When he immigrated to America, Jesse Berenji took a job in the kitchen at a family member's Mexican restaurant. By keeping a close eye on all aspects of the business, he was soon able to pioneer his own Mexican place—El Patron Restaurant & Cantina. The cooks here fry hand-breaded boneless-chicken breast drizzled with cilantro sauce, for example, and prepare El Patron fajitas—chicken and beef with sautéed veggies on a heated platter, served with homemade tortillas for creating edible Venn diagrams. The menu even touches on American classics such as burgers and chicken tenders.
Weddings at The Vineyard at Florence hark back to an unhurried age, when horse-drawn carriages ferried couples to the ceremony, guests stayed in villas overlooking verdant rows of grapes, and the next morning began with a dip in the infinity pool. The sprawling venue embraces this mix of old-world Italy and modern luxury. Intricate stonework on the Tuscan inns contrasts with the sleek lines of its gym equipment, and the murmurs of a spring-fed creek accompany live musical performances in the amphitheater.
Guests needn't be getting married to explore the setting?there are single-day excursions such as the Sunday yoga class. Of course, estate wines remain a prime focus for the staff and the vineyard's visitors, with tastings held most Thursdays and weekends inside the Villa Firenze, where contemporary culture mingles with antiquated charm. Italian decor and architecture typify the rustic interior, though its main hallways give way to galleries where local artists can exhibit their work. Gigantic wooden barn beams grace the ceiling in the traditional wine shop, and the outer decks afford views of the polo field alongside the arbors and herb gardens.
Rather than preserve their slice of countryside with uninterrupted quiet or a colossal snow-globe dome, the vineyard's tenants strive to fill the hills with life. They host classes on topics from pairing wines to organic farming, and welcome diners to sample handcrafted confections at Bissinger's Chocolate Experience and Caf?. Bands fill the wine-tasting room with new rhythms each week, and festivals such as the Harvest Celebration Weekend?where attendees can glimpse stone carvers at work and dine on homegrown cuisine?imbue the rural expanse with a close sense of community.
In 1996, the first Phil's Philly Grill introduced its signature hot sandwiches to Dallas from a single, modestly sized kitchen nestled into a bustling Metroplex. Because its founders brought decades of experience to the business, their sandwiches' of sauteed veggies and meats pleased anyone who got their hands on them. Soon, the concept steadily grew to occupy more than a half-dozen locations around Texas.
Today, sandwichsmiths at seven locations serve up everything from lena, certified rib-eye steaks?onions, peppers, cheese, and mushrooms included?to the Texas bacon barbecue burger, which understandably includes bacon, barbecue sauce, and a strange resemblance to the state of Texas. Phil's certified grill experts bring 40 hours of training to prepare chicken breasts marinated with 17-ingredients and hand chop fresh vegetables and cheeses. An array of Philly sandwiches, grilled salads, gyros plates, and wraps round out the menu. The ownership's commitment to hard work, passion, and fine meats have also spawned franchising opportunities for those looking to launch their own little bit of Phil's.
What's in a name? When it comes to The Green Mesquite BBQ & More, pretty much everything. As one of its gift-shop T-shirts will tell you, the restaurant has been "horrifying vegetarians since 1988," and that enduring success can largely be attributed to what's inside the barbecue pit: log after log of green mesquite wood.
Owner Tom Davis opts for that particular fresh-cut variety because of its slow-burning property, and because it gives meat a bold and smoky flavor. Davis and his team cook everything from beef and pork to chicken and turkey over the wood. They also make their own barbecue sauce and a signature rub for their baby back ribs, which Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives host Guy Fieri called "awesome."
It's not just the smoked meats that distinguish Green Mesquite's three Austin-area locations. It's also that the restaurants double as venues for live music?specifically of the bluegrass and country variety?and that the restaurants welcome dogs, provided they bring along a well-behaved owner.
9 out of 10 scientists agree that coffee rules. It provides bodies with a robust infusion of antioxidants and energy-boosting caffeine, as well as makes afternoons spent toiling over test tubes and microscopes much more tolerable. Fortunately, Coffee Wholesale USA has heeded the perspicacious word of science, filling their warehouses with everything from instant k-cups to whole roasted beans.
To appease as many taste buds as possible, they stock their online shelves with more than 50 brands from across the coffee spectrum, including Folgers, Lavazza, Nestea, and Starbucks. They also provide in depth instructions on how best to store, prepare, and enjoy coffee's many different variations, from pillow packs to ground.
Coffee Wholesale USA also sells name brand coffee brewers for commercial and private use, as well as a range of teas and snacks, such as beef jerky, dried fruits, and dipping sauces.
Every bride dreams of a perfect wedding day, and Jhoana Moore was no exception. The centerpiece of her dream day was a cake made to her exact specifications, and she worried that no one else would be able to realize the image—and the taste—of the confection she had already baked in her imagination. What better person, she concluded, could there be to bake her dream cake than herself?
After the cake in question turned out to be a huge hit with her wedding guests, Jhoana decided to use her baking skills to help others realize the desserts of their own dreams, whether custom-designed cakes, cupcakes, or cookies. She collaborates on projects with her customers via email and phone, using their input to determine aspects such as the flavor. Designs can be sculpted out of edible fondant into three-dimensional shapes or frosted with icing that adds complex flavors and textures. Jhoana also crafts smaller portions for in-store purchases, baking cupcakes, cookies, and similarly portable sweets each day.