A lengthy lineup of traditional game-day fare and a sports atmosphere captivate fans at Fox and Hound - Bailey's, where the kitchen remains open as late as its neighboring fully stocked bar. Chefs cook until the wee hours of the morning and always until the bar closes, baking Bavarian pretzel starters, crafting towers of onion rings, and preparing hand-battered chicken tenders that are cooked until they are golden brown. They blend their own seasonings to sprinkle over grilled-to-order burgers, and draw from a diverse roster of cheeses and toppings to crown their wood-oven-inspired flatbreads.
While manning the bars, bartenders tap into a stash of libations, such as UV Whipped vodka and Patron Silver tequila, to mix their specialty cocktails. To further foster a sporting ambiance, high-definition TVs glow with sports games and custom music-video playlists, and guests partake in pastimes of ump bashing, billiards, or competitive people watching.
It would be more than fair to say that Alfonso Gonzalez is of local renown?the owner and executive chef of La Riviera Restaurant won the Chef of the Year award from the Brazos Valley chapter of the Texas Chefs Association three years in a row, and he now reigns as their director.
With more than 30 years of experience, it's not surprising that Gonzalez uses only top-notch ingredients such as Angus beef, local produce, and fresh-caught seafood. He's also comfortable enough to dabble in an international lineup of culinary styles, stacking his menu with everything from chicken carbonara to Caribbean jerk tilapia, so named because it makes fun of other fish. The diversity of his food is matched by the wine list, which includes varietals from California, Oregon, and abroad.
Though Anthony Russo's chain of pizzerias has evolved greatly from the single Italian restaurant he first opened in the early 1990s, he still remembers what his father always said, "If you can't make it fresh, don't serve it." Anthony's father manned a restaurant in New York after immigrating from Italy, and it is his approach and recipes that Anthony uses at Russo's New York Pizzeria.
Given Anthony's inspirations, it's not surprising that the menu is more thoughtful than one might expect at a pizzeria. Meals might begin with a plate of roasted prosciutto, which, along with sweet basil, is wrapped around hunks of fresh buffalo mozzarella. The chefs stir housemade pesto into bowls of penne pasta salad with chicken, and layer lasagna with braised beef and a Chianti-braised meat sauce.
Of course, Russo's specialty is pizza, which comes in a diverse selection of styles. Floppy New York slices or crispy, coal-fired Neapolitan pies are perfect for single servings, and groups can tackle a brick-oven specialty pizza. Options include the Mulberry, which comes with italian sausage, pepperoni, canadian bacon, hamburger, and a sense of accomplishment after eating every type of meat known to man.
While the heart of Johnny Carino's menu is rooted in genuine Italian traditions, forward-thinking creativity has birthed what they like to call their signature dishes. Led by executive chef Chris Peitersen, the seasoned kitchen staff blends fresh ingredients along with extra time to create high-quality, spiced Italian preparations. Diners will find entrees such as 16-layer lasagna with made-from-scratch sauce, and pizzas made with home-baked crust. Other signature choices include the spicy shrimp and chicken, baked stuffed mushrooms topped with house lemon basil cream sauce, and tiramisu made from the ground up. Entrees can be paired any selection from Carino's extensive wine list and drink menu.
Over the course of 31 years, the smiling staffers at Express Oil Change & Service Centers have learned that customers just want their oil changed fast. Instead of selling extra parts out of an oversize trench coat, staffers work quickly and efficiently to give cars what they crave; quarts of thick, black oil in the blink of an eye without an appointment. Each procedure lasts approximately 10 minutes, during which mechanics will replace the vehicle's oil and inspect its innards for problems. The process is so quick that customers can even wait inside their own vehicles while it occurs, much like a drive-thru car wash or drive-thru dentist appointment.
As the name suggests, Fajita Depot specializes in the classic Tex-Mex feast of grilled meat, veggies, and warm tortillas. The Depot strives to deliver restaurant quality plates of tender steak or chicken, griddled with peppers and onions and garnished with a side of charro or refried beans. Customers can also choose from a selection of chicken flautas, tacos, and quesadillas, or can stick to their strict diet of bacon-wrapped cream-cheese-stuffed jalape?os. A separate kids' menu delights younger patrons with quesadillas or chicken tenders in a combo with juice boxes, coloring pages with crayons, and the latest issue of The Economist.