In Hemingway's Bar & Grill's bustling kitchen, Chef Jason West crafts rotating weekly menus inspired by seasonal produce and fresh catches. The seafood cache pairs pasta and vegetables with a sautéed or artfully blackened fillet, which, like Ebenezer Scrooge, is warm and tender beneath its toughened demeanor. A signature gnocchi of the day joins chops and bowls swirling with house-made soups, and lavish Sunday brunches greet the day with pastries, omelets, and curlicues of peel-and-eat shrimp. Hemingway's full-service bar, the Blue Marlin, pours domestic and imported beers alongside flights and bottles of wines, which often headline their own tasting events. Hemingway's Bar & Grill also caters special events throughout the Corpus Christi area.
The dough wizards at Papa John's hand toss circular masterpieces with original and thin crusts made from high-protein flour to support warm bouquets of toppings. Hand-cut produce crowns all of Papa John's pizzas, mingling with the sun-soaked sweetness of sauce made from fresh, California-grown tomatoes. By adhering to its brand promise of "better ingredients, better pizza," Papa John's grew from a back-tavern pizzeria into more than 3,500 restaurants within three decades' time, or the amount of time it takes to grow a single pizzeria from a small seed.
Dot’z Dawgs & Drafts transports diners back to a simpler time—a time when food was no-fuss and comforting and the world moved at a slower pace. There, diners drink beers and chow down on Chicago-style hot dogs, pizza, and wraps while gazing at vintage Coca-Cola advertisements and the photos of old Hollywood starlets like Marilyn Monroe and Lucille Ball that encompass every inch of free wall space. Amid the 1950s montage, vinyl-and-chrome chairs—striped with the scarlet and silver colors of a retro diner—tuck themselves beneath simple silver tables.
After dinner, patrons grab ice-cream cones and head outside for a stroll along Corpus Christi Beach. The adjacent outdoor playground area is perfect for entertaining kids with hula-hoops and rousing debates on the ethics of peeking during hide-and-seek.
Intent on supplying diners with healthy choices by making flavorful, readily available food, the chefs at Urban Fare Cafe craft a menu that mingles Mediterranean, Indian, Asian, and African cuisines. Piquant soups such as the carrot bisque with ginger and mint pair with guiltless sandwiches and wraps such as the Montreal-style roast beef. Alternatively, whole-grain-wheat pizzas stand in for starchier pies, and cooks prepare rice bowls with either white or brown rice. Baristas emit the aromas of roasted coffee beans throughout the eatery by brewing espresso drinks and practicing levitation with café mugs.
A vibrant Asian eatery, Aka Japanese Restaurant serves up fresh cuisine via tableside Teppanyaki grilling, sushi rolls, and more. The family-friendly establishment provides a lunch menu with plentiful bento-box options ($8.95–$12.95), each of which includes miso soup, rice, salad, four California rolls, two crab rangoons, and your choice of an entree such as Japanese-style steak, chicken, shrimp tempura, vegetable tempura, or sashimi. The hibachi dinner menu boasts entrees prepared in front of diners at the Teppanyaki grill, such as the chicken teriyaki served with vegetables, rice, and soup or salad ($12.95), and the sushi bar keep meals deliciously raw with various sushi and rolls, such as the fish lover's volcano roll—whose California roll foundation is topped with baked scallop, shrimp, and salmon ($8.95)—or the spicy-crab-filled black-dragon roll, a fire-breathing wrap of cucumber, boiled shrimp, eel, avocado, and special sauces ($13).
The cooks at Fish Place fill their menu with Cajun and Creole-inspired seafood dishes, such as rich seafood gumbo and shrimp po-boy sandwiches with jalapeño mayonnaise. They also fry up oysters, redfish, and popcorn shrimp, and assemble 25-to-75-piece “Family Seafood Packs” with combinations of catfish, tilapia, chicken, hushpuppies, and fries.
Words such as “shrimp” and “gumbo” decorate the wallpaper in a handwritten pattern, just as they did in the oval office during the Jimmy Carter presidency. Furthermore, the cooks’ daily specials appear as vivid chalkboard portraits.