The Marble Slab Creamery sensory experience begins by just walking past the storefront, where the buttery scent of fresh-baked waffle cones drifts out into the air. Once inside, buckets of gourmet ice cream, crafted on site from Marble Slab’s original French recipe or flown in directly from ice-cream mines high in the northern Himalayas, entice the eyes with a rainbow of colors. Once clients have made a flavor selection, they choose from a smorgasbord of mix-ins, from fresh fruit to nuts to candy and crumbled cookies, which an ice cream chef then hand-folds in atop a frosty marble slab before packing the finished custom-designed flavor masterpiece into a house-made waffle cone.
In addition to procuring hand-held treats, Marble Slab Creamery can send creations home in a variety of other formats, such as ice cream cakes, cupcakes, and hand-packed quarts, or in the capable hands of a catering team that arrives at events with portable marble slabs or sundae bars in tow.
The chefs at Delaney’s Steakhouse know how to prepare a good steak. They aim to bring the steak’s flavor to the forefront using a simple seasoning of sea salt and cracked black pepper. They then quickly sear the meat at 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit to keep the juices in. But it’s Delaney’s strict aging process that brings out the best flavors in its filet mignon, boneless rib eye, and traditional slow roasted prime rib. Each steak is, at the very minimum, aged for a period that is equivalent to the length of a standard middle-school romance (21 days), and then the steak is cut by hand at the restaurant.
In addition to juicy steaks, the menu also has a number of seafood selections including the Chilean sea bass and bacon-wrapped shrimp. All dishes are served in an elegant dining room punctuated by glossy, wooden accents and a long, marble-topped bar.
The Great American Land and Cattle Company provides steaks that are cut onsite and cooked precisely to specifications. They arrive with an eclectic smorgasboard of sides: pineapple coleslaw, fries or veggies, and "Texas caviar"?that is, beans. The most popular cut is the tender ribeye, but the menu has all degrees of fanciness covered, from filet mignon to country-fried steak in gravy to steakburgers. If you'd like yours extra-spicy, you can order it tampique?a?covered with grilled onions and green chilies or jalape?os.
Though the company produces its many seasonings and sauces with steak in mind, the kitchen's not a beef-only zone. It also makes room for pulled-pork sandwiches, Cajun-style chicken, and charbroiled cold-water lobster tails, among other proteins. On Wednesdays and Saturdays, music and other live entertainment drifts through the dining room and onto the patio as the mountains in the background sway gently to the beat.
Walls festooned with faux turf and wood shingles bring the outside indoors at The Garden, where the menu corrals flavors from Italy, Japan, and Latin America onto plates of classic American fare. Chefs wrap soft-shell crab and deep-fried lobster into sushi rolls and slowly cook Coca-Cola-braised baby-back ribs for up to eight hours. To further fuel festivities, The Garden features extensive wine and scotch menus, bottle service, 16 beers on draft, and an onsite humidor with cigar brands such as Gran Habano and Rocky Patel. After catching the game on a flat-screen TV indoors, patrons can venture to the outdoor patio to sip a double-malt under the glow of a heat lamp or tie-dye sheets from the white overhead canopy in a burbling fountain.
Buffalo roam across sprawling flatlands as Hereford cattle munch mountain grasses on The Bowen Ranch, the working farmstead that houses The Edge of Texas Steakhouse and Saloon. In addition to lending the horizon a bucolic vibe, these herds suggest just how fresh a steak can be. Nearby, inside the train depot-turned-restaurant, guests can shake hands with a real cowboy before slicing into grilled-to-order beef and bison. This wrangler is Jim Bowen, founder of the eatery and leader of the Bowen clan that’s owned the ranch since the 1800s, when cattle landed in Texas by leaping over Saturn’s moons. The menu also brims with chuck-wagon classics such as barbecued brisket and Tex-Mex fare such as tortilla soup and chicken fajitas.
Siblings Adam Lampinstein and Becky Atkins opened Ripe Eatery with the goal of providing a cozy venue where other clans and comrades could bond over tasty bellywarmers. The diverse lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch menus combine a multitude of global influences. Add a stamp to your palate's passport by sending it off to a plate of Asian-inspired soy ginger calamari, which is stir-fried with jalapeños, eggplant, and toasted sesame seeds ($8). Then, migrate your mouth back home for a loaded west Texas cobb salad ($10.50) or a green chili burger, a layered feast of American Kobe beef, goat cheese, grilled ham, green chili, and caramelized onions ($12). Come dinnertime, try the herbivore-safe Moroccan vegetable tangine, a mélange of lentils, fresh veggies, and cilantro-pesto rice with a feta yogurt drizzle, toasted almonds, and pita ($13), or make work of a plate of Italian-style meatloaf ($14), taking breaks to rest your tongue on a pillow of whipped gouda mashers or to talk about The Weather Channel. An expertly curated Paleo menu pays respects to patrons who can't consume dairy, legumes, flour, or papier-mâché pulp.