Though Diego Cantina's over-the-top decor welcomes diners inside, its authentic Mexican cuisine crafted from fresh ingredients urges them to stay. Alejandrina Garza and her three children opened Diego's Cantina in an attempt to bring their Mexican heritage to Sugar Land. Described in Living magazine as a "little piece of Tampico, Mexico [the Garza family] left behind," the restaurant impresses visitors with its oversized replicas of Mayan hieroglyphics and paintings. Bathed in soft lighting emanating from chandeliers and tabletop candles, diners eat traditional dishes fueled by family recipes while sipping on beverages served from a blue, glowing tequila bar.
Pinot's Palette combines wine and art to create an enjoyable night out with friends or a date. The painting sessions encourage adults' inner artists whether they have any painting experience or not, encouraging light-hearted conversation, fun, and good cheer while painting and sipping BYOB beverages. Each session's painting of the night may feature anything from landscapes and wine-inspired art to known classics such as Van Gogh's Starry Night, and each painter tackles from their own artistic angle under the guidance of an experienced instructor. At the end of the night, painters can take their painting home with them and ring a "Gong of Awesomeness" on their way out to signify a good time.
When one thinks of an ice rink, the next thought is not typically of freshly baked bread, cured meats, and roasted beets with apples and blue cheese. Jambone's Grill Pub might just change that. Adjacent to the rink at the Sugar Land Ice & Sports Center, Jambone's menu of upscale pub food provides welcome respite for ice skaters. Chefs press fresh ground beef or tarragon-turkey burgers stuffed with a choice of cheese between challah buns or surround grilled chicken, salami, and provolone with slices of ciabatta. Jambone's servers pour Wayne Gretzky Estates wine or other libations from the full-service bar on the spacious patio before diners dash back to the rink to watch it not melt.
Favorably featured on Fox News, Char House Bar and Grille dishes out a menu of meat-laden comfort fare. Launch edible excursions from an onion-ring tower, a skyscraper of deep fried onion rings erected next to a diving pool of spicy chipotle mayo ($8). The Malibu burger, cloaked in sliced avocado and buttermilk ranch, transports noshers to the sunny West Coast ($10), and the open-faced flank-steak sandwich painted with horseradish cream harkens back to a gentler time before overprotective bread smothered its meaty offspring ($10). Meat abstainers can munch the grilled swiss cheese slathered in tomato pineapple chutney ($7) or the roasted artichoke garlic hummus ($8). The New Orleans-style crème brûlée tops the short-but-sweet four-item dessert menu ($5).
Though the chefs at Babaloo International Cafe & Bar were inspired by the sharable small plates of Spain, they didn't limit themselves to just Spanish dishes. Instead, they craft appetizers and down-sized entrees of cuisines from around the world. This creates a varied menu, with prosciutto-wrapped asparagus appearing beside miniature beef wellingtons and Cuban crab cakes made with plantains. These dishes pair well with wines selected from the vineyards of Spain, Portugal, Argentina, and Australia, to create meals that are both light and filling, much like four courses of flavored heliums. When evening turns to night, the restaurant becomes a hotspot for dancing, with theme parties, hip-hop nights, and salsa dancing.
With traditional dinner and lunch menus chock-full of seafood, poultry, and meat plates, Las Alamedas quells a litany of cravings in an elegant dining room. In the fajita prime-sliced entrée ($16 for lunch; $20 for dinner), slices of mesquite-grilled beef mingle with onions and poblano peppers on a plate flanked by guacamole, pico de gallo, charro beans, and flour tortillas that can be used to smuggle bottles of hot sauce out of the restaurant. A serving of camarones Cozumel fills bellies with coconut pan-fried shrimp, a habanero and mango dipping sauce, and a side of potatoes ($18 for lunch; $24 for dinner), while the robalo chileno coats a serving of sea bass in herbs and sundried-tomato sauce ($27; dinner only). The vegetarian plate accommodates meat-free diets, slinging spinach-and-cheese enchiladas with grilled vegetables, rice, and guacamole ($15, dinner only) . Though the high ceilings and elegant arched doorways might tempt diners to stay indoors, Las Alamedas offers patio seating for those who want to breathe fresh air or make fake mustaches out of plant life.
Though women clad in bikini tops roam the area, the people munching on half-pound burgers and fish tacos aren't lounging on the beach. Rather they're seated within Beach Babe Sports Bar and Grill's sea of wood tables, where servers in swimsuits and shorts bring them boneless wings slathered in seven sauces as football games and UFC matches beam from more than 40 LCD television screens. Or they may be perched on the high-backed chairs that surround the oval-shaped bar. It's here that bartenders fill glasses with beer from more than 15 taps and mix cocktails from a stock of liquor sizable enough to get Paul Bunyan to go ox tipping.