Behind the counter at Top That! Pizza, a colorful collection of more than 30 toppings, 10 cheeses, and 8 sauces await each pizza-lover’s creativity. They first pick from three crusts, including honey wheat, then choose sauces such as Thai peanut and basil pesto to adorn their personal-sized pies. Lastly, they select from locally sourced toppings such as marinated ribeye, Polish sausage, and applewood bacon, as well as regional cheeses including asiago and gorgonzola, before their creation is baked to a golden crisp in just three minutes. Customers can then sit down to enjoy their customized pie at the restaurant, or take it home. It’s the concept of combining choice, quality, and speed come to fruition that Top That’s creators envisioned years ago. Today, locations stretch across Oklahoma, Texas, and Colorado, and menus make room for baked dishes such as chicken alfredo and meatball marinara.
Felix Potin Paris can trace its history back to 1844, when founder Félix Potin opened his first chocolate shop at the age of 24 in Paris. His sweets empire steadily grew throughout the years while Potin’s chocolatiers perfected their craft in kind. More than a hundred years later, Felix Potin Paris still crafts rich single-origin chocolate truffles that incorporate extra-dark chocolate, pralines, and buttery salted caramel. The Black Collection integrates different creative flavors into its truffle repertoire, stashing salty toffee chips or candied orange peels inside each cocoa-dusted sphere. Staff members at Felix Potin Paris also craft four different flavors of tender fruit gels, coating them in dark chocolate or fine sugar.
Launched as a one-man fried-pie-slinging operation at the height of the Great Depression, Hutch’s Pie & Sandwich Shop now provides hot and cold sandwiches and toasty fried desserts to packs of roaming, hungry Texans. Stop in before work for a ham-and-cheese roll ($2.55) or an egg-and-cheese breakfast pie ($2.05) paired with bacon, sausage, or jalapeño-infused sausage. Pocket sandwiches ($4.75) come on a hot loaf of pita bread that’s perfect for warming up tongues that spend most of their time stuck to frozen poles, and cold sandwiches ($3.95) are served on white or wheat and include centerpieces such as roast beef, chicken salad, or turkey. Fried pies are available in flavors including chocolate, lemon, cherry, and pineapple ($1.35 each), and unlike their unfried brethren, don’t need to be freeze-dried and served with a miniature American flag to enjoy.
In Edloe St. Café & Catering’s kitchen, staffers grind fresh burger patties and concoct dishes from owner E.I. Thomas’s farmer’s market finds. The eatery specializes in fresh, local food inspired by cultures on either side of the Mexican border; the kitchen whips up jumbo lump crab cakes and leafy Cobb salads just as deftly as they craft Southern-fried fish tacos and pile plates with chicken tamales. Upscale options such as Black Angus tenderloin are also available and lend an extra touch of superiority by the alumnus of Johnson & Wales College of Culinary Arts who helms the kitchen.
Despite the steak on the menu, the café's atmosphere is unpretentious. Patrons order from a menu handwritten on hanging chalkboards, and eat at simple wooden tables or retire to the outdoor patio for fresh air and a chance to spellcheck any recent skywriting. For large functions, hosts can also turn to the kitchen for buffet-style catering spreads, which offer everything from breakfast tacos to boxed lunches.
Crickle's and Co. treats visitors to breakfasts and brunches defined by a farm-to-table ethic. Every bite of an egg-and-applewood smoked bacon taco or blueberry muffin is a testament to simpler times—times when people knew exactly where their food came from, meals were family gatherings, and parents had to ask kids to be excused from the table. Local, preservative-free cream, eggs, and butter find their way into menu items such as egg sandwiches, bacon-stuffed tortillas, and fluffy, fresh-baked muffins. Texas pecans put the crunch in banana-nut bread, and locally roasted coffee and organic tea from Austin pair perfectly with homemade pastries. Outside Crickle's walls, its catered meals grace corporate events, baby showers, and birthday parties with feasts of Texas-style barbecue, 15-layer lasagna, and bite-size brownies and cheesecakes.
With 45 locations, the aromas of hot soup and freshly baked bread greet customers across the nation as they approach Souper Salad's overflowing display of crisp salad greens and freshly prepared hot selections. Menus for the buffet change daily, but can include albóndigas soup, Tuna Skroodle pasta salad, A-MAIZE-ing cornbread, and other dishes. Dine-in guests are free to fill their bowls with their favorite soups and chilis, build their own salads from a plethora of crispy greens and tangy dressings, and see how much soft-serve ice cream they can pile atop a single cone. Patrons can also make a visit to the taco bar or flatbread pizza zone, and gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options are available.