Hatched from a simple creole cottage in Mandeville, Louisiana in 1996, Another Broken Egg Cafe has expanded to more than 20 locations in the South and California. The homey eatery flaunts more than 130 menu items that spotlight southern and creole twists on breakfast classics such as omelets, scrambles, pancakes, and benedicts. The Hey Ricky omelet, a Spanish-inspired creation filled with chorizo, avocado, green chilies, and house-made salsa, even caught the journalistic eye of the Dallas Observer, who named it Best Omelet in 2009. Another Broken Egg Cafe's French-country charm welcomes locals, tourists, and off-the-clock roosters from 7 a.m. until 2 p.m. daily.
In 1984, Bob and Elizabeth Tumolo, a Philadelphia mother-son team, opened the first Rita’s Italian Ice, a modest shop that sold cups of ice water blended with chunks of fresh fruit. The smooth, flavor-packed recipe, which dates back to ancient Rome and Greece, was an immediate hit with Philadelphians and classics professors. By 1987, the Tumolos owned four shops, and by 2007, 500 locations served icy treats across the country.
Today, Rita’s Italian Ice continues blending fresh batches of Italian ice daily. Flavors ranging from tangy lemonade to sweet mango rotate based on the whims and cravings of the friendly staff. The expanded menu also serves thick frozen custard as well as the popular gelati, distinctive blends of Italian ice and creamy custard.
Aromas of baking sourdough, amber rye, and brioche bread waft from the ovens of Texas French Bread, winner of the Austin Chronicle's Restaurant Poll Readers award for Best Bread in 2009, 2010, and 2011. For the past three decades, these ovens have been churning out artisan breads, pastries, and desserts made from scratch, and under the helm of brothers Ben and Murphy Willcott, the ovens now cook a dinner menu of local and sustainable rustic French fare, earning a place in the top five on the Growers Alliance of Central Texas's Truly Local 2011 restaurants survey. Yet neither of the brothers set out to be bakers. Murph, a Harvard law-school graduate and lawyer, and Ben, a student of English literature, both enjoyed staying up late, cooking, and coordinating aprons with spatulas so they decided to take over Texas French Bread with the goal of turning it from bakery into bistro because, as Murph claims, "rock star and/or Hollywood movie mogul seemed like a stretch."
In the kitchen, Ben crafts a weekly rotating menu hewn under the guidelines of famed chef Alice Waters, with local, fresh, and simple ingredients from the urban farms of Boggy Creek and Angel Valley, served in season at their peak. Meanwhile, the pastry chef sculpts key-lime tartlets, cupcakes, and cream puffs to accompany cups of coffee or espresso drinks made with locally roasted beans from Anderson's Coffee Company. The house blend combines premium East African beans with a Costa Rican hard bean, barrel-cooked to a medium-brown, full-city roast to jump-start mornings without licking a car battery.
Only steps from the University of Texas campus, a blue neon sign flashes the name of one of the city's most iconic diners: Kerbey Lane Cafe. The location on Guadalupe reflects the retro style and ethical consumerism of the neighborhood: Austinites can't get enough of their locally sourced, seasonal food and large range of comfort dishes, including vegan and vegetarian options, of course. They even compost! Kerbey Lane is known equally for their breakfast items and their Tex-Mex. Specialty pancakes, like seasonal lemon-glazed flapjacks, are not to be missed, and the gooey Kerbey Queso is a beloved late night snack. This UT-adjacent Kerbey Lane outpost is newly remodeled, with soothing birch walls and a gleaming breakfast counter, updating the 13-year old location for a new generation of diner food lovers.
Every Menchie's location around the world looks much the same: pink, yellow, and lime-green decor framing the eponymous mascot, a smiley twist of yogurt with a cone for a body. It's an identical template that allows for nearly infinite variations at each outpost's row of 14 or 16 rotating yogurt pumps, where guests can self-serve swirls of flavors such as pistachio, peanut butter cup, cake batter, and fruity raspberry pomegranate tart. Then, they can ladle scoops of nearly 40 toppings—including sprinkles, cookies 'n' cream, hot fudge, and locally grown fruits—onto their creations. Nonfat and no-sugar-added varieties join gluten- and lactose-free options for those who have food sensitivities or just hate the taste of gluten.
It all began in 1989 when Cappy Lawton opened a 1950s-style pizza and burger joint in the hills of San Antonio. The place served pizzas fired in a brick oven, Angus burgers, authentic caesar salads, and hand-dipped milk shakes made with Blue Bell ice cream.
More than 20 years later, EZ’s is still serving the same made-from-scratch menu items with a few exceptions—in 2011, the team added healthier options such as organic spinach salads, wild-caught salmon, gluten-free pizzas and buns, whole-wheat pastas, and water from the fountain of youth. But the staff still handcrafts the pizza dough every morning and grills each burger patty to order. To make their signature Beanburger, cooks top the freshly grilled patties with cheddar, black beans, Fritos, picante, and guacamole.