The husband-and-wife team behind Swick's Pizza toss up a menu of hearty Italian-style eats in a family-friendly atmosphere. The pair of pie maestros harmonize herbs and spices to create the secret family sauce, which they ladle over crispy thin or chewy hand-tossed crusts bubbling with cheese, veggies, and seven types of meat, including canadian bacon, italian sausage, and meatball sculptures shaped like pork chops. Swick's specialty pies spotlight slices of chicken relaxing under a mantle of creamy alfredo sauce or dancing with strips of bacon against a tangy barbecue backdrop. Hands reach for hot-garlic chicken wings to practice tiny swings before hitting the little links or pick apart plates of Cheesestyx in preparation for a dairy-fueled victory lap.
An unassuming brick storefront with bamboo-shaded windows barely contains the thrum of voices and simmering broth that roils within Tokyo Pot. Shabu shabu is by necessity an active method of dining and The Oklahoman’s Food Dude Dave Cathey says “It’s impossible to sit through a meal at Tokyo Pot in silence.” This vibrancy arises from the broth-filled pots that sit in the middle of each table and remind diners of the genuinely social nature of cooking and sharing fare as they dunk thin slices of meat into the hot liquid. Gentle pendant lighting brings to life the colors of bright cut blossoms and illuminates jets of rising steam that resemble famous clouds.
The chile craftsmen at Fabiola's Restaurant LLC launch taste buds across the Rio Grande with a menu of authentic south-of-the-border dishes. Before dashing off on digestion races, diners can warm up mouth-muscles by yodeling the contents of a phone book or noshing on a piquant platter of fajita nachos ($7.45–$8.45). Main culinary events include the chile relleno, a deep-fried poblano pepper stuffed with cheese before passing out on a bed of corn or flour tortillas ($9.45). A half-pound burger ($6.95) fuses Latin and gringo flavors with a harmonious union of beef, jalapeños, and guacamole, and Maria's especial ($11.95) showcases carne asada, grilled onions, and bell peppers flanked by an entourage of rice, beans, and guacamole. For indulgent finales, dessert-smiths demonstrate culinary prowess by frying up ice cream, which is the second most challenging item to introduce to hot oil after socially awkward snowmen ($4.49).
An outpost of made-from-scratch Mexican staples, Cafe Garcia assuages grumbling bellies with multitudinous menu items and a fresh salsa bar. Guests can order up a small bowl of guacamole ($5.50) along with a chimichanga—a large burrito packed with chicken or beef, deep fried and topped with cheese sauce and sour cream ($6.75). Fill an empty belly with a stomach-sized green-chili burrito, which tucks roasted pork sautéed in a mild green-chili sauce into a tortilla blanket ($6.75). Indecisive diners can opt for a combination plate, each served with lagoons of beans and rice. After the camarones ala diabla combo, with grilled and sautéed shrimp in spicy chili-garlic sauce ($9.99), or the chile relleno and onion enchilada combo plate ($8.25), tone-deaf taste buds find themselves serenading incisors with John Fogerty lyrics. In addition to whipping up breakfast from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, Cafe Garcia boasts a kids' menu, with little nibbles such as a quesadilla with french fries ($3.99) or one ground-beef crispy taco with beans and rice ($3.99) for diners ages 12 and younger. Cafe Garcia also offers restaurant-goers an outdoor patio.
Great American Cookies' sugary delectables have lifted the spirits of mall shoppers and fortified dessert-deprived food courts for more than 30 years. Icing artists wield a full spectrum of frosting hues to customize cookie cakes with borders, holiday artwork, or a birthday message that makes up for last year's barely edible diamond ring. Cakes come in various shapes and sizes—a 12-inch, single-layer round cake ($24.99) serves 8–10 people, whereas an 8-inch heart-shaped version ($16.99) feeds one to four—to fill in as a viable substitute for traditional group-dessert options such as regular cake or regular cake with sprinkles. Sweet shoppers can also scope regulation-size cookies ($1.79 each; $8.95 for a half-dozen; $16.99 for a dozen) that come in assorted incarnations, including chewy chocolate supreme and snickerdoodle. German-chocolate brownies ($2.49 each) tempt chocoholics, and cheesecake brownies ($2.49 each) offer recovering chocoholics a delicious substitute.