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The SCENE Magazine

Escape to Paradise at Noah’s Ark

Picture yourself leaning back on a beach chair, closing your eyes, soaking in the sea breeze and sipping on an ice cold (possibly frozen) drink or nibbling on tasty appetizers while receiving excellent customer service. You wish you were within driving distance of this waterfront paradise…
You are in luck!

Overlooking Galveston Bay, away from the hustle and bustle of tourist traffic, find Noah’s Ark Restaurant – an ark-inspired building with a huge palapa nestled on top – awaiting your next escape.

Co-owners Steven Tolhurst, Fred Lyttle and Kellie Verlander have been imagining and reimagining the evolving Bacliff restaurant-turned-escape-destination into what it is today. If you are a beer lover, they’ve got you covered! Their recent addition of 11 beers on tap is sure to please!

Tolhurst said their goal is to create a little slice of paradise for guests to unwind: waterfront views, chill vibe, delicious food and outstanding customer service. He explained, “Noah’s Ark is quite relaxing with wonderful views of the Bay but without all the traffic.”

Noah’s Ark boasts three of the best downstairs waterfront patios in Galveston County, but the newest addition – and the pride of Noah’s Ark – is their upstairs. The Parrots Nest, as it’s called, is a 21-and-up, 3800-square-foot palapa with some of the best unobstructed views of Galveston Bay and, most days, the best breeze!

The beautiful cedar tables and bar are paired with bamboo barstools. Meet up with friends or pull up to whet your whistle around the bar. There’s not a bad seat in the house – or rather – ON the house! Guests are encouraged to sit and stay awhile. Everything on the food and drink menu downstairs is also available upstairs under the palapa.

The Parrot’s Nest is ready for the warmer temperatures to take “chill” to the next level. Be sure to check out their summer drink line up. Cool drinks for hot days include Blackberry Lemon Julip, Pineapple Mojito, Watermelon Mojito, Crown Cure-All and Stoli Moscow Mule. Or enjoy a cold draft beer from the 11 they have on tap.

Noah’s Ark specializes in several liquid treats. Highly recommended specialty drinks include Parrot Head Punch, Noah’s Hurricane and Noah’s Southern Tea, Also worth a whirl, order the Manhattan, Noah’s Mojito, Noah Piña Colada, Noah’s Mudslide or the Dirty Monkey (made with real bananas and locally distilled Railean Rum.) 

Margarita options include the Noah’s Rita, Jalapeño Rita, Cheetah Rita and the Coronita Rita. Their martini menu includes Noah’s Pink Cosmo, James Bond Martini (shaken Bond-style!) and the Ultimate Makers Abyss Martini.

A popular attraction upstairs in the Parrots Nest is enjoying live music. Kick off the weekends with Karaoke on Fridays (aka Jerry-oke). Live music fills the air on Saturday and Sunday afternoons from 1 to 5 p.m.; Saturday nights, dance the night away from 8 p.m. to midnight as the Parrots Nest hosts bands. This month, catch Tom Kats, Alvin and the Slick Punks, Andy McCarthy and Wood N Wind.

Inside the ark-inspired structure, diners can choose window seats with water views, sit around the bar, or choose from an abundance of tables in ark-themed interior where kids and the young at heart will be tickled by the numerous Noah’s Ark references they find.
Tolhurst said, “At Noah’s Ark, guests will never be handed a pager.” Explaining that open seating is always available, inside or out, and guests can seat themselves to take advantage of the water views, or find a more intimate spot inside to suit their mood. Large parties of guests are always welcome.

The three downstairs patios aren’t just family friendly, but pet-friendly. Four-legged family members are always welcome, but Noah’s (like most establishments) requests that pets must be on a leash.

The Noah’s Ark menu consists of freshly made and original recipes. The fried foods are hand-breaded and made to order. The diverse menu offers “standard” seafood staples, plus various comfort foods such as Chicken Fried Steak, Chicken Fried Chicken Meatloaf, Spaghetti, Pork Roast Fettuccini Alfredo and Chicken Parmesan  and Grilled Chicken Breast. Must-try items include the Hot Mermaids (shrimp and jalapeño wrapped in bacon, served grilled or fried), hand breaded onion rings and fried mushrooms, Oysters (raw or four flavors of grilled) and the fresh, handmade Angus burgers, plus a vegetarian burger option. Tolhurst said, “Remember, our chefs prepare everything fresh to order from our own recipes.”

Another must-try recommendation is breakfast, served weekdays 8 a.m. to noon, Saturdays 7 a.m. to noon and Sundays 7am to 11 a.m. Sundays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., also enjoy a breakfast buffet, complete with omelet and egg station plus fresh fruit. Bring the family; kids (ages 4 to 10) eat for $5.99.

No matter your taste or mood, who couldn’t use an adult refuge with some sea breeze therapy? Hop in your car and know there’s a place for you at Noah’s Ark where you can escape to paradise, sip on a refreshing beverage, eat deliciously and soak in the aaah-mazing feeling. (Sunglasses not included.)
- Betsey Ennis
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