While the heart of Johnny Carino's menu is rooted in genuine Italian traditions, forward-thinking creativity has birthed what they like to call their signature dishes. Led by executive chef Chris Peitersen, the seasoned kitchen staff blends fresh ingredients along with extra time to create high-quality preparations. Diners will find entrees such as 16-layer lasagna with made-from-scratch sauce, and pizzas made with home-baked crust. Other signature choices include the all-natural beef tuscan ribeye, baked stuffed mushrooms topped with house lemon basil cream sauce, and tiramisu made from the ground up. Entrees can be paired any selection from Carino's extensive wine list and drink menu.
The culinary experts at Catering with a Twist refer to their prepared feasts not as 'buffets' but as 'food displays,' a fitting title for the rows of colorful baked goods and hot entrees they carefully arrange for events big and small. Executive Chef Lexy and her crew update traditional wedding eats with inventive stations featuring such edible combinations as chicken and waffles and sliders and mac and cheese. An on-staff pastry chef complements savory options with cheesecakes, crème brûlée, and tarts available in individually sized portions.
Travis Dickey opened Dickey's Barbecue Pit in 1941. To keep things simple but delicious in the early days, he created a minimalistic menu with only seven items such as beef brisket and bottled milk. By the time the '60s rolled up in a Volkswagen van, Dickey's two sons had grown up and taken over the enterprise. Using their father's hickory-smoked recipes, they expanded the business from a single restaurant to a franchise. To this day, each location uses the same tried-and-true barbecue techniques employed by the founder all those years ago. From the original seven items, the menu has grown to include spicy cheddar sausage and complimentary ice cream as well as sides such as macaroni and cheese and jalapeño beans.
A decade is a long time to be in the restaurant, but MasFajitas Mexican Restaurant's three kitchens haven't slowed down in all that time. The owners attribute their success to their signature dishes, including the cadillac fajita, a medley of veggies, tender chicken or beef, and all the bell and whistles from creamy guacamole to handmade pico de gallo. They keep things fresh by working contemporary American ingredients into their menu, such as grilled catfish or a cheese and spinach quesadilla. The kitchen can also export its wares via its catering service, available for parties of any size, from intimate gatherings of friends to huge gatherings of strangers who you will turn into friends with your benevolence and Mexican food.
Cowden Ward III grew up with a spatula in hand, helping his mother whip up French Louisiana and Texas coastal dishes for their large family. After stints at culinary school, far-flung Holland kitchens, and rollicking Alaskan crab boats, he helms the steady kitchen floor of Trey’s Cuisine with a menu moored by a long tradition of international street food. Ingredients from Bat Creek Farms and Countryside Family Farms help flavor kebabs of focaccia and vegetables or meat doused in chimichurri, vinaigrettes, and other piquant sauces. Homemade molasses potato bread envelops sliders inspired by American and Greek flavors, and the buttery dough of pierogis embraces hearty bites of cheese and prosciutto. Trey’s Cuisine’s Twitter page reveals daily specials and appearances at fairs and local happenings, and the eatery also caters its handheld helpings at special events and birthday parties for the Addams Family hand.
As a young chef just starting out, Jason Tallent had cooked his way up the ladder, working directly under James Beard Foundation Award–winning chefs. After moving to Austin, he took the reins on the 34th Street Café, designing a farm-to-table menu of upscale New American comfort food. He and his team layer hormone-free meats and local, organic veggies to revamp beloved lunch sandwiches such as the BLT, Reuben, or ham and swiss. During the dinner rush, the menu throws on its formal wear for dishes such as crispy risotto with truffle cheese or panko-crusted chicken picatta drizzled with beurre blanc and sprinkled with capers. Affable owner Eddie Bernal keeps the restaurant’s laser-like focus on serving ethical, delicious café cuisine, while high ceilings and a spacious dining room offer guests plenty of room to relax during lunch, dinner, or Twister matches that determine who’s picking up the tab.