The brainchild of Benny and Sandy Fontana, Olives Italian Market evokes an Old World corner market with dishes hewn from simple family recipes and hard-to-find Italian imported edibles. Panini makers layer imported Italian meats and cheeses atop fresh, rustic breads baked in-house to forge sandwiches, and creamy house-made gelato cools tongues steamy from java brewed from house-roasted coffee beans. The family-run shop also stocks a market of Italian ingredients, including extra-virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegars, capers, pasta, and anchovies that patrons can use to create mouthwatering meals that inspire jealousy in cans of Chef Boyardee.:m]]
Peering out onto Main Plaza between the window panes of their 1925 shopfront, New Braunfels Coffee's baristas tempt passing noses with fragrant Lavazza espresso and baked-from-scratch French pastries. Seven types of salads nest toppings of grilled chicken, feta cheese, and cranberries, and hot deli sandwiches couple with cups of daily soup on tabletops scattered across the café's sunny tiled floor. While the building houses historic charms, the amenities are decidedly modern—free WiFi allows midsip customers to monitor global goings-on or challenge former PE instructors to games of online poker.
On The Grind may be a convenient, unassuming drive-thru, but its coffee is much more complex. Brewed by Third Coast, the shop's customized blend consists of three beans?the mild Norandino from Peru, the smooth Sidama from Ethiopia, and the full-bodied Sumatra from Indonesia. These contrasting flavors make for a dynamic beverage that can be served hot, iced, or blended with indulgent sweets such as coconut, salty caramel, and chocolate macadamia.
Housed in a combined café and chiropractic office inside the historic Vivroux Hardware building, Chiro Java injects visitors with the energy to almost massage their own backs after eating an array of American- and Mexican-inspired breakfast and lunch dishes. The kitchen staff crafts chicken salad from a family recipe and uses only nitrite-free lunchmeats, both of which they sandwich between high-fiber whole-wheat bread baked in-house. At the full-service coffee and espresso bar, baristas serve up organic frappés, allergen-free desserts, and organic, fair-trade coffee roasted fresh each day. Facilitating a sense of calm, the café keeps its lighting low, and surrounds guests with festive gourds, hardwood walls and floors, and lovingly worn rugs underfoot.
With her slate of deli sandwiches, Angela Toler aims to please even the choosiest palate. As the owner and proprietor of The Picky Deli, she oversees a host of tasks, from baking the turkey and ham to cooking and slicing the deli’s meats. Using fresh ingredients, Toler’s staff stacks each sandwich made to order, from classic Reubens to turkey clubs. The deli is open Monday through Friday, and on Fridays, diners can stop by for chicken-sausage gumbo.
The line between latte and work of art is blurry at Fuego Coffee, thanks to a team of baristas who painstakingly swirl foam into hearts, snowflakes, and paisley teardrops. Though their pouring skills are impressive, their work starts long before the coffee finds its way to the cup. The shop sources its beans from organic growers and roasts them locally to ensure consistency and freshness. Only after the baristas grind these beans do they end up in a cappuccino, Cuban espresso, or one of 20 flavored energy drinks.
But these beverages aren't all that makes Fuego Coffee unique. The shop also features two drive-thru lanes for customers who are in a rush and whose gas tanks accept only premium roast. Those who have a minute can take advantage of the shop's dog-friendly policy, which allows leashed pets to sit with their owners.