Saturday, January 27, 2007

Land-locked Midland!

Ahoy, amigas and amigos! A new restaurant has opened in Midland, called Vela Bay!

What? Seafood, in Midland, Texas? Not only that, but seafood with a little taste of south of the border? West Texans, try it out! My husband and I met there for supper Monday night, and it was good. Paper plates, but who cares, with food like that?

Tuesday lunch, I took 7 customers; the food arrived hot, with appetizer orders of blonde gumbo and etouffee, side orders of home-cooked black eyed peas, pinto beans, and we were treated like royalty. My Cajun buddies loved this place!

Thursday, we arrived at noon with 5 customers in tow, who were duly impressed. Service was great, the food was awesome. By now, the wait staff is greeting us by our first name.

But tonight…tonight beat all the prior visits. We walked in at 8 p.m. (a late visit is always a good test for a new restaurant) to sounds of a Mexican guitarist with a beautiful voice. The owner, a sweet long-time Midlander named Les Vela, was sitting at a table with a friend, eating…
snow crab legs. She encouraged us to try them.

We did! And they were fresh, cooked to perfection, and the portion was larger than I've ever received at any Pappadeaux's or other large-town seafood house. This is definitely the place to go for fresh, sweet-crusted fried shrimp, raw oysters on the half shell, succulent snow crab, fresh fried fish. At this point, you may bring your own Pinot Grigio or cerveza to this BYOB – soon, Vela Bay will be operating under its own by the glass license. Live music on Monday, Tuesday and Saturday nights – and you might even get to witness Les doing the cumbia, and singing along (she's good)!

If this week is any portent of the future, there will soon be people waiting at the door to get a seat! Vela Bay is located west of the old K-Mart, on Midland Drive, north of Illinois Street. Their phone number (should you want to call ahead for reservations, or to take out orders – they even have a drive-through!) is 432-218-TUNA.


Karen said...

What fun for you to get an honest to goodness good thing there! I like Pappadeaux's here in Houston, a lot.
There is a big Cajun population here, you know, so we are blessed with really good food all over town.

Janie said...

Karen - believe it or not, there's a pretty good dustin' of Cajuns here, too, via the path of the Oilpatch. When the word gets out, this little hole in the wall will be rockin', I promise you!

We always enjoy good seafood when we're in your town.

Eric said...

Thanks for the review...we drove by Vela Bay last night after trying out a new place ourselves...Casa Lopez, just down the street on Illinois, where Gili's used to be. I recommend it highly. It has some interesting and different dishes.

And we'll definitely be checking out Vela Bay, on the basis of your review!

Trace said...

Sounds like a great place.