For centuries the world has wondered how to combine a bakery, coffee shop, and disc-golf center. In Rockwall, three businesses decided to put the matter to rest with The Life House, which engenders a healthy community with its triple hit of organic baked goods, house-roasted coffee, and disc golf. When Fresh Life Foods founder Katy Standifer’s sister was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, Katy saw links between processed foods and her sister’s condition. With her mother, Lynda Ahlen, she began baking organic pastries and breads for her family before expanding the practice and selling the tasty goods to the community.
Elsewhere in Rockwell, home roaster Jeremy Standifer was testing his careful eyes, nose, and second nose on custom-roasted organic coffee beans that would eventually become the staple of FLF Organic Coffee. Jeremy's aromatic coffee made an ideal pairing for Katy's sweet and savory fare, which ranges from empanadas to loaves of cinnamon-swirl bread, so the two combined their practices. What makes The Life House rare, though, is what customers discover when they venture outside. Jeremy's love for disc sports led him, along with fellow roaster Chris Kelley, to found Life Disc Sports, which hosts camps and clinics and sells gear. Outside the café, their nine-hole course challenges experienced and novice players before they venture back inside to fling pastries into their mouths.
The sun melts into the horizon, leaving a bright-orange band of sky in its wake that gives way to a deep-blue Texas night. Twinkling lights wrapped around the windmill flicker on as ebullient music fills Fish Camp's outdoor patio, to the delight of diners savoring their desserts in the open air. Such evenings are hardly a rarity at the restaurant, which beckons guests to its quiet countryside location with a menu of seafood and traditional Southern comfort food.
Inside the buzzing kitchen, chefs whip up mouthwatering dishes featuring aquatic ingredients such as clear-water, farm-raised catfish and gulf prawns. The chefs also assemble platefuls of comfort food using traditional recipes from across the South, ranging from Texas toothpicks and Cajun-style blackened tilapia to Kentucky-bourbon pecan pie. Young diners can frolic on the deck and partake in casual fishing to retrieve lost contact lenses, and local musicians assemble on Friday and Saturday nights to delight patrons with live performances.
The pizza makers at Palio's Cafe crown regular, whole-wheat, and gluten-free crusts with fresh vegetables, preservative-free sauce, and roasted chicken. Chefs take the burden of putting together the best toppings with 17 specialty pizzas that pair gourmet ingredients such as artichoke hearts, roasted chicken, and fresh basil pesto. Ovens create bubbling pies, stuffed calzones, baked ziti, and italian sub sandwiches that servers carry through both chic, cozy locations. Leather-lined booths and flat-screen televisions keep diners comfortable and entertained while they enjoy Palio's BYOB policy and sip wine or Capri Sun pouches brought from home.
Though Luna de Noche's menu doesn't stray far from its Mexican roots, the restaurant’s chefs introduce nuanced flavors in all their dressed-up versions of Tex-Mex classics. As staff members make guacamole tableside for patrons, they may add unique ingredients such as pecans, creating a dish that is as distinctive as it is traditional. Even the margaritas—served frozen, on the rocks, or from a hose—build on the classic recipe by incorporating ingredients such as Kahlúa, fresh jalapeño juice, or housemade sangria.
The décor at The Yellow Rose can be deceiving. With its white trellised and exposed brick walls, patio furniture, and upstairs hidden behind a white fence, the interior might make you may feel as though you’re at an elegant party on a friend’s back patio. And you wouldn’t be far off the mark, because owners David and Malinda Jacobs consider all their guests their friends, whom they invite in for their tasteful tea ceremonies and dinners. The chefs prepare artfully displayed café fare that varies depending on the time of day, from stacks of waffles dusted with powdered sugar and a choice of fruit to grilled salmon salads drizzled in a pomegranate vinaigrette and the saucy blacked chicken alfredo that can be scooped up with a side of garlic toast. The shop also presents signature desserts, including housemade cookies, pies, and the only kind of pudding that can be prepared in a toaster: bread pudding.
Thirty years of experience in French and Italian cooking helped Samee seamlessly transition into the ownership role at Samee?s Pizza Getti in June 2012. His menu ranges from traditional pizzas to entrees of his own devising, such as shrimp champagne tostini and Salmon Milan, a dish with saut?ed salmon on top of crispy flash-fried spinach topped with creamy lemon dill sauce. Patrons can also sip cocktails such as the house made peach Bellini? happy hour every day from 11 a.m.-7 p.m., or before belting out a medieval ballad about mead on karaoke night, which occurs on Wednesdays.