At Dishin’ It we often get asked, “How do you decide on what places to visit/ research?” We often have an idea of where to go, often we find inspiration through social media of places trending among our friends and, most importantly, we keep an ear close to the ground for updates on local spots. Other times, like this past week, we really did not have a clue as to where we would end up.
Gaby: Some may call it a lack of preparation, but I like to say that we're being spontaneous.
Trisha: Song break! *singing* She said: Hey, babe, take a walk on the wild side.
Before heading out to our not yet determined destination, we visited an old friend’s spot in downtown McAllen named Space 16th, located on the corner of South 16th Street and Dallas Avenue. Space 16th has been converted from an older home to a small, independent art gallery that features works from local artists (and sometimes serves as an intimate concert venue).
As our host, Tony Reyes, served us some wine, we talked about the differences between American and European television watching habits (yes, we actually do have conversations regarding subjects outside the everyday and work topics). As we took in the latest works from Manuel “Raid” Zamudio’’s exhibition Allegories, we tried to make up our mind on where to further indulge for the evening.
Trisha: Tacos, pasta, somewhere nearby?
Gaby: Yes and no. I am all sorts of confused, must be the Hangry Monster taking over.
Trisha: Oh, oh. A hangry Gaby is a no bueno Gaby.
Gaby: Let's just literally drive up Main Street and see what comes across our way.
In recent years, McAllen’s Main Street has developed a small restaurant/bar scene. From the classic Los Cazadores, Roosevelt's at 7, to one of our faves SALT-New American Table, to new additions like The Sugar Cube and Birdie Bistro (plus, more to come).
We were lured to dine at Birdie Bistro. Once a small bakery and coffee shop, its new proprietor Javier Provinzano has flipped this once struggling venue into a quaint bistro serving breakfast, lunch, dinner and your occasional Tapas. Plus, the addition of some bubbly and sangrias not only helps to keep these writers happy, but all the other ladies and gents as well.
Gaby: While Trisha and I sipped on a red blend, one of our partners in crime, who tends to join us on certain occasions, enjoyed the white, pink AND red sangria.
Trisha: She’s definitely committed to her drink of choice. A girl after our own hearts.
While small in size, Birdie Bistro has a variety of spaces like their Alice-in-Wonderland-esque tea party indoor area, their front porch patio that features a live Jazz trio on Thursday and Saturday evenings, and their newly constructed second floor balcony, something that is a rarity in our area.
We continued our gallery conversation as we went ga-ga over their Grilled Stuffed Mozzarella appetizer.
Trisha: By now, you all know we're suckers for appetizers and cheese. This seemed to call out our names.
Gaby: Call out? More like scream out! These were pieces of mozzarella stuffed with prosciutto and basil and baked in a waffle press. Yes, you read correctly, a waffle press.
Given how good that stuffed mozzarella was, we felt obligated (wink wink) to order a dinner entrée. Staying true to our love for all that is cheese, while still attempting to dine somewhat on the healthy side, we decided to share the Parmesan Crusted Salmon.
Trisha: We’ve been missing out! That oven baked salmon, lightly crusted with parmesan cheese and garlic on a bed of white wine and almond wild rice. Yowza!
Don’t forget Happy Hour at Birdie Bistro, Monday through Wednesday from 4:00p.m.-8:00p.m. and Thursday through Friday from 4:00p.m.-7:00p.m. Enjoy beers at 50% off, $4 glass of their house wines and $5 off their pitchers of Sangria.
Birdie Bistro is located at 301 N. Main Street, Suite 2 in McAllen, TX, and can be reached at (956) 627-3205. Hours of operation are: Monday and Tuesday 8:30a.m.-10:00p.m.; Wednesday-Friday 8:30a.m.-11:00p.m.; Saturday 6:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m.; Sunday closed.
INSIDERS TIP: Birdie Bistro can be rented out on Saturdays, before 6:00 p.m., for private events.
Gaby Jones and Trisha Watts work hand-in-hand with the service industry. Jones is in charge of craft and imported beer for L&F Distributors and Watts is the communications director for Visit McAllen. Each week they will have a new adventure and provide an opinion on various locations throughout the Rio Grande Valley.