What's in a name? When it comes to The Green Mesquite BBQ & More, pretty much everything. As one of its gift-shop T-shirts will tell you, the restaurant has been "horrifying vegetarians since 1988," and that enduring success can largely be attributed to what's inside the barbecue pit: log after log of green mesquite wood.
Owner Tom Davis opts for that particular fresh-cut variety because of its slow-burning property, and because it gives meat a bold and smoky flavor. Davis and his team cook everything from beef and pork to chicken and turkey over the wood. They also make their own barbecue sauce and a signature rub for their baby back ribs, which Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives host Guy Fieri called "awesome."
It's not just the smoked meats that distinguish Green Mesquite's three Austin-area locations. It's also that the restaurants double as venues for live music—specifically of the bluegrass and country variety—and that the restaurants welcome dogs, provided they bring along a well-behaved owner.
9 out of 10 scientists agree that coffee rules. It provides bodies with a robust infusion of antioxidants and energy-boosting caffeine, as well as makes afternoons spent toiling over test tubes and microscopes much more tolerable. Fortunately, Coffee Wholesale USA has heeded the perspicacious word of science, filling their warehouses with everything from instant k-cups to whole roasted beans.
To appease as many taste buds as possible, they stock their online shelves with more than 50 brands from across the coffee spectrum, including Folgers, Lavazza, Nestea, and Starbucks. They also provide in depth instructions on how best to store, prepare, and enjoy coffee's many different variations, from pillow packs to ground.
Coffee Wholesale USA also sells name brand coffee brewers for commercial and private use, as well as a range of teas and snacks, such as beef jerky, dried fruits, and dipping sauces.
Inspired by the artists living around him in Laguna Beach, Sid Fanarof sought to do something creative in the kitchen. The result was zpizza, which now has locations across the globe, each filled with bustling chefs experimenting with ingredients traditionally associated with Indian, Californian, and Mexican cuisine. Pizzas use organic vegetables and skim-milk mozzarella, and their organic wheat flour bakes over an open flame to a crisp finish. “If you don’t hear the crunch, it’s not a zpizza,” Fanarof says of the crusts on his website. Chefs first slather the crusts with sweet basil pesto, roasted-garlic sauce, or organic tomato sauce. Their hands flutter across, sprinkling on fistfuls of toppings such as MSG-free pepperoni, additive-free sausage, three types of mushrooms, roasted eggplant, and pine nuts. Vegan cheese and gluten-free crusts allow everyone to enjoy the pizzas except for those trying to hide the fact that they superglued their mouths closed.
After 22 years in the air force, Water 2 Wine–founder John McFadden established his first custom winery in San Antonio seven years ago. Already the business has spread as far as Milwaukee to the north and Denver to the west, bringing the country's vinophiles more than 100 wines, each of which are fermented on site and available for tastings every day. Those who want to get more involved in the crafting process may sign up to make their own wine and steep themselves in each step of the operation, from selecting the grape varieties, beginning the fermentation process, withstanding a wait of about 45 days, and finally christening their creation by smashing a tiny boat against the bottle. All custom-made wines are plastered with personalized labels made from one of Water 2 Wine’s templates or images that customers design from the ground up.
Chola Indian Restaurant’s menu sends diners on a whirlwind tour of culinary traditions from across the entire Indian subcontinent. The kitchen’s clay tandoor oven roasts skewers of succulent lamb or chicken, and the chefs create southern-Indian dosas by filling rice and lentil crêpes with aromatic combinations of ginger- and onion-based fillings. Meanwhile, dishes from the Indo-Chinese border earn their own space on the menu, tempting diners with orders of fried rice or chili-spiced cottage cheese.
Although steaming entrees emerge from the kitchen, the dining room’s mint-green walls help to create a cooler ambiance. Intricate archways divide the space in two, separating the buffet’s steaming tables from the restaurant’s abominable-snowman section.
At Las Lomas Tex-Mex, a mouthwatering menu of Tex-Mex treats and traditional Mexican meals entices diners with fresh, colorful ingredients, daily made dishes, and award-winning hot sauces. Guests happily paint stuffed chili rellenos with Diego Rivera–style murals using a choice of four colorful sauces, including chipotle, verde, and ranchero. As guests cheer on their favorite sports teams on Las Lomas’ multiple big-screen TVs, sizzling fajita skillets lift up savory scents of marinated chicken, beef, or shrimp while impersonating the hissing roar of a stadium crowd. Breakfast specials include migas, huevos rancheros, and breakfast tacos stuffed with eggs, chorizo, and beans.