For the majority of the '70s, according to local folklore, bassist Ferocious Ambush toured America with his southern rock band, Country Thunder. In 1978, he hung up his bass in pursuit of a more "honest living." He shied away from the public eye until 1980, when he kicked off a North Texan tour with the Ferocious Ambush Chili Cookers. Instead of music, however, the Chili Cookers served up hearty bowls of red during regional and international cook-offs, winning over the crowds as much for their simmering spices as their singing and dancing.
Twenty-four years later, the Chili Cookers found a permanent home for their two loves—music and good food—when they opened Ambush Grill and Bar. Their chefs marry old-fashioned southern eats with southwestern and Mexican flavors, serving up a hearty menu that keeps the Chili Cooker's legendary recipes alive. The famous chili flows into bowls, over burgers, and beneath corn chips in chili pie. A Li'l Pardner's menu is also available to fill kid-sized stomachs and lonesome thimbles with smaller portions of pub fare.
Cousin’s Bar-B-Q’s sauce-soaked menu teems with classic dishes made with chopped and smoked meats, plus a medley of hearty sides. Carnivorous concoctions including pulled pork ($7.99) and chopped beef brisket ($8.99) join sides such as sweet ranch beans and carrot-raisin salad, giving jaws a workout while toning tongues’ six-pack abs. Sandwiches stack one protein ($4.89) or two ($5.99), and a cavalcade of smoked meats including boneless chicken breast ($10.99/lb.) offers unadorned taste that far surpasses an all-dough pizza or an ice sandwich. Cousin’s Alliance Town Center location, known as Cousin’s Urban BBQ, boasts additional sandwiches and eclectic entrees, such as the Texican tacos plate, a border-blurring pile of chipotle-mango salsa, coleslaw, and cilantro atop brisket, pulled pork, or chicken ($7.99 for 2, $8.99 for 3).
The skilled chefs at Hibachi Teppanyaki & Sushi Bar demonstrate the art of preparing Japanese cuisine as they roll sushi at an open counter and sear savory meats on tableside grills. The wide-ranging menu's sushi offerings include signature rolls such as the Caterpillar ($13), a cocoon of freshwater eel, shrimp, octopus, and avocado that later transforms into a graceful butterfly. Meanwhile, the Sky Diver roll ($13)—made of fried soft-shell crab, eel, and spicy mayo—takes a tasty freefall into waiting mouths. Hibachi entrees, prepared tableside, create savory aromas wafting from chicken ($13.99) and mahi mahi ($17.59) or combos such as shrimp and scallops ($21.99) and filet mignon and lobster ($32.99). Don options ($7.99–$14.99) include grilled eel, pork katsu, and a screening of comedian Don Knotts's most hilarious moments.
Like the beloved American diners of yesteryear, Elks Diner retains some classic touches, from the tall pie cooler in the corner to the long counter and casual booths. During mornings that begin at 6:30 a.m., Elks' servers warm mugs with fresh-brewed coffee, as well as plates piled with chicken-fried steak and fluffy three-egg omelets. The vast menu, cooked by a chef with experience in five-star restaurants in Chicago and Beverly Hills, also includes panini, hamburgers, and albacore-tuna melts, rounded out by slabs of a chef's selection of house-made pies.
Filled with modern bohemian decor, The Bungalow Club both relaxes and replenishes diners with its soothing libations and inventive fare created by chef Sean Poplar. Gregarious gourmands share inventive small plates such as chutney bruschetta topped with carmelized fennel and goat cheese ($8) or TBC hummus ($11) served with teriyaki mushrooms and hot pita as hummus-to-mouth media. A spread of sushi selections calms aquatic appetites with caterpillar rolls, a chrysalis of avocado and rice protecting shrimp tempura and cucumber ($13), and other grain-bound creations. Entrees cap off foodie frolics with pan-roasted free-range chicken served with au jus herb chips ($17), and the Trios Pistoles ale braise ($17), braised beef cheeks resting on a bed of mushroom risotto, with a blackberry demi saucy enough to make a libertine blush. Refresh taste buds between bites and pauses in conversation with specialty martinis ($10), available in more than 20 styles including cucumber, creamsicle, or key-lime pie. Draft devotees can quaff a pint of North Coast Scrimshaw pilsner ($6) or one of the 10 other draft selections, and oenophiles wind down with sips of Irony merlot ($9) at the massive bar surrounded by zebra-print stools.