John and Herb McEwen initially named their eatery McEwen's Fried Chicken when they opened in 1949, but the name didn't stick. According to the San Antonio Express-News, they wanted people to know their soda shop sold food, everyone in the neighborhood still called the spot "the malt house." Voted best neighborhood restaurant by Express-News readers, the restaurant continues to serve the creamy malts that became its namesake. The menu abounds with all-American favorites such as burgers, juicy fried chicken, and fried fish served with coffee cups of tartar sauce for dipping or for playing a prank on unwitting coworkers. Chefs prepare flour tortillas in-house to add a more authentic flavor to Mexican dishes such as the Machacado plate, a medley of sun-dried meat, serrano peppers, onions, and tomato.
The first IHOP—the dream of founders Al and Jerry Lapin—opened in 1958 in Toluca Lake, California, and was originally dubbed the International House of Pancakes. Since then, rapid expansion has led to myriad milestones across the company's colorful history, from introducing its modern IHOP acronym in 1973 to its 1,000th restaurant opening in Layton, Utah, in 2001.
Today, the company stands strong with around 1,500 locations across North and Central America, each one an enthusiastic dispenser of pancakes, french toast, and tables constructed entirely out of bacon. Though IHOP is known as a bastion of breakfast, it also stays open during the day and into the evening, delivering lunch and dinner as well.
Jonathan and Crystal Bedford honor their daughter at Sweet Marley's Frozen Yogurt and Sandwich Bar, lending her name to their sanctuary of healthful treats and youth play space. Behind a green awning, cooks stuff fillings such as black forest ham, bosc pears, and dill havarti into six types of bread and flour tortillas, which they spice with inventive condiments such as cranberry or pesto mayo. The lunch menu is fresh and flexible, as all 13 sandwiches may be tossed into their three salads drizzled with homemade dressing or sliced in half and paired with the daily soup.
In the afternoon, a self-serve bar of more than 100 frozen-yogurt toppings such as chocolate and nuts spreads out to add sweet finales to meals. Sweet Marley's has partnered with Dublin Bottling Works to offer soda-flavored yogurt including Triple XXX Rootbeer and Orange Cream, as well as Ranch Road Roasters to offer mocha and Mexican vanilla latte flavored yogurts. They also have a mobile yogurt trailer that appears at various events in Texas, including Wildseed Farms in Fredericksburg.
Above Sweet Marley's white bungalow, the leaves of tall pecan trees block the sun's rays and penchant for taking satisfaction surveys from the yard's sandbox and nearby alfresco tables. The Bedfords created their eatery as a haven for happy toddlers, and also donate a percentage of their catering and café revenue to Rhizo Kids International, which conducts research for their daughter's rare genetic condition. The second-annual Miles for Marley 5k is scheduled for April 20.
The chefs at Kerbey Lane Cafe have spent decades combining locally sourced ingredients to craft a menu brimming with eclectic breakfast fare, Mexican-tinged entrees, and rotating seasonal dishes served all day long. Batter craftsmen flip stacks of Kerbey Lane's signature homemade pancakes ($2.99–$5.39), dressed up in a full wardrobe of adventurous flavors including gingerbread, apple whole wheat, vegan, and crushed velvet. The SoLa enchiladas pack tortillas with portobello mushrooms, spinach, and cheddar-jack cheese under a downpour of your choice of sauce ($7.99). Groups can scoop through an appetizer of the Kerbey queso ($8.09)—guacamole blanketed with queso and pico de gallo and served with tortilla chips for dipping and flinging at open-mouthed dinner dates.
At Atown, it's easy to meet your style needs, whether that means over-sized sunglasses with pastel plastic frames, a modish gingham dress, or art prints of characters from cult classics. The shop's rotating stock of handiwork runs the gamut from apparel to jewelry to home decor, with one theme uniting the entire store: the pieces hail from more than 100 local artists and designers. The team at Atown truly represents Austin without having to enter their boutique in the mayoral race.
Cuisine Type: American Comfort Food
Reservations: Not offered
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Number of Tables: 25?50
Parking: Parking lot
Most popular offering: Top Chop't Steak
Alcohol: Full bar
Delivery / Take-out Available: Takeout Only
Outdoor Seating: No
Pro Tip: Pie makes everything better.
What is one of your most popular offerings? How is it prepared?
Our famous Frisco burger is an Angus patty with american cheese, our sweet-and-tangy special relish, Frisco thousand-island dressing, and shredded lettuce on a toasted bun.
Do you adhere to any sustainable or eco-friendly practices?
All of our to-go packaging is made of recyclable, reusable, or compostable materials. The restaurant recycles paper, glass, aluminum, and cooking oil. We are family owned and have been in business for over 60 years. We strive to leave a clean environment for many generations to come.
In your own words, how would you describe your menu?
We are a Texas diner. There is something for everyone. We have burgers, cut steaks, chicken-fried steaks, pork chops, and meatloaf. We serve grilled salmon, wahoo, and cod. We have daily lunch specials: smothered steak, chicken and dumplings, corned beef and cabbage, beef tips over rice, catfish, roast beef, and fried chicken. We make our own ice-box pies, and our coconut pie is award-winning. We bake fresh fruit pies every day.
Is there anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?
Come on in and become part of the family.