At Morelia Mexican Grill, generations of the Arreola Family cook up recipes from their ancestral home in Morelia, Mexico, captivating diners with savory dishes of chicken, seafood, steak, and pork. The restaurants immerse guests in an atmosphere of Mexican art and culture, with stone pillars and friezes decorated in Mesoamrican-style carvings and colorful wall-sized Diego Rivera?style murals. The dishes that sparkle against that backdrop included the shrimp-stuffed avocado, Fajitas Romanas, and mixed grill plates of quail and steak.
The culinary experts at Catering with a Twist refer to their prepared feasts not as 'buffets' but as 'food displays,' a fitting title for the rows of colorful baked goods and hot entrees they carefully arrange for events big and small. Executive Chef Lexy and her crew update traditional wedding eats with inventive stations featuring such edible combinations as chicken and waffles and sliders and mac and cheese. An on-staff pastry chef complements savory options with cheesecakes, crème brûlée, and tarts available in individually sized portions.
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.
Travis Dickey opened Dickey's Barbecue Pit in 1941. To keep things simple but delicious in the early days, he created a minimalistic menu with only seven items such as beef brisket and bottled milk. By the time the '60s rolled up in a Volkswagen van, Dickey's two sons had grown up and taken over the enterprise. Using their father's hickory-smoked recipes, they expanded the business from a single restaurant to a franchise. To this day, each location uses the same tried-and-true barbecue techniques employed by the founder all those years ago. From the original seven items, the menu has grown to include spicy cheddar sausage and complimentary ice cream as well as sides such as macaroni and cheese and jalapeño beans.
A French-trained chef and a Mexican restaurateur pool their talents at Brown Bag Delivers, designing healthy, affordable cuisine for clients seeking to stockpile easy-to-prepare meals. The menu of entrees and sides rotates every week so the chef can incorporate new, seasonal ingredients. Each meal comes with simple instructions for reheating and can stay fresh inside clients' refrigerators for as long as six days—which is the exact running time of the Ken Burns documentary on leftovers. Although pickup is an option, the staff will also deliver orders to homes or workplaces throughout the Austin metropolitan area.
As a young chef just starting out, Jason Tallent had cooked his way up the ladder, working directly under James Beard Foundation Award–winning chefs. After moving to Austin, he took the reins on the 34th Street Café, designing a farm-to-table menu of upscale New American comfort food. He and his team layer hormone-free meats and local, organic veggies to revamp beloved lunch sandwiches such as the BLT, Reuben, or ham and swiss. During the dinner rush, the menu throws on its formal wear for dishes such as crispy risotto with truffle cheese or panko-crusted chicken picatta drizzled with beurre blanc and sprinkled with capers. Affable owner Eddie Bernal keeps the restaurant’s laser-like focus on serving ethical, delicious café cuisine, while high ceilings and a spacious dining room offer guests plenty of room to relax during lunch, dinner, or Twister matches that determine who’s picking up the tab.