Have a hankering to try something just a bit different or simply want to hang out with friends and family? You might want to factor Starvin Marvin’s at 2310 N. 11th Street in Beaumont into your thinking. Very casual atmosphere, good food, lots of fun, and a big patio to enjoy live music or sit and visit.
Owners Marvin (yep, the place is named after him) and Debbie Atwood have a right to be proud of their business investment since it is doing well. One of the five managers, Gina Ponzio, who has been there since the establishment’s beginning, tells us that the restaurant will celebrate it second anniversary on Saturday night, May 19. “It should be a lot of fun. We have many regular customers and they’ll likely come in to help celebrate,” said Ponzio. “Many seem to enjoy sitting on the patio where smoking is allowed (not allowed in the enclosed restaurant itself, and that is good for those that prefer it that way) and there’s always live music in the evenings.”
Ponzio also described a play area out back that we did not see on our visit to Starvin Marvin’s. “Oh, yes, the play area is kind of like a friend’s back yard,” said Ponzio with enthusiasm. “Kids love to go out there to play and we have washer board and other games. You’ll see parents and groups out there playing around with the kids or just talking among themselves.”
The manager said there is a family friendly atmosphere and that kids are welcome until 10 p.m., but after that no one under 21 is allowed in. “It becomes more of a club atmosphere around 10. We welcome families before 10, but after 10, it is mostly the evening crowd out for fun, music and, of course, good food.”
Various bands and musicians take the stage at Starvin Marvin’s. Ponzio’s personal favorite is the Sabine River Band, but she also enjoys the House Rockers, and Larry Tillery. “We have different groups and individuals, and those are listed on our Web site if folks want to see who is playing before they come out to eat,” Ponzio said.
Speaking of food — that is what our group went to experience. I personally had the prime rib special cooked medium, and it arrived at our table piping hot and delicious. It wasn’t too done or too raw. It was served with my choice of two sides, and I had the typical baked loaded potato and a fresh green garden salad. The first thing I found to be really good was the bread served as soon as we were comfortably seated.
My husband decided on one of his all time Texas cowboy favorites, the chicken fried steak, which is a staple to Southeast Texas eating. It must have been very tasty because he ate every bite, along with the two sides he chose. The third member of our party decided to be the adventurer in our group and ordered the barbeque chicken. She was amazed at the delicious smoky barbeque flavor with the added enhancement of fresh blackberries in the sauce. She insisted that we all at least taste the combination of which none of us had ever heard. “Yummy” is the best word to describe the concoction. Between the barbecue sauce, the smoky flavor cooked into the chicken and the sauce, and the addition of the blackberries, it was really different and taste tempting. I considered that I had never been brave enough in my own kitchen and made a mental note to buy some fresh blackberries at the local market.
No one had room for any dessert although it was offered — twice.
We were eating rather early on a Friday afternoon and by the time we had ordered and received our food, the entire restaurant and much of the patio had filled with folks coming from work, it appeared. Old friends greeted each other and families met for dinner in a comfortable, relaxed atmosphere.
Ponzio said that the restaurant offers a fully bar stocked with every drink mix imagined. She also said that the bartenders would mix what the customer ordered, but they suggest everyone try a Marvin the Martian (yep, named for the owner again), which is a green drink concoction. I stopped her before she could give the secret ingredients and have others steal their specialty. She said they have several drink combinations originated by one or the other of the bartenders. Starvin Marvin’s also has a wide beer and wide selection to top off any meal.
One of the things the Atwoods are most proud of with the opening of the nearly two-year- old restaurant is that they have provided anywhere between 110 and 130 jobs for the community. We were there during a shift change and were amazed at how many folks were coming into the building to work on a Friday night. Ponzio says they have five different alternating managers and they all work in various areas, from hostess duties to the bar.
Happy Hour is designated as Monday through Friday from 2 to 4 p.m. and there’s never a cover charge.
Customers can check out the drink specials, entertainment, and planned events at www.starvinmarvins.com . Or you can call the restaurant at (409) 347-0058. Starvin Marvin’s is open 11 a.m. until 1 a.m. Monday through Wednesday and again on Sunday and from 11 a.m. until 3 a.m. Thursday through Saturday. Marvin suggests you try the famous Blackberry Baby Back Ribs, a hand cut steak, and the delicious pecan pie. And he wants you to know that Starvin Marvin’s features the largest outdoor dining area in Beaumont on the beautifully landscaped multi-level patio.
Brenda Cannon Henley can be reached at (409) 781-8788 or at brendacannonhenley [at] yahoo [dot] com.