Before opening her own bakery, Baby Cakes by Marcy owner Marcy Rangel honed her skills by building delicious desserts at other area bakeshops, including Sweet Endings, where her work earned her the coveted title of Best Cake in El Paso. Today, Rangel leads her own staff of pastry experts as it continues to practice delicious kitchen alchemy, transforming ordinary flour, sugar, and butter into elaborate specialty cakes worthy of taking center stage atop any sweets table. Working entirely from scratch, Rangel can custom decorate cakes with colorful frosting-based designs or shape them to resemble shoeboxes, tubes of lipstick, and other objects that everyone secretly wants to eat. "Naughty" cakes for bachelor or bachelorette parties are also a shop specialty, as are cupcakes in signature flavors such as tiramisu and strawberries and cream.
When Kipps Cheesesteak first opened in June 2010, owner Kipp wasn't sure if he'd be able to sell the 36 rolls he bought for the day. He shouldn't have worried—he was completely sold out by 11:45 a.m.
It seems that customers couldn't get enough of the cheesesteaks, which were served in classic fashion—rib eye topped with caramelized onions and slathered in Cheez Whiz or provolone—or jazzed up with green chilies, barbecue sauce, or hot sauce. The eatery is still going strong, and in addition to cheesesteaks, serves burgers, hot dogs, creative salads, and housemade cheesecakes.
The signature hot sandwiches and 23 types of frosty beers perch atop Kipps's retro-style bar, which is equipped with several wide-screen TVs broadcasting sports games and only the least-obnoxious car-insurance commercials.
Walls festooned with faux turf and wood shingles bring the outside indoors at The Garden, where the menu corrals flavors from Italy, Japan, and Latin America onto plates of classic American fare. Chefs wrap soft-shell crab and deep-fried lobster into sushi rolls and slowly cook Coca-Cola-braised baby-back ribs for up to eight hours. To further fuel festivities, The Garden features extensive wine and scotch menus, bottle service, 16 beers on draft, and an onsite humidor with cigar brands such as Gran Habano and Rocky Patel. After catching the game on a flat-screen TV indoors, patrons can venture to the outdoor patio to sip a double-malt under the glow of a heat lamp or tie-dye sheets from the white overhead canopy in a burbling fountain.
Walking into Andre?s Pizza can feel like walking into a home kitchen. As family members chop up veggies for fresh salads and hand-knead dough for pizzas, the smell of fresh bread baking in the oven wafts over the entire scene. The bread is used for toasted deli subs that diners customize with six meats and three cheeses, as well as add-ons such as guacamole and bacon. The aforementioned pizza dough gets slathered with homemade sauce before it?s transformed into specialty pizzas?sun-dried tomatoes and artichoke hearts top the gourmet pie, and sausage, meatballs, and bacon bulk up the all-meat pizza. The rest of the menu includes custom calzones and eight salads that, like the best avant-garde art, can be drizzled with a selection of house-made dressings.
Operating under the mantra Flavor Your Life, Bahama Buck's sends its patrons on a tropical holiday with every sip of its gourmet drinks. Island-inspired decor outfits each Bahama Buck's location, and the business's approach to flavor as an art form—with more than 90 flavors of shaved ice—carries over to its smoothies, which send creamy concoctions climbing through straws to rouse tasters with the zest of fresh fruit and juices. Hawaii's Kona coffee beans are used for Island House coffees, and island specialties, such as 100% natural juices, provide an afternoon pick-me-up without the pressure of negotiating with the intimidating children in charge of neighborhood lemonade stands.
Buffalo roam across sprawling flatlands as Hereford cattle munch mountain grasses on The Bowen Ranch, the working farmstead that houses The Edge of Texas Steakhouse and Saloon. In addition to lending the horizon a bucolic vibe, these herds suggest just how fresh a steak can be. Nearby, inside the train depot-turned-restaurant, guests can shake hands with a real cowboy before slicing into grilled-to-order beef and bison. This wrangler is Jim Bowen, founder of the eatery and leader of the Bowen clan that’s owned the ranch since the 1800s, when cattle landed in Texas by leaping over Saturn’s moons. The menu also brims with chuck-wagon classics such as barbecued brisket and Tex-Mex fare such as tortilla soup and chicken fajitas.