From the hand-painted signs to the wooden crates and bushel baskets, Star Produce is an old-fashioned farm stand so picture-perfect it could serve as a postcard designed to lure visitors to North Texas. The owners collect fresh fruits and veggies from farmers throughout the area. Though the offerings change depending on the season, customers might stumble upon baskets of juicy grape tomatoes and strawberries and boxes of whole watermelons, yellow squash, and green beans. Occasionally, there are also prepared foods and sweet spreads such as peach butter and honey?also sourced locally after negotiating treaties with local bear populations.
Sunrise Asian Cuisine takes taste buds on a tour of Vietnam, Thailand, China, and Korea without having to stamp your tongue's at the border. Fresh ingredients abound in bowls of pho, nestle into piquant banh mi sandwiches, top noodles, and shine in colorful curries. The only thing every single dish has in common is the chefs' commitment to bold flavors and classic recipes.
Back in the day, Daddy Rex's Twisted BBQ specialized solely in house-made sauces, which the company sold at festivals and expos throughout Texas. But that wasn't enough for the barbecue-loving team?soon they were smoking meats with pecan wood and serving rib-sticking cuisine from an 18-foot mobile kitchen known as the Taco Wagon. For a year-plus the Taco Wagon visited festivals all over Texas. But even then, they were hungry for more, so in November 2012 they decided to park permanently inside the historic interurban train depot in Anna, Texas, just north of McKinney.
That's where you'll find the Daddy Rex crew today, serving up tender portions of pulled pork, brisket, and chicken, along with three flavors of sausage, and a wealth of sides like fried okra and roasted corn. And because the team loves to put its own twist on traditional southern cooking, the menu also includes unique bites like a fried tortilla pizza topped with brisket and shredded cheese or smoked jalapeno bites, which are stuffed with cream cheese and sausage, wrapped in bacon, and sprinkled with brown sugar. Daddy Rex also caters to parties as small as 15 and as large as 1,500.
Arturo and Tina Vargas have a unique way of celebrating their family's central Mexican roots. They make an annual journey to different locales south of the border, ending each trip with a visit to their hometown of Cuernavaca. But these aren't average vacations. Instead, Arturo and Tina use the opportunity to discover new ingredients or recipes that they can bring back to Cristina's Fine Mexican Restaurant, their flavorful franchise of Texas eateries. Their culinary findings appear throughout the menu of Tex-Mex cooking.
The staff at each of the Vargas' venues wholeheartedly embraces those deep roots, making flour tortillas in-house, hand-rolling enchiladas, and preparing orders of guacamole directly beside diners' tables. But that's not to say the dishes are expected?salmon with pineapple butter and fried chicken breast with white wine-cream sauce demonstrate some of the kitchens' more experimental inclinations. Flavored margaritas and mojitos can add spirited refreshment to meals, as can any of the beers that the restaurants import from Mexico via man with a very strong throwing arm.
Bob Landon has been making wine for decades, but he didn't always have French oak barrels and stainless steel tanks at his disposal. His first forays into small-batch winemaking took place in his basement, but like Batman's love of justice, his hobby was soon elevated to a profession. Today, he and the Landon Winery staff cultivate Texas–grown viognier and tempranillo grapes into a rotating selection of house varietals.
At either location, oenophiles can deepen their knowledge of wines or simply explore the facilities. The McKinney location features an old well that dates back more than 150 years, and the 15,000 square foot Greenville location boasts more than 100 oak barrels filled with grapey blends and one batch of orange juice just pretending. Landon Winery also hosts events and classes that allow visitors to pair wines with food, sample sips, and make their own custom wines.
Past flickering lanterns and an outdoor patio, heavy wooden rafters and a crackling fireplace give Churchill’s British Restaurant & Pub a downright Dickensian feel. From behind the wooden bar, bartenders sling an impressive collection of drinks, including 13 specialty cocktails, nine beers on tap, and 20 kinds of scotch. Complementing the suds and sips are classic British pub offerings such as bangers and mash and shepherd’s pie, alongside American eats, including meatloaf and chicken tenders that have declared their independence from the rest of the bird. Underneath hanging beer steins and a massive Union Jack, guests can lounge on leather sofas or pleasantly worn wooden chairs as soccer matches flicker on TV screens. When there’s not a match on, pub-goers can play darts or pool in the game room, listen to live rock and bagpipe music, or play trivia on Wednesday nights.