Known for its award-winning margaritas, Don Julio’s also wins guests over at several Texas locations with a variety of Mexican specialties, including guacamole made tableside. The chefs take pride in using fresh chicken, housemade chipotle sauce, seafood bought fresh at local Kemah markets, and a hearty amount of beans and avocado to flavor dishes. Entrees take their names from various Mexican cities, such as the Puerto Vallarta—a combination of enchiladas, tacos, tamales, and puffed chili con queso.
Brothers Kevin and Ric Kiersh opened Red River BBQ & Grill as a catering company back in the '90s, and though it still outfits parties with heaps of classic southern comfort food (including a mashed potato bar), customers can now get their barbecue fix at two restaurant locations. Diners can stop in anytime for barbecue spuds and sandwiches, or visit on Monday night to enjoy all-you-can-eat fried chicken and stirring speeches delivered by ribs on the campaign trail. If customers don't opt for brisket, spicy sausage, and pork ribs still sizzling from their stay in the wood-fired pits, they can order steaks and fried shrimp. Sides include potato salad and beer-battered onion rings.
A mom-and-pop-shop transplant from New York, Pizza King infuses its East Coast pies with authentic flavors and fresh ingredients taken from 40 years of familial recipe know-how. Small 9-inch pizzas ($5) satisfy diminutive cravings, but the monstrous 30-inch pie ($30) feeds whole block parties and was once used to blanket the entirety of Manhattan as part of Rudy Giuliani’s One City, One Pizza campaign. For an additional cost ($0.50–$4), taste DJs can spin their own mixings by choosing from a plethora of pizza toppings, such as meatballs, jalapeños, and olives. Specialty pizzas come capped with a variety of meat hats, including chicken wings ($12–$15), and The Legend pie fuses pepperoni, sausage, ham, beef, and bacon with onions, green peppers, mushrooms, and black olives to produce an omnivoric lovechild ($14–$18). Customers indifferent to pies can avail themselves of the nondiscus options adorning Pizza King's menu, such as calzones ($5+), stromboli ($5+), salads ($5+), wings ($6–$7), and garlic knots ($3).
DoubleDave's Pizzaworks serves up an assortment of hearty, hand-tossed pizzas, Peproni rolls, stromboli, and more. Choose a pie from DoubleDave's selection of specialty pizzas ($19.99 for an 18", $15.99 for a 15", and $12.99 for a 12”)—the buffalo-chicken pizza outfits its surface area in mozzarella, chicken strips, wing sauce, and ranch dressing, while the duplicitous Dave's Fave offers carnivore-coaxing meatball and sausage or veggie-baiting tomato, garlic, and spinach variations on its olive oil, garlic, and oregano sauce base. Do-it-yourselfers are welcome to design their own pies ($10.99 for a 15", plus $1.59 per topping), choosing size, toppings, and the type of crust, and diners wishing to cram their cuisine into claustrophobic confines can opt for a half-dozen Peproni rolls ($7.99), with pepperoni and cheese wrapped into dough. Or escape the boot-shaped grip of the Mediterranean with a Philly cheesesteak stromboli ($10.99 for large, $5.99 for small).
Marble Slab Creamery has used its cold-marble technique to fashion gourmet ice cream and frozen treats fresh in-store since 1983. At 541 locations across the world, customers look on admiringly as expert marble mavens take fresh flavors—including distinctive varieties such as peanut-butter banana, European-chocolate rum, and the pineapple-tinged piña colada—and blend in any of more than two dozen mix-in ingredients such as name-brand candies or fresh fruit atop a frozen marble slab. They then stick the concoction onto a bowl or one of the fresh waffle cones that staffers bake in-store every day. Marble Slab's confections also include ice-cream cakes, cupcakes, and dessert pizzas bedecked with sweet-cream ice cream and flavorful toppings.
Sweets Galore's cone-topping confectioners scoop and slice helpings of velvety Ashby's products into myriad ice creams, cakes, and drinkable treats. Surprising scoops ($1.95+) such as cherry-lemon cake and country-apple pie cozy up to palates and await chances to share a cone ($1.95 per scoop, up to $5.95 for five scoops) or comingle in a thick, blended milkshake ($4).