Koryo Bakery and Cafe adorns customers' taste buds with pastries and desserts crafted daily with natural ingredients. The shaved-ice dish patbingsu is a traditional Korean dessert made with fresh fruit and the assistance of freezer-dwelling artisans. Guests can enjoy Koryo Bakery and Cafe's benumbed ambrosia in authentic varieties such as green tea, red bean, and coffee, as well as in fresh fruit forms including watermelon and strawberry. An assortment of fresh fruit toppings is also available for guests to decorate their delicacies or to create an edible diorama depicting the movement of strawberry glaciers during the shaved ice age.
For more than 75 years, Shipley's Do-Nuts has served up hot and fresh hand-cut donuts daily from Lawrence Shipley's time-tested recipe. Currently furnishing more than 60 varieties of fried ambrosia to donut disciples, Shipley's Do-Nuts creates three types of craveable crowns for the taking ($5.95/dozen glazed, $6.55/dozen mixed). The traditional yeast donut's everyday attire is a glaze coating, but it entertains a closetful of options, including curve-enhancing nuts, sequin-like sprinkles, and black-tie appropriate chocolate icing for attending formal french-bread balls. Filled yeast donuts protect their secret stash of cream or fruit with a sweet glaze force field, while denser—but not dumber—cake donuts aid rough morning wake-up calls by operating as portable pillows perfect for commuting or by sliding into stomachs in icing, glaze, sprinkles, or au naturel.
A sweet oasis in Memorial City Mall, Candy Island tempts kids of all ages with mountains of treats in every color of the rainbow. You can dig into barrels of individually wrapped hard candies and scoop gummy worms from plastic towers to fill make-your-own bags of sugar-coated happiness. Evoking the flavors of the circus, personal-sized popcorn and cotton candy stimulate both sweet and salty taste receptors. And for a break from the heat, staff members shave chunks of ice into snow cones in a variety of flavors such as cotton candy and sour apple. Each snow cone can be further customized with a candy topper or a top hat to commemorate its past life as a snowman.
The legacy of Kim Son restaurants owes its origins to the memory of its matriarch, Kim Su Tran. When "Mama La" and her husband fled Vietnam in 1980, she brought with her more than 250 recipes, each stowed safely in her mind. She also brought her seven children, four of which—Tan, Tri, Tony, and Tao—now watch over the business and coveted family recipes. Among their shared vision is Kim Son Cafe, which breaks from its predecessors by way of a simplified menu and the inclusion of sushi. Though the menu is simpler, the flavors are just as complex, showcasing ingredient orchestration in dishes such as coconut curry shrimp wound up in strands of spinach linguini. The menu even boasts a Vietnamese take on fajitas, giving guests rice paper with which to wrap marinated meats and veggies or write love letters to their mouths.
Nearly 30 years ago, chef Alex Brennan-Martin was a student at Ecole de Cuisine La Varenne in Paris. He frequented the city's cafés, drawing inspiration from their quaint atmospheres. Blending his memories of these neighborhood meeting places with his Southern upbringing, he founded Bistro Alex, where he designs seasonal menus of creole- and French-inspired cuisine.
Alex and his culinary team use local ingredients whenever possible, building dishes from Louisiana turtles, local Texas pork, red snapper, and strawberries; harvesting oysters from a nearby port; and only culling cheese from earth’s closest moon. They also apply a DIY approach to the dishes' basic elements, making their own tasso ham, andouille sausage, mustard, and meat stocks in house, as well as carving their own charcuterie meats. An on-staff pastry chef devises all desserts, such as white-chocolate bread pudding and peanut-butter chocolate mousse.
Cuisine aside, the beautiful dining room warrants patrons’ admiration on its own. Real mesquite tree planks form select walls and portions of the ceiling, lending guests a feeling of being tucked inside a treehouse—albeit an elegant treehouse with plenty of wine. Airy drapes, curvaceous chairs, and modern jazz melodies anchor the environment in sophistication. Additionally, complimentary parking is available to patrons for ease of visiting.
The tone at Fish Place is informal—customers order from chalkboards and hand-painted signs, pop open BYOB bottles, and dine against the backdrop of brick walls and corrugated tin. It’s an appropriate setting for cuisine that you might devour at a neighborhood crawfish boil or a bayou-side porch. To prepare that food for guests, chefs fry, grill, or blacken catfish, shrimp, and oysters, and serve the crispy morsels with sides such as french bread and hushpuppies. They also stuff seafood into po’ boys and tacos, which feature savory housemade sauces such as rémoulade and spicy smoked chipotle. And for dessert, the team fries beignets, a New Orleans classic made from fried dough and the heat energy left in the air by tourists.