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“Don't try the oysters if you've had Malpeque's” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Joe's Oyster Bar

Joe's Oyster Bar
207 Maxan, Port Isabel, TX
956-943-4501
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Ranked #1 of 41 Restaurants in Port Isabel
Cuisines: Seafood
Restaurant details
Los Angeles, California
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Don't try the oysters if you've had Malpeque's”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 14, 2013

I generally write positive reviews, and I have nothing against the service in this restaurant, which I thought was great, however, I would like to point out a few things.

First, I was fortunate enough to grow up in an area where we had a lot of oysters, and I don't mean to an oyster snob, but I could not finish the dozen oysters that I purchased for I think about $1/oyster. The oysters smelled fine and were fresh, but they lacked the salinity and flavor that you would get with a northern oyster; perhaps, this is a general statement on gulf coast oysters, I don't know, but all that I can say is that where an oyster is grown, makes a huge difference on its flavor - obvious, but the difference vs a PEI oyster, or West Coast oyster was pretty dramatic.

The second thing is that most of the fish is deep fried. It was a while since I have been here, but there were few grilled options when we went, and with such great fish available in the gulf, to simply deep fry them is a shame. Really, once you deep fry something, maybe it is good, but you really can't make out the subtle differences in flavor that you get from grilling. There were deep fried oysters, but given my prior comments, that is not a bad way to serve them.

You will not leave this place hungry.

  • Visited December 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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231 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Minnetonka, Minnesota
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Great Seafood at reasonable price”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 14, 2013

The freshest seafood in the Rio Grande Valley. The guys are great and the food awesome. Fresh oysters, great grilled fish etc. Don't miss this place!!! I go there as often as I can.

  • Visited November 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Antonio, Texas
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“The Very best, Fresh and Delcious.Must try it !!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2013

JOE'S Has the best ,freshest,seafood at very reasonable prices .This year we stayed in SPI for a month and have been going there for at least 25 years and usually staying for a week at a time .We have eaten at every seafood restaurant in the island and in Port Isabel and have had some bad experiences being served frozen seafood at high prices .We gave up on finding fresh seafood .We were eating pizza ,tacos,etc.till we asked around and found JOE'S.and ate there every other day till we left.Everthing is fresh and delicious,the butterflied shrimp are large, plump,sweet,and succulent . The oysters were fresh and tasty as was the thick fish fillets .They are all battered lightly,not like in most places that you get more batter than seafood.You also have to try the grilled shrimp and fish ,it is the best we have ever tasted anywhere ! JOE puts some delicious spices that have you licking your fingers and wanting more.We also went for their Wednesday special of Oysters on the half shell and they were great.Joe works hard and takes great pride in serving his customers the best Seafood at very reasonable prices,he is always there cooking,and making sure his food is the best. Ricky ,the manager is always whizzing about making sure the customers have everything they want or need.We already miss the food at Joe's and can barely wait to go back there every day, as there is no other place like JOE'S !

  • Visited October 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Michigan
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“Don't pass up eating at Joe's!!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2013

What can you say about Joes other than this IS the place to eat in Port Isabel!! We have been to Joe's many times and never once have we gotten anything other than perfect seafood. Joe usually cooks the seafood himself and knows his customers well. And the prices and portions are perfect!!

  • Visited October 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Pueblo, Colorado
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“Off the Hook Fresh Seafood!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 16, 2013

We found this quaint seafood market/oyster bar in Port Isabel and went back several times during our stay on the Island. The service was exceptional, the restaurant was clean, and atmosphere very laid back. The staff were friendly and helpful, we ended up buying a cooler full of fresh seafood from the market to take back to Colorado. Oysters both fried and in the half shell were awesome!

  • Visited September 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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