Best of Denton 2012: Eats

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BEST AFFORDABLE DINING

Fuzzy’s Taco Shop

115 Industrial St.

940-380-8226

www.fuzzystacoshop.com

Chips and salsa vs. chips and queso? It is a dilemma that can only be solved by walking into a Fuzzy’s Taco.

Since 2007, Fuzzy’s has been delighting customers with its share of Baja Tacos, Mexican dinners and breakfast plates like chilaquiles, migas and huevos rancheros. Outside of its extensive menu Fuzzy’s is also a place for gatherings – take a meeting any time of the day and find yourself enjoying a delightful atmosphere.

The Fuzzy expansion and addition continued earlier this year, Fuzzy’s landed its 50th location near Love Field Airport in Dallas. Its most recent opened March 1, in Stephenville, Texas.

Runner-up: Rooster’s Roadhouse

Bragging rights: The Green House Restaurant

 

 

BEST ASIAN DINING

Mr. Chopsticks

1633 Scripture

940-382-5437

http://mrchopsticks.com

The readers have spoken and have declared Mr. Chopsticks the Best Asian Dining in Denton. In a city with many options when it comes to Asian food, this hotspot near the University of North Texas campus is known for its fusion cuisine, extensive menu and bohemian atmosphere.

From spring rolls, salads, soups and stir fried dishes, whether you’re looking for Japanese, Vietnamese or even Thai and Indian food, Chopsticks, as its most often referred to, will have it – and in large portions at that.

Mr. Chopsticks offers delivery Monday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. then from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. If you’d prefer to dine in however, the hours are Monday through Sunday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and is located at 1633 Scripture.

Runner up: Pei Wei

Bragging rights: Adaman Thai

 

 

BEST BARBECUE

Rudy’s Country Store and Bar-B-Q

520 S. Interstate 35E

940-484-7839

www.rudys.com

Step inside the door and you can’t help but be hungry. The smell of brisket, smoked turkey, sausage and the works wafts through this restaurant, enticing appetites of any who pass through. The rustic setting of this eatery, which continues to garner “Best of Denton” honors, invites a homey, family feel with its picnic tables and benches.

Just order up your favorite fare, sashay to the sides table to heap on the extra beans, pickles, etc. and then enjoy a tasty good time.Rudy’s Country Store and Bar-B-Q also caters to the business crowd or those planning organizational meetings with a side room set up and ready to go. Or, just order ahead for that family gathering you’re planning at a park.

Whatever you’re schedule, a trip to Rudy’s should be in order.

Runner-up: Dickey’s Barbecue Pit

Bragging rights: Metzler’s Bar-B-Q

 

 

BEST BREAKFAST

BEST HOMESTYLE COOKING

Old West Café

1020 Dallas Drive

940-382-8220

www.oldwestcafe.com

For more than five years, readers have chosen this cozy café off Dallas Drive near Teasley Lane as the best breakfast and home style cooking eatery in Denton.

Old West Café, which opened in 1997, offers both breakfast and lunch, whipping up breakfast favorites anytime a customer places the order – whether at 7 a.m. or at noon. The menu also offers hearty lunches from burgers and tacos to steak and pork chops.

Facebook fans say they enjoy the atmosphere, the plentiful food and the good service — all key components of a successful restaurant.

Runner-up: International House of Pancakes (IHOP)

Bragging rights: Loco Café

 

 

BEST BURGER AND FRIES

Denton County Independent Hamburger

113 W. Hickory St.

940-383-1022

Voted by readers as the Best Burger and Fries in Denton, Denton County Independent Hamburger keeps it simple, but that’s what people love about it. The atmosphere is casual and the burger, fries and fixins are nothing short of old-fashioned.

The burgers are large and some are even sprinkled with shredded cheese for a change of pace but for an addition of great flavor. For a side, you can go with the standard fries or baked beans, or both! Denton County Independent Hamburger is open for lunch, Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Runner-up: Five Guys Burgers and Fries

Bragging rights: The Love Shack

 

 

BEST BUSINESS LUNCH

Greenhouse Restaurant

600 N. Locust St.

940-484-1349

www.greenhouserestaurantdenton.com

Looking for a place to impress a client? Denton Record-Chronicle readers know just the place: The Greenhouse Restaurant.

The local restaurant is just a few blocks away from the downtown Denton Square, at 600 N. Locust St. Modest and clean, the eatery has a small main dining room, a middle section of quiet booths, a bar with some table seating and a private room for meetings and parties.

We can’t leave out the patio, a more recent addition to the business that, thanks to its choice location and sumptuous landscaping, is a fragrant and pretty dining spot during the spring. Patrons love the patio on summer nights, too.

The Greenhouse serves appetizers – including a mouthwatering spinach artichoke dip – daily specials for omnivores and vegetarians (may we recommend the parmesan tilapia? Or the spicy polenta with vegetarian chili?) and a revolving menu of specialty drinks. Oh, and if you’re a fan big burgers, there are several to choose from. Sides are fresh and cool, and desserts are reliable.

The prices are happily casual – a pair can leave paying less than $40 if they skip the drinks — when one considers the gourmet dishes that are distinctly southwestern.

Hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Fridays, noon to 11 p.m. on Saturdaysand noon to 9 p.m. on Sundays.

Runner-up: Hannah’s Off the Square

Bragging rights: Café Du Luxe

 

 

BEST CANDY, COOKIE OR CAKE SHOP

Candy Haven

301 N. Interstate 35E

940-565-1474

www.candyhavenandcakes.com

Cupcakes, seasonal cakes, baby shower cakes, wedding cakes, groom cakes and pastries are some of the one of the kind specialties customers can get at Candy Haven. For over 25 years, Jane Boyle, and her staff have continued to please customers with their creations.

All you need to see is the customer’s recommendations on their Facebook page. “Awesome cakes,” “Best Cakes in Town” are some of the recommendations on their fan page.

And the results of their good work do not go unnoticed.

In 2011, Candy Haven received the Bride’s Choice Award from WeddingWire, a national wedding technology company, which placed Candy Haven among the top five percent of wedding professionals in the country.

Runner-up: Atomic Candy Store

Bragging rights: NV Cupcakes

 

 

BEST COFFEE SHOP

Jupiter House

106 N. Locust St.

940-387-7100

www.jupiterhousecoffee.net

At one time, the downtown Denton location of Jupiter House Coffee sold a T-shirt. On it was a circle of mere mortals, each one bowing (and we’re talking forehead to the floor) to a huge decanter of coffee.

Seems Denton Record-Chronicle readers might be prone to go down on bended knee for the locally owned java joint.

Here’s why:

You’d be hard pressed to replace a staff of laid-back, friendly baristas who remember your name and your poison if you visit them during just a few shifts.

The coffee. Fair trade beans are ground fresh daily and each cup is brewed while you wait.

The coffeehouse keeps a staple menu, a plus for those who almost always buy a small crazy cosmonaut with skim milk and no whipped cream, thanks. (The perennial blends all have aeronautical names, too!)

But the adventurous coffeehound gets to experiment at the row of urns that are topped off as soon as patrons tap them.

The downtown café. With bare brick walls, a revolving show of local art and plenty of music, Jupiter House is a place to be if you want to sample Denton’s creative reflex while you sip.

And if you just want to finish that term paper or check e-mail while listening to spotify? The tables are plentiful and the wifi is free.

Jupiter House Coffee keeps its main location at 106 N. Locust St.

There is outdoor seating, but chances are you’ll only want to sit there if you’re a smoker.

The second location is at 503 W. University Dr., where you can sample candies and chocolate with your brew.Hours at both locations are 6 a.m. to midnight daily.

Runner-up: Starbucks

Bragging rights: Café du Luxe.

 

 

BEST FINE DINING

Hannah’s Off the Square

111 West Mulberry St.

940-566-1110

www.hannahsoffthesquare.com

When Denton residents think of a great atmosphere and a great upscale comfort menu to go a long with it, they visit Hannah’s.

It is the one of the places around town where people can host a private dinner, have a lunch meeting or host an anniversary event.

Since its inception in 2002, the restaurant has continued to make a name for itself among the local Square music and bar food.

Executive Chef Sheena Croft recently made changes to the tapas menu which now features smoked salmon bruschetta with capers and tomato, gorgonzola chips, green beans fries, and lobster ricotta fritters.

To keep it food conversation going, since April 2009, Hannah’s Off the Square also has a blog via Blogger (http://hannahsoffthesquare.blogspot.com) where readers can find what vegetables are in season, get information about local events, and see just some great photography.

Runner-up: The GreenHouse Restaurant

Bragging rights: Giuseppe’s Italian Restaurant

 

 

BEST FROZEN TREAT

Beth Marie’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream & Soda Fountain

117 W. Hickory

904-384-1818

Second location: Unicorn Lake, 2900 Wind River Lane

940-591-1010

With more than 80 flavors it’s hard to choose just one.

Not to mention the drinks—floats, lemonade, limeade and hot chocolate made with ice cream—and the cobbler.

Luckily now, you can get ice cream from Beth Marie’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream & Soda Fountain location on the Square or across town at Unicorn Lake.

And if you happen to be at Apogee Stadium, you can now get a frozen treat from Beth Marie’s at the concession booth. And, it’s also available at a number of area restaurants with plans for more buying opportunities to come.

Runner-up: Yogurt Story

Bragging rights: Yogurt Fusion

 

 

BEST ITALIAN DINING

Giuseppe’s Italian Restaurant

821 N. Locust St.

940-381-2712

http://giuseppesitaliana.com

Giuseppe’s Italian Restaurant is nothing less than charming. Situated in a historic Victorian home, the Italian eatery was voted the Best Italian Dining in Denton by readers. Giuseppe’s atmosphere is causal but romantic, indoors and out.

The restaurant features a patio with a large Oak Tree serving as a canopy. Giuseppe’s has an extensive lunch and dinner menu that feature many Italian favorites from Bruschetta to Manicotti. The staff is very helpful and is always willing to recommend the best dishes as well as their favorites.

You can find Giuseppe’s Italian Restaurant at 821 North Locust Street and is open for lunch Monday through Friday 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and for dinner Monday through Thursday and Sunday 5 p.m. through 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Runner-up: Luigi’s Pizza Italian Restaurant

Bragging rights: Bari’s Pasta & Pizza

 

 

BEST PIZZA

Mellow Mushroom

217 E. Hickory St.

940-323-1100

The new kid in town is taking the cake—or should we say pizza?

The far-east-meets-far-west feel of Mellow Mushroom has been attracting people to its location on Hickory Street since in opened last year.

While it’s a franchise, owner Martha Jenson has made it her own. She hopes you get more than a pizza; she hopes you get an experience.

And if you like beer with your pizza you’re in for an extra treat. Mellow Mushroom offers 28 beers on tap and another 50 in bottles and cans. If you’re up for a challenge, try 70 different beers at the pizzeria and you can earn your own mug—which means more beer on your next visit.

Runner-up: J&J’s Pizza

Bragging rights: Palio’s Pizza Cafe

 

 

BEST SANDWICH SHOP/DELI

Weinberger’s Delicatessen

311 East Hickory St., Suite 110

940-566-5900

www.weinbergersdenton.com

Downtown Denton got a bit of Downtown Grapevine last February when Weinberger’s Delicatessen opened its doors blocks off the Square. A year later, it is part of Denton’s Best.

“I was very pleasantly surprised; we are humbled for sure,” said Mike Wing, manager of the sandwich shop about its mention in the annual city list.

Weinberger’s Delicatessen brought its Chicago-style deli style to Denton introducing sandwiches and depending on the weather, patrons order the popular California Club, if it is cold outside or the Reuben or Italian beef if they want to have something to keep them away from the heat.

And since Weinberger’s is known to “want each sandwich you try to be the best it can be,” they did their research and already gave Denton fans their pick of local taste. Last year, the created their share of local brands – Last of the Mojica’s, named after Dan Mojica, owner of Dan Silverleaf debuted in September. Later Frenchy’s Dip made its debut near Thanksgiving – the sandwich was named after Frenchy’s owner, André J. Rheault.

Runner-up: New York Hub

Bragging rights: Jason’s Deli

 

 

BEST SEAFOOD

Frilly’s Seafood Bayou Kitchen

1925 Denison St.

940-243-2126

www.frillysdenton.com

Cajun fare is the calling card of the original Frilly’s Seafood Bayou Kitchen, which has been serving Denton patrons for more than 11 years.

Perfect for a special anniversary dinner or a great place to gather with friends, this restaurant entices the tastebuds with its smorgasbord of seafood delights.

One recent customer was waiting in anticipation for his order of Andouille Sausage Gumbo, fried alligator, and blackened Grouper. Another snapped a photo of a plateful of oysters among the many Facebook fans who rave about the Cajun flavor-filled food.

No self-respecting Cajun could pass up the crawfish etouffee or jambalaya. It just simply isn’t done.

Runner-up: Keiichi

Bragging rights: Hannah’s Off the Square

 

 

BEST STEAK

Texas Roadhouse

3817 S I35 E

940-243-7427

www.texasroadhouse.com/store-sites/restaurant-detail/tx-denton/

Try a hand-cut steak and learn that the art of meat cutting is alive and well at Texas Roadhouse. Show up to the annual competition that showcases this kind of art to learn what we are talking about.

Besides steaks, try Fall-Off-The-Bone Ribs and homemade Texas red chili or choose from burgers and varieties of chicken, fish and pork including salads and sandwiches. Also, make sure to leave room for dessert - Granny’s Apple Classic or a Strawberry Cheesecake are good options.

Owned by Riki Rijos Sr., Texas Roadhouse came to Denton in 2002 and it was the first location to be featured inside what is now known as Restaurant Row of I-35, according to Denton Record-Chronicle archives. Since then, the legendary team (as the staff is called) has done their best to ensure all customers feel like they are at home.

Runner-up: Outback Steakhouse

Bragging rights: Hannah’s

 

 

BEST TEX-MEX

El Guapo’s

419 S. Elm St.

940-566-5575

www.elguapos.com

Who doesn’t love Tex-Mex? In Denton, readers find El Guapo’s to be the best. With homemade guacamole, enchiladas, quesadillas, tacos, rellenos and even various Texas favorites like chicken fried steak, you’re likely to find something to satisfy your taste buds here. Selections of meat include beef, chicken and shrimp but if you’d rather opt for a meat-free dish, there are also plenty of veggie options. The space is large, the atmosphere is relaxed and the service is great. El Guapo’s gives diners a “choose your own adventure” option for those who’d like to build their own platter of delicious Tex-Mex and has a lunch and dinner menu, both with reasonable pricing. El Guapo’s is located at 419 South Elm and is open Monday through Sunday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Runner-up: Chuy’s

Bragging rights: El Matador Restaurant

 

 

BEST VEGGIE FARE/ HEALTH FOOD

Cupboard Natural Foods & Café

200 W. Congress

940-387-5636

www.cupboardnaturalfoods.com

A nutritional supplement discount program, getting help from the nutritional staff and trying out what some have called a “phenomenal” salad bar are some of the perks offered at the Cupboard Natural Foods & Café, a business that has been in place for over 40 years.

Specializing in fresh gluten free, vegan or traditional baked goods has given the Cupboard a good following. So much so that it has landed on this list for the 11th year.

The Denton store has made “being” and “getting” healthy more than a passing fad for over 40 years.

Gluten-free foods, local products and a variety of raw foods keep the customers coming.

Its café menu is also the highlight of the store with items like Burrito grandes, veggie tacos and a turkey club wrapper.

Again, its salad bar with fresh organically grown ingredients along with homemade dressing and croutons do not disappoint.

Runner-up: The GreenHouse Restaurant

Bragging rights:Jason’s Deli

 

 

 

 

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