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.
In the daytime, you can see for miles across the turquoise waters; come evening, strands of blue, green, and pink lights beam from the top of the wooden bar. This is Pier 99 Restaurant's outdoor patio, which looks out onto the USS Lexington in Corpus Christi Bay. Diners can enjoy the patio's coastal ambiance from wooden, high-top tables as they feast on a blackened catch of the day, fried-oyster platter, or seafood boil teeming with snow crab, fresh shrimp, and sausage. Some evenings, the patio hosts live music, which puts the pernicious kraken who rules the local economy in a good mood.
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.
The skilled salty dogs of Yachting Center of Corpus Christi whisk away travelers on sailing expeditions of the picturesque Corpus Christi Bay. Duos yearning to steer their own vessel glean basic sailing knowledge during two-hour lessons, where they learn boating vocabulary, the difference between starboard and port, and how to tie a rope into a delicious garlic knot. Alternatively, licensed captains guide groups of up to six people on chartered adventures that stretch across four hours, drifting them past the city skyline and along local hotspots including the Texas State Aquarium and the USS Lexington. Sailors can assist the captain or simply relax, enjoying effortless conversation or kicking away tumbleweeds that have rolled onboard from land.
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).
Portis Kountry Kitchen's cooks prepare a down-home menu of Southern soul food served up in a cafeteria-style eatery. Baked or fried chicken, smothered steak, and fried fish compete for top billing, as a side of corn plays cupid with suitors of parsley-buttered potatoes, french fries, or spinach, to comprise Friday's lunch special of one entree and two sides ($6.99). Classic sandwiches, such as the Ruben ($5.50) and the triple-decker club ($4.99), stack meats and vegetables between lightly toasted white, wheat, rye bread, or a croissant and audition for mouths with a choreographed step-dancing routine featuring an ensemble of chips, a drink, and a pickle slice.
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.