Category Archives: Food & Entertainment

Comeback in Brownsville

Mariachis perform at Noche de Garibaldi in downtown Brownsville. The musical event was patterned after the music scene in Mexico City’s Garibaldi Plaza. (VBR)

Downtown Brownsville is a happening place again. The once thriving central business district is undergoing a major transformation, and much of the credit is going to the city’s leadership and to the progressive vision of some of its residents. Brownsville’s downtown used to be a place bustling with people shopping for a variety of merchandise, ranging from fashionable clothes to ropa usada to household goods to furniture to gadgets of…

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Mesquite Delivers Flavor

Victoria Cappadona harvests mesquite beans from South Texas ranches to make Cappadona Ranch products. (Courtesy)

Looking out over drought-parched ranchlands in 2012, Victoria Cappadona noticed one native type of vegetation holding forth, keeping its green amidst the dryness. It was the mesquite, the indestructible and ubiquitous South Texas tree with its golden string of bean pods hanging down like ribbons. Cappadona, a McAllen native now living in the Linn-San Manuel ranch country of northern Hidalgo County, remarked to her father-in-law about the tenacity of the…

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Local, Healthy Eating is Made

photo courtesy of Made. Chef Prepared Meals To Go

Making smart, healthy dietary choices is challenging when combined with modern, fast-paced, hectic work schedules. With the usual fast food options, it’s difficult to make consistent, nutritious choices while trying to follow a meal plan. Imagine a meal delivery service, with expertly created, restaurant-quality weekly meal plans, prepared by a certified executive chef. For the Rio Grande Valley, this is a local reality via Made. Chef Prepared Meals To Go,…

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Bandera Brings New Brew to Harlingen

Bandera Coffee Co.

Downtown Harlingen has scored big points with the addition of the new stylish coffee shop, Bandera Coffee Co. This coffee shop just recently opened, boasting excellent roasts. It takes pride in the origin and source of its coffee with a pour over menu consisting of Ethiopian, Costa Rican and Mexican beans. Flavor profiles range from bright notes of kiwi, apple and grape to refreshing key lime, butterscotch and smooth cocoa.…

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Small Businesses Score $50K from Mission EDC

The Mission Economic Development Corporation’s small business development program, Ruby Red Ventures, named three new winners of its small business funding competition. A local all-natural, cold-pressed juice producer, a maker of pre-packaged Mexican stews and meals, and manufacturer of gourmet grilling sauces are all recent winners of $50,000 in funding from Mission EDC. Mr. Pepe, El Cazos Guisos and B. Veggie took the top three spots, respectively, in the latest round of the…

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Nutty Venture Cracks Through

Nuts and Cows owner Elizabeth Davis with products she pitched in the H-E-B Quest for Texas Best competition. (Courtesy)

Standing at H-E-B’s corporate headquarters in San Antonio, and going head-to-head with some of the top entrepreneurs in Texas, Elizabeth Davis was undeterred. The Reynosa native and former maquiladora worker started her Nuts and Cows business just three years ago with $89 and a belief that “success can come out of a crisis.” Davis spoke English sporadically growing up as a child of the border, but with a grit and…

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Valley Roots Bind Brewers

_Rice: Mission native and Army veteran George Rice is one of the founders of 5X5 Brewery. (VBR)

The 5X5 Brewing Co. of Mission touts itself as being “Battle Born, Texas Made.” On both counts, the fledging beer production and distribution company fits the bill. Four of its five owners have a military background, and its original three founders are all hometown Mission boys who grew up together. “We all have an attachment to the community,” said George Rice, a veteran of the U.S. Army, who recalls as…

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Downhome Goodness Served Here

Longhorn owners Lisa and Bill Turner have found success with a downhome atmosphere and good food. (VBR)

It’s hard to believe now in seeing the robust business and overflowing lunch crowds at the Longhorn Cattle Company Barbeque & Steak Company, but at one point the San Benito restaurant was starving for business. “We put up a sign by the expressway that said, ‘Come and eat with us before we both starve,’” said Lisa Turner, who with her husband Bill, own and operate one of the more popular…

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Sesame Seeds Grow a Business

Romi Cordova, a veteran worker at Dipasa, arranges bags of roasted sesame seeds. (VBR)

The Rio Grande Valley’s ubiquitous tortillerias and tamale factories are well known as producers of popular food products that are staples to Mexican food fans throughout South Texas. But for more than three decades, a Brownsville company has earned distinction as a manufacturer of a food product more familiar in another part of the world. Since 1985, Dipasa USA Inc. has been processing roasted sesame seeds into tahini, a paste…

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