THE ASTOR=Tourist In My Hometown #6.
The Astor Restaurant on Leopard, just 1/2 block of NPID. No one says NPID, ok, North Padre Island Drive for you non locals. It has been around since before I was born, giving my age away, ok, 1957. In a quick trip to my hometown Corpus Christi early August 2019, decided to take my boys there as they never been. I try to support the places that are either family owned, or one of kind, or have paid dues being open for years.
The green goddess salad dressing I think a number of you would like if you fond of the old Ship Ahoy orange salad dressing, similar but not same. I worked at Ship Ahoy in 1970s and have that recipe on my site. This Green Goddess recipe I don't but it is good, I like it, kids liked it, momma eh, not so. The Astor is right down road from where I used to work at Gulf Iron Works, and just down the little Leopard Street bridge as a kid, my family used to picnic under & wait for train. Also not far from Corpus Christi Academy where I went to 7th grade.
So on this blistering hot summer day, we pulled into parking lot, not very busy, and I took photo of the sign outside, the old sign used to have neon and flashing bulbs on it, I guess for truckers, as place always seemed to have truckers in it. You know, my uncle Travis who was rich oilman in the 1960s was known for going to this place often, and he would buy everyone's tab. That is right, pay for everyone in place meals. Of course a t-bone steak back then here was $1.75 with fixings, but still, the though of him walking into a place saying 'everything is on me!' is quite cool. I have done that at some of the bars I have worked at, but only after closing and only me there counting bank. Still counts.
This place inside is a real time zone. That is, stuck in time, if I didn't know better would say it is 1968 all over again. On this particular summer day, the nice little Mexican waitress who I didn't get name told us to sit anywhere you want, but 'this side the AC is out' pointing to left side of building. The cook behind his grille as you walk into place, smiled briefly, then back to watching all his food on big grille. The place smelled like mesquite, a good thing. So we walked to right side of building and sat neat a big screen on wall. Spongebob Squarepants movie on, cool!
I got one type of steak, my wife another, and one boy got a burger, another salad & fries. But before the main entrees came, waitress brought us little bowls of soup and basket of bread, buns. Wow! Ok, I might sleep here now.
They have been doing that for decades though, so don't be surprised when free stuff comes to table. You won't leave this place hungry. If this sounds like a review, I guess it could be. Hell, could be a review from 1980s.
Of all the people I asked about the Selena new mural, of which have since been told 'the family, including Mister Quintanilla is suing the artist'
ONLY this really nice & attentive waitress knew where it was actually at!
She said 'oh it's over in Molina corner of Bloomington, are you familiar with Molina?' I said 'yes ma'am, I grew up here down on Leopard street, but also worked for CPL 2 years so know Corpus like back of hand' and my brother's widow lives on Hiawatha over there too'. She smiled as she carried off mess of plates.
There is a small bar as you walk in on the immediate right, so small the bartender if one, would have to come out, turn around to face bottles on back. We didn't get any beer or booze this day, too much stuff to still do you know, only X amount of hours to shove Y and Z amount of things into.
Maybe it is just me, but seems I am more tired after a vacation.
Anyways, this was our little experience at Astor, go check it out if you have a chance it really is a Corpus Christi institution. Sure wished uncle Travis was around to pick up our tab this day. Hooked up our waitress with
25%-27 tip too, I'm in 'the business' so tip really good. And her service was awesome.
Photos: Photo #1. Out on Leopard Street the Astor sign says 'mesquite charcoal steaks and seafood' hope you know that mesquite is abundant in south Texas & one of, if not the hottest burning woods to cook with and leaves a great sweet taste into food. When I cook, I use mesquite, also pecan, I have 3 big pecan trees in Houston in my yard, they drop lots of limbs, cut them, soak them overnight in water, then chunk on charcoal next day to smoke for hours, I am hungry again.
Photo #2. Front of The Astor restaurant on Leopard Street. 5533 Leopard Street for you yahoos that can't walk 10 feet without using a GPS. Note one of my teens still on phone walking, maybe he was looking at GPS.
Photo #3. This is one of our salads, each salad came with two little Green Goddess cups of salad dressing. Again, if you liked the old ship ahoy orange stuff in 1970s, you will probably like this stuff. I sure did and licked plate, not that my two boys on phones noticed.
Photo #4. This was my steak, and cooked perfectly, loved the mesquite taste there. It was a filet with bacon wrapped and fries. I am not supposed to have bacon or fries, gave the fries to teens, the bacon, eh, one piece won't hurt. The green piece of lettuce thing on side is for decoration, no one eats that, looks good, but just for looks.
Photo #5. Wife's steak, was good but she said 'she has had better' so have to also keep in mind she has worked at several big Houston steakhouses thru years too, so picky. Ate it all, baked potato perfect size, there is damned green thing off to side again. Was a really good meal overall and enjoyed the visit to CC legend eatery.