The food at Miyako Sushi & Grill is artfully prepared, and the atmosphere is laid-back. At the BYOB friendly eatery, diners can sip their favorite beer, wine, or vintage prison hooch while savoring generous portions of Japanese cuisine. In the background, cooks fry soft-shell crab in tempura batter, slice ocean-fresh fish for sashimi and sushi, and sear juicy steaks and seafood on a hibachi grill. And for dessert, guests can try a scoop of green tea or red bean ice cream to cool their palate if they happened to mistake a ball of wasabi for a complimentary dessert.
Longtime Dallas residents can still remember when Mama opened her diner in 1958, bustling about the kitchen with her daughters scampering by her side, whipping up her signature hearty country specialties and desserts. More than 50 years later, Mama continues to watch over the kitchen with the help of her daughters, granddaughters, and a loyal kitchen staff. Drawing from Mama's timeless recipes, chefs fry up chicken, steaks, and catfish for the menu of daily specials, while biscuits, peach cobblers, and cinnamon rolls rise in the oven. Servers bear hefty platters out to the cushy booths of the dining room, where Mama's timeless wisdom is written across the walls, including such gems as "Eat your peas and get dessert" and "Don't stare".
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.
Chef K., owner of MyGi's Bakery Cafe, shapes cakes into giant Ramen packets, plates tapas, and serves gourmet lunches and dinners. Glittering candy buffets coat tables with sweetness and sparkle, and her specialty cakes personalize birthdays. Chef K. sometimes infuses her food with Caribbean influences, but her skill set spans the globe: students can choose to craft sushi, for instance, or cook their food in a Scandanavian hot spring. Chicago native and Ladha Catering owner Chef Tammy joins Chef K. in spreading the joys of international cooking and entertaining in pallet-expanding classes. Whether teaching a novice to perfectly grill a steak or serving brunch to some hungry weekend patrons, the chefs' passion for food and sense of artistry guide their endeavors.