Paciugo Gelato & Caffe’s gelato case boasts row after row of creamy confections, their silken swirls laced with sprinklings of pistachios and shavings of hazelnuts. The recipes are the result of Paciugo founder Cristiana Ginatta’s travels across Italy, which allowed her to sample hundreds of regional ingredients and dream up new flavor combinations. Now, stateside, her gelaterias churn hundreds of flavors fresh daily. The desserts’ sumptuous appearance belies their relatively wholesome nature, though—Paciugo’s experts craft their gelato with all-natural ingredients and 70 percent less fat than can be found in ice cream. The gelateria also boasts soy-based gelato and sorbets for a dessert as frozen and wholesome as an ice sculpture of Mister Rogers.
When imagining a tropical island, one seldom pictures a mound of ice, but the frozen treats at Bahama Buck's marry the idea of hot and cold into tropical flavored, shaved ice treats. Fruits of every variety lend their sugary syrups to flavoring each cup-full of fluffy, icy treat. Others borrow flavors from traditional desserts, such as birthday cake or cr?me br?l?e. The shop occasionally offers their frozen snacks imbued with truly wild flavor experiments, such as their super sour line of flavors or the seldom-seen pickle Sno cup.
Though it only opened its doors in April 2013, it didn't take Checo's Mexican & American Grill much time to put its own stamp on classic Mexican flavors. Here, cooks lend spice to shrimp with ? la diabla preparations, and crown nachos with sizzling fajita beef, melted cheese, and avocado. The culinary team doesn't merely cater to carnivores?vegetarians can savor favorites such as cheese enchiladas and housemade flan. Meals unfold in a spacious dining room of warm red and orange walls, or, when the weather's pleasant, at tables on Checo's cozy outdoor seating area.
Courtyard Cafe’s owners closed the eatery’s doors in 2008 for good, or so they thought; the café’s loyal fan base begged to differ. In response to the clamor for their cuisine, they reopened and expanded their hours and seating to include indoor and outdoor dining. Their menus span breakfast and lunch and heavily feature sandwiches, omelets, waffles, and wraps. The staff also opens their space to customers after-hours for catered parties and events. Courtyard Cafe’s interior features unassuming decor reminiscent of a home; ceiling fans whir above wood wainscoting, and plates sit atop cabinets with grandeur, the way Neil Armstrong kept moon rocks on the dashboard of the Apollo Lunar Module.
Taste Crepes & More treats its guests to foldable, flat European-style egg pancakes, wrapped over sweet fillings such as Nutella or dulce de leche, or such savory eats as smoked salmon and cream cheese, ham, or pepperoni. Diners sink their teeth into a sweet, zesty flavors of a traditional crepe suzette, or chow down on a lunch of crepes stuffed with sausage, olives, cheese, and caramelized onion. In addition to dishing out crepes fresh from the griddle, Taste whips up handmade pizzas to order, presses toasty panini sandwiches, and sides its meals with wholesome soups and salads.
Visitors to Aspen's Brew might forget they're inside a coffee shop at all, as the family-owned cafe cultivates an ambiance of low-key comfort reminiscent of a classic, all-American living room. Guests can admire and purchase the unique artwork on the walls while lounging on the couch, kick back with the morning paper on an upholstered grandfather chair, or handwrite their emails at one of the wooden tables. As the morning sun gradually suffuses the cozy space with natural light, baristas rustle up six award-winning micro-roasted brews from Dillanos Coffee Roasters while the on-site bakers usher out scones, muffins, croissants, and cinnamon rolls. To add even more homeyness to the mix, they also serve up bagels, breakfast sandwiches, and squares of Grandma's coffee cake, a from-scratch pastry that comes from a secret recipe whispered between generations during games of Telephone at family reunions. In the afternoon, the kitchen staffers keep the hospitality coming with fresh, made-to-order sandwiches and paninis, as well as homemade soups, specialty coffee drinks, and desserts such as carrot cake and brownies.
The folks at Aspen's Brew also cater this down-home cafe fare for events, whether for morning meetings, lunch, or afternoon gatherings. To ensure these special occasions go off without a hitch, they deliver anywhere in the greater San Antonio area.