October 20, 2012
Gaido’s is the Galveston dining institution. Started in 1911 Gaido’s has been family owned and operated for over 100 years. Stop for a moment and think about that a bit. This is an American restaurant (America is after all a youngster on the world stage) that has not only been continuously operating for over 100 years it has been owned and operated by the same family the entire time. However, Gaido’s just hasn’t opened their doors for 100 years. They’ve been serving very good food, maintaining the food quality and very good service the entire time. That’s quite the feat.
I visited Gaido’s on an almost yearly basis as a child growing up in Texas. Even as life has moved on I still manage to check into Gaido’s every 5 years or so, more when I can. This time we popped in at straight up noon on a beautiful Saturday afternoon for lunch. We were quickly and cheerfully greeted and then shown immediately to our table adjacent to the windows overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. It felt like a homecoming.
The focus at Gaido’s is fresh, seasonal seafood from the Gulf of Mexico. The weather has been so mild in the Galveston area this early Fall that crabs were still in season. Normally oysters would be in season by mid-October. So we were able to sample their crab offerings on this occasion.
I started my meal with the daily special soup of Scallop Chowder ($7.00). Scallops are my favorite seafood when dining at Gaido’s so I naturally homed in on this soup immediately. Unfortunately it was out of stock, being the special the night before. After several apologies from our server she finally made the kitchen grill me three fresh scallops as a substitute (charged me the soup price of $7.00; a steal for three good sized fresh scallops). Being the scallop hound that I am I was pleased with the moist and flavorful scallops grilled to perfection. As always grilled scallops at Gaido’s are recommended.
My entree for lunch was the Seafood Gratin ($25.00). This bread crusted, cream filled gratin was absolutely stuffed full of fresh and flavorful crab strips. Served piping hot this gratin is plenty large enough for a dinner entree, more or less a lunch entree. This dish is recommended.
Gaido’s has an OK beer and wine list. It will not inspire true wine and beer aficionados but it will get the job done. Gaido’s has a full liquor license therefore they cannot offer BYOB.
Gaido’s is open seven days of week for lunch and dinner. Reservations are accepted and generally recommended for evenings, especially weekends and high seasons. Attire is island casual but a button down shirt and slacks would be greatly appreciated and certainly appropriate. Parking is free in the lot in front of the restaurant. There is a large overflow parking lot across the side street which I’d recommend using instead. It has much easier access. Major credit cards are accepted.
Gaido’s of Galveston: still preparing very good fresh seafood from the Gulf of Mexico. Recommended.