Monday, December 16, 2019

Los Tortugos - Port Isabel, Texas

During our foray into northeastern Mexico we diverted into extreme south Texas for a look-see. We spent the night in Port Isabel. Early on Monday we took a bridge over to South Padre Island and walked the grounds of the Bird and Nature Center. 
Roseate spoonbills on South Padre Island.
From there we back-tracked through Port Isabel, then northwest into Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge, perhaps the only place in the U.S. where they actually still have ocelots (of course with no hope of seeing that nocturnal animal). 
Then it was back to Port Isabel for a ride in a small boat out into Laguna Madre to look for bottlenose dolphins. 
Swimming bottlenose dolphins
Brown pelicans and skimmers. 
After that active morning, I was looking forward to lunch at Los Tortugos Seafood Market in Port Isabel. Being right off the water, I figured they would have great seafood. 

Los Tortugos in Port Isabel. 
I saw "crab fingers" on the menu and had never heard of such a thing. So I ordered them and was surprised to see crab claws mimicking tomahawk steak. The shell remained as a handle and the bulbous fleshy end was battered, fried and smothered in butter, then complemented by a bowl of  richly seasoned melted butter. I have to say, they were pretty good. Meatier than I could have imagined and who can't love all of that melted butter. 
Crab fingers.
Rich melted butter.
The shrimp cocktail was not what I expected or hoped for. It was shrimp tossed in a little bit of sauce and with some avocado slices on top. I was hoping for a goblet with some shrimp swimming in a spicy tomato cocktail. The shrimp were fresh and good, just not what I wanted. 
Shrimp cocktail
Finally, I got an oyster po boy sandwich. The first oyster po boy I ever got was in Newport, Oregon and it was amazing. Every one since then, and I've had four or five, has been a little downhill from there. I may quit trying. Too much breading on the oysters, just an okay sauce and the bun was not as soft and buttery as I would have liked. 
Oyster po boy
But still, it was seafood next to the ocean and was still enjoyable despite some complaints above. 

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