13. Hasty Tasty Restaurant Southeast corner Port & Leopard
Opposite side of Hasty Tasty NW corner was HEB. It had a cool, soft, lavender light on tower angled to catch mostly Leopard traffic, but also pull in people from The Cut down Port, which was mostly black folks. I rarely went into Hasty Tasty as a kid 'ain't got no money' and coffee was 10 cents a cup in 1960s, what the heck would I want coffee, when I could get all the Cokes, Sprites, Fanta red, grape and orange I could want next to our crappy house, as I knew most of the workers, and could walk into the bottling plant from Antelope side (about 50 yards from our front door) which was a loading dock, but walk in like I owned place 9 years old, no one cared. It was at this place I found out what salt tablets were as small dispenser next to vintage Coke machine, also there was peanut machine with lightbulb in it for "hot peanuts" which were usually stale for 5 cents. I thought GOOD DEAL! The salt tables were free and looked like little gumball machine also, so usually took a few of them. They tasted like sh*t to a kid, probably still do.
When I WOULD go into Hasty Tasty it was to buy a Corpus Christi Caller Times for my dad. I just ride bike up there, put coins in machine, take only ONE paper, no stealing. At later date when i did have some money, I walked in with impunity, parking my beat up bike out front, and sat at the small bar and waitress with big beehive hairdo (think Marge Simpson but not blue!) looked at me and asked 'what can I get you kid?' to which I replied, 'a order of toast ma'am' she hooked me up with FOUR slices, and little butter and strawberry packs! I left her dime tip, which is probably more than the old grumpy looking man near me who had probably had 10 cups of coffees left. So for one quarter, the poor kid got hooked up. Same 'deal' I could get at Woolworth downtown or Atlantic Thrift or Woolco on Staples when we went to rich people's hood.
I had heard from neighbor's this place had (gasp!) awesome steaks, as the owners were supposed to be Greek. The only way I was going to get some of that action was picking up someone's leftover pieces on plate and hauling ass out door, but none of that. The steak plate did look good with big tater, and if I recall was about $5.95 a lot of money I guess in 1960s.
There is back story some of ya'll probably do not know of the founder of Hasty Tasty, who 'was too poor to afford shoes' (yup, welcome to my world in 1960s!) but the family founded a number of Corpus Christi eateries, great short story if you have moment to read, real rags to riches thing! http://inspirecoastalbendmag.com/./great-food-great-experi./
"Paul's father had already settled in Corpus Christi and opened a diner known as Hasty Tasty with his brother-in-law. The diner became popular and yielded enough money for the rest of the family to leave Greece and come to the United States. They soon opened a second location." I didn't know the family owned The Astor restaurant out Leopard near North Padre Island Drive, I do not know who owned Hasty Tasty when I was digging thru their grease pit and trash in 1960s though! A side note is my oilman uncle in 1960s, Travis Smith, used to walk into Astor and say "I'm buying everyone's tab!" so would buy everyone's meal, how cool is that. I have done that in Houston bars I have worked in, but only after last call & just me & few waiters & waitresses left ha ha, then I comp it anyways!