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.
Sunny’s savvy chefs hand-toss Chicago-style pizzas seven days a week, baking them into bastions of bubbly, gooey goodness in less than 30 minutes. The dough artists nail each disc to an easel, paint it with tomato-based sauce, and then frame it with an attractive cardboard box. Diners can choose from 19 different toppings, shushing fussing tummies with bacon-chicken blankies and sweet pineapple-onion lullabies. Fueled by a desire to start the world’s first stomach aquarium, shrimp and anchovies board deep-dish vessels and sail them mouthward, and pepperoni, hot peppers, and a splash of complimentary barbecue sauce give pies a piquant kick.
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.
Owned by Texas State University alumni, Gumby's Pizza and Wings hand-tosses dough and crafts specialty pizzas until 3:30 in the morning. A careful consideration for all ingredients culminates in specialty pizzas ($12.99/medium) such as the Blockhead, an aggregation of pepperoni, sausage, beef, bacon, and ham, bound together by two gooey cheeses like a French library book. Vegetarians can devour the fresh produce scattered across the Garden, a bloom of pizza sauce festooned with mushrooms, onions, green peppers, and tomatoes. Gumby's wing wunderkinds slather their charges in four different sauces, which span the mild-to-spicy spectrum ($7.99/10 wings). Golden-brown pepperoni rolls marry zesty meat and mozzarella cheese with flaky dough ($1.49 each) and drive away hunger pangs like crotchety neighbors chasing NFL teams off their lawns.
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.