Sunday, April 13, 2014

It Was a Sunday…

and on Sunday parking on The Strand is free. And this bit of convenience brought us into town.

“The Strand Historic District, also known as the Strand District, in downtown Galveston…is a National Historic Landmark District of mainly Victorian era buildings that now house restaurants, antique stores, and curio shops…. The street labeled ‘The Strand’ is actually named Avenue B…. The district was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1970 and further declared a National Historic Landmark in 1976…. Today ‘The Strand’ is generally used to refer to the entire five-block business district between 20th and 25th streets in downtown Galveston…. The name 'strand' for Ave. B was coined by a German immigrant named Michael William Shaw who opened a jewelry store on the corner of 23rd and Ave. B. Shaw, not liking the name ‘Ave. B’, changed the name of the street on his stationery to ‘Strand’, thinking that the name (named after a street in London) would have higher-class connotations for his jewelry store. He later convinced other owners on the street to change the names they used for the street as well, and the name stuck” (

If you enjoy architecture like we do, The Strand is a visual buffet. And it was the bright colors on one building that caught my attention and brought us to Yaga's Café.

“This legendary Jamaican-themed cafe continues to lure in locals and tourists alike. Though the restaurant shines brightest for big island events like Mardi Gras and the summer beach season, a year-round concert calendar of reggae and blues music keeps the party going. Bright tropical murals and polished wood floors augment the menu…. Opt for a patio table for prime people-watching” (
“Just about anyone you ask who has worked, played or dined at Yaga’s Café will tell you that it certainly is a place to remember. ‘It’s all about the people here,’ said Mike Dean, owner of Yaga’s Café. ‘It’s always been a comfortable place to hang out with family and friends.’
"For 25 years many people, whether working or playing, have created unforgettable times at Yaga’s. Think about the most successful companies in America; they all have one thing in common—happy employees. We all know that happy employee’s equal happy customers, and happy customers become loyal customers….

“In ’94, Dean started a small BBQ cook-off now known as Yaga’s Wild Game Cook-off that ultimately, along with some persistent advice from his current partner Inman, led to the creation of the Yaga’s Children’s Fund. Today the children’s fund should surpass an astonishing $1 million in grants to Galveston County Children’s charities and is operating as a 501C-3 non-profit entity separate from Yaga’s Café” (Leslie Thompson at

Both The Stand and Yaga’s Café were busy that particular Sunday.
Perhaps this was due in part to the hordes of somewhat elderly travelers who had planned to board a cruise ship that morning. Unfortunately, just a day or two before, two ships had collided in Galveston Bay resulting in a significant oil spill that halted ship travel. So the cruisers’ ship was sitting out in the Gulf of Mexico and the cruisers were sitting—I guess, wherever they could find a spot.
As busy as the café was, we were soon seated and had a chance to take in the colorful interior décor. Almost every interior surface had been painted to evoke what has been described as a Caribbean or Jamaican vibe.
Both of us started our meals with soup. Or, to be more specific, in my case it was Texan Chili.
In true Texas fashion, this was made sans beans. And I will leave it to Texans to argue whether an authentic Texas chili can be made with ground beef (as Yaga’s was) or must be made with beef cubes.

Chuck ordered the chicken tortilla soup, and this was a version unlike any we have been served.
The thin clear broth contained chicken, tortilla strips, and lots of stringy cheese and was topped with pico de gallo. It was delicious, but different.

We had debated ordering a selection of appetizers (or “Yagatizers” as they are called on the menu) and could have chosen from crab cakes, seafood flautas, spinach artichoke dip, wings, chicken or beef quesadilla, fried zucchini, or jalapeno fire bites. But then we veered off course and ordered pizza—the Tomato Basil Pizza to be exact. And, of course, we asked for light on the cheese.
This is what they think is light cheese?? This pizza was so heavy with cheese that I barely managed to eat two slices. I do give them credit for a decent crust that, while it looked thick, was actually light and crisp.
And they had the good sense to wait and add the basil after the pie came from the oven. The sauce wasn’t overly sweet, but had way too much oregano for my taste.

Lunch proved to be a mixed bag of very good (my chili and Chuck’s soup) and not so good (the pizza) and only deserves a 2.5 Addie rating.
Can a banana split save the day?

Just a few blocks down The Strand sits La King's Confectionery, where we spent the better part of an hour last year watching the making of salt water taffy as was described on our blog of April 23, 2013. But La King’s is equally known for its old fashioned soda shop, which is the only place where you can get Purity ice cream—the oldest brand in Texas.
“A few years ago the Jack King family bought the Purity Ice Cream Co., its real estate …and its equipment and recipes from the estate of G. B. Brynston. Their reason for the acquisition was to be able to manufacture ice cream for their popular Strand business, La King’s Confectionery.
“…Like Blue Bell ice cream, until it closed, Purity was so popular in Galveston County that few drugstore soda fountains or neighborhood grocery stores carried any other brand. In fact, all of the public school cafeterias had it in individual cup servings with little wooden spoons. The ice cream was high in butter fat and was, in the main, flavored with natural ingredients like real strawberries, and it was always fresh, so you can imagine it started the taste race far ahead of its competition…” (Bill Cherry excerpted from his book Galveston Memories).
So we finished off the afternoon with a monster banana split with chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla ice creams and chocolate, pineapple, and strawberry toppings. And a cloud of whipped cream topped with nuts and a cherry.
Now that’s a 5.0 Addie way to end the day.

To review the role of Adler, Kitty Humbug, and the Addie rating system, read the November 14, 2011 blog.

Pelican Pics of the Day


adham said...

شركة تنظيف بالطائف شركة الهدي افضل شركة نقل عفش بالطائف كذلك هى افضل شركة رش مبيدات بالطائف
شركه الهدى
شركة رش بالطائف
خدمات الطائف
شركة تنظيف بالطائف
شركة تنظيف فلل بالطائف
نظافه عامه بالطائف
شركة تنظيف منازل بالطائف

adham said...

شركة تنظيف شقق بالطائف
نقل عفش بالطائف
بالطائف شفط بيارات
تسليك مجارى بالطائف
تنظيف خزنات بالطائف
رش مبيدات بالطائف
نقل عفش بخميس مشيط
شركة عزل اسطح بالطائف

adham said...

ان اردت نقل عفش منزلك بالدمام ابيات الشرقية من اهم شركات نقل العفش بالدمام والخبر والجبيل والقطيف والاحساء
شركة المتحدة
شركة نقل عفش بنجران
شركة نقل عفش بخميس مشيط
شركة نقل عفش بالطائف
شركة نقل عفش بمكة
شركة نقل عفش بينبع
شركة نقل عفش بابها

adham said...

شركة نقل عفش بالرياض
شركة نقل عفش بجدة
شركة نقل عفش بالدمام
شركة نقل عفش بالمدينة المنورة
شركة نقل عفش ببريدة
شركة نقل عفش بالقصيم
شركة نقل عفش بتبوك