Visitors to Aspen's Brew might forget they're inside a coffee shop at all, as the family-owned cafe cultivates an ambiance of low-key comfort reminiscent of a classic, all-American living room. Guests can admire and purchase the unique artwork on the walls while lounging on the couch, kick back with the morning paper on an upholstered grandfather chair, or handwrite their emails at one of the wooden tables. As the morning sun gradually suffuses the cozy space with natural light, baristas rustle up six award-winning micro-roasted brews from Dillanos Coffee Roasters while the on-site bakers usher out scones, muffins, croissants, and cinnamon rolls. To add even more homeyness to the mix, they also serve up bagels, breakfast sandwiches, and squares of Grandma's coffee cake, a from-scratch pastry that comes from a secret recipe whispered between generations during games of Telephone at family reunions. In the afternoon, the kitchen staffers keep the hospitality coming with fresh, made-to-order sandwiches and paninis, as well as homemade soups, specialty coffee drinks, and desserts such as carrot cake and brownies.
The folks at Aspen's Brew also cater this down-home cafe fare for events, whether for morning meetings, lunch, or afternoon gatherings. To ensure these special occasions go off without a hitch, they deliver anywhere in the greater San Antonio area.
At Da Vinci Gelato & Caffe, a glass case shields 32 pans of gelato and sorbetto. Cinnamon dusts the peaks of tiramisu, and rivulets of chocolate snake through the grooves of amaretto. Sorbets brim with fruits of the season, from strawberry and watermelon in warmer months to pomegranate and pear when the sun turns its back on earth. Although flavors rotate regularly, one thing remains constant: each batch is whipped up fresh daily in accordance with authentic artisan recipes.
As a contrast to frozen treats, baristas make hot drinks and cooks prepare authentic italian paninis that bear dark stripes from being flattened between two Ferrari grills. The staff also assembles crepes and packs take-home containers of gelato.
Hearty American drive-in fare fills the menu at Frank’s Hog Stand, a motorcycle-themed eatery that serves sit-down diners as well as riders on the go. Twosomes can dig into The Chopper philly-cheesesteak sandwich, which nestles succulent beef beneath monterey cheese, grilled onions, and bell peppers ($6.99), or The Dirty Frank, which smothers a hoagie-roll-ensconced hot dog in chili, cheese, and relish, creating a trifecta of taste. A lineup of 100% Angus-beef burgers assumes a range of personalities, from the friendly third-pound A Hand Full to the bombastic 1-pound The Heavy Throttle, each paired with one side, such as french fries, coleslaw, or baked beans. A shared dessert such as a chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry milk shake washes down meaty remnants, or mouths can garble the national anthem as they wrap around an all-American slice of apple pie baked to crispy perfection.
The Foundry's bean barons orchestrate a menu that brims with organic-certified free-trade coffee and specialty drinks and a buoyant selection of light café fare. A local roaster delivers The Foundry's weekly bounty of coffee beans, which the crew grinds moments before brewing them and pouring the coffee into refillable cups that are as bottomless as a trap door in the Oval Office. Diners can pair the Elvis frappuccino––a blend of peanut butter, banana, and mocha ($4–$4.50)––with a solid savory, such as the spicy chipotle-chicken panini with a melted fusion of chipotle-cheese salsa, mozzarella, pico de gallo, and guacamole ($6.50). Cool off a piping hot palate with a selection of sweet fruit smoothies ($3.25–$3.75).
Grassroots Coffee helps guests go from bleary-eyed to blissfully buzzed by serving up mugs brimming with freshly brewed, locally roasted coffee in a comfy café setting. Sink into a padded wooden chair with a cup of blum java ($2.50–$3.50), a slow-poured, ultra-filtered brew, or awaken the senses with a Jolt ($2.25–$2.50), a drip-brewed coffee topped with espresso and seasoned with lighting-rod photons. This caffeine canteen also provides coffee-free options, such as the caramel—a joe-less caramel latté drizzled with caramel ($2.25–$2.60)––and fruit coolers available in strawberry, peach, Island, and Coolada flavors ($2.10–$2.90). Couple a jump-starting libation with an asiago-cheese bagel ($2.40) or a cinnamon scone ($2.75). Or finally find the courage to end a long-term relationship with Famous Amos by locking lips with peanut-butter fantasy cookie––a dreamy chocolate cookie stuffed with creamy peanut butter ($1).
When not busy filling cups with selections of teas from around the world, Madhatters Tea House & Café's tea-masters quell tummy temblors with morning and midday teatime eats. Refresh weary taste buds with Moroccan mint-green tea, or sip All Day Breakfast black tea in protest of federal laws banning bacon after 9 a.m. ($2.99 for a 16-oz. pot). Daily morning selections such as breakfast burritos ($2.49), toasted bagel plates ($2.99–$8.99), and tea-infused oatmeal ($2.99–$3.99) rise early to put in breakfast-menu appearances. The Migas Scram blends three eggs, salsa, and gouda, crispily complemented with corn tortillas ($5.99). Lunching pairs can schedule an Afternoon Tea for two ($18), sipping a 3-cup pot of tea or two iced teas while nibbling on salmon and cucumber tea sandwiches, scones, and petits fours. Tea sandwiches ($2.99 each) arrive outfitted in toothsome couture, including smoked-jalapeño-tuna salad and spinach-and-chicken salad.