The flavors of New Orleans are as diverse as the people who live there. So when the owners of Big Easy Cafe designed their authentic New Orleans?style menu, they didn?t just pick a few of the city's Cajun and creole classics. Rather, they decided to change the menu every day to incorporate their favorite dishes, granting customers the opportunity to sample spicy items such as Cajun catfish tacos, steaming bowls of jambalaya, and 14-inch po? boys stuffed with seafood so fresh it's still humming tunes from The Little Mermaid. No southern meal would be complete without one of the region?s decadent desserts, including banana pudding sprinkled with crumbled wafers and bread pudding soaked in a butter-pecan rum sauce.
Schugga Bakery tickles tongues with quintessentially Teutonic delights such as apple strudel, raisin-sprinkled schneckennudel, and Danube wave cake, filled with sour cherries and topped with chocolate. Savory options such as schnitzel sandwiches, potato soup, and daily lunch specials offer more substantial lunch options. Specialty cakes come in custom designs, cleverly disguised as beloved animals, favorite cartoons, or slightly different flavors of cake.
Since 1980, chef Francois Maeder has crafted artful European entrees in Crumpets Restaurant & Bakery's scenic, forest-surrounded dining haven, prompting accolades from Esquire, TripAdvisor, and OpenTable. A creek bustles beneath the bridge leading to the dining room's entrance, flanked by oak trees and a spacious patio for alfresco dining. Inside, exposed brick and tall, floor-to-ceiling windows inculcate elegance, and a painstakingly built menu of pasta, meat, and fresh seafood dishes highlights options that are heart-healthy, like running from a bear or running after a cardiologist. By request, cooks can poach or charbroil certain entrees with a nonfat Santa Elena sauce of vegetables in a cabernet reduction. Crumpets' lineup of delectable baked goods charms sweet teeth by feeding them croissants, cakes, flans, and pastries, and rotating wines from around the world arrive monthly, like new moons and new presidents.
Tunes played on the harp or keyboard during musical performances on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays fill the air with pleasantly sonorous vibrations to match the ambrosial cuisine scents wafting overhead. For more primal culinary outings, diners may be tempted to accompany Chef Maeder on gourmet rafting trips, which carry attendees through canyons and campsites with the promise of palatable rations and lessons in catfish calls.
Chef Luca Della Casa sends out artfully designed small plates at Nosh, where "nearly everything is made in-house and it shows," according to my SanAntonio. Here, the chefs encourage diners to connect over shareable bites of gourmet cuisine. They serve plates of tagliatelle pasta with salmon and mushroom-and-parmesan fried risotto balls in a family-style manner—minus the traditional arm-wrestling match for the last slice of pizza. On the patio or inside the cozy dining room, diners can pair grownup snacks—such as cheese plates and truffle-oil french fries—with a wide variety of wines or specialty cocktails that rotate regularly.
Capparelli's Italian Food & Pizza, a small family-operated eatery, employs a trio of talented chefs to churn out the same hearty Italian fare that’s been satisfying San Antonio for years. They enlist quality ingredients to craft five different specialty pizzas, limitless build-your-own pies, toasty sandwiches, and fresh pastas to order. Speedy servers shuttle finished plates to the dining room, which is lined with vintage photographs and hand-painted grape vines that inspire thoughts of a Tuscan vineyard or a California Raisin's apartment.
The crew at The District regularly reroute the holds on its climbing walls to keep clients guessing. While music pumps through the gym’s speakers, visitors can try out slacklining—or walking across a wide nylon webbing suspended between two points—and strengthen their arms on punching bags and gymnast rings. The space is open 24 hours a day to fit any schedule and accommodate sleepwalkers.