Crowned the 2009 Readers’ Choice Best of the Best New Restaurant in the Corpus Christi Caller-Times, Johnny D’s features a menu of daily seafood specials, racks of lamb, and other American-style eats. Open for dinner only, Johnny D's silences the cries of hungry stomachs with its popular blackened ahi tuna, seared rare and thinly sliced and served over a wasabi-beer sauce with jasmine rice and baby bok choy, cabbage's adorably tender offspring ($21). Steak offerings range from tender filet mignon rubbed in a house blend of coffee and spices ($21) to foot-pedaled car topplers such as the 12 oz. béarnaise-topped rib eye ($23).
Begin your culinary journey with an order of spring rolls or cheese rolls, stuffed with raisin-studded rice paper and deep-fried (both $4.25). Classic dishes done well appease traditionalists, including spicy Tom Yum soup ($4.25–$5.25), pad Thai ($8.95), pad see eiw ($8.95), and five kinds of curry ($8.95–$9.95). Build a balanced meal with the entree and rice dishes including garlic and pepper lover ($8.95) with stir-fried meat tossed in black pepper sauce over cabbage. Diners can also pick from grilled selections ($10.95–$12.95), served with shrimp fried rice and steamed veggies. Cool off a spice-saturated palate with a sweet scoop of coconut ice cream ($3.50) for dessert. Expect friendly service, carefully curated curry, and a cozy ambiance at any of the eight outposts. Like the recipe for Play-Doh, Thai Cottage adheres to simple, timeless standards.
Beauty & the Bistro Café & Catering's uniformed staff add friendly elbow grease to their catered social and corporate events. Expectant mothers round up posses of up to 30 guests for a two-hour takeover of the bistro's party room, where a sign-in and gift table greet guests and assign code names written in baby talk. Load up on human fuel from a buffet spread, filling antique china, glasses, and silverware with comestibles including seasonal fruits, parmesan pasta salad, and sliced croissant sandwiches stuffed with generous portions of chicken salad. As light dinner music plays over excited conversations and debates on the origin of the rattle, the staff quiets wailing sweet teeth with slices of guest-provided cake.
TakeNiwa melds Japanese, Chinese, and Thai flavors into a delectable culinary chimera. Sushi hounds can sample from an extensive list of creative rolls and sashimi, with seaworthy selections such as the popcorn lobster roll with crabmeat and deep fried lobster ($12.50), or house specialties including the siracha-drizzled, crab-and-tuna-filled monkey brain roll ($10), which packs enough flavorful power to excuse the misleading nature of its name. Grill enthusiasts can marvel at fresh-flamed entrees prepared tableside via hibachi, choosing meaty morsels such as steak ($21.05) and salmon ($19.95). In addition to plentiful plates, TakeNiwa sports a generous array of sippable sakes, inventive mixed drinks, and an ample selection of globally sourced beers for the liquid-leaning.
Intent on supplying diners with healthy choices by making flavorful, readily available food, the chefs at Urban Fare Cafe craft a menu that mingles Mediterranean, Indian, Asian, and African cuisines. Piquant soups such as the carrot bisque with ginger and mint pair with guiltless sandwiches and wraps such as the Montreal-style roast beef. Alternatively, whole-grain-wheat pizzas stand in for starchier pies, and cooks prepare rice bowls with either white or brown rice. Baristas emit the aromas of roasted coffee beans throughout the eatery by brewing espresso drinks and practicing levitation with café mugs.
Papa John's has been popping out perfectly personalized pies 'round the clock for the past 25 years, fleshing out its lineup of specialty pizzas with a munificent menu featuring an array of classic and specialty pizzas. Traditionalists of Italian fare can indulge in the Spicy Italian with pepperoni, sausage, and invisible meat. More progressive pie enthusiasts may select the Hawaiian BBQ Chicken ($15.99), or go all-out and get The Works, a top-heavy combination of pepperoni, ham, spicy Italian sausage, fresh-sliced onions, green peppers, mushrooms, and ripe black olives ($15.99). Like a bangin’ club or especially bangin’ fireplace store, Papa John's stays open late, making it an opportune eatery for impromptu pajama jams and uncontrollable sleep-feasting.