Hot Plate

Just the name of this appetizer is enough to restore the twinkle to your eye: Vuelve a la Vida! While the menu at Rudy & Paco's (2028 Postoffice Street, Galveston, (409) 762-3696) loosely translates the dish's name as "back to life," partner Francisco "Paco" Vargas good-naturedly admits that in Central America, the phrase designates a cure for hangovers. Medicinal claims aside, this steaming hot, generously heaped dish of plump crab claws, tender rings of calamari and hunky Gulf shrimp sauteed in white wine and butter with just the right dose of garlic will clear the fumes from the heaviest night-before head. Administer before meals, use plenty of crusty French bread to sop up the broth -- and try not to apply locally.


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