Light streams in through the floor-to-ceiling windows at the front of Glazed Doughnuts & Cafe, glinting off cushy high-backed chairs and sleek wooden tables before mingling with the crystals in the ornate chandelier. Before taking a seat or levitating next to the bookshelf, customers can peruse the mouth-watering menu, selecting treats including tantalizingly fresh scratch-made doughnuts, croissants, and muffins, carefully stacked sandwiches, and draughts of energy-boosting coffee.
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.
New York-style pizza and Italian-style Italian food fill the menu at Café Sicilia, a casual neighborhood joint with a welcoming feel. Served by the pie or slice, sizzling pizzas are topped with canadian bacon, mushrooms, capers, artichokes, and other standard or specialty toppings and give off the aromas of toasted crust and melty cheese. Deep dish, sicilian-style pies pack an extra hearty punch, while stromboli and calzones transform the slice into a more compact culinary vehicle.
Outside the pizza realm, Café Sicilia's chefs plate fettucini alfredo, baked ziti, tortellini, and lasagna. Kids can tuck into spaghetti and meatballs or chicken parmigiana, while parents feast on zuppa de pesce, an assortment of seafood layered in zesty marinara. Culinary expeditions conclude with tiramisu, cannoli, and plain or chocolate cheesecake.
A woven hanging light looms overhead, casting a buttery glow on wall alcoves festooned with orchid arrangements. Nearby, booths flaunt intricate geometric designs to match throw pillows on the adjacent sofa. The walls are comprised of texturally diverse materials such as stacked stone, exposed brick, and barbecue-flavored wallpaper, an eclectic assortment that mirrors Orchid City Café's mélange of Cajun, American, and Asian fusion fare.
Poboys and Thai-style rice dishes overflow with a choice of catfish, salmon, and chicken—all available fried, grilled, blackened, or interrogated. Chefs also mold half-pound Angus sirloin burgers to pair with fresh-cut french fries and specialty drinks such as smoothies or sweet boba tea.
Owned by New Orleans expats forced out by hurricane Katrina, Pierre's Mardi Gras Café, featured on Fox 4, rekindles the Cajun spirit from within its kitchen, kicking out authentic New Orleans fare. Friends, romantic partners, or auditioning potato-sack teammates become temporarily obstructed from each other's view by the 12-inch Half & Half po' boy, a classic french-bread sandwich with somersaulting bites of fish, shrimp, and oysters accented by lettuce, tomato, and mayo. Philly steak po' boys sizzle and crunch in their edible envelopes, and surf 'n' turf po' boys squash appetites with steak- and shrimp-inspired stomps of the foot. Pairs take a break from open-jawed po' boy bites and ladle a spoonful of authentic jambalaya into their mouths, an alchemical elixir composed of two different sausages and shrimp in tomato sauce, or trade off spoonfuls of crawfish étouffée as they argue about whose taste buds would be more likely to guest star on reality TV. Cups of shrimp creole and crawfish étouffée boast flavors that slow-dance atop tongues in simmering revelry. Pierre's Mardi Gras Café will be open on Sunday, September 4, as well as on Labor Day.