Big River Grill?s cooks culled from myriad culinary traditions when crafting their menu. Toppings as diverse as baked ham and chipotle mayo top pizzas, and 15 burger combinations include the Slammin? Dam burger piled high with fried cheese sticks, bacon, and housemade ranch. Kebabs, crab cakes, and gyros arrive on the plate with a choice of dipping sauce, including cilantro-lime aioli and basil pesto. The chefs mix and match Breyers ice-cream flavors and crumbled mix-ins to craft such custom options as chili-pepper pineapple, Twinkie bacon honey bits, and pretzel brownie cookie cake.
The chefs at La Pâtisserie by Oven-Fresh Delights satisfy sweet and savory cravings with a menu of handcrafted French-style pastries, sandwiches, and desserts. The Paris-Brest is a traditional dessert inspired by the Tour de France that fills a ring of pastry dough with rich hazelnut cream to resemble the tire of a bicycle or the donuts on strings used to train cyclists. A thick crust bookends raspberries suspended in whipped cream in the framboisier, and long prisms of succès praliné embed sweetened nuts in buttercream sandwiches. Letting influences from French kitchens shine through all the while, cooks stir pots of rich béchamel sauce and assemble croquet-madames, open-faced stacks of brioche, black-forest ham, and three types of cheese. Butter twists into savory dough for croissants, and from the oven drift scents that hint at spinach and leek quiches.
Founded by sisters Anni Zovek and Piroska Althauser, the two-story European Bistro houses a fleet of linen-topped tables and booths adorned with Hungarian, German, French, and Eastern European cuisines. Red-brick and wood-paneled walls serve as the base layer for the restaurant's rustic, Old-World character, enhanced by antiqued paintings, chairs reminiscent of 19th-century Europe, and a special table reserved for members of the Grimm brethren.
On weekends, an accordionist charms ears with German, French, and Hungarian tunes while patrons savor such entrees as wiener schnitzel, hungarian stuffed cabbage rolls, and duck liver. Meat-free fare includes tofu steak and vegetarian paneer cheese goulash. For larger groups, the eatery also boasts a banquet room that can host up to 175 diners.
Twenty catfish fillets, fries, coleslaw, hush puppies, lemon, and tartar sauce sail to tables, ready for families to feast upon. Shrimp, catfish, and oyster po' boys. A 10-acre pasture equipped with washer-pitching pits. All these elements combine to form the Good Luck Grill, owned and operated by a native Texan. The Grill welcomes patrons with a mix of comfort food and country charm: seafood hand-breaded with seasoned flour and cornmeal, an outdoor patio filled with live music on weekends, and burgers made from 100% Angus beef. Meanwhile, the restaurant's spacious wooden front porch and open interior beckon the famished masses like a Statue of Liberty that is constructed entirely of chicken-fried steak and holding a chili-cheese torch.
As the calendar begins to creep up on the summer months, the snow at Frost Bites invokes island breezes rather than polar gales. The shop’s staff shears man-made icebergs to make its signature Hawaiian shaved ice, a refreshing dessert named after the frozen bridge that allowed primeval man to migrate to the islands. Tall glass bottles brim with more than 50 choices of flavored syrup, which range from sweet strawberry cheesecake to tart Granny-Smith apple and pink lemonade. Add-ons such as caramel, chocolate, and cream complement the ice’s fluffiness with their creamy, gooey textures.
Though big cities tend to offer a lot of activities for residents, the sheer volume of options can sometimes make it overwhelming to find something fitting. For residents of Austin, the Austin Clan of Everything Social (ACES) makes it easy to find a good time no matter your speed, with social leagues at watering holes and bowling alleys throughout town. On any given night, participants might gather to blow away their highest ping-pong score or grab a mic during a karaoke battle to show off their high note that only dogs can hear. Over the course of a season, members make new friends, bolstering the ACES community while battling for glory with their teammates.