With doors that stay open until 3 a.m. most nights and items such as brisket tacos, foot-long corn dogs, and tator tots wrapped with bacon and deep fried, AJ's Ranch Road Grill is the perfect spot to grab a bite after a night of revelry. This is especially true if you're a Texas State student or alum?AJ himself graduated from TSU, and fellow bobcats have a special place in his heart.
But if you went to a different school or earned your diploma alongside a little redheaded orphan at the School of Hard Knocks, AJ and his family will still send you home with a belly full of tasty barbecue and Tex-Mex. They whip up everything from smoked chicken to breakfast tacos to an Angus burger topped with bacon and a fried egg. For dessert, freshly baked chocolate chip cookies fly out of the oven and onto plates.
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.
It happens all the time: you're looking at a menu, and you just can't decide between two dishes. A hearty burrito, or crispy flautas? It's enough to make you drop an exasperated expletive. But at Super Burrito, you can solve your dilemma by simply ordering an F-Bomb instead. It's a burrito stuffed with rice, beans, cheese, sour cream, and, yes, a trio of chicken or beef flautas.
This have-it-all ingenuity is part of what's made Super Burrito so popular. For further proof, scan the menu's All-Time Favorites section, which includes similarly hodge-podge dishes. California fries are smothered with carne asada and cheese, and the SB burger is layered with jalape?os and guacamole. But whatever the dish, Super Burrito will make it using fresh, natural ingredients. The restaurant is so committed to that policy, in fact, that when there was a lime shortage earlier this year, they temporarily stopped serving limonada rather than make it from artificial flavors or attempt to clone the last cup.
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.