Affectionately dubbed "a little piece of France" by Christina Rowland of Real Frisco, Cafe Trottoir et Patisserie transports taste buds with Parisian-style bistro fare for lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch. Dishes feature simple, elegant preparations, with numerous sauces and vinaigrettes drizzled across seared tuna steaks and roasted duck breasts. Mimicking money-booth contestants, pear and goat cheese step into a salad arena, where they compete to snatch the most pecans out of a slippery shower of lavender-honey vinaigrette. The steak frites' Black Angus terres major is pan-seared with red-wine pan jus and laid on a plate of pommes frites and baby greens.
Indoor meals unfurl under brass chandeliers bearing clusters of golden lamps. In fair weather, the sun-dappled outdoor terrace surrounds tables in tall trees bookended by stucco walls and a large outdoor fireplace.
What do melt-in-your-mouth gourmet chocolates and sense-clearing, smooth, loose-leaf teas have in common? Besides indulging your senses, the two are both chock-full of health-enhancing antioxidants. Frisco’s HALO Tea Lounge & Chocolate Bar serves specialty teas and chocolates that are not just good, they’re good for you. With today's Groupon, you get $25 toward anything in the store for just $10—that's 60% off a delicious path toward antioxidized health.
At Starwood Cafe, 6:30 in the morning might as well be time for dessert. The breakfast menu here doesn't shy away from sweet specialty dishes, including homemade french crepes stuffed with bananas and Nutella or pancakes with Oreo crumbles blended into the batter. But this family-owned restaurant does more than just churn out inventive sweets. The staffers also tip their collective hats to the classics. They serve biscuits with sausage gravy, farm-fresh eggs with grits, and skillets full of hash browns and toppings.
Once the day segues into lunchtime, the cafe composes sandwiches and wraps alongside gourmet salads. Grilled teriyaki-salmon stir-fry speaks to the kitchen's versatility, while tuna melts and deep-fried Atari games show the cooks' passion for nostalgia. And some entrees, such as the chicken-fried steak, are just as delicious in the afternoon as they are at sunrise. Regardless of what you order, almost everything that makes its way from the kitchen to the dining table abides by Starwood's strict philosophy, which prizes freshness and made-from-scratch quality above all else.
SmoothieZone mixes a fruity, frosty menu of smoothies using fresh juices, frozen yogurt, and powerful shots of vitamins and nutrients. Fruit smoothies such as the blueberry-banana cooler ($3.65–$5.85) inundate sippers with 18 grams of whey protein, and fresh-squeezed juices such as the organic carrot juice ($2.95–$4.95) spare teeth days of tedious crunching. A kids’ menu sneaks protein into diminutive bellies with treats such as the Chunky Monkey, a protein smoothie with peanut butter, milk, chocolate, and bananas ($4.35). Shots of vitamins and nutrients such as B-12 ($0.99) and muscle building creatine and glutamine ($1.49 each) bolster beverages and imbue drinkers with the energy open the doors at a grocery store without touching them. Patrons can also enjoy waffle cones or cups filled with vanilla, chocolate, or swirled fat-free frozen yogurt ($2.95–$3.95).
Flavors from around the world converge at Oasis Café, from the grilled lamb and beef of Greek gyros to the sweet chili sauce of Thai chicken. Sandwiches and wraps emphasize organic and natural ingredients, and both meat and vegetarian options are well-represented. Coffee splashes tongues in hot, iced, or blended forms, as in the Oasis macchiato, which swirls caramel and vanilla into double espresso. The aromas of freshly baked muffins and percolating soups drift across the long wood counter and over checkered booths, where diners groove to soft jazz melodies so they don’t have to bridge conversational lulls with knock-knock jokes that might offend people who live in tents.
Crickle's and Co. treats visitors to breakfasts and brunches defined by a farm-to-table ethic. Every bite of an egg-and-applewood smoked bacon taco or blueberry muffin is a testament to simpler times—times when people knew exactly where their food came from, meals were family gatherings, and parents had to ask kids to be excused from the table. Local, preservative-free cream, eggs, and butter find their way into menu items such as egg sandwiches, bacon-stuffed tortillas, and fluffy, fresh-baked muffins. Texas pecans put the crunch in banana-nut bread, and locally roasted coffee and organic tea from Austin pair perfectly with homemade pastries. Outside Crickle's walls, its catered meals grace corporate events, baby showers, and birthday parties with feasts of Texas-style barbecue, 15-layer lasagna, and bite-size brownies and cheesecakes.