The pizza makers at Palio's Pizza Cafe crown regular, whole-wheat, and gluten-free crusts with fresh vegetables, preservative-free sauce, and roasted chicken. Chefs take the burden of putting together the best toppings with 17 specialty pizzas that pair gourmet ingredients such as artichoke hearts, roasted chicken, and fresh basil pesto. Ovens create bubbling pies, stuffed calzones, baked ziti, and italian sub sandwiches that servers carry through both chic, cozy locations. Leather-lined booths and flat-screen televisions keep diners comfortable and entertained while they enjoy Palio's BYOB policy and sip wine or Capri Sun pouches brought from home.
Sports bar are traditionally spaces where adults gather over pints to enjoy the day's biggest games. That's certainly the case at Varsity Roadhouse, where domestic and imported drafts pair perfectly with sports and coin-toss bloopers shown on the bar's 15 HD TVs. But the eatery also appeals to youngsters by serving free children's meals every Monday?Wednesday, as well as hosting kid's karaoke each Wednesday.
Entertainment isn't the only thing that entices all ages to visit Varsity Roadhouse. Cooks also tempt palates with bar food classics such as wings and shrimp tossed in a choice of 11 sauces, including lemon pepper and spicy honey barbecue. Slow-cookers simmer succulent ribs and brisket, while housemade batches of chips, salsa, and queso cater to nacho enthusiasts and vegetarians alike.
For more than a decade, The Varsity Roadhouse has kept appetites at bay with burgers, sandwiches, and of course, wings. The restaurant's signature wings arrive at tables hot and slathered with 10 different sauces, including smokey barbecue and garlic parmesan. While chowing down and composing a list of reasons why wing-eating should be an Olympic event, guests can lose themselves in the 160-inch HD projector screens beaming the day's sports games. Meanwhile, kids have it made at Varsity, too: they can win prizes in the game room, and they eat for free Monday?Wednesday.
At Centro Restaurant-Lounge, the only commonality between morning and evening are the orange chandeliers dripping glass filigree toward the floor. "After 10 o'clock we move the tables to the kitchen," says manager Francisco Ibarra. Then, DJs spin furious dance beats for a crowd of partygoers. Well-stocked bars center both the lounge and outdoor patio, which is further augmented with umbrellas and cabanas.
Despite the lounge's dramatic transformation, "before 10 o'clock it's like a normal restaurant," Ibarra says. Its menu is the brainchild of Ibarra and his longtime friend, Marcos Hernandez, who began crying deeply while cutting onions alongside his mother when he was 7 years old. "Now he has a lot of authentic Mexican food talent," Ibarra says. Using Hernandez's culinary gift and Ibarra's flair for business, the two have elevated Centro's cuisine with the addition of flavorful cactus flowers, Mexican corn bread, and a steak marinade with traditional spices.
When Shane and Susan Shumake of Silverleaf Construction & Design began building a coffeehouse in January of 2010, it was just another project. But somewhere along the way, business became pleasure. They fell in love with the little coffee shop, and their investment switched from professional to personal. So when the shop opened and closed within a matter of five weeks, it was to Shane and Susan’s great dismay. The owner of the floundering business, Shane and Susan’s former client, came to his friends with a question: would they be interested in taking over? The Shumakes didn’t hesitate. Within the month, about as long as it takes a coffee pot to whistle that it’s done, the shop had reopened as Lone Star Coffee Bar. Today, Shane and Susan’s labor of love stands as Lone Star Coffee Bar & Wine Bar. In addition to java, tea, breakfast, and lunch, they recently started serving wine to accompany sit-down dinners and live music. The wine list also reveals the Shumakes' heart for the community, since they devote about half of it to Texan wines.
Chef Lulzim Rexhepi places a modern twist on his menu of traditional Italian dishes, keeping diners on their toes with tapas-style dishes served alongside pastas, pizzas, and seafood entrees. Prior to taking the reins of the kitchen at Veranda Italian Bistro, Lulzim trained in France and the Culinary Institute of America, sharpened his skills at the three-Michelin-starred Le Moulin de Mougins, and was the co-chef at award-winning modern Thai restaurant Kittichai. Now, at Veranda, he’s shifted his focus back to his roots in Italian cuisine. By offering a gluten-free menu, he also doesn’t exclude anyone from sampling his creations.