Stuttgarden Tavern – Galveston, TX

DSC_0532Touted as the “Best Lil’ Beer Garden in Galveston”, Stuttgarden Tavern is located on the east end of the Historic Strand area, just off 21st Street. It is an open air patio style restaurant serving food, beer on tap and bottled, wine, and featuring a greenhouse-enclosed full service liquor bar.

 

 

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The food is German or has a distinctive biergarten bent, and is outstandingly tasty.

 

 

DSC_0462 Irish Nachos Stuttgarden

 

Irish Nachos – waffle fries topped with minced meat (pulled pork this time), cheddar cheese, bacon bits and sour cream. [photo]

 

DSC_0543 Sauerkraut Balls Stuttgarden

 

 

Sauerkraut Balls – delightful balls of sauerkraut, breaded, fried, and offered up with dipping sauces.

DSC_0461 Banger n Mash Stuttgarden

 

 

 

Banger & Mash – bratwurst (choose from hot, cheese stuffed, mild or seasonal) served with mach potatoes and gravy and braised cabbage.

 

DSC_0456 Gouda Brat Stuttgarden

Gouda Brat – served on an oversized hot-dog style bun, this bratwurst is covered in sauteed mushrooms and onions, with a lavish application of smoked Gouda beer fondue. (Pictured is the seasonal brat, stuffed with mixed venison and other meats.)

 

DSC_0546 Brat Sampler Plate Stuttgarden

 

Brat Sampler Plate – a variety of brats to choose from (hot, cheese stuffed, mild or seasonal) , with ‘kraut and cabbage sides.

 

 

DSC_0457 the Stephen Stuttgarden

 

The Steven – a half pound of beef served with house made BBQ sauce, house made pickles, a fried onion ring and cheddar on a grilled bun.

 

 

DSC_0458 Trd Burger w German Potatoes StuttgardenThe Traditional Burger – a half pound of beef served with lettuce, tomato, house made pickles and shaved onion on a slightly sweet grilled bun. (Photo includes Swiss and avocado.)

German Potato Salad – served cold or warm on request, featuring sliced red potato, bacon, green onion, and house dressing.

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Order in or for takeout. You can even call in an order for pick-up any time during the kitchen hours.

This place is also dog friendly. Their website proclaims, “We like dogs… Dogs are always welcome on the patio.”

DSC_0533On the 1-5 scale, Stuttgarden Tavern gets:
Cleanliness – 4
Service – 4
Quality of food – 4.5
Flavor – 4.5
Pricing – 4
Overall experience – 4.2

Stuttgarden Tavern on the Strand
2110 Strand Street
Galveston, TX 77550
(409) 497-4972

–Ann Cathey

Murdoch’s Bathhouse – Galveston, TX

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Murdoch’s as seen from Murdoch’s!

Bathhouse? As a matter of history, Murdoch’s was originally a bathhouse that rented bathing suits and provided showers for Island visitors. Built on the sand of the beach in the 1800s before the seawall was constructed.

Without the protection of a Seawall, the 1900 storm destroyed the bathhouse. Although the structure was rebuilt in 1901, the storms of 1909, 1915, and 2008 were so violent, that reconstruction was required after each. When Murdoch’s reopened in 1910, it had 542 rooms, 251 for women and 291 for men. The cost at the time to rent the bathroom services were 25 cents.

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Racks of conch and clam shells, that have been a Murdoch’s feature since at least the 1960s.

In spite of such storms, Galveston gets an excellent share of sunny days all through the year, but modern visitors are not all interested in getting sand between their toes. Murdoch’s is a full blown tourist trap full of all kinds of souvenirs, but it also has an outstanding spot to relax, have an beverage, and listen to the wind and waves.

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Grab a seat ad relax for a while.

Murdoch’s is a long-standing seawall tradition on the Island, offering seashells and toys, t-shirts and shorts, hats and sunshades, and tons of other cute, kitschy, brightly colored memories of your visit. The building is built out over the surf on piers, just as the original building had been back before Hurricane Ike. There are two entrances leading into wide, airy showrooms, connected by a long stretch that houses more gifts, a bar, and an outdoor covered porch. You can sit in one of the many rockers and simply be, watching tourists on the seawall side, or the waves and gulls and tankers all the way to the horizon.

DSC_0745It’s a great place to sit back and relax for a little while in between walking stretches of the seawall, or without having to fight off kids, sand, and overzealous seagulls.

DSC_0649Watch out the for the pigeons, though. As with pigeons anywhere, they beg. They also flock in the area around the building and net beneath it side by side with their seagoing cousins.

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The Pleasure Pier as seen from Murdoch’s.

Murdoch’s Bathhouse
2215 Seawall Blvd
Galveston, TX 77550
(409) 762-7478

— Ann Cathey