Dedicated to satisfying seasoned gourmands and casual diners alike, Palmer’s menu offers everything from sizable steaks and chicken dishes to lighter, plant-based victuals and veggie-nestled seafood. Try the grilled ahi tuna steak with chipotle aioli, chef’s rice, and seasonal vegetables (4 oz., $14; 8 oz., $17), or nibble the tenderloin sandwich with tomato and portobello to harness the necessary brainpower to conquer your Sudoku-based home-security system ($14). A comfy atmosphere replete with multiple stone fireplaces colors the eatery’s interior, and a clean-air garden encourages postmeal relay races in the fountain courtyard.
A 2010–2011 recipient of the San Marcos Area Chamber of Commerce Emerging Business of the Year award, Phoenix Rising Bakery crafts a scrumptious bounty of handmade breads, sweets, and other golden-crusted butter vessels. Each batch of artisan bread dough is kneaded to life over the course of two days using all-natural and organic ingredients, and then baked in a traditional wood-fired brick oven. Accompany morning cups of coffee or tea-time chalices of mead with a fresh and flavorsome cinnamon roll ($3), or practice making kissy faces by puckering up to a lemon bar ($1.50) instead of an already slanderized milkman. Nonsweet breads are available in flavors such as sourdough, rosemary, and whole wheat, and freshly prepared 10" pizza crusts ($7 for a pack of four) make perfect canvases for homemade pies or anchovy haikus.
The sweet-toothed masterminds of Yo So Cool chill health-conscious tongues with calcium-rich, self-serve frozen yogurt in 12 flavors du jour ($0.42/ounce). Visitors to the modern dessert lair can fill 100% recyclable cups with fruity frozen treats such as the sweet mango, tangy pomegranate, and fresh blueberry; or indulge baked-good hankerings with creamy-cheesecake and red-velvet varietals. Dessert artisans paint frozen canvases with more than 30 toppings including fresh fruit, popular cereals such as Quarterback Crunch, candy, cookies, white-chocolate-iced cake balls, and syrupy syrups. The kosher-certified sweet swirls contain live active cultures and come in gluten-free, sugar-free, and non- and low-fat varieties.
Serving up an extensive menu of breakfast bites and deli fare, Coffee Pot Bistro resets clanging tummy clocks, and the café’s specialty coffee drinks provide flavorful caffeine kicks. Ante-meridiem munchers can jump-start their days with light breakfast options, such as eggs and toast ($3), or cram face crevasses with a croissant, such as the herbivore-friendly garden variety, with eggs, feta cheese, guacamole, and assorted veggies ($8). Various melts and sandwiches include Nana's chicken-salad sandwich topped with spinach, cranberries, and walnuts ($7) for a hearty meal free of Grandma’s relentless pyramid-scheme sales pitches. Coffee Pot Bistro also boasts a vast menu of specialty drinks that can be served hot, iced, or blended, such as the Laughalatté, with milk-chocolate and macadamia-nut flavors, or the white ghost, with essences of white chocolate, pistachio, and ectoplasm.
Gil's Broiler offers burgers and scrumptious treats to hug hearts with a bit of old-fashioned comfort-food love. Request a hamburger combo, and let a patty dance on a sizzling griddle before melting into a bun embrace, topped with mayo, lettuce, tomato, and onions—grilled into gently caramelized strands of spicy, savory deliciousness ($6). Combos come with a drink and your choice of handmade onion rings, string french fries, or tater tots. Eaters who are craving something tangy and crispy-sweet, but are tired of traditional breadcrumb-covered tamarind pops, can substitute sides for fried pickles. For breakfast, a reminder of breakfast, or a reminder of the beauty of life, bite into a warm manske roll ($1.85 each), a sticky cinnamon roll made from scratch daily.
Cuisine Type: All American home-style food
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Number of Tables: 50+
Parking: Parking lot
Most popular offering: Gourmet burgers and chicken-fried steak
Alcohol: Full bar
Delivery / Take-out Available: Take-out only
Outdoor Seating: Yes
What is one of your most popular offerings? How is it prepared?
Grins offers a Shiner Bock beer-battered chicken-fried steak. It is hand breaded in our special beer batter and then deep fried to golden perfection. Grins then smothers the chicken fried steak in our homemade country gravy.
Is there anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?
Since 1975 students and families have been discovering that Grins offers something for everyone. Even if you’re just grabbing a quick lunch, the unique tree-house atmosphere and rambling rooms retains the cozy atmosphere of the original house on which the restaurant is based.
In your own words, how would you describe your menu?
I would describe Grins food as Southern, home-style cooking. Most of the menu is made from scratch, including all of our desserts.