Peña’s Donut Heaven & Grill elevates earthbound appetites with a luscious litany of breakfasts and lunches, earning a CityVoter nomination for the city’s best breakfast in 2010. As the sun is carefully winched up and hoisted into the sky, Peña’s bakers craft delicious donuts ($5.79/dozen for glazed; $6.45/dozen for iced) fresh each morning, while plates of bagel, croissant, or biscuit breakfast sandwiches ($2.50 each) and savory chorizo-and-egg stuffed kolaches ($1.49 each; $15.99/dozen) hone in on hunger with surgical precision. At lunchtime, specialty sandwiches such as the 8 oz. california burger ($6.95) pose for pictures in an edible attire of sprouts and avocado, a slice of swiss cheese, and a dollop of tangy ranch dressing. In addition to classic American eats, Peña’s Donut Heaven catapults diners across the border with helpings of ham-and-spinach breakfast tacos ($2.50 for three) and lunches of beef burritos topped with pico de gallo ($6.99).
The Drink Station's all-embracing menu quenches thirst with more than 20,000 possible nourishing gulps, customizing each cupful to fit the dietary needs and daring desires of its straw operator. Kick off the ante meridiem with a medley of black tea, Texas honey, and fresh pineapple juice in the blueberry muffin tea ($3.99/24 oz.), or cool down from a brisk Benny Hill chase around the block by quaffing a refreshing dose of watermelon celery juice ($4.99). The Mint 'n' Dew slushy celebrates the union of peppermint, honeydew melon, pineapple, and organic sugar ($4.99/24 oz.), and the Dark Chocolate Granita sharpens sweet teeth with gourmet coffee, chocolate, organic sugar, and nondairy cream ($3.99/24 oz.). Savory supplements such as fresh fruits, tapioca pearls, and flavor gels let you put your own personal signature on each swig without it tasting like a Sharpie. Cold-blooded connoisseurs, meanwhile, can keep their blood flowing with hot teas such as the Raspberry Sunrise ($3.25/16 oz.) or the sinful white chocolate latte ($3.25/24 oz.).
New Orleans is renown for vibrancy, from the over-the-top regalia of Mardi Gras to the bold, zesty flavors of its Cajun cuisine. With a modest interior filled with tables swathed in red-checkered cloths, Sleepy's Poboys doesn’t even try to outdo The Big Easy’s visual flair. But behind its counter, owner Brichell Smith’s team matches the city’s finest culinary talent with specialties such as seafood gumbo chock full of crab, shrimp, and hot sausage.
Though full of various southern specialties, the core of Sleepy’s menu is its namesake po’boys. The chefs assemble these from traditional ingredients such as shrimp and oysters, but also put their own stamp on the sandwich with gravy-soaked roast beef and philly cheesesteak fixings. In the morning, they can even create a breakfast version with eggs, cheese, and your choice of meat; other breakfast items include platters full of grits, hash browns, and pancakes. Open seven days a week, mornings at Sleepy’s begin at 7 a.m. Monday–Saturday and don’t end until 2 a.m., leaving dedicated po’boy eaters with five hours to fill dream journals with drawings of sandwiches.
When it comes to serving its fresh, locally roasted coffee, fruit smoothies, freshly pressed paninis, and homemade soups, Fioza Cafe asks only one thing of its visitors: come thirsty or hungry. The coffee and tapioca bar opened in the heart of Meyerland in 2007, and ever-since, it has been a respite for anyone who needs a quick pick-me-up or a comfy place to re-write their diary in Pig Latin. From flavored lattes to milk teas topped with tapioca pearls, the neighborhood shop strives to serve drinks that suit every taste. And to keep things interesting, the cafe also hosts many special events, from performances by local high school bands to open mic nights and latte art competitions.
The seasoned chefs at Dimassi's Mediterranean Buffet whip up unlimited portions of authentic Middle Eastern cuisine seven days a week. Partnered patrons survey the robust buffet to plot their takeover of fresh, house-made bread sauced with hummus or baba ghanouj, a roasted and seasoned eggplant purée. Endless supplies of savory entrees silence even the chattiest tummies with chicken kebabs and baked-fish-shaped pacifiers. Diners not on speaking terms with salt may opt for Dimassi’s spinach baked with chickpeas, onions, garlic, and cilantro, and herbivores can nosh on an assortment of seasoned veggies or a greek salad with feta, olive oil, and aged balsamic vinegar. Dining duos toast to the possibility of falafel shot put becoming a common party game with unlimited glasses of iced tea or soft drinks. Fistfuls of jam cookies or ladyfingers with walnuts, sugar, and rose and orange water give meals a delicately sweet sendoff.
Ingredient whisperers at The Shade Tree Cafe transform family recipes into a homestyle menu of soups, salads, and sandwiches made from scratch daily. Guests can dip spoons into soulful spicy-chicken-vegetable or broccoli-cheese soup, which warms taste buds as they sort the subtle flavors of fresh broccoli florets, creamy american cheese, and aged cheddar eligible for its AARP card. All-white-meat chicken breast weds creamy mayo to create the popular chicken-salad sandwich, and guests who prefer thermal handhelds can opt for the turkey melt, which oozes with mozzarella, pesto, and buttered charm. Piles of mandarin oranges, strawberries, and walnuts, all dressed in scratch-made raspberry vinaigrette, play hide-and-seek within a lush green jungle of spring mix in the Shade Tree salad. The cozy café recently extended its hours to accommodate the strenuous work schedules of hungry sunrays.