One thing we are always on the lookout for is a unique little spot to enjoy whether it be little hole in the wall dive bar, cool little pub or quaint restaurant. When we planned on staying in Rockport we figured we might stumble across a few such interesting places. After being here nearly a month we have finally concluded that there weren’t as many as we had hoped.
Every once and a while we feel the need to go out and have a cold adult beverage at one of the local watering holes. We identified several here that we thought were worth checking out. The first little restaurant/bar we visited was known for its oyster poor boys. After visiting Goose Island State Park we stopped in at Pop’s Place. My original plan was to first have a cold beer as a way to get to know the place then maybe get a poor boy. The place was deserted… except for one nice rough around the edges but friendly fellow. We struck up a conservation with him only to discover that he was the artist who created the interesting artwork in this establishment. Prominent in the restaurant are two large artistic murals created out of bottle caps, one of a red fish and the other a speckled trout. So happy was he to have an audience he also ushered us into the men’s room (I kid you not) to show us his bottle cap mural depicting the Texas flag.. He also showed us his collection of carved wooden fish replete with bottle can fins and explained he sells these for the modest price of $10.00 apiece. Although we enjoyed the chat the overall vibe did not inspire us to try the food.
Another neat little spot we found was the Pickled Pelican Sports Bar. Why did we stop here? Because every other Saturday they feature the Belt Sander Races. Another dive bar but with a full blown Belt Sander Race Track set up in its backyard. What fun! We ordered a couple of beverages and took a seat in the bleachers to partake in the afternoon races… After several “Stock” races where we watched non-modified belt sanders compete there was also several head to head matchups between Modified” belt sanders. Believe or not there actually is a Belt Sander Racing Association. We had too much fun watching the modified belt sanders take off and hit speeds of up to over 20 mph while racing down the 75 foot track. Adding to the race atmosphere was the colorful introductions of the racers, their type of "rig" and their race record. The big screen TV in the middle of the track allowed the spectators to join in the action as the red, yellow and green lights ticked down the cue to the start
One of our favorite little dive bar discoveries is called the Sugar Shack. It became our favorite little watering hole for a few reasons. One was that on our fist visit it had great energy and interesting people. Sharon especially enjoyed one of the patron's pet parrot who sang, "You are my Sunshine" . Our next visit proved more of the same. We also like it due to its proximity to the Fulton Harbor where we usually stroll around the harbor and enjoy the sights before finishing our walk by returning to this tavern for a cold beverage.
The only brew pub in the area is the Port Aransas Brewing Company. We stopped by there while passing through Port Aransas to sample their crafted beers. I ordered an Island Pale Ale and Sharon got a Pop Pilsner. I can truly say that these two beers may have been the worst crafted beers I have tasted since we have been retired…. Oh, how I miss Portland Oregon's nice selection… I will say however, that they have a great selection of other crafted bottled beers and their lunch must be great since every time we pass by this establishment it is crowded.
We haven’t had much luck finding really good food that fits within our budget here so we finally just gave up… We feel that none of the places we have eaten at here are worth writing about as they hve been simply average in taste and quality in our opinion. However, since we don’t usually visit places where most of the menu items start with entrees in the $15.00 and up range I can’t comment on some of the more popular tourists spots here.
We have decided that probably the best place for us to have a nice cold beverage and some excellent tasting food is found right here in our park, at our home…