The light goes on in 12 Bagels’ kitchen early each morning, and it’s not because the ovens can’t sleep. The staff shuffles into the kitchen well before the first customers arrive, making fresh bagels in flavors that range from sweet chocolate chip and cinnamon sugar to savory cheddar cheese, egg, and sun-dried tomato. The menu also includes flavored cream cheeses, bagel sandwiches, and freshly brewed coffee.
A flat-screen TV casts its photons upon leather couches that would make clouds jealous with their fluffiness. A coffee table anchors the spot, and it's only a small corner of the bar and grill. Beyond this bastion of basement-like coziness, Sharky's Bar & Grill houses more high-definition big screens, nine pool tables just waiting for the next bold belly flop, and those two other classic crowd-pleasers: food and drink. The kitchen staff prepares pub fare such as burgers, brats, and pizza. They also serve frosty beverages on the brand-new patio or invite guests to play bar games such as darts, NTN trivia, poker, and shuffleboard. Professional hockey-, football-, baseball-, and soccer-watching parties occupy Sharky's busy events calendar nearly every weekday, while weekly karaoke and pool nights let patrons show off their singing skills or well-honed eye-hand coordination.
Woof Gang Bakery welcomes pooches and parents into pet palaces adorned with walls of bubblegum pink and glowing crystal chandeliers. In between the retro chic décor, tables and shelves are filled with fuzzy and floatable toys, all-natural cookies and doggie baked goods, and healthy supplements and formulas for pups of all ages. After perusing the selection of grain-free and hypoallergenic food items, dogs can leap into the self-service shower as their human companions scrub them clean, or relax as a professional groomer pampers them with services catering to their breed and skin type.
Pera means "welcome" in Turkish, and it's an apt name for Pera Turkish Kitchen—which welcomes in diners with the smell of grilled lamb coated with Eastern Mediterranean spices. The signature hand-ground lamb dish is just one of many authentic Turkish and contemporary entrees, as is the salmon kadayif, a salmon fillet crusted with shredded wheat that was featured on Thrillist. While diners feast, their eyes take in the contemporary artwork from Turkish artists decorating the crimson walls.
Who would think that a cup full of snow could instigate memories of vacations in the tropics? At Bahama Buck's, the staff accomplishes this tricky feat by scooping piles of shaved ice and soaking them in syrup to create a sweet, tropical treats. This syrup comes in more than 100 flavors, including sugar-free iterations. At each location, color-changing spoons are also dipped into chunks of fresh fruit topped with chocolate or caramel, which complement coffee drinks made with Kona-sourced beans.
When Norma’s Cafe opened in 1956, it was the kind of homey breakfast spot where the food was as comforting as the waitresses were welcoming—they greeted their customers by name. One of those customers was Ed Murph, who later purchased Norma’s with the goal of keeping the down-home tradition alive. And according to the Dallas Observer, he succeeded. The paper voted Norma’s The Best Home Style Restaurant in 2010, claiming that “the recipes taste as though they haven’t much changed.” It’s those recipes that have made generations of diners—and even food critics—eager to wake up in the morning. Pillowy biscuits blanketed in gravy, chicken fried steaks, and omelets made with farm-fresh eggs are partially responsible for the countless amounts of press and awards Norma’s has earned. But credit the atmosphere for a good portion of the popularity. Norma’s continues to evoke feelings of a friendlier, simpler time, when the pies were made from scratch, the waitresses knew your name, and the jukeboxes didn’t heckle you for your poor music choices.