Irie’s Island Food in Port Aransas (part of the Texas Gulf Coast) is the BEST ON THE ISLAND. Hands down. Everything they make is absolutely delicious, vibrant, and as from-scratch as possible. It doesn’t hurt that they’re walking distance from the ocean (read: absurdly fresh seafood).
One of my favorite things I tried there? Lobster and black bean spring rolls. Might sound like a weird combination, but it WORKED. Flaky spring roll wrappers are stuffed with fresh lobster, lots of black beans, and jack cheese, then deep fried and served incredibly hot. These guys are gigantic, too – one spring roll is equivalent to about 2-3 you’d get in your average Chinese takeout order. And you get three per order, so basically the amount of nine spring rolls. You could feed 3-4 people here, but obviously Rob and I split the entire order. Irie’s spring rolls also come with an array of bright, flavorful, also from-scratch dipping sauces (Golden Dragon was my #1) and some fresh slaw.
Irie’s is only open morning to mid-afternoon, and they often run out of their most popular seafood items. Our solution? Although maybe not traditional breakfast fare, we wolfed down these lobster spring rolls as our breakfast appetizer. Best breakfast ever, I’d say.
If you don’t live near the Texas coast, you could easily duplicate these at home – the rolls, at least. Just get some spring roll skins and stuff them with your favorite seafood (obv lobster is the top choice), black beans, and melty cheese, then fry those babies up. The dipping sauces would be harder to copy… me, I’ll probably just start planning another island getaway to Irie’s soon. I seriously think about how good it was all the time. It’s creepy.
What does whale taste like? GUILT. Sweet, meaty guilt.
I recently took a trip to Iceland and one of its (many, many) highlights was the seafood. While the expected specialty dishes, such as arctic char and langoustine, were incredibly fresh, I want to talk bigger. I want to talk WHALE.
The first night we had dinner in Reykjavik we headed to Tapasbarinn, a dark, romantic little tapas bar (yep, tapas in Iceland! Who knew”) where we ordered the “Icelandic Feast” tapas set to share. One of the first dishes brought out was whale, and I can’t deny that I was excited to try it. I had expected something really blubbery, but it was really lean! I would describe whale meat like kind of like a rich, rare steak. It was absolutely delicious. I don’t have any photos of our food from that first night, because I meant what I said—that place was super atmospheric, but super dark, and I didn’t want to be the a-hole with the flash photography ruining the ambiance.
Anyway, let’s talk. You can’t deny the controversy surrounding the consumption of whale. Whaling is internationally banned, but three countries choose to ignore the ban: Japan, Norway, and Iceland. In defense of Iceland, I only saw minke whale, an un-endangered breed, served in restaurants. Plus they don’t have a ton of natural resources that far north, so I suppose that traditionally they had to take what they could get. Boyfriend Rob and I took a whale-watching tour (recommended!) on the last day of our trip, though, and the guide explained to us that only about 10-15% of whale is eaten by native Icelanders, and the rest is just for tourists. That made me feel kind of bad.Read More›
ES guest writer Faith has some expert advice on what and where to eat in the beautiful Mediterranean country of Malta. Start planning your vacation now…
Maltese cuisine has Arabic, Sicilian, French, Turkish, Greek and British influences, stemming from a history full of invasions and occupations, making it a culinary concoction just waiting to be discovered. Surrounded by the clear Mediterranean Sea, Malta has a wide range of fresh seafood to enjoy in a traditional Lampuki fish pie, or simply barbequed alfresco style. Rabbit stew is the national dish – traditional and hearty. Whether you prefer surf, turf, or something in between, Malta is definitely a culinary destination.