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The Bolivar Boiler at Stingaree, in Crystal Beach.Dirty Al’sSouth Padre IslandIt’s hard to decide what’s most charming about this restaurant near the southernmost tip of South Padre Island—the friendly service, the marina setting, or the delightfully crude murals of mahi-mahi and mermaids and, above the entrance, Alfonso “Dirty Al” Salazar himself, astride a bucking marlin, schooner of beer in hand. Far from the touristy spots that seduce the sun-addled hordes with neon-colored cocktails and fresh-from-the-freezer fare, Dirty Al’s, which opened as a bait shop in 1986, serves locally caught seafood, grilled, blackened, or fried. Families, in-the-know tourists, and local teenagers gather around plastic tables on the porch or inside a dining room festooned with nautical oil paintings, rods and reels, taxidermied fish, and all the other flotsam and jetsam a joint like…

The post The Ultimate Gulf Coast Seafood Crawl appeared first on Texas Monthly.

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