Arturo and Tina Vargas have a unique way of celebrating their family's central Mexican roots. They make an annual journey to different locales south of the border, ending each trip with a visit to their hometown of Cuernavaca. But these aren't average vacations. Instead, Arturo and Tina use the opportunity to discover new ingredients or recipes that they can bring back to Cristina's Fine Mexican Restaurant, their flavorful franchise of Texas eateries. Their culinary findings appear throughout the menu of Tex-Mex cooking.
The staff at each of the Vargas' venues wholeheartedly embraces those deep roots, making flour tortillas in-house, hand-rolling enchiladas, and preparing orders of guacamole directly beside diners' tables. But that's not to say the dishes are expected?salmon with pineapple butter and fried chicken breast with white wine-cream sauce demonstrate some of the kitchens' more experimental inclinations. Flavored margaritas and mojitos can add spirited refreshment to meals, as can any of the beers that the restaurants import from Mexico via man with a very strong throwing arm.
As a young Marine, master distiller Quentin D. Witherspoon embarked on a whirlwind tour of the world. In France, he became fascinated by wine-making. In Africa, he and his fellow Marines struggled to find potable water, let alone anything stronger. It was there that Quentin decided to try his hand at distilling, and his passion for making spirits was born. After years of moonshining in the Carolinas, he eventually returned to Texas where he decided to go legit and put down roots. Working with homemade equipment and plenty of passion, Quentin produces a variety of spirits. From his award winning River Rum to the silky smooth Texas Straight Bourbon, each of Quentin?s spirits echoes the heart that he puts into each bottle.
Holster's Texas Bar-B-Q's pit masters combine sweet and smoky flavors to craft their signature sauce, which drenches a variety of meats including ribs made from a family recipe. A cast of homestyle sides, such as hand-battered onion rings, complement smoked sausage, pulled pork, and beef brisket as tender as a puncture wound left by cupid's arrow. The family friendly eatery also caters to kids with chicken strips and pint-sized portions of their smoked meats.
Bistro Desserts lets its Latin inspiration show—mainly through the staff’s specialty flan. They churn out traditionally flavored flans, as well as recipes that taste like orange, pumpkin spice, or espresso. They even use flan as a nontraditional icing for their cakes. The hybrid desserts come in several flavors, including coconut flan atop a pineapple cake or chocolate cake with vanilla flan for a more classic combo.
Party Time Corp.'s game masters bring the exciting stakes and ritzy glamor of a casino to living rooms with a fleet of poker and blackjack tables run by experienced card dealers. Dealers arrive on-site to get-togethers, block parties, and friendly gatherings with tables purpose-built for games of chance, divvying out chips and shuffling cards with well-honed precision and impeccable professionalism.
Formerly the site of the RedDog Cafe, The Daily Dish is a genuine eatery where a passion for food and attractive plateware coalesces under inspired cuisine. Diners plant themselves in a modern space decked in olive greens and rustic reds, making feasting a cozy venture into the depths of Executive Chef Michael Chretien's lunch and dinner menu. Appetites unfold like pea-blossom petals to the rich flavors and hearty textures of the baked local goat cheese served with fresh-baked focaccia bread and roasted-tomato sauce ($8) and the signature house mac 'n' cheese served under an edible bedspread of aged cheddar ($11 for lunch, $4.50 as a dinner side).