From the hand-painted signs to the wooden crates and bushel baskets, Star Produce is an old-fashioned farm stand so picture-perfect it could serve as a postcard designed to lure visitors to North Texas. The owners collect fresh fruits and veggies from farmers throughout the area. Though the offerings change depending on the season, customers might stumble upon baskets of juicy grape tomatoes and strawberries and boxes of whole watermelons, yellow squash, and green beans. Occasionally, there are also prepared foods and sweet spreads such as peach butter and honey—also sourced locally after negotiating treaties with local bear populations.
With its casual dining atmosphere and rustic Old World cooking, Amato's Trattoria embraces the charm of Italian family-style eating. The chefs adhere to tradition by making pasta as well as meatballs in-house, lending a bit of homespun flavor to the menu’s assortment of classic Italian and Italian-American entrees. These iconic dishes appear alongside Sicilian-style pizzas, which diners can customize by adding as many as 19 different toppings—including everything from garlic and artichoke hearts to sausage and jalapeños. The dessert options manage to span both sides of the Atlantic by featuring traditional cannoli and tiramisu as well as New York-style cheesecake.
Before Emigdio Raymundo was in the restaurant business, he owned and managed a furniture warehouse?in the very building that now houses Louisiana Street Grill. Raymundo's knowledge and love of furniture now adds to his restaurant's ambiance, from his hand-carved cedar-wood bar to the rest of his hand-built furniture. But he also loves food, and that's clear as well: the daily baked house bread comes from his original recipe, for starters. Other made-from-scratch food includes wood-fired steaks and seafood, complemented with hand-crafted cocktails, beer, and that "ahhhhh" sound made when sinking into one of the comfortable chairs here.
Sunrise Asian Cuisine takes taste buds on a tour of Vietnam, Thailand, China, and Korea without having to stamp your tongue's at the border. Fresh ingredients abound in bowls of pho, nestle into piquant banh mi sandwiches, top noodles, and shine in colorful curries. The only thing every single dish has in common is the chefs' commitment to bold flavors and classic recipes.
The pizza makers at Palio's Pizza Cafe crown regular, whole-wheat, and gluten-free crusts with fresh vegetables, preservative-free sauce, and roasted chicken. Chefs take the burden of putting together the best toppings with 17 specialty pizzas that pair gourmet ingredients such as artichoke hearts, roasted chicken, and fresh basil pesto. Ovens create bubbling pies, stuffed calzones, baked ziti, and italian sub sandwiches that servers carry through both chic, cozy locations. Leather-lined booths and flat-screen televisions keep diners comfortable and entertained while they enjoy Palio's BYOB policy and sip wine or Capri Sun pouches brought from home.
Young Chefs Academy instills budding bakers with kitchen-corralling skills in a safe and motivating environment. Each 90-minute FunShop focuses on a different festive theme, with half-pint chefs divided into groups based on age and psychic flambé skills. On Potato Chip Day (March 14) participants will learn to tame the tuber, and Earth Day (April 22) enrollees will wield power over mudpie cookies and strawberry sparkles. Youngsters who can never sit still at the dinner table can put their energy to good use in a Mardis Gras Funshop (March 4 and 5), shimmying their way through Cajun classics such as jumbalaya and étouffée. Parents hoping to glean spatula skills can watch sessions unfurl through a large viewing window, talking among themselves about which kid zests the best lemon and which kid is most likely to invent the next lemon.