Chef Matthew Burmeister prepares contemporary southern cuisine, wooing palates with artfully plated Montana beef tenderloin with sautéed asparagus and buttermilk mashed potatoes, shrimp served with parmesan grits and sweet corn, and homemade bread pudding souffles. Add a decadent touch to dessert with chef's speciality vanilla bean ice cream and chocolate whiskey sauce. Buttermilk Hill Restaurant and Bar inhabits a century-old Victorian frame house replete with turn-of-the-century decor and an outdoor marble patio, ideal for dining amid soft breezes or taunting nearby birds with food they will never taste. Indoors, patrons cozy up to a fireplace in a wood-floored, high-ceilinged space that draws out the cuisine's down-home allure.
Since 1950, the family-owned Whataburger has served up its iconic burgers and fresh, made-to-order meals with a commitment to excellent customer service. Now headquartered in San Antonio, Whataburger has grown from a lone Corpus Christi burger stand to a thriving family of more than 750 locations across 10 states. In addition to lunch and dinner, the restaurants' 24/7 hours and fully fledged breakfast menu have made them popular destinations for early morning and late-night dining.
Besides the classic Whataburger, the modern menu includes options such as the jalapeno and cheese Whataburger, the Whatachick'n sandwich, and the Whataburger Jr., which is a regular Whataburger that doesn't know how to tie a tie. The breakfast selections remain rooted in hearty Texas tradition, with crispy honey butter chicken served atop biscuits and taquitos stuffed with scrambled eggs.
Richey's BBQ, a 35-year-old Southern staple, crafts downhome fare to order, piling ribs, steaks, pork, and fish atop plates mounded with savory sides. Instead of baiting a pork-chop trap with dollops of applesauce, guests can ensnare their choice of meat within formidably sized sandwiches, including the texas-toast pork sandwich ($4.99) and smoked-sausage sandwich ($5.99). Four bones ($10.99) or a half slab ($13.99) of Richey's ribs arrive in plain or basted versions to goad jaws into gnawing frenzies, and forks pilot their eager tines through such sides as fresh-cut fries, green beans, and daily vegetable specials. Flanked by a ration of tartar sauce, a pond-raised catfish ($9.99) shimmies into the fryer or creole seasonings before it charms patrons by reading aloud from Walden. Diners on the move can also pull up to Richey's BBQ's drive-thru to procure an enviable dashboard feast.
Chef Jim Sikes culls seasonal ingredients into masterpieces of classic Big Easy cuisine so fresh the menus are rewritten each week. Dinner diners can munch on fresh crab claws ($13.95) and cakes ($9.95) dipped in homemade rémoulade before tasting Jimmy’s bud-kicking jambalaya with fried green tomatoes ($16.95) or fillet of pecan-crusted trout with apple chutney and potatoes ($19.95). For lunch, Jimmy’s serves up soft-shell crab BLTs ($9.95) and a selection of po' boys stuffed with beasts of the land and sea ($6.95–$8.95) alongside a bowl of The Real Thing gumbo ($4.95). Entrees always arrive with a side or two in tow, yet still delight in pairing off with a glass of wine ($5.95–$8.50) from Jimmy’s 200+ bottle wine list, recipient of a Wine Spectator 2010 Award of Excellence (bottles start at $22).
Bernie’s on Main Street’s exposed brick and brushed concrete façade belies the cozy leather banquettes and flickering candles within, where founder and executive chef Bernard Tamburello helms a menu of Southern and Italian cuisine. Blackened catfish from nearby farms joins crab-stuffed steak, fried green tomatoes, and chicken pontchartrain, as well as pasta carbonara. Bernie’s also whips up kid-friendly bites of pizza and grilled cheese, served on special placemats emblazoned with word searches and mathematical proofs.
Voted the Best Place to Shoot Pool in a Montgomery Advertiser poll, Déjà Vu boasts high-end Diamond pool tables and a fully-stocked bar and kitchen. This entertainment emporium gives adults 21 and older oodles of options for late night mischief, including time-honored hand-eye coordination challenges such as darts, and rousing exercises in public embarrassment such as karaoke, a favorite of shame-gobbling shame goblins. Billiards tables host everything from friendly games to competitive league tournaments ($5 per hour), while those who delight in the thrill of slightly spirited competition can try their hand at game show-inspired events like Déjà Vu's homage to Minute to Win It, a jaw-dropping showcase of otherwise useless talents. More laid-back entertainment takes a seat at the comprehensive digital jukebox, flat-screen TVs, and full-service kitchen, offering pub favorites such as spicy hot wings ($6.75), loaded potato skins ($6.25), and the hamburger with Angus beef ($6.75). The bar serves up hard liquor and mixed drinks ($3.50–$6.75), and draft and bottled beers ($2.75–$3.25), with cut-rate happy hour prices and rotating daily specials ensuring even the shiest patron can afford to sop up enough suds to inspire cruise-director levels of friendliness.
Serving fresh and speedy pizza across America since 1959, Little Caesar's has grown into a huge, international carryout phenomenon. Pizzas featuring dough built from scratch are made to order in medium ($4.50 for a single topping), large ($5.99), extra-large ($7.50.), and giant ($10) sizes, mimicking the spectrum of sizes seen on nature's pizza trees. Toppings range from classic pepperoni and sausage to bacon and pineapple. Return as the conquering hero of your family and save your twins the trouble of hunting down bipedal mastodons by picking up one of Little Caesar's HOT-N-READY pies ($5). The medium-sized HOT-N-READY pizzas are available in pepperoni, and can be picked up any time without the need to order ahead. Fans of three-dimensional eats can try the Italian cheese bread ($3.59) or chicken wings ($5.99 for 10) with plain, mild, medium, or hot, or sauce.