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Eat your Heart Out in McAllen

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As a rising star in Texas, McAllen, located in southern Texas along the 100 mile expanse of the northern bank of the Rio Grande River separating the United States from México, offers a deliciously rich culinary scene with over 600 restaurants within the city limits which delights and surprise visitors and denizens alike.

As the city’s first alehouse and eatery, Roosevelt’s at 7, the menu reads like a who’s who with dishes like Andy Warhol’s Chicken Platter, Clark Gable’s Stuffed Mushrooms, Frank Sinatra’s Spring Fettuccini, and John Gotti’s Thai Chicken Pizza, just to name a few, plus some 45 beers on tap.

What started 30 years ago as a selling door-to-door, out of the back of her car necessity has become a phenomenal, now six location enterprise called Delia’s Tamales.

Today hardcore tamale fans (56,000 of them on Facebook) start flocking through their doors at 6 a.m. for their amazing, gluten-free, only 160 calorie, half-dozen or dozen orders of pork, chicken, bean, cheese and jalapeño, beef, spicy pork with green sauce, and pork or chicken Veracruzano (wrapped in a banana leaf) tamales that will knock your socks off! They also offer outstanding corn and sweet cream cheese (vanilla, walnuts, coconut, and cream cheese) dessert tamales, and have a huge shipping clientele.

For a relaxing mix of a laid-back southwestern flair and urban sophistication, try Santa Fe Steakhouse & Cantina. Voted as the top steakhouse in the Rio Grande Valley and garnering numerous awards from Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast magazines for their over 700 wine offerings, diners here enjoy a wide array of divine dishes like mini Beef Wellington, sashimi tuna, and lump blue crab cake appetizers, main beef cuts including filets, T-bones, ribeyes, prime rib and New York strips, and unique side dishes like the pastry wrapped twice-baked potato.

Some of the best, authentic Mexican fare in the country can be found at Palenque Grill (two locations, plus two each in Laredo and San Antonio). The chicken with Mole sauce is outstanding, as are the borracho (drunk) beans, an unusual and irresistible combination of refried beans, chorizo and spices. There are also several varieties of ceviche, empanadas, and a mélange of meat, chicken, pork and seafood main entrees, just to name a few.

Another of the most popular in town is house. wine & bistro. Set in a former warehouse turned comfortable urban oasis, the restaurant uses primarily local Rio Grande Valley ingredients including Texas Gulf shrimp (“24 hours from Gulf-to-Plate”), all grass–fed beef, fresh produce, dairy, and Rio Red Grapefruit (an area agricultural gem), to create their adventurous specialties.

Try the Farmhouse pasta made with penne, garlic, oil, smoked pork loin, grilled artichoke hearts, spinach, Kalamata olives, basil, and mild goat cheese, or the button mushrooms stuffed with fennel sausage, fontina cheese, and spicy marinara, or choose from the six varieties of risotto, including sautéed butternut squash with toasted almonds, sliced garlic, fresh basil, and your choice of grilled chicken, salmon, or Texas Gulf shrimp.

The Patio on Guerra features fine dining through upscale appetizer, border favorites, steaks seafood and exotic specialties. Among the exceptional dishes are oven roasted duck with a white wine, orange, marmalade glaze served on a bed of wild rice, and grilled semi-boneless Texas quail marinated in an Italian sweet glaze and served with wild rice and brandy peppercorn sauce.

Favorites include the Joselo Snapper Papillote – a snapper fillet covered with slices of lemon, vegetables and chopped herbs, then wrapped in a banana leaf and slowly baked with wine and garlic, and the USDA PRIME Tomahawk Ribeye for two, served with Lyonnaise potatoes, roasted compari tomatoes, grilled green onions and your choice of sauce. The Patio has also received a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence for their 130 U.S., European and South American wines.

Learn more about McAllen – A Rising Star in Texas!

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