MOOYAH Burgers, Fries & Shakes is a local favorite that not only serves excellent, fully-customizable burgers, but also reminds you what exceptional Guest service looks and feels like. (In case you forgot, it feels pretty darn good.) The menu caters to even the pickiest of eaters, and is inclusive to most dietary restrictions. Fresh toppings, high quality ingredients, and unbelievably flavorful – need we go on? This is a great place to enjoy a relaxing dinner with friends, or an enjoyable lunch option if you’re looking for a change of scenery from your office cubicle. Just a reminder: unlike MOOYAH, your cubicle doesn’t have a giant MOODLE DOODLE board that you can release your inner Picasso on.
Sip on an ice-cold beverage, while your burger sizzles on the grill. Sink your teeth into their fresh-baked buns, and savor each and every delectable fry. Seal the deal with a hand-spun, 100% real ice cream shake – the closest you’ll ever come to heaven on Earth. Tickle your taste buds, and stir your senses at MOOYAH – where every Guest is not only important, but a part of the family.
Each year, as February draws to a close, the energy in Bulverde, Texas builds towards one thing: the opening of rodeo season. Tejas Rodeo Company kicks off the festivities in style, hosting celebrations of colts, cowboys, and cattle every Saturday night. There, horses pull chuck wagons, ranchers lasso longhorns, and brave souls ride bulls to the delight of the crowd, who can emulate their heroes on a mechanical bull. Fans can even keep track of the rodeo rankings and return each week to cheer on their favorites in tie downs and barrel races. And after the last cowboy tips his hat to the crowd every night, live musicians steal the spotlight with country music that's capable of luring any age to the dance floor.
Few things complement that rodeo spirit like a steak, and Tejas' Steakhouse and Saloon has enough steak to act as currency should the dollar fail. Chefs source premium Akaushi beef from Beeman Ranch, cut it into two-ounce medallions, and season it with a signature rub before searing it to order. And those cuts of meat look right at home between the restaurant's walls. Wood paneling brims with saddles, chaps, pistols, and other authentic cowboy artifacts. The oldest item there? "Yellow Boy," a Winchester rifle made in 1870, the same year the color yellow was invented.
When Jason Taylor had exhausted traditional avenues in an attempt to rid his body of toxins, he turned to juicing. Not only was he healthier, but he had a new business idea, thanks to both his new passion and his entrepreneurial brother Josh. The two soon sold their possessions and flung open the doors to Juicer Heroes, where they promise their customers healthier lifestyles thanks to raw, cold-pressed juices chock-full of antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins.
And it's a promise that's backed up with action. "Juicer Heroes has a team of nutritionists, dietitians, functional medicine doctors, chiropractors, and other wellness professionals we consult with on a daily basis," share the brothers, who guide customers toward juices that will help them reach personal wellness goals. For instance, the Weight-Loss Supreme (boasting grapefruit, ginger, spinach, parsley, and cinnamon) helps customers slim down, while a three-, five-, or seven-day juice cleanse assists in recharging the body. And while juice is the main export of Juicer Heroes, it's not the only one. Customers can also stock up on gluten-free pastas, nutrient-rich salads, and even organic lotions, soaps, and sunscreens.
Enjoy a T-bone steak or filet mignon at Tejas Steakhouse, a Bulverde steakhouse.
Drinks all around! Pair your dinner with a beverage from this restaurant's full bar.
Gather the whole family for a trip to this restaurant — everyone will find something to like (even the pickiest little eater) on the menu here.
Patio tables and chairs are ready for Tejas Steakhouse diners who prefer their meals al fresco.
In the mood for dinner and dancing? Live music is common at the restaurant, and diners are encouraged to show off their moves.
Weekend diners, beware! The restaurant is busiest on Friday and Saturday, so getting seated will take some time.
Casual dining at its best, Tejas Steakhouse customers are free to enjoy themselves in jeans and a T-shirt.
Tejas Steakhouse is centrally located near many parking lot options.
Tejas Steakhouse offers various parking options, including bike parking.
The average check at Tejas Steakhouse will stay below $30 per person, so it's a relatively affordable option.
Put a twist on the tried-and-true steak dinner with a wide selection of sides and styles at Tejas Steakhouse.
Forget elegant little small plates and pretty garnishes. There might be a time and a place for all that, but more often than not all a person really needs is a great big platter of food. Buckles and Buns serves up hearty portions of Texas-style fare, from beef fajitas to fried shrimp.
Beginnings and Endings: start meals with chicken wings, barbecue nachos, chili con queso, and more; wrap things up with a churro, some apple cobbler, or chocolate-chip cookies with ice-cream and strawberry sauce
Pizzas: from the brick oven come several good options, but check out the Texas Favorite—topped with barbecue pork, bacon, and pickles
The Buns: or more importantly, what's inside them. Po' boys—chicken, shrimp, or catch-of-the-day—sit on the menu alongside a roster of burgers and sandwiches.
The Buckles: will need some loosening thanks to the Texan-size portions
Looking for a quick bite to eat? Head on over to Crooked Branch in San Antonio.
Be sure to complete your meal at this restaurant with a drink from the restaurant's full bar.
Unwind on a budget, and enjoy happy hour's low-cost beers and simple eats.
Sit back, relax, and enjoy the beautiful weather during your meal at Crooked Branch.
Between the music and the crowds, be prepared for a lot of noise at this restaurant.
You may be better off finding a table during the week, as weekends at the restaurant tend to be packed.
Crooked Branch's business casual policy makes it the perfect place for a number of occasions.
Fed up with difficult parking? At Crooked Branch, you will find easy nearby parking and good eats.
Cyclists will also appreciate the plentiful space to lock up their bikes outside the restaurant.
Crooked Branch's fare is so good, you'll want to sample everything on the menu (and with its middle-of-the-road prices, you can!).
Siu mai: small pork dumplings. Each has a thin wrapper that needs to be delicately pleated by hand. Easily, they’re one of the most labor-intensive items at Phoenix Restaurant in Chicago, where each weekend this Chinese restaurant serves 80 different varieties of classic dim sum snacks.
This little fact about the siu mai is one of many surprising stories I learn from Eddy, the chef at Phoenix, where he also handles a million other tasks to keep the restaurant running smoothly. When I first came in, he was waving at a group of regulars while on the phone haggling with a seafood vendor.
“What we are serving in this restaurant is what we are eating in Hong Kong. ... It’s very typical,” Eddy says.
In 1996, Phoenix was one of the first restaurants to introduce dim sum to Chicago. Its customer base has grown over the years, and today, even with other dim sum restaurants up and down the block, you’ll find long lines winding out the door on any given Sunday.
Sound intimidating? It doesn't have to be.
Here's our guide to dim-sum dining, with a few tips from Eddy.
On the weekend: order dim sum off a cart
On weekends and special holidays, the wait staff winds traditional dim sum carts around tables, lifting lids off stacked steamer baskets to reveal the enticing contents. Should you see something you like, they leave the basket on your table and put a checkmark on your bill (it’s tallied at the end).
Phoenix is one of the only dim-sum restaurants in Chicago that still uses these carts. When I ask Eddy why they keep them, he says “tradition.” Not only to impress the tourists who come in, but also to let Chinese-American customers share this bit of culture with their kids.
Hot tip: if you want to experience the pushcarts without the crowds, head over on a Saturday, which tends to be less busy than Sundays, Eddy says.
On a weekday: order dim sum off the menu
Cartless weekdays offer a quiet, more peaceful atmosphere for ordering off the paper menu, which you can find near the hostess stand. Don't be intimidated—the menu has pictures; it has numbers; it has names written in both Chinese and English. And best of all, you need only point to what you want to have it brought out from the kitchen.
So what should you get?
“Everyone has their favorites,” Eddy says. The most popular dishes with Westerners are ha gao (shrimp dumplings) and siu mai (pork dumplings mentioned above). Kids gravitate toward the crunchy, easy-to-grip shrimp rolls and sweeter fare, from mango pudding (pictured above) to custard rolls.
Foreign travelers, especially those from Latin America, and adventurous eaters alike seem to love the chicken feet (pictured at bottom-right of top photo), a more exotic dish consisting of skin and tendons. While all these dishes are traditional, the chefs can tweak the recipes to accommodate for special diets or food allergies.
When diners are new to dim sum, Eddy encourages them to experiment. He’ll point out a few of the more popular dishes; if there’s something they don’t end up liking, it can easily be swapped out for something else. This way, by the second or third visit, diners will have a better idea of what they like.
And don't forget the tea
At dim sum, the tea is equally important to the food. Phoenix serves three different types: green tea, white tea, and brown tea. “Each one has its own usage,” Eddy says. While we talk, we drink jasmine tea, which is good for getting rid of toxins.
You can show your dim sum know-how by obeying proper tea etiquette. When your teapot is out of water, prop the lid off to the side. This signals to the wait staff that you need more hot water.
Eddy pours more tea and tells me to tap my fingers lightly against the table when the cup is nearly full. “When your friend or host fills your tea, this means ‘thank you’,” he says. “It’s part of the custom.”
Photos by Andrew Nawrocki, Groupon
I had no idea what to expect upon arriving at Elizabeth, the Michelin Star winner from Chef Iliana Regan. But an unmarked, unremarkable storefront between a tire shop and a sporting-goods store certainly wasn’t it. With few exceptions (Schwa, most notably), Chicago’s upper-echelon restaurants boast exteriors that match their illustrious River North and Restaurant Row addresses.
But as it turns out, Regan has no taste for that sort of superficial flash. She dons no chef’s whites. She displays no awards. She does not raise her voice to the Gordon Ramsay–level roar or even the Rachael Ray-ish rollick that TV cameras eat up.
Instead, this northwest Indiana native quietly built her reputation as someone who hunts for frogs and spears them herself. Someone who has suffered tick bites and poison-ivy rashes foraging for wild flora. Someone who has penned an essay on intensity for Lucky Peach and once themed an Elizabeth tasting menu after those violent and visceral A Song of Ice and Fire novels.
So yeah, I was kinda terrified to eat her food.
I’d never done a tasting menu before. And I wouldn’t necessarily classify myself as a picky eater, but I’m not a particularly adventurous one either, particularly when it comes to meat. (I can barely look at plated octopus without shivering.) I’d heard that Regan once served edible ants. Which are, like, bugs.
My nerves were calmed upon walking into Elizabeth, though. Austere yet charming, the whitewashed space was accented by light fixtures made from bare tree branches; dining chairs draped with faux-fur slipcovers; a chef’s counter armed with Elder Scrolls and Vikings Funko Pop! dolls. It was all in support of the season’s menu theme: vikings.
There were two options: land or sea. Or, as the first in a delightful succession of servers explained it, “Imagine a viking ship has reached the shore. One group goes on land to look for food, the other into the sea.” My friend Erin and I opted to order one of each to share and, despite my trepidation of certain meats, placed no restrictions on what we would eat. (You can arrange for some allergies and dietary needs in advance.) We wanted to go all in.
After the amuse-bouche—a surprisingly complex roasted whey carrot dressed with goat’s-milk cheese and edible flowers—came our first courses. The land dish was … a bowl of rocks. The server assured me the top “rock” was actually a baked potato coated in edible clay. But it was very convincing as a rock, so I bit in with trepidation. As Erin ate the rest, dipping it into the cheese and butter puddings it was served with, I forked into her langoustine with lingonberries. (Pro tip: don’t try to tear off the claw without looking. You will stab your finger on a spine.) So far, so very good.
As the servers continued to weave their culinary narrative, I realized there was an unmentioned character in their tale—Elizabeth itself. The restaurant is small, seating about 16 or so, and the kitchen is wide open. It was impossible not to get caught up in what was happening back there, particularly when sous chefs were wielding brûlée torches and “plating” on gorgeous pieces of handmade pottery. And the line between front and back of house was practically nonexistent. One moment, you’d see someone in the kitchen stirring and slicing; the next they’d be presenting your next course or clearing your table. (Chef Regan included.)
This created an unexpected intimacy, one that removed any hesitation when asking about a particular dish. It’s clear the teammates take a deep yet quiet pride in their collective work. They spoke warmly about where ingredients came from, excitedly about the preparation techniques used. They always used “we” or “our,” never “me” or “Chef Regan.” (Again, Chef Regan included.)
Over the next few courses, there were so many charms. An herb-rolled, soft-boiled quail egg served in an actual nest; impossibly chewy seaweed bread darkened by squid ink; a cauliflower-mushroom soup that Erin about died over. I was particularly fond of a course called Barnyard: headcheese dusted with beet powder, paired with a collage of root vegetables and flavored puddings reminiscent of something out of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Modern Wing.
And that’s the thing. Never in my life would I have thought that I’d be fond of headcheese. I would have probably never eaten it if it weren’t for this meal. But it was fun to break out of my culinary comfort zone.
The other surprising thing? How full we were, considering it was a tasting menu. By the time we were served the entree courses—rare lamb medallions wrapped in swiss chard and pickled fish in a sauce of its own bones—we were taking deep breaths between bites. I’m pretty sure they were the only two plates we didn’t completely clean.
We managed to buck up for our “one-and-a-half” dessert courses, as the server put it. (The “half” was a palate-cleansing sorbet.) Our favorite was Under the Sea, a spongy coral-seaweed cake so realistic looking it prompted me to ask the server just how much of it we could eat. “All of it,” she said. We complied.
Maybe, as a writer, I’m just a sucker for a good story. But I was enchanted by Elizabeth, both in backstory and in not knowing what was coming next throughout the culinary adventure. And while I probably won’t be buying headcheese any time soon, I’m excited to see what Chef Regan has up her non-chef’s-whites sleeves next season.
Shop Chef Iliana Regan's tasting-menu experience at Elizabeth Restaurant:
Watch her explain her approach to fine dining:
As useful as WD40 and much more edible, coconut oil is a powerhouse. In fact, just one jar of the stuff can replace several household staples, from kitchen ingredients to baby wipes. Here’s how to substitute it for 16 total items in 3 rooms of the home:
1. Coffee: Coconut oil is a reputed energy booster. Swallowing a spoonful or two in the afternoon can be a healthful alternative to a cuppa.2. Coffee creamer: Emulsified and poured into coffee, it’s much tastier than (and probably just as nutritious as) that bulletproof stuff.3. Butter or oil (when sautéing): Coconut oil’s high smoke point makes it great for cooking on the stovetop, especially at high heat. Try swapping it in when making stir-fries, scrambled eggs, or pancakes, especially if you like a very mild coconut flavor.4. Oil (when baking): The oil imparts a delicious je ne sais quoi to baked goods—even boxed ones. Use it to give from-the-box brownies an upgrade, and you’ll dream about them for days.5. Condiments: Drop it into quinoa or oatmeal for added nutrients and healthy fats. You can also put it on top of sweet potatoes instead of butter!
6. Moisturizer: It works on your body and your face. It’s naturally SPF 4, so it offers a bit of protection from UV rays, too.7. Leave-in conditioner and anti-static agent: Rub a small amount between your hands and smooth them over your hair to control flyaways.8. Lip balm: It soothes sore, chapped lips, and other skin irritations.9. Eye-makeup remover: Rub it between your fingers until it liquefies, smear it on your lids, and wipe it off with a cotton pad.10. Face wash: Add a little water and rub it in your hands until it foams.11. Hand and foot cream: Massage it into cracked knuckles, or slather it onto your soles and stick them into socks for an overnight soak.12. Shaving cream: It’ll give you a smooth shave, plus additional moisture for your skin.
13. Ouchie ointment: Dab it on cuts and scrapes, which will benefit from its antimicrobial properties.14. Anti-itch cream: Coconut oil reduces itching from bug bites, and helps to calm sunburn, eczema, and cradle cap.15. Diaper cream: A layer on baby’s bottom guards against (and soothes) diaper rash flare-ups.16. Baby wipes: Simply mix it with hot water and pour it over a stack of paper towels that you’ve cut in half. Keep the towels in an airtight container so they stay moist.
Check out more coconut-oil coverage:
Oil Pulling Whitens Your Teeth and (Maybe) Makes You Invincible
The Five Best Uses for Coconut Oil You’ve Never Heard Of