Ruby-red and canary-yellow walls, soft lighting, and a flat-screen television create a vibrant atmosphere for Magnolia Grill and Bar's spin on comforting Southern and Cajun dishes. Chefs harness the natural sweetness of fresh fish from the Gulf, lump crabmeat, and jumbo shrimp to craft hearty entrees, which also include soul-soothing classics such as chicken-fried steak smothered in white gravy and slow-roasted pulled pork zestified with hickory sauce. Appetizers of Magnolia bread sprinkled with parmesan cheese or fried green tomatoes paired with shrimp rémoulade jump-start digestive engines, and frosty brews from Abita, Corona, and Heineken irrigate throats without digging a series of ditches that leads to the kitchen sink.
On a warm August day in 1938, a father and son unveiled the first sample of what was to become Dairy Queen, selling 1,600 samples on the first day, a feat as unheard of as a dragon that breathes ice. Its ensuing prolific expansion was fueled by its frozen treats, which propelled the dessert shop from 100 stores in 1947 to 1,446 in 1950. Today, their dessert recipes remain largely unchanged, and Dairy Queen has added hearty grilled hamburgers, hot dogs, and fried chicken to its menu. Dairy Queen's enormous dessert menu boasts treats ranging from soft-serve cones and blizzards filled with cookies to takeaway ice-cream sandwiches and cakes.
Tropical Smoothie Café's wholesome smoothies are filled to the gills with fresh fruit, juices, yogurt, chocolate, nuts, and healthful supplements, minimizing the guilt of dessert consumption while maximizing the taste. Flavors such as Pomegranate Plunge (pomegranate, banana, strawberries, cranberry) are stuffed with superfruits, while low-fat options such as Mango Magic (mango, pineapples, non-fat yogurt) provide even healthier variations. Supercharged smoothies are stocked with a healthy dose of supplements, such as the Kiwi Citrus Green Tea's antioxidant-laden matcha charge or the Muscle Blaster's whey or soy protein. Food options include toasted buffalo chicken wraps, ultimate club sandwiches, and Baja chicken flatbreads.
Cafe Delphi Greek and Lebanese Restaurant's proprietor, Mir Hassan, and expert chefs take taste buds on culinary tours of the cradle of humanity with an extensive menu of delicious Mediterranean delights. Paying homage to the ancient Greek tradition of filling up on breadsticks, appetizers prelude Near Eastern feastings with tantalizing dishes such as the fried-cheese or grilled-eggplant musaka. On main plates, Mediterranean samplers unite cabbage rolls, kibbeh, and a choice of chicken shawarma or gyros with meat tastefully dressed in a cape of grape leaves. In addition to tasty terrestrial meats, tongues swoon over sea specialties and vegetable entrees such as the Delphi’s fish topped with special pasta sauce and served with hummus and rice, or the vegetarian plate, a tasty mélange of hummus, musaka, spinach pie, and feta salad.
Travelers to New Orleans's French Quarter often return home with tales of the local cafés' beignets. These fluffy, fried confections are traditionally dusted with a generous helping of powdered sugar and flanked by a steaming cup of cafe au lait. Using the Big Easy as inspiration, Rue Beignet fries up its own batches of the pillowy treat, drizzling them with such toppings as chocolate, honey, and caramel. Visitors can enjoy their treats at the long, diner-style bar or at intimate tables whilst sipping hot or cold java.