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The Bend Magazine

Gerald Flores' Current Thoughts (and Local Food, Of Course)

04/02/2020 03:46PM ● By Gerald Flores
Words and Photos by: Gerald Flores

It’s hard to summarize my feelings about all this without going into full autobiography mode, but I’ll do my best. 

The world has changed for who knows how long. It’s hit us all differently and I’ll admit, my emotions have been all over the place. Will my wife and I be okay? Are my parents going to be okay? How long will my job be secure? Do I have enough toilet paper? (Apparently, it’s a thing now.) Will this bring out more good in the world or will it do the opposite? My day job has shifted to working from home, which is challenging for me, but I’m getting better at it. The side hustles and brands I run have also had to adjust and adapt to these times to keep sales going. For me, all of this has been a little heavy at times, but I find myself snapping out of it pretty quickly and shifting into a positive/optimistic mindset. I can get through this. WE can get through this.

The one question I kept circling back to was - How are all of the local businesses and restaurants going to get through this? We’ve come to know so many local business owners and a lot of them have become our friends.

I order food from local delivery services at least 2-3 times a week. We get food from different local places and always mix it up at work. All of us at the office are heavy with supporting local. 

Enchilada platter from JalaPeña's Salsa and Catering

When local restaurants started closing their dining rooms, it hit me hard. I can’t imagine how it feels to see something you’ve poured your life into, all of a sudden become extremely fragile and the thought of closing your doors for good is close to a reality and completely out of your control. They’ve all had to completely change their operations for the most part.

So, I kept ordering from local places, and started taking better photos of the food I got and posted on social media. I wanted it to serve as a reminder to support local restaurants during these extremely difficult times. The fact is, we still have a lot of locals saying they never knew about this place or that place. My photos and postings were just my small way of trying to get the word out to as many as I could, even if it was just a reminder.

In the middle of my week of ordering food and posting photos, I saw a television ad on a local news station for a restaurant chain. The commercial was mentioning “to-go” and “curbside” orders all dealing with the current times. Seeing that commercial hit me again and made me think about all our local restaurants who have zero budget or corporate backing to get the word out right now. As important as it to support any business here (corporate/chain), being that they employ locals, I feel that in some way they are still better off than any independently-owned local restaurants right now.

If I could afford to order every meal of the day from a local spot, I would, but the fact is, with so much uncertainty right now, I just can’t. I hate even saying that out loud, let alone typing it here. It doesn’t feel good, but it’s just a reality. For now, I’ll keep ordering and posting as often as I can, and I strongly encourage you (the one reading this) to do the same, if you’re capable. If we all keep local restaurants on the front of our minds and support them when we can, we can make a serious difference. These restaurants are people's dreams come true, and we have to do what we can to keep those dreams alive. 

photo via Hoegemeyers website

These are some photos and a little about each local restaurant I’ve ordered from lately to help during these times. Spoiler alert - each one was DELICIOUS!

Hoegemeyers

My favorite local BBQ is from Hoegemeyers. This beautiful looking sandwich is called the Texas Cheese Steak. It’s got Brisket and Nacho Cheese on homemade bread. I ordered through their website and drove over to pick it up curbside. When I got there, the staff was outside waiting to hand me my meal. A very smooth experience. 711 Concrete St. (361) 884-4227

Jalapeña Salsa

I saw a Facebook post advertising their enchilada platters (beef, chicken, or cheese) along with rice and beans, topped off with their amazing salsa. I placed an order with them via Facebook for a scheduled time of delivery next day. The owner (Alissa Peña) delivered it right on time. This platter was to serve 9. It definitely served my wife and I that many times over. jalapenasalsa.com / JalaPeña's Salsa and Catering on Facebook and Instagram

 The Post

Known for their award winning cocktails, The Post also has a killer food menu. Just about everyone who goes there already knows how good the food is. Turning their entire business model upside down, they adapted and found a way to bundle full meals AND at-home cocktail kits. Hiesenburgers, Brussel Sprouts, Funnel Cake Fries and Moscow Mule kits were what we grabbed. We placed our order over the phone and when we arrived to pick it up, the staff came up curbside to finalize the transaction. Another smooth experience.  411 Doddridge St #102 (361) 452-0907

8TE

If you really know me, you know the chicken sandwich war was pretty silly to me. We have the one chicken 

 sandwich that beats them all here in our city (hands down). This meal was a quick online order through a food delivery app and went off without a hitch. The chicken sandwich is called the Southern Belle Sandwich. They have a Buffalo Chicken Sandwich that is equally amazing. The second sandwich is their classic Chicken Salad Sandwich that my wife says is the best she’s ever had and I agree with her. 1220 Airline Rd #250  (361) 723-0261

House of Rock 

Some of the best pizza in Corpus Christi comes from House of Rock. We’ve been huge fans since day one. With a ton of their business coming from their awesome music venue and of course the bar, we definitely wanted to do what we could by ordering more food from them. They’ve also created an amazing “at-home” pizza making kit you can order. On this one, we decided to let the pros handle it for us. Their Classic Pepperoni and an Earth Day Pizza was what we 

 grabbed. We called our order in and when we arrived curbside, they had these easy to read signs showing you where to park and what number to text when you arrived. The whole process was extremely smooth. 511 Starr St (361) 882-7625

Southside Barbacoa

Breakfast Tacos. Those two words need no further explanation here in Corpus Christ. I’ve always been extremely vocal about Southside Barbacoa being my favorite spot. Their tortillas alone are worth the entire trip and they are known for too many great things, including barbacoa and their carne guisada, but trust when I say the entire menu is perfect. This was another quick food delivery app order. The tacos shown are my favorite combo of Chorizo, Egg, Bacon and Potato and then a plain 

 Barbacoa. Wrapped up we have some bean and cheese, chorizo and egg, and more barbacoa, plus an extra one for our dog Dee Dee. 5894 Everhart Rd # A (361) 334-0888