Good steaks begin with good beef, and The Yellow Rose Steak & Chop House doesn't let anything less than free-range, USDA Prime beef touch its grills. The chefs sear everything from 6-ounce cuts of filet mignon to 16-ounce, hand-cut rib eyes using simple seasonings of kosher salt, black pepper, and butter. This straightforward combination keeps the steak's natural flavor at the forefront. For a true steakhouse indulgence, the chefs also grill cuts of Allen Brothers' steaks—dry-aged for 40 days—whenever they are available.
The menu of hearty surf and turf doesn't stop with steaks, though. It also features down-home classics (think country-fried chicken with homemade gravy) as well as more extravagant plates (Australian lobster tail with drawn butter, anyone?). A modest wine list and classic-cocktail collection ensures a suitable drink to accompany any meal.
The steakhouse's dining room cultivates a romantic, yet rustic ambiance characterized by intimate lighting, dark wood furnishings, and a bar area decorated with silhouetted figures of moose and buffalo. Occasionally, the restaurant hosts live musical performances, encouraging guests to tap their feet and flap their vestigial wings to the sounds of a solo guitar or piano.
Le Peep's focus on breakfast and lunch stems from a decision made more than 40 years ago, when Buddy and Rhoda Waldman opened The Village Pantry in Aspen, Colorado, and—not wanting to miss a half day of skiing—would close the kitchen each day before noon. The duo would continue to tinker with their concept, stare at it through a novelty-sized microscope, and change its name before it eventually migrated to Texas.
Nowadays, the kitchen staff perpetuates the breakfast-crafting tradition by offering omelets, eggs benedict, skillets, and build-your-own pancake options that use ingredients such as walnuts, bacon, pineapple, and chocolate chips. Traditional dishes are augmented with unique twists, such as the Gooey Buns, english muffins broiled with brown sugar, cinnamon, and almonds and served with a signature side of Mom's Sassy Apples. During midday hours, a variety of salads, burgers, and sandwiches parades out of the kitchen accompanied by smoothies, juices, or Mother Parkers coffee. Le Peep's catering service delivers breakfast and lunch fare to homes, events, or filibustered neighborhood-watch meetings.
Though its name suggests otherwise, the Forget About It roll’s unorthodox ingredients make it pretty memorable: the flavorful crunch of shrimp tempura is wrapped up with crawfish and accented by ginger cream. It's just one of the many unique combinations dreamed up by Piranha Killer Sushi's owner and chef, Kenzo Tran. Non-traditional sushi fixings are Kenzo’s specialty, from the White Lotus roll’s pico de gallo and truffle oil sauce to the Bullet roll’s cilantro chili purée and edible police officer’s badge.
That blend of the classic and unconventional runs throughout Piranha Killer Sushi's menu at all four locations including the newly remodeled location in Fort Worth. Besides distinctive rolls, the kitchen serves up dishes such as Korean beef in ginger marinade, salads with octopus and spicy conch, and blue crab fried rice. Ditto the drink menu, featuring specialty libations such as the saketini, a blend of vodka, gin, and sake with a cucumber garnish. The restaurant's whimsical take on Japanese fare hasn't gone unnoticed—media outlets laud it for its tasty creations and inviting decor.
At Swirl Bakery, when you take a bite from a gooey ham and cheese sandwich or ice box pie, the familiar, down-home feeling might tempt you to look into the kitchen expecting to see one of your grandmothers. That’s actually not so far off the mark: the owners of the café and bakery designed their menus with their own grandmothers’ home cooking in mind. In some cases, the recipes they use for family favorites even come from ingredient lists kept so secret over the years, they had to be replicated through trial and error and one very expensive genie wish.
The team creates everything from hearty breakfast dishes to comfort food dinners, specializing in classics such as house-roasted turkey with cranberry-pineapple relish, and pan-fried chicken served with biscuits and honey butter. For dessert, they serve cupcakes, slices of pie, and iced cookies available in seasonal flavors that play up the weather like a meteorologist hoping to get a job in an action movie.
East Ocean Restaurant's sushi slingers and wok wizards serve up a vast selection of raw delights and cooked Chinese delicacies. Sink incisors into a smattering of chef's specialties, including the sweet and sour supreme, where chicken, pork, and shrimp play good-cop bad-cop with tongues until they burst into flavorful tears ($9.95). Seafarers and bodybuilders can share a jaw-flexing bond as they nosh on the shrimp lo mein ($7.50), and clumsy bears can sate saccharine cravings without losing their place in the food chain with the honey-garlic chicken wings ($6.50). East Ocean's smattering of more than 20 varieties of aesthetic sushi and sashimi quell eye hungers and fill stomachs with selections such as yellow tail sushi ($5.50), eel sashimi ($9.95), and more than 30 varieties of maki rolls, great for stacking into edible mini snowmen. East Ocean also offers an array of authentic desserts and beverages, including green-tea ice cream ($3.50) and Japanese sodas ($1.95).
A family-owned-and-operated shop, 8th Wonder Cupcakes bakes moist, handheld morsels every morning to provide customers with fresh, elegantly iced treats crafted from family recipes that have been passed down a long line of bakers. Customers can browse the menu and sample everyday flavors such as chocolate or red velvet, or taste featured flavors that include root-beer float, honey maple, zucchini chocolate, dark-chocolate bacon, and cotton candy. The shop even takes suggestions for new flavor combinations.