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“After several years: Still great.”

Rudy & Paco Restaurant & Bar
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Ranked #2 of 308 Restaurants in Galveston
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $21 - $30
Cuisines: American, Seafood
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Local cuisine, Business meetings, Special occasions
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Late Night, Full Bar, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Dining style: Fine Dining
Cross street: 20th Street
Description: When visiting Galveston Island, you simply can't miss the Island's most unique dining experience, Rudy & Paco. Rudy & Paco features grilled seafood and steak with a South and Central American sabor. Relax and unwind with your favorite cocktail while enjoying delicious Antojitos. Rudy & Paco is located next door to The Grand 1894 Opera House, and is a great choice for pre-show dinner specials. Dinner: No shorts (men or women), hats/caps, or sleeveless shirts for men. Lunch: Smart Casual
Galveston, Texas
Level Contributor
240 reviews
227 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 413 helpful votes
“After several years: Still great.”
Reviewed August 21, 2014

Hadn't been back since H. Ike, and it was past time. They've restored the same decor as before, a plus and a minus (see below). Still dark wood, still an intimate feel.

Filete de Carne Presidente was excellent--they even added a touch in the preparation that wasn't on the menu. Be sure to ask.
Dessert was disappointing. They can't do a regular mousse, even though all the ingredients are on the menu in other items. Guess the dessert chef isn't so creative. If you're a Rummy, ask about the under-the-bar exotics.

Service was wonderful, as before. Attentive, knowledgeable, but not intrusive. Side note: It's fun to watch the waitstaff swarm a table of 5 or 6, so everyone has their entree at exactly the same time. Did Paco learn that in Managua, or out on the East End with the mosquito patrol?

Downsides: Seating. 1. There's only one two-chair table, and it's stuck in a corner next to the bar. Don't accept this table unless you're desperate. In one chair, you could be smacked in the back from time to time; in the other, you'll feel like you've been sent to the punishment corner in first grade. First rule of Restaurant Club: No one puts Baby in the corner.
2. They didn't listen to previous comments. If you're disabled, this remains a very tricky floor plan to negotiate. Very cramped. If you're disabled, call ahead for reservations, and tell them you MUST have a table in the front or right on the main aisle. And not the corner table.

I'd like to give them 4.5 stars, but since that's not an option, and the downsides can be negotiated, I'll keep it at 5.

  • Visited August 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank danny w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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665 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Arlington, TX
Level Contributor
510 reviews
430 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 162 helpful votes
“Great food, sadly some obnoxious guests”
Reviewed August 20, 2014 via mobile

Mom n I are on girls trip n this is always one of our favorite meals. It's a snug restaurant but past visits have always been pleasant. Tonight had 2 large groups-college kids across the back wall, they acted as one would expect at a nicer restaurant. Second group was a 50'ish yr old bday group of couples-not so well behaved. Bday girl was exceptionally loud, lots of drinking (not that I'm anti-booze), and not only did Paco not try and quieten the group, he's smoozing-of course they are spending a ton on booze. Our food was great, our service was good until our server was pulled away to handle wine service for the bday group. IMO, the restaurant isn't large enough for 2 large parties, esp when one is really loud and taking up the center of the restaurant for all to hear. My mom hasn't been to Galveston in a long time and really didn't enjoy our dinner at her favorite restaurant and that's a shame. Food was a 4.5, service was a 3.5, ambience was a 2 tonight.

Visited August 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank BeachbumAggie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Great food, superb service!”
Reviewed August 19, 2014

One of the best among service. Our waiter was great: friendly, knowledgeable, attentive, but not intruding. He recommended a great wine for me since I don't know much about choosing wines. Too bad I can't remember his name. The complimentary plantain chips were awesome. My husband & I had to stop eating so much to leave room for our food. Then came a complimentary loaf of hot bread. It was perfect: crispy on the outside, hot & chewy on the inside. I was already starting to get full. We chose the escargot as appetizer which came out boiling hot & delicious! Then the salads that came with our entree was super crisp & fresh. I was quite full by then, but couldn't pass anything up b/c everything had been so good. Lastly our entrees included 2 specials: the sea bass & soft shell crab, both served with potatoes & sauteed spinach. Sea bass was very high quality & tasted great, actually one of the best I've had. Soft shell crab was good, especially the lump crab meat on top was very sweet & fresh. Since the soft shell crab was fried though, after awhile, it became too much, especially considering there were 2 of them. So definitely huge portions. Well worth the $$$. We also had coffees after. Much better quality & value then Shearn's that we tried earlier.

I'm so happy we had a chance to try this place during our visit to Galveston. No wonder it's #1 on tripadvisor. I can't wait to come back & try something else.

  • Visited August 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Langelina3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
tx
Level Contributor
18 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Rivals some of our best dining outings”
Reviewed August 15, 2014 via mobile

We had seen the reviews so decided to check out the restaurant. For dinner, on opentable, reservations were several days out so we went for lunch.

The menu was quite diverse. Local seafood. Latin fare. Pasta. Salads. Really nice options. We had the ceviche, spinach salad, tostadas, taquitos, ropa vieja, and a chicken dish. Instead of bread, they serve plantain and chimichurri. Easy place to eat gluten and dairy free.

The service was fabulous. All the dishes were timed very well. Waters were kept full. The servers were great. The owner, Paco, was there and came by to say hi. The manager came by several times to check on us. And, the food was great.

We would definitely go back. And would highly recommend the restaurant to others. The price was very reasonable for the food and level of service. It's not a cheap place but the price was totally appropriate.

  • Visited August 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank water0125
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montgomery, Texas
Level Contributor
69 reviews
37 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“A delight”
Reviewed August 15, 2014

Always stop here for lunch. Friendly staff and great service. Everything here is good but try the fish tacos, pork tostadas , or the meat loft sandwich. Generous portions.

Visited August 2014
Helpful?
Thank Jerry G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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