Instead of playing favorites, the grill masters at Cou-yons Fa Tru Texas BBQ acquaint diners with virtually every barbecue tradition—from Carolina to Memphis and Texas to Louisiana, the menu stands as a flavor tour of American barbecue. Sliced brisket fresh from the smoker represents the Texan side of things, while tender, pulled pork shoulder bears the telltale tang of Carolina barbecue. The eight styles of meat pile onto sandwiches or tower on platters alongside Texas toast and classic sides such as corn on the cob or sweet coleslaw. To deck out special events, the staff can put together feasts for up to 500 people, ensuring party guests leave satisfied and tailgaters don’t try to eat the football.
Having tossed more than two billion wings in its franchise's history, Wingstop’s chefs have perfected the art of sizzling chicken until its outsides crunch and its insides are tenderized before drizzling wings in one of nine flavors of sauce. Wingstop's menu brims with digit-delectables and succulent sides such as bourbon baked beans ($1.59+), which simmer with rich and hearty flavors. Both boneless and original wings ($6.29 for 10 wings) come flavored with your pick of nine sauces, including hickory smoked barbecue, hawaiian, teriyaki, and atomic, which is spicy enough to finally melt away the icicles stuck on one's mustache. With three kinds of dip ($0.69 each), diners can temper Cajun-sauce-drenched wings with cool ranch dip, or introduce the zesty lemon-pepper sauce to a blue-cheese dip. A combo plate packages two chicken-fillet sandwiches, seasoned hand-cut fries, and a 20-ounce soda for on-the-go eats ($7.69).
The chefs at Monjunis serenade palates with zesty symphonies of authentic Italian flavors and parmesan-dusted delights. Dine on a bevy of delectables in the evening, such as a specialty plate of authentic, pan-sautéed veal piccata ($18.99), which complements the restaurant's equally authentic to-scale replica of the Coliseum. Aurora shrimp get tangled in delicate strands of angel hair and accessorize supple bands of italian cheeses and a loving mix of house alfredo and original sauces ($16.99). Monjunis’ well-seasoned selection of salads ($8.99+) sates lunching palates seeking multitextured medleys of olives, chicken, and walnuts. Slink into the Italian Café anytime to relax on its lush outdoor patio and determine the best tactic for tackling an entire muffuletta ($13.99).
Red Mango's frozen yogurt has been garnering national attention for more than five years, unlike that musician strumming away next to the foosball table in his basement. The shop earned a place atop Zagat's 2011 lists for Best Smoothie and Frozen Yogurt Chain and Best Healthy Options Among Quick Refreshment Chains. Red Mango showcases its award-winning reputation by dishing up all-natural and gluten-free yogurts—all of which are either low-fat or nonfat—that promote healthy digestive and immune systems with natural probiotics. Friendly staff members are always on hand to whip Ghirardelli dark chocolate, POM pomegranate juice, and seasonal pumpkin spice frozen yogurts into stevia-sweetened smoothies or parfaits layered with organic granola and fruit. The toppings bar brims with crunchy cereal, cheesecake bits, and nuts, allowing creative customization.
What do a business school senior and a law professor have in common? In the case of Kyle Anderman and Andi Carroll, the answer is cupcakes. Drawing on Kyle’s entrepreneurial knowledge, Andi’s baking skills, and the baking expertise and recipes of local pastry chefs, the pair spent a year developing the recipes on their menu, with flavors such as Cookie Deaux, Kit Kat, and key lime. Today, customers can choose to socialize at two Frosted Cupcakes locations.
A homegrown success story with a slew of awards and nearly 40 years of history, Popeyes has introduced its menu of Louisiana eats to taste seekers around the globe. Rather than downloading low-quality, unsatisfying meals through the Internet, packs can pick up Popeyes’ family-style meals, pairing eight pieces of Cajun fried chicken with four buttermilk biscuits and a side of award-winning rice and beans ($16.99). A po boy stuffed with crunchy shrimp ($3.49) makes a splash in lunchboxes, and chicken nuggets ($2.49 for six pieces) surf into mouths on waves of refreshing sweet tea ($2.99/gal.).