The warm aroma of freshly baked waffle cones envelops every nook and cranny of Marble Slab Creamery, revving up guests’ senses with the promise of impending decadence. As the hand-rolled cones tan in their ovens, the store’s staff bustles about the premises whipping up fresh batches of super-premium ice cream in the on-site creamery and helping patrons select a flavor from a list of more than 50 options. This chef-driven dedication to gourmet ice cream began in 1983 with the company’s founding in Houston, Texas, when two French chefs were enlisted to create a recipe for Marble Slab Creamery’s signature sweet-cream ice cream using their culinary expertise.
Today, staffers utilize the frozen-slab technique of ice-cream architecture, scooping each customer’s choice of ice cream and mixins onto a chilled marble slab to mix the separate elements into one customized mélange. Though specializing in cone-based ice-cream treats, Marble Slab Creamery also offers a menu full of other scream-worthy confections including cakes, shakes, and ice cream cupcakes.
After Richard and Deana Zaccardo realized their dream by buying Belmar Bakery in 2002, they continued to let their dream grow, expanding with a sit-down café and a Cake Land area dedicated to the design of their signature cakes. With such dedication to their craft, it's no wonder why the bakery was voted Best Baked Goods in Amarillo by the readers of Amarillo Globe-News for 10 years in a row. In the bakery, sweet aromas of pastries, cookies, and pies waft under customer noses followed by rich scents of brewing coffee from the café. Upon adding the café to their offerings, the Zaccardos expanded on their ambitions by including hot sandwiches, soups, and salads, and their Cake Land shows off their extravagantly decorated cake samples and a photographic history of how their cakes heroically toppled the tyranny of Candy Land. The cake area is also available for cake and cookie-decorating events for kids, as well as birthday parties.
Mama Krusty taught her 13 children to memorize her family's famous kolache recipes, just as her father taught her to do at his bakery in Czechoslovakia. Carrying on the tradition at Kolache Cafe & Baking Company, 1 of Krusty's 13 students fills bakers' racks with pastries made by following that long-remembered formula. Inside the café, red walls surround glossy wooden tabletops, and a long rectangular rug emblazoned with Kolache Cafe's logo leads up to the cash register and chalkboards bearing a written menu of kolaches. Each golden pastry is crowned with sweet or savory ingredients including sweet chocolate cream cheese, blueberry, and jalapeño cream cheese with bacon, and signature stuffed kolache pockets surround their cargo with a pastry shell, like a backpack carved out of a large flaky biscuit. Cake bites in flavors such as tiramisu and key lime wait to ride waves of Peet's coffee or fountain drinks into hungry mouths.
Despite the adage that warns against messing with Texas, Jaime and Alicia Santillan had no problem giving Tex-Mex cuisine the cold shoulder when they opened Los Braceros Mexican Bar & Grill. The couple amassed dishes from their home country into a menu that has since won praise from Amarillo Magazine for its unflagging devotion to authentic Mexican food.
When he’s not strolling around the dining room, making sure customers are enjoying their food and wearing matching socks, Jaime supervises his kitchen staff as they prep plenty of tacos, enchiladas, tamales, and seafood entrees. The restaurant's grill often sizzles with the signature parrillada platter: your choice of three meats, from lamb chops to chicken, served with sides of rice, beans, and guacamole. It also roasts more obscure south-of-the-border meals, such as codorniz, a 2- to 6-ounce marinated quail, and Mexican-style ribs.
The restaurant, which is housed in a restored Route 66 building, stocks an impressive supply of tequila to augment its spicy eats. Patrons can sip on fiery samples or order beer from the full bar, which provides seating for live musical shows on Fridays and Saturdays.
Since 1977, the cookie craftsmen at Great American Cookies have shared edible sentiments via freshly baked cookies, brownies, and hand-decorated cookie cakes. The founding bakers opened their first shop in Atlanta with one initial product: a chocolate-chip cookie crafted from a generations-old recipe. Since then, their lineup has expanded to include oatmeal walnut, double fudge, snickerdoodle, and other cookie renditions. And they've also added rich brownies that range in flavor from Reese’s Peanut Butter cup and strawberry cheesecake to red-velvet brownies, german chocolate brownies, and traditional fudge. The biggest feature, though, is the shop's signature 16-inch round cookie cake, a hand-frosted mega-treat that can feed 8–16 people or approximately 200 industrious tree elves.
The shop’s website caters to sweet requests with an online store full of preconceived designs searchable by occasion, recipient gender, and theme, including birthdays, Easter, and Saint Patrick's Day. If you'd like, the bakers can handle specific decoration orders and create unique designs to celebrate special events, such as baby’s first hedge fund.
Royal Pig Diner is a neighborhood institution that draws patrons in with the mouthwatering scents of pork, burgers, fries, and tender steak dressed with gravy. Like family photos or the ventriloquist dummy in your attic, the restaurant's carefully guarded sauce recipe has been passed down through the generations. The mixture traces its origins to The Pig Hip Drive-In, a Route 66 eatery in Amarillo, Tx, in the 1930’s. Grandfather Pat Teague, who first concocted the sauce at his Route 66 eatery in 1955, purchased the recipe in 1945, and opened his restaurant, the Royal Pig Diner, in Amarillo, featuring the sauce. The sauce covers delicate pulled pork, beef, and chicken breasts, while beer-battered fries escort meals of chili, rib-eye and New York strip steaks, or tamales. In the eatery's dining room, the sound of cheering fans drifts from TVs broadcasting local sporting events, mingling with contented sighs and jangling silverware.