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.
Fran Mathers was merely one of Via Reál’s loyal patrons when the eatery was still in its infancy in 1985. But when she discovered the owners’ plans to close, Fran didn’t hesitate to assume a new role: proprietor. To this day, Fran continues to serve her customers with the same sort of altruistic attitude that led her to fall in love with Via Reál. She does this by forming rapports with regulars and welcoming newcomers, and through the restaurant's scholarship program, which provides help to local kids of Irving police officers, in honor of Fran's late husband. Of course the number one draw to Via Reál remains its fare, crafted by Chef Jesus Olivares, who was born and raised in Mexico. His menu of southwestern and Mexican cuisine relies heavily, just like most cowboy perfumes, on smoked or roasted peppers and sauces infused with tropical fruits. For example, to make a dish called Cancun, he sautés Texas gulf shrimp with mango-basil sauce and pairs it with sea scallops over poblano rice, while center cut 8 oz. tenderloin fillets are served over grilled vegetables with tobacco onions, and guajillo port sauce. All of Chef Olivares’ quesadillas, fajitas, and other Tex-Mex dishes complement an impressive list of margaritas and tequilas, as well as a number of reserve wines, available by request.
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.
Thanks to ovens imported from France, Rise No. 1’s chefs bake soufflés to a perfectly fluffy texture every time—and it only takes about as long as cooking a steak to medium. But what lies within changes with each soufflé—fillings span the savory, including jambon and gruyere or escargot, and the sweet, such as fruit, bread pudding, or notes of affirmation written by the in-house mom. No matter which side of the spectrum you land on, rest assured that the ingredients hail from local and organic vendors whenever possible, and the herbs are cut fresh from an on-site garden. That extends to the non-soufflé menu items, such as marshmallow soup, artisanal cheese platters, and petite asiettes (small plates of French cuisine). The staff’s commitment to sustainable practices doesn’t end with the menu. Drinking glasses are crafted from recycled wine bottles, bookshelves that hold used French and American classics were once mere sawdust, and many of its doors guarded the entrances to temples or houses in their former lives. Authenticity abounds in equal measure to eco-friendly practices, as well. Antique European silver-plate flatware adorns tables, hand-embroidered French linen serviettes protect laps, and an 18th-century desk serves as a private dining table.
Originally a drive-in, Original Market Diner has been a part of the Vergos family history since 1954. Today, Jimmy Vergos—the son of the original owners, Sam and Kathy—helms this spot, calling upon culinary lessons from his dad and hospitality courses from his mom to keep the place hopping. Featuring a classic Americana design, complete with booths, black-and-white tile accents, and plenty of seats at the counter, Original Market offers a variety of American lunch specials, such as chicken and dumplings and meatloaf and mashed potatoes. However, its real draw is breakfast. Served all day, items such as raisin-bread French toast and strawberry pancakes helped the diner land on D Magazine's list of best breakfasts in town. Of course, one of the shop’s homemade pies—chocolate meringue, harvest blueberry, coconut cream, and the like—wouldn’t make for a bad meal, either.
Cuisine Type: Contemporary French
Most popular offering: Mussels, poached egg, lemon sole
Delivery / Take-out Available: No
Alcohol: Full bar
Number of Tables: 11?25
Outdoor Seating: Yes
Parking: Parking lot
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Pro Tip: Please let us know of any special occasions or specific instructions for your evening.
Scott Gottlich's passion for food stemmed from his childhood experiences, but his wife Gina didn't discover her love of the culinary arts until later in life. That passion, and perhaps a bit of kismet, led her to leave her college career path and start working as a captain at Aubergine, where Scott was honing his skills in the kitchen. There, she and Scott met for the first time, and began their romance, as well as a journey toward opening their own restaurant. These days, Scott puts his culinary talents to work in the kitchens of the couple's first restaurant, Bijoux, while Gina uses her refined, sommelier-trained palate to assemble the wine list.
It's a winning combination. Bijoux holds numerous awards, including a four diamond rating from AAA and a callout in Bon Appetit as one of the country's Best New Restaurants in 2007. Scott himself received accolades from Restaurant Hospitality as a Rising Star of the culinary world, and he continues to earn acclaim with dishes such as his kataffi-wrapped prawns. He cooks them until they're lightly crisped before topping them with a spinach emulsion, goat cheese sauce, and roasted beets. Scott says he wants every item on the menu to have clean flavors that "express the full voice of the ingredients." It's a true culinary challenge, as few chefs can still get vegetables to sing after they've been cooked.