New York Bagel Café & Deli parades a fresh showcase of morning favorites and light fare starring more than 15 varieties of freshly baked bagels. Regular customers can pocket a Coffee Club card to help their bagel addiction finally pay sesame-seed dividends as they chew through breakfast and brunch fare before tackling a deli sandwich lineup crafted from premium Boar's Head meats. The café's full-service catering service can turn around numerous catering orders in 24 hours, allowing for quick party planning with large fruit platters, pastries, and specialty wraps arriving promptly to satisfy the needs of office parties and bagel ring-toss tournaments.
The sight of foam balls raining from the sky would be unusual at any place but Jungle Jaks’ Foam Factory, where they’re part of a brightly decorated playground that kids aged 3 to 12 can roam to their hearts’ content. Young ones of all dispositions can find something entertaining among Jungle Jaks’ range of athletic and artistic attractions, such as a mini soccer field for pickup games and a well-stocked arts and craft studio where masterpieces can be created. Excess energy burns away in the disco area as danceable pop hits play, while the Wii room, equipped with numerous Nintendo games and a flat-screen television, keeps arms and legs engaged as players search for Princess Peach’s lost contact lens. Elsewhere, a toddler play area engages tots with age-appropriate slides and toys, and a snack bar reenergizes guests before they collide with fellow riders on indoor bumper boat and bumper car rinks. All this excitement led to Jungle Jaks' nabbing El Paso's Best of the Best award, "Where to Take the Kiddos," in 2012 and 2013.
Valerie Herrera, a skillful cake manipulator and civil engineer, builds humble egg-and-flour foundations into towering dessert structures. The light texture of vanilla tres leches cake ($20) wins over pitchfork-toting tongues outraged at its unnatural fusion of three milk types, and strawberries doused in chocolate and dusted with sprinkles ($20/dozen) tempt even even-tempered palates. Batches of nine walnut-infused brownies ($7.58) and batches of 24 carrot cupcakes ($21.65) prove desirable additions to any sweets stash. Free flavor consultations teach cake commissioners which fillings and frostings to favor when designing multilayer custom desserts ($0.75–$1/serving). Patrons should give 48 hours' notice for custom cakes.
Operating under the mantra Flavor Your Life, Bahama Buck's sends its patrons on a tropical holiday with every sip of its gourmet drinks. Island-inspired decor outfits each Bahama Buck's location, and the business's approach to flavor as an art form—with more than 90 flavors of shaved ice—carries over to its smoothies, which send creamy concoctions climbing through straws to rouse tasters with the zest of fresh fruit and juices. Hawaii's Kona coffee beans are used for Island House coffees, and island specialties, such as 100% natural juices, provide an afternoon pick-me-up without the pressure of negotiating with the intimidating children in charge of neighborhood lemonade stands.
Authentic south-of-the-border fare headlines at Villa y Zapata Restaurant, where chefs incorporate fresh ingredients into their made-to-order plates of carne asada, fajitas, flautas, enchiladas, and tacos. Ladles brim bowls with piping-hot servings of signature soup, and gooey cheese insulates the tortillas that blanket each shrimp quesadilla and can also be used to plug ceiling holes from one’s bow and arrow. Shareable dishes of beef, chicken, or shrimp fill up diners with rib-sticking fare and can be paired with sides such as baked potatoes and refried beans via rock-paper-scissors matches.
About two years ago, a savory drink called dayvasos began to rapidly gain popularity in Juárez, Mexico. It was originally rumored to be a hangover cure, but people began sipping it for its taste rather than its function; " "Now kids have it, abuelitas (grandmothers) too," Dayvasos JN co-owner Miguel Ortiz told an El Paso Times writer. Clamato tomato juice, freshly squeezed lime juice, chile powder, and a secret ingredient called "Dayvasalsa" are the building block of a dayvaso; bartenders top this blend with additions such as beef jerky, fresh or dried shrimp, or clams. Some patrons like to mix dayvasos with beer, and Ortiz accommodates them by stocking Mexican and domestic brews, which are also available to take home.
At Genghis Grill, cooks stir-fry more than 70 fresh ingredients to make healthy, flavorful bowls loaded with proteins and vegetables. Diners can mix and match ingredients to create customized feasts, or choose signature dishes such as the Firecracker bowl with scallops, calamari, and shrimp in piquant Dragon sauce. Nutrition-focused heart-healthy bowls, developed with the help of a dietitian, feature flavor combinations such as Sichuan-style bamboo beef or ginger-citrus shrimp.