

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UTRGV Students Place First In Restaurant Competition

Paulina Martinez, Abelardo Villarreal and Andrea Garza took home first place in the “Restaurant of the Future” competition at the Restaurant Finance and Development Conference. (courtesy)

Three students representing the Hospitality and Tourism Management Program at the UTRGV Robert C. Vackar College of Business & Entrepreneurship earned first place at the Restaurant Finance and Development Conference Nov. 8-10 in Las Vegas, Nev. The team of Andrea Garza, Paulina Martinez and Abelardo Villarreal earned first place in the “Restaurant of the Future” competition. Their restaurant concept, “Wonder,” was an immersive, multisensory culinary experience using augmented and virtual reality technology. “Dining…

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Whiskey Tavern Finds Its Place

The tavern's owner believes it takes time to appreciate and know the wide variety of whiskeys.

Whiskey is an acquired taste. That’s how Martin Cavazos puts it and he should know. He is one of the owners of the 1929 Whiskey Tavern in Brownsville. It is, Cavazos said, only one of two such establishments south of San Antonio that’s exclusive to whiskeys and its many varieties. The tavern is located across the street from Market Square, the historic center of Brownsville. The building whose bell tower…

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RGV Restaurants Draw Upon Strengths

& Watering Hole in Brownsville. IMG 0481:

George Perez owns an iconic Brownsville restaurant whose name is ingrained into the city it has served for nearly 90 years. Mario Dominguez Jr. makes barbecue so renowned that it made Texas Monthly’s Top 50 for being among the best in the Lone Star State.  And yet, in both cases, neither restaurant owner assumed their Valley businesses would survive the seismic disruptions of 2020. Adjustments had to be made quickly…

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Nana’s Uses Faith To Build Success

Lonches and other food items are fresh from Nana's kitchen in Weslaco.

Looking at Nana’s Taqueria today with its multicolored courtyard, well-stocked gift shop and cozy restaurant filled with patrons, you would never guess how it all got started. Eight tables in a small room, a husband-and-wife team, one employee and an immigrant family were struggling to find their footing in a new country. It’s a story that has taken 12 years to build – and it’s still going strong. Roxanna Trevino…

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Electrician Blazes New Path With Restaurant

Homemade mozzarella sticks and funnel cake fries are popular menu items at Wing Zone.

On Aug. 16, Marcos Silva, a college counselor for IDEA Public Schools, posted a note about his brother on Facebook.  “My brother is an electrician/builder by trade,’’ he wrote. “After building restaurants across Texas and Oklahoma for others, he threw in his bid and made himself one.” It’s Wing Zone Grill & Tap, which Marcos said “represents a lot more than a wing place.” “It’s the efforts, sacrifice and fight…

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New SPI Business Keeps Books On Island Shelves

Karma Coffee & Books adds a cool vibe on South Padre Island.

Walk into Karma Coffee & Books in South Padre Island and it’s immediately a place where you want to sit and stay a while. There’s a wide variety of coffee-based drinks to go with breakfast and lunch sandwiches – and of course books. It’s an ideal place to take a break from the beach sun and surf. The way that Will Everett sees it is that his new coffee and…

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Local Restaurant Combines History & BBQ

SMOKE BBQ patrons enjoy great food with slices of local history featured all around them.

Eduardo Casas knew he was doing more than repurposing an old building into a new restaurant when he opened SMOKE: Texas BBQ & Watering Hole. SMOKE BBQ would be housed where the Rainbo Bakery held forth on Harrison Avenue in Harlingen. Rainbo was a mainstay Harlingen business for over seven decades. Memories run long in the city when it comes to the iconic bakery.  “My idea in opening here was…

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