Grumbling stomachs find their flavor frustrations abated during midday meal breaks and after-work chow sessions at each of the three Stone Werks locations. Peruse the culinary playbill to prepare for the chefs' carefully scripted palate pageant, which dazzles audiences with prologues like the crawfish stuffed mushrooms with champagne cream sauce ($8.99). Pizzas are pieced together from fresh ingredients and dough made several times a day; meanwhile, the Portabella mushroom pie ($12.99) is topped with parmesan and provolone cheese, roasted red peppers, and kalamata olives. Let hearty appetites meet their mouthy match in the pan-seared Ahi tuna, crusted with freshly-ground chilies and peppercorn, ($17.99) or the "Big Rock" burger ($9.99), its tasty protein buried beneath savory layers of bacon, smoked gouda, lettuce, and red onions. Diners unwind and replenish empty food reserves in the stylish dining rooms accented with modern decor.
Unlike many kolacky-bakers, the owners of Kolache Stop don't have Czech heritage or recipes passed down through generations to guide them. Rather, they let their passion for the dense Central-European pastry bloom into a menu of unconventional breakfast, lunch, and dessert options. Fillings range from traditional fruit and cream cheese to jalapeño, pulled pork, and other Southwestern ingredients that the owners have dubbed "Tex-Czech." They also veer from tradition by putting their fillings inside rather than on top of every fluffy pastry bun.
Besides its titular snacks—which are baked fresh onsite every day—Kolache Stop charms sweet teeth with cinnamon rolls, cinnamon twists, and sticky buns on the weekends. Whether guests take their treats to go or stay to use free WiFi in the café, they can wash down their baked goods with coffees ground in-house, low-fat frappes, and smoothies made from real fruit rather than vegetables in disguise.
Since 1999, Rami's Pizza has packed its signature marinara sauce with fresh ingredients, filling calzones and topping pizzas, pastas, and Italian-style sandwiches made daily. Stone-baked pizzas crowned with traditional ingredients are made to-order, eliminating the need for tricks used by other pizzerias, such as hotboxes and adult-sized Easy-Bake Ovens.
If the Aue family didn’t put Texas on the map, they at least made it tastier. Max Aue founded the town of Leon Springs, Texas in the 1800s. Years later, his son Rudolph founded Rudy’s, a country store and barbecue joint that eventually spawned more than 30 outposts throughout Texas and the American Southwest. Each one of them possesses a 100% oak-fired BBQ pit that slow cooks tender slabs of meat, adding a smoky flavor and tender texture to every bite. St. Louis pork ribs, lean and moist brisket, and jalapeño sausages are a few examples of the succulent morsels that emerge from the wood-fired pits straight to the plate. Classic sides such as potato salad and corn on the cop prove delicious accomplices, while banana pudding and peach cobbler grant every meal with a sweet and satisfying coda.
Since 1987, Fatso's Sports Garden’s roster of chefs have been slow cooking meats with passion and precision–they mesquite-smoke their brisket for 12 hours and dish out racks of savory baby-back ribs that slide off the bone. Housemade sides and sauces are crafted fresh daily, and 22 beers on tap fill frosty glasses that frequently clink after touchdowns, homeruns, and slam dunks flicker across satellite-equipped TVs lining the restaurant's walls. Outside, a playground beckons youngsters, while grains of sand and old blueprints for Victorian-era sand mansions kick up across six outdoor volleyball courts.
Large parties of friends, sports teams, and roving gangs of spurned jurors can all cozy up easily at The Bubble Room's long bar or in their chandelier-festooned dining room. The restaurant's flat-screen TVs and gilded mirrors ensure there's always something, someone, or some ghost to watch throughout each meal.