My drive the next day at just under six hours would go smoother, with just a quick stop for lunch at a McDonalds.
I arrived and Stephanie and Lee’s house mid-afternoon feeling much better than the day before, unloaded the car and then in the wink of an eye, found myself sitting next to Lee on a barstool at one of his favorite day time drinking establishments, the Barton Street Pub.
A big open, airy space with pool tables and a long bar, we worked our way through a couple of pitchers of a local bock beer for the unbelievably low price of $6 apiece. It was a fine way to start the afternoon and after lively conversation with the bartender, we rolled out of the bar and made our way back to the house to pick up Stephanie for the journey to our next stop, B&J’s Pizza.
We had a beer or two here when we passed through in 2016 (https://3jmann.com/2016/04/03/south-east-spring-swing-part-three/) the day they were celebrating Lee’s Mother’s retirement from the university and I was looking forward to sampling some of their fine brews. I would not be disappointed. Can I recall exactly what it was I consumed that day? Absolutely not as I had reached that enviable state many of us seek, that is the beer buzz.
We did manage to consume a 16-inch pizza split between just cheese and several good toppings and that did help blunt the effects of consuming far more beer than I would normally ingest, but this was all just a tune up for the day to follow, when we’d spend the afternoon and early evening sampling more of Corpus Christi’s fine drinking establishments.
The next morning, I set out for a bike ride, braving high winds the whole way as I skirted the perimeter of Flour Bluff, the peninsula where Stephanie and Lee live. I started out in a southeasterly fashion until I hit a T-Intersection with only one option available, that is to turn left and continue onto Waldron Road with the bay on my right and Padre Island in the distance.
I took Waldron as far as I could go and after a left turn made my way to Flour Bluff Drive where a right turn took me to the frontage road for Highway 358 (South Padre Island Drive) which I would take up and down its length, eventually running out of pavement just before the Memorial Causeway that takes one from the Flour Bluff Peninsula to Corpus Christi proper.
I returned to the house not having ridden that many miles, and yet given the windy conditions felt that I’d had a good workout, one to prepare me for the afternoon and evening ahead.
After cleaning up we took off for the harbor and walked around the marina there, checking out the boats and getting some fresh air and then drove downtown to walk around the blocks of an area that had fallen into decline, but was beginning to show signs of rebounding.
Having now built up a thirst, we made a beeline for Nueces Brewing Company, located just a few blocks inland from Corpus Christi Bay. Housed in a building that formerly served as a Ford dealership, its indoor and outdoor seating areas were both inviting, but we opted to sit inside out of the heat and wind. Too early to eat, we passed up on what looked to be some very good in-house BBQ and so spent a happy couple of hours letting the beer do the talking for us which for me would include an Oktoberfest, a Devil’s Bock and finishing with a Trippy Tripel.
We then departed and drove a short distance to Rebel Toad Brewing, a smaller operation but with equally good beer. I didn’t keep track of what we consumed but can assure you there were a couple of rounds and as things were getting a bit hazy by then, it was decided it was time to go get some food.
Dinner would be burgers at Grub Burger Bar, a multi-location chain serving Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas. It features a diverse menu with sandwiches, salads, bowls, snacks, sides and shakes to complement the excellent burgers they offer. We sat at the bar and feeling the need for one more libation, I landed on an Old Fashioned made with Redemption High Rye Bourbon, aromatic & orange bitters & a Luxardo cherry and it was a refreshing change after all the beer I had consumed.
To eat I ordered the Front Porch, essentially the simplest burger they have with lettuce, tomato, onion, and mayo. It was a really good burger made even better by how hungry I was and given the option I might have been able to consume a couple, but reason prevailed, and I finished up just the one, enjoying every last bite. The lesson here is that when you visit Stephanie and Lee, if you bring your appetite for fun, food, and drink you will sure to be rewarded.
And that wound down my time in Corpus Christi as I prepared to head north to San Antonio the next day to pick up Joanna at the airport there. Originally, we were going to spend a few nights there with Jesse and Dave, but a death in her family meant they would not be in town at that time and so, given we’d been to San Antonio before and the drive from there to our next destination, Portales, New Mexico, would be a long one, we decided to split the difference and drive on from the airport to Abilene and spend two nights there. We’ll cover that excursion in the next post.
Barton Street Pub: https://www.facebook.com/BartonStPub/
B&J’s Pizza: https://bandjspizza.com/
Nueces Brewing Company: https://www.nuecesbrewing.com/
Rebel Toad Brewing: http://www.rebeltoadbrewing.com/
Grub Burger Bar: https://grubkitchenandbar.com/stores/corpus-christi/