Mama DePalma is far from a fictional figurehead. She was a real person, and one who loved to entertain while feeding hungry friends with her authentic Italian food. Today her grandchildren's eatery, Mama DePalma's Pizza and Bistro, honors her legacy. In its cozy confines, guests feast on pizzas topped topped with chicken and alfredo sauce, or piled high with eggplant, peppers, and artichoke hearts. Other Italian eats range from strombolis and subs to hearty pasta dinners.
When Schlotzsky's first opened in Austin back 1971, the owner offered just one sandwich. Known as The Original, the stack offered lean smoked ham, genoa and cotto salamis, three kinds of cheese, and a layer of marinated black olives, all atop a hot sourdough bun. That’s all it took to get Schlotzsky’s off the ground, and ever since the shop has evolved into a global franchise, featuring locations in 35 states and four countries. Of course, on today’s menu you’ll find a bevy of handhelds, salads, and even pizzas to complement The Original. Even still, that name-making sandwich is a customer’s trusted go-to.
Mix N’ Mac celebrates comfort food by cooking and perfecting one staple: mac ‘n’ cheese. Visitors are encouraged to customize their own bowls with a variety of meats, veggies, and housemade cheese sauces. Alternatively, they can explore pretested specialty mac flavors. Diverse influences collide in the specialty options, which include a chili mac and an italian mac with basil and marinara sauce. The cheese gurus also savor the opportunity to singe a few taste buds with a spicy mac that drapes pepper jack over jalapeños and a Cajun creation featuring crushed red pepper and crawfish. The colors of Mix N’ Mac’s dining room match their signature creation, with deep-orange walls, chairs, and pieces of art reminiscent of cheese and cheese’s original birthplace, the sun.
Sonoma Cellar Steakhouse specializes in traditional steakhouse cuisine with a California flair, such as the filet mignon au poivre ($35) and swordfish steaks ($32). Sommelier and General Manager Kalei Nash takes pride in offering an extensive wine list informed by extensive knowledge. Sip or pour a glass into a plastic-lined sock within an elegant, vaulted ceiling dining room.
In the kitchens at Kyklos Greek Cafe, Sophocles, Constantine, and Ioannis Frangakis devise tasty dishes that draw on their Greek heritage and family recipes. Diners can select entrees from the eatery's medley of gyros, including the chicken gyros supreme, topped with feta cheese, and the philly gyros, replete with hot sauce and a Liberty Bell-esque crack in its pita bread. The menu further quells belly rumblings with an eclectic mix of homemade hunger-fixers, including greek salad, lamb-stuffed grape leaves, and the mediterranean sampler plate, a medley of falafel, tahini, hummus, tabbouleh, kalamata olives, and pita bread used to sop up every last morsel. Complete the transition from an innie to an outie with a bellybutton-bursting dessert, such as homemade baklava or melomakarona, traditional Greek–style cookies dipped in honey and topped with crunchy walnuts.