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Jan 12 2011

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Dine In San Benito

To the Editor,
San Benito’s unique dining venues include some shopping and dining restaurants such as Heartfelt Gifts located on Sam Houston Boulevard. Right next to the city library, this cafe is filled with antiques and knick knacks for those wanting unique and one-of-a-kind gifts. The menu is light dining and during the winter you may be able to sample some of their famous homemade Texas chili, which is excellent. Lola’s Boutique & Tea-Room is also found right off of Sam Houston and their items are more modern, trendy and chic. Expect light dining with their homemade sandwiches and cookies.

For those in the mood to travel to Mexico try Super Antojitos. This place is decorated in typical Mexican flare and tradition. This place serves a great buffet daily and Fridays is a super seafood buffet. Lily of the Valley English Tea-Room is located on the frontage road off Expressway 83 and McCullough. This place opened up not too long ago and serves up a more formal menu as well as storing many antiques.

New to our city is Jackson Street Antiques, which does not have a cafe but which is bringing in many thousands of antiques from their stores in Harlingen, McAllen and Weslaco. They are located on Sam Houston Boulevard a block from city hall. Another place which stores unique gifts is the Jewelry Workshop found on the frontage road and Sam Houston. This is also an excellent place for jewelry repair. Also new to our city is Wing Ranch Restaurant & Bar on South Sam Houston and CC Wings on 77 Sunshine Strip; as the name implies they serve Chicken Wings and hamburgers.

These businesses can be added to the other two wings restaurants which are SB Wings on 77 Sunshine Strip and Jaycees Wings & Things on Sam Houston. Each of these places serves great wings and burgers.

On a different note one new addition to our line-up of restaurants is an old time player from 1927. The Stonewall Jackson has seen its glory days in the 30’s all the way to the 70’s, but unfortunately it had been in much disrepair since then. Now with new owners and a new vision, the restaurant is on its way to better days. The restaurant and lobby have been restored and the outdoor patio that hosted so many of the town’s special events in the past is going to be restored little by little. The hotel’s dozens of rooms also will be revamped so that once again folks from all over will be able to stay over-night in this majestic structure. The Stonewall Jackson Restaurant reminds me of the Italian restaurants I visited while in New York City several years ago. The setting is intimate and takes you back to a simpler time. The owners are planning many cultural and musical events to provide opportunities for the public to see this historical treasure. This marvelous building is located on the corner of Reagan and Stenger Street in downtown San Benito. Another landmark which has opened its doors this year is Oakhills Event Center located on the Frontage Road off Expressway 83. This outdoor patio bar is situated on the top of a naturally occurring hill, something not often found in the Valley. The feeling of this place is like that of the many outdoor bars found in the state’s capital, Austin. Here you will find a full bar and many musical events during the week.

Finally, San Benito also has those local favorites that have been around for many years. These restaurants have daily breakfast and lunch specials. Cazuelas on Rowson (railroad tracks) and Sam Houston, The New Noe’s, Maria’s Restaurant, Lali’s Cafe and Black Jack Bar & Grill are all found on Robertson Street. Kikis on Sam Houston and Sabor De Mi Tierra on Paso Real serve up super breakfast, lunch and dinner specials. Williams Road is home to three great restaurants Vicky’s, Blanquita’s, and J&R Barbeque Pit Stop. Then 77 Sunshine Strip is home to many national chains of restaurants and a few family-owned hometown originals such as Blue Marlin I and II, Lucky China Buffet, Pilo’s Mexican Cafe, El Gallito, El Pescador, and Tacos El Pastor. On Stenger you can find Taco Jardin which also offers breakfast and lunch specials.

So next time you’re wondering where to eat think about stopping here in San Benito, hometown of Freddy Fender and home to restaurants that don’t charge much, don’t have long lines to get in, do have delicious foods and friendly small town service. You won’t be sorry you did!

Carlos Cañas
San Benito

Permanent link to this article: http://sbnewspaper.com/2011/01/12/dine-in-san-benito/

7 comments

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  1. Tammy

    I was once just a winter visitor in the San Benito area. I saw how old and dusty the town appeared but I choose to buy a home in San Benito this year because the people here treated me so friendly and made me feel welcomed. Now I am invested in this community. I am a resident here and that means supporting our local businesses, getting involved somehow – volunteering my time (no I am not retired) If you want to see San Benito be great —I think the answer is starring back at us in the mirror.

  2. meme

    I agree with most. San Benito needs growth and change. I was born and raised in San Benito, but I now live upstate NJ. I remember the economics teacher at the high school (90’s) told us if we were ever to leave San Benito for a couple of years it would look different in the aspect of retail and business. Well I visit often, I have seen nothing but the same restaurants, and do not even get me started on downtown San Benito, which has gone to the dumps. What happened?

  3. Stacey Gonzalez

    There has to be a desire to change. I think at this point in time we’re stuck in this endless cycle of things that don’t work. As the previous commenter noted, we need kick it into overdrive with getting things moving on revitalizing the city of San Benito. I’m not saying do away with what’s been established, but merely capitalize on it. City officials need to be innovative and ruthless about getting things done in benefit for the future of SB. If we continue to hope and pray the city can go back to its “glory days” we might as well hope for flying monkeys. However, I think before we start strategizing how to bring about change city officials should go back to the drawing board and look at how to effectively collaborate as a collective. As the great Henry Ford once said, “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.”

  4. Nothing New

    I grew up in San Benito and for a time, I have worked for the city as well. Nothing has changed and nor will it ever change due to one simple thing; repetitiveness. All I ever see it the same thing over and over again. I think it was nice for Carlos to try and paint San Benito as a place to visit, but honestly no.. it’s not. Don’t get me wrong, I love San Benito, but I’m not going to lie. San Benito and everything that has to do with it is run by its old, ancient, decaying past. I remember as a kid, San Benito was known as the city of lights and now, it’s just darkness. What the city really needs is an initiative by the city to bring in new business other than more restaurants! Enough with the Mexican food. But that’s never going to happen due to the mentality that makes up S.B. God forbid they ever bring in a Starbucks, sushi restaurant, or a decent bar or night club, perhaps a nice little cafe by the resaca so people can enjoy a tasty treat after a walk. No.. when I think of shopping or dinning, I think of McAllen or Mercedes. San Benito needs to throw away the relics who run the city and infuse the city with new blood. That right there says it all about San Benito.

  5. A Concerned Citizen

    You need to get out more Carlos.

  6. Romeo Subialdea

    It would be so nice to see more trendy coffee shops, ice cream shops, refreshing juice shops and outdoor bistros (ala Hubble & Hudson) in downtown San Benito… a relaxing place where local folks can sit and enjoy the beautiful sights, good food, the companionship of friends and the gentle tropical breeze….. with a bit of imagination and desire… SB could be the shining jewel in the RGV….

  7. Randal Deering

    Great blog! Do you have any recommendations for aspiring writers? I’m planning to start my own blog soon but I’m a little lost on everything. Would you recommend starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many choices out there that I’m totally confused .. Any suggestions? Kudos!

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