Corpus Christi hosted the Wings Over South Texas Air Show this weekend. And since we are always looking for reasons to explore new cities, we decided to pack the car and blaze a trail southward. Looking on a map, Corpus Christi doesn’t look too far away from Austin. It makes the southern point of a triangle if you draw an equilateral one between Austin, Houston, and the Gulf Coast. But it turns out, things that look close in Texas, are still a bit of a hike. For reference, Austin to Corpus Christi is about the same distance as DC to NYC, or London to Paris.
Nevertheless, when food and adventure are what you search for, distance is no concern. And this trip did not disappoint.
From our experience, Corpus Christi is the capital of southern comfort food. As we rolled into town, we happened on a local dive called the Butter Churn. I think our readers would find it irresponsible of the Play Gourmets not to check out a restaurant called the Butter Churn.
What we found there was exactly what I envisioned the southern Gulf Coast cuisine to be.
Fried shrimp and catfish.
And gumbo. But this gumbo, although some people may not find this picture very appetizing was the best gumbo I have ever had, and that includes my several trips to New Orleans. I would go back just for this. It was rich and intense. Spicy, salty, perfect.
And to top it off, our little Play Gourmet got his first experience with jello, which was a hit. He was so impressed by it, that he wanted to introduce his mom to the experience as well. “It’s like liquid, but I can hold it.”
The next morning, and remaining in the theme of country cookin’, we found another local gem, called Andy’s Country Kitchen, which to the delight of the whole family, was a steam engine themed restaurant. Set inside of a recreated old-time rail road station, there were two electric trains that circled the perimeter of the ceiling.
But this neat ambiance, was second too the beautiful and filling breakfast plates. Checkout the plate that we ordered for our Play Gourmet. He was none too happy about me wanting to photograph it before he ate. He polished off most of this plate before his pancakes and toast even made it to the table.
Finally, as we waited for the air show to begin, we located another Corpus Christie landmark. Snoopy’s Pier.
Here we could leisurely sit on the water, and peel and eat some fresh gulf shrimp. Again, why with the pictures, LET’S EAT! (I’m so proud)
You could say we turned this trip to see an air show, into an air and sea show, as we watched the speed boats go by. I think this is where the saying, “flip your lid” comes from. Even though smoking was permitted, the only smoke we saw was coming from the speed boats.
I usually end our posts focussing on a tremendous food find, but for this trip, all of the food was fantastic. I would summarize it as Southern Country Flavor, with a Gulf Coast Accent.
But we did accomplish our goal of seeing some airplanes, and then some.
We also managed to locate Mustang Island State Park, where the sand was as fine as I imagine the Sahara to have, and the waves and water were picturesque. I am pretty sure it is safe to say that our little Play Gourmet has never had so much fun before. And in case you were wondering, how he and all of us eat like we do, it is because of how crazy-hard we play when we are not eating.
We managed to sneak some more swimming in at the hotel after we got home from the beach.
And to cap off the Play Gourmet Air and Sea Show, we snuck in a morning at the Texas State Aquarium before charting a course for home.
Corpus Christi gets two thumbs up from the Play Gourmets.