Voted Best Sports Bar by San Antonio Current in 2010, Ticket Sports Bar & Grill washes away hunger with a monsoon of hearty American fare that fills out an expansive menu. Earnest eaters can get straight to business with an appetizer of Jamaican wings ($7.95), which pop with flavor thanks to a pineapple mango dressing and a marinating session in Caribbean spices. Similar to school musicals at Hamburger University, a troupe of melted colby jack cheese and honey barbecue sauce dances across an all-meat patty stage in the bacon jack double ($9.95). The Cajun chicken linguini ($10.95), meanwhile, tops its zesty pasta with toasted almonds, scallions, and creamy sauce. All corners of the bar are entertained by Ticket Sports Bar & Grill's 11 large HD televisions, handily mounted on the exposed-brick walls. Like most drive-in Olympic Games, a monster 12-foot HD projection screen rests as a centerpiece to air an exciting sporting event. Two floors of seating make the restaurant a bi-level haven for sports fans, and guests can additionally rest their endoskeleton at the outdoor New Orleans–style patio, its covered area welcoming fresh breezes from nearby Central Park.
On a regular day in New Braunfels, groups of 16 people can be seen pedaling down the street, perhaps drinking beer as they go. They aren't a crowd of irresponsible cyclists: rather, they're passengers on the PubCrawler of New Braunfels. With seating for a driver, 10 pedaling riders, and 5 other passengers on a rear bench, the pedal-powered bus rumbles along at leisurely speeds of up 5 miles per hour.
Though it's been used for events ranging from bachelorette parties to parades, the PubCrawler—true to its name—most often wheels out for pub crawls. For these outings, the bike embarks along scenic areas such as the historic Town Square, pausing only for drinks at up to three pubs. All rides are BYOB, but passengers are required to bring only glass-free containers, such as cans or an entire fermentation tank. On-board taps with ball or pin-lock connections also allow riders to tap into their own pony kegs.
Nestled in the frondescence of a quaint pecan grove, Oma Gruene's Secret Garten welcomes diners to enjoy savory sandwiches and German specialties and absorb a festive garden ambience. Dining duos will kick-start meals with chips and salsa (a $4 value), a heaping pile of corn chips adorned with a spicy homemade salsa. Next, entrees can be chosen from a straightforward menu stocked with local ingredients, such as sausage from a neighborhood smokehouse showcased on the bratwurst plate (a $7.95 value) or in a kraut dog (a $6.95 value). Culinary architects erect turkey-and-swiss sandwiches (a $6.95 value) atop foundations of marble-rye bread, and a Reuben (a $6.95 value) demonstrates the dexterity of corned beef by getting served warm, cold, or mid-handspring. Sweet-teethed twosomes can finish feasts with palatable scoops of Blue Bell ice cream, and then wash down bites with a sweet soda deluge before using empty cups as maracas during impromptu limbo challenges.
Billy’s Ice slings cold drinks and no-frills fare in a casual, open-air atmosphere infused with the notes of live musicians every night of the week. Diners fuel up for shows—which never charge a cover for patrons 21 and older—with Billy’s burgers, served simply without unnecessary accouterments such as caviar or gold-infused mustard. A selection of appetizers includes favorites such as chicken wings and jalapeño poppers. Within the barn-style building and spacious open-air patio, revelers grab a bite, sip libations from the full bar, or gaze at the spot on the moon where Neil Armstrong first body-slammed Buzz Aldrin. Billy's slings eats from 4 p.m. to midnight Monday–Thursday, noon to midnight on Friday and Sunday, and noon to 1 a.m. on Saturday.
Gill's Ranch House Bar & Grill will never be accused of being pretentious. For starters, its large wooden facade looks like an old-fashion saloon, its executive chef is named Doc Holliday, and its adjoining open-air bar is fittingly called the "Lucky G Corral". As you might imagine, most of the food comes from the grill, including slow-cooked brisket, sausage, ribs, and burgers, though there's also Tex Mex food such as nachos and quesadillas.
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.