Jonathan and Crystal Bedford honor their daughter at Sweet Marley's Frozen Yogurt and Sandwich Bar, lending her name to their sanctuary of healthful treats and youth play space. Behind a green awning, cooks stuff fillings such as black forest ham, bosc pears, and dill havarti into six types of bread and flour tortillas, which they spice with inventive condiments such as cranberry or pesto mayo. The lunch menu is fresh and flexible, as all 13 sandwiches may be tossed into their three salads drizzled with homemade dressing or sliced in half and paired with the daily soup.
In the afternoon, a self-serve bar of more than 100 frozen-yogurt toppings such as chocolate and nuts spreads out to add sweet finales to meals. Sweet Marley's has partnered with Dublin Bottling Works to offer soda-flavored yogurt including Triple XXX Rootbeer and Orange Cream, as well as Ranch Road Roasters to offer mocha and Mexican vanilla latte flavored yogurts. They also have a mobile yogurt trailer that appears at various events in Texas, including Wildseed Farms in Fredericksburg.
Above Sweet Marley's white bungalow, the leaves of tall pecan trees block the sun's rays and penchant for taking satisfaction surveys from the yard's sandbox and nearby alfresco tables. The Bedfords created their eatery as a haven for happy toddlers, and also donate a percentage of their catering and café revenue to Rhizo Kids International, which conducts research for their daughter's rare genetic condition. The second-annual Miles for Marley 5k is scheduled for April 20.
Centered around a wide range of meats slow-cooked over mesquite wood coals, the menu at Cranky Frank's Barbeque Company bursts at the creases with flavor and smoky goodness. Stultify a bout of hunger or furnish uncomfortable silence with a pork, sausage, or specialty chopped-beef plate ($8.29), accompanied by all-you-can-ingest sides such as pinto beans, potato salad, chocolate pudding, coleslaw, green beans, and whole-kernel corn. Or, send an adventurous brisket sandwich ($5.75) down a cold, sugary flume of sweet tea ($2.50). Cranky Frank's also whips up an imaginative stuffed baked potato, its steamy insides suffused with butter, sour cream, barbecue sauce, and cheese ($6.49).
Executive chef Leu Savanh fuses a sophisticated menu of traditional Texan fare and Asian cuisine at August E's, an upscale eatery highlighted in the New York Times and Southern Living. The imaginative meal creator uses local suppliers and his own garden of herbs, tomatoes, and peppers to create such delectable dishes as the citrus truffle salad, a bed of organic butter lettuce spritzed with a citrus-truffle vinaigrette and adorned with goat cheese, strawberries, mango, and crushed pecans ($9). Heartier appetites will be appeased by such offerings as the Long Island duck breast, grilled and served alongside whipped mascarpone sweet potatoes and a citrus soy-dressed mix of carrots and broccolini ($33). The eclectic restaurant also stocks a copious sushi menu with items such as the screaming salmon maki—salmon tangled with spicy sauce, shaved scallion, cucumber, and sesame ($9)—the hamachi scallion roll with chopped hamachi, cucumber, and scallions, veiled in nori and rice and wrapped in sashimi sliced hamachi ($16), in addition to a smattering of seasoned and uncooked Swedish Fish.
Max and Zelda’s Oasis Café's menu comforts grumbling bellies with made-from-scratch breakfasts, hearty German entrees, and down-home delicacies. In the morning, fluffy pancake clouds ($4.29 for two) fill with sweet syrup-rain as coffee ($1.89) brews in the distance. Egg lovers can choose from omelets ($8.59), frittatas ($8.59), and breakfast platters lined with home fries or buttered grits, red-eyed gravy, and a choice of toast or a biscuit ($9.59). Come lunchtime, hot BLTs ($6.59) parade across plates, pausing for dips in chili pools ($4.29/cup, $6.59/bowl). Three types of schnitzel ($14.99) explore the German culinary tradition as the eggplant parmesan ($11.59) sails tasting tourists to Italy on a sea of pasta, marinara sauce, and old-world wishes.
For more than 15 years, Lincoln Street Wine and Cigar Bar's servers have paired vinous sips with a petite menu of sandwiches, cured meats, and rich cheeses. Dining duos or quartets can chow down on bread-bookends wrapped around a smoked-turkey or pastrami sandwich, or pick and choose like a dodgeball-team captain selecting his squad from a 4-ounce cheese, meat, or fruit platter. Each customizable cheese tray is embellished with 15 different types of dairy-blocks, from the sharp bite of the Lone Star chèvre to the mild nibble of the double-cream camembert. Tray toppers also come bedecked with fresh fruit and baked bread, as well as an international mix of olives or prosciutto.
River's Edge serves up nuanced northern Italian cuisine amidst three glass walls of river-top panoramic views of the Guadalupe River. Using fresh ingredients, the professionally trained chefs at River's Edge engineer an elegant and traditional Tuscan menu with starters such as flash-fried calamari fritto ($9) and gnocchi alla romano, doughy pasta-pumpkins nestled in a patch of rustic marinara and strewn with basil pesto ($9). Sashay stomachs through a course of maple-spinach salad of granny-smith apples, chèvre cheese, and curry pecans ($9), or marsala di pollo, which presents sautéed chicken breast face-diving into a sinewy bed of chianti spaghetti and wilted spinach ($17). Diners can also enjoy tantalizing Tuscan entrees such as pan-seared Tazmanian salmon with brown-butter farfalle pasta ($24), or the inventive striscia bistecca, a kingly 14 ounces of new york strip steak denouncing the Magna Carta before a court of Boursin mashed potatoes and prosciutto-ensconced asparagus ($29).