The savory aroma of fire-grilled steaks and fried eggs is the first thing to greet the noses of guests ambling into The Ranch House Cafe. After the initial olfactory welcome, the restaurant envelops visitors in a relaxed, home-like atmosphere bolstered by homemade meals, friendly service, and embarrassing middle school class portraits of every visitor. Chefs bustle about the kitchen transforming Angus Beef into hand-formed burgers and forging tortillas from scratch before sending them to tables on the arms of speedy servers. Conscious of meeting the dietary needs of all its patrons, The Ranch House Cafe offers low-calorie, meatless, and kid-friendly noshes to ensure that eaters push back from their tables feeling sated.
Back the Philippines, Menchie enjoyed cooking the island nation’s traditional cuisine for her friends and family, imbuing her kitchen with the signature Filipino aroma of garlic and onions. After immigrating to Amarillo, Menchie still commands the wok in her eponymous restaurant, crafting authentic dishes the minute they’re ordered. Located in a former A&W drive-in, the dining room’s red-backed booths host diners as they enjoy plates of noodles mixed with chopped veggies or skewers of barbecued chicken. On Wednesdays and Saturdays, hot coals slowly roast a whole pig stuffed with lemongrass and onions as the pig quickly regrets its decision not to eat its lemongrass salad in the shade.
La Frontera has filled its menu with classic Mexican dishes, such as a family recipe for beef picadillo, since its founding in 1985. Huevos rancheros and chorizo burritos grace the breakfast menu, and flautas join traditional and soft nachos at lunchtime. Carne guisada, tostadas, and tacos crown dinner plates alongside rice, beans, and salad, and paletas (Mexican popsicles) in flavors such as watermelon and coconut join buñuelos for dessert. La Frontera also serves American dishes, such as cheeseburgers and cheese fries, amid the dining room's inlaid ceramic tile and Coca-Cola ephemera, such as vintage bottles, cans, tins, and free-floating carbonation bubbles.
The waitstaff at Indian Oven have been known to recommend just the right dish to those unfamiliar with Indian cuisine, even arranging sampler plates from their lunch buffet as a culinary introduction. Regardless of a diner's level of experience with Indian cuisine, though, it's easy to find enjoyable flavors on the restaurant's menu. Mild, housemade paneer cheese and potato dumplings simmer in rich sauces, and cuts of chicken or lamb marinate in a savory mixture of yogurt, spices, and Al Green songs before sizzling in a clay tandoor oven. Guests can alternate bites with sips of sweet, milky Indian–style coffee or creamy mango lassi.