Diners in San Antonio

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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.

115 S Zarzamora St
San Antonio,
TX
US

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.

4818 Walzem Rd
San Antonio,
TX
US

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.

107 S Llano St
Fredericksburg,
TX
US

Cuisine Type: American Comfort Food

Established: 1953

Reservations: Not offered

Handicap Accessible: Yes

Number of Tables: 25?50

Parking: Parking lot

Most popular offering: Top Chop't Steak

Kid-friendly: Yes

Alcohol: Full bar

Delivery / Take-out Available: Takeout Only

Outdoor Seating: No

Pro Tip: Pie makes everything better.

Q&A with Deborah Donovan, General Manager

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.


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6801 Burnet Rd
Austin,
TX
US

Only steps from the University of Texas campus, a blue neon sign flashes the name of one of the city's most iconic diners: Kerbey Lane Cafe. The location on Guadalupe reflects the retro style and ethical consumerism of the neighborhood: Austinites can't get enough of their locally sourced, seasonal food and large range of comfort dishes, including vegan and vegetarian options, of course. They even compost! Kerbey Lane is known equally for their breakfast items and their Tex-Mex. Specialty pancakes, like seasonal lemon-glazed flapjacks, are not to be missed, and the gooey Kerbey Queso is a beloved late night snack. This UT-adjacent Kerbey Lane outpost is newly remodeled, with soothing birch walls and a gleaming breakfast counter, updating the 13-year old location for a new generation of diner food lovers.

2606 Guadalupe St
Austin,
TX
US