BEST IN FOOD & DINING 2017: Part III
Food: we can’t live without it. Maybe for a few hours, but after that, the hangry-ness sets in. Nobody likes to be hangry. Not to worry, the Brazos Valley is home to many incredible eateries that can satiate hunger and bring a food coma-smile to our faces.
Around every corner, we have restaurants that have fed the Brazos Valley for decades and are the locals go-to for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Maybe even a midnight snack. However, over the past decade the population has substantially grown and so have our dining options (YES!). It’s a culinary wonderland! Not to mention the delectable desserts, local wineries and breweries, and food delivery / take-out masters that heighten our dining experiences, too!
Food is a part of our daily routine, and it’s important that we take a moment to appreciate the creative minds who feed us every single day while delighting our palates. Below are the Best of the Brazos Valley 2017 winners across five of the Food & Dining categories.
Best Fine Dining | Christopher’s World Grille
Voted “Best Fine Dining” 2001-2017
[ christophersworldgrille.com | 5001 Boonville Road | Bryan, TX 77802 | 979.776.2181 ]
Seventeen years—that’s how many times Christopher’s World Grille has been voted the Best In The Brazos. And it’s good to know Chef Christopher Lampo, CEC, has a strong local following in addition to his worldwide fans. Lampo says, “Being voted the best fine dining restaurant in town, year after year, is basically a huge ‘thumbs-up’ from friends and family members in the Brazos Valley. It’s one of the biggest honors we can ever receive.”
A 1989 High Honors Graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, Lampo is a Certified Executive Chef by The American Culinary Federation and holds a Bachelor of Science degree with Honors from Florida International University in Hospitality Management. He is a Founding Member of the Culinary Institute of America’s Alumni Council Board of Trustees. His numerous awards and accolades include membership in the prestigious Les Amis d’Escoffier society of professional chefs, as well as Chaines des Rotisseurs and DiRoNA (Distinguished Restaurants of North America). He has also received the Les Amis d’Escoffier Award of Merit, is a member of The American Culinary Federation and The World Association of Cooks Society, and his restaurant, Christopher’s World Grille has earned Triple A’s impressive 4-Diamond rating. Christopher’s wine list has been honored with an Award of Excellence by Wine Spectator magazine every year since 2006.
Like Chef Lampo’s award-winning menu, the Christopher’s World Grille facility itself is a potpourri of good taste. Lampo opened the restaurant in 1999, in the 100-year-old ranch house in Bryan, Texas, which features an elegant blend of historic features—like original fireplaces, leaded glass china cabinet, stained glass windows, and oak floors—with a state-of-the-art banquet room facility that includes complete A/V capabilities and wireless internet.
Chef Lampo attributes the success of the restaurant and the accumulation of awards to his very loyal, long-serving, passionate and caring staff. Christopher is referring to the many employees that have worked for him for 10 years plus, including a few that were there since the beginning. He says, “None of this would have been possible without them”
The jaw-dropping number of awards and accolades Chef Lampo and his restaurant have racked up is impressive, including both local, national and international awards. But as Lampo points out: “We feel like the phrase ‘Best of the Brazos’ describes our local friends and customers. They’re the ones who make Christopher’s World Grille such a tremendous success!”
Best Mexican Restaurant | Casa Rodriguez
Voted “Best Mexican Restaurant – LOCAL” 2009-2017
[ casarod.com | 300 North Bryan Avenue | Bryan, TX 77803 | 979.779.0916 ]
Locally-owned Casa Rodriguez has been serving the best Mexican food in the Brazos Valley for decades. “Casa Rod”, as loyal patrons refer to it, has won the Best Mexican Restaurant category in Best of the Brazos Valley for an impressive nine straight years.
Over 100 years ago, Manuel Rodriguez moved from Zacatecas, Mexico, bringing with him his delicious family recipes. His grandson, Richard, and his wife, Beatrice, decided to share Manuel’s dishes with the Brazos Valley by opening Casa Rodriguez in 1978. The two have since retired but the Rodriguez family tradition is being continued today by their daughter, Debbie Rodriguez.
“We are humbled by the loyalty and support of our customers and the local community,” Rodriguez says.
No matter what you are in the mood for, Casa Rod will be sure to satisfy any palate. They now serve breakfast all day long. Offering fresh tortillas made daily, Casa Rodriguez has plenty of local favorites to choose from. On Fridays and Saturdays, try their delicious beef or chicken caldo. Are you hungry for menudo on the weekend? Casa Rod has got you covered. They also have a full spirit bar and even offer catering options. Join them every First Friday for mariachi’s and every second Friday for live music for your entertainment!
Customer service and having a full on-hand staff is of the utmost importance at Casa Rodriguez. “We stress to our employees that our customers’ experience should always be one that they don’t ever forget,” Rodriguez says. “We make our customers feel as if they are family.”
The folks at Casa Rodriguez take pride in being involved with different groups in the Brazos Valley. “We enjoy contributing to the efforts of local charities and organizations as well as Texas A&M and host profit-sharing events here at the restaurant,” Rodriguez says.
Casa Rodriguez is open Tues. and Wed from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Thurs. from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., Fri. and Sat. from 8 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Sunday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Monday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. (lunch only).
Best Pizza | Rx Pizza
Voted “Best Pizza” 2017
[ rxpizza.com | 200 West 26th Street | Bryan, TX 77803 | 979.721.9158 ]
In May 2016, the Historic James Pharmacy, located in the heart of Downtown Bryan, was transformed into the Brazos Valley’s best, and newest, pizza joint: Rx Pizza. In one short year, Rx Pizza has claimed the title of “Best Pizza” in the Brazos Valley, and with good reason. Locals throughout the community can feel the love that the staff members at Rx Pizza have kneaded into every aspect of the restaurant.
“We pride ourselves on making everything we sell in-house,” says co-founder Jake Mitchell. From the hand-pulled mozzarella, made fresh every day, to the Barrel-Aged Old Fashioneds, home-made excellence is the standard at Rx Pizza. In a short time, Rx Pizza has become a fundamental part of the Downtown Bryan experience.
With a large menu featuring wood-fired pizzas, salads, a variety of shareable appetizers, Texas Craft Beer, Cocktails, and Wine, Rx Pizza satisfies every appetite. You won’t want to leave! And starting in September, you won’t have to! Rx Pizza is excited to announce that in September they will be opening their kitchen until 2 a.m. every Friday and Saturday. Stop in and ask about the Pizza and Cocktail of the Month, or join them for Wine Wednesdays, Trivia Thursdays, and Sunday Brunch!
“We are extremely proud to be the “Best Pizza in the Brazos Valley.” There is great pizza in this town and we are humbled to have this honor voted on by the people.” –Co-Founder Jake Mitchell
Best Sports Restaurant/Bar, Wings | Wings N’ More
Voted “Best Sports Restaurant/Bar” 2012-2017
Voted “Best Wings” 2001-2017
[ wingsnmore.com/rnb | 3230 Texas Avenue South College Station, TX 77845 979.694.8966 | 1511 University Drive East College Station, TX 77840 979.691.2100 | 1561 West Villa Maria Road Bryan, TX 77807 979.779.7479 | 2612 State Highway 21 East Bryan, TX 77808 979.778.0338 | PARTY ROOM 1803 Deacon Drive College Station, TX 77845 979.680.1498 ]
They did it again! Aggieland has voted Wings ‘N More “Best Wings” in the Brazos Valley for the seventeenth straight year (2001-2017). Wings ‘N More was also chosen as the “Best Sports Restaurant/Bar” (2012-2017). Mark Dennard and his supportive team can always keep customers happy in the Brazos Valley!
Wings ‘N More is the perfect casual dining experience for everyone. Looking for a family-friendly restaurant to take the kids? How about a place to watch your favorite game? Wings ‘N More has got that covered! The sports atmosphere will set the mood for you. Are you just in a hurry? Well a great dinner just got easier with Wings ‘N More Express.
They are best known for their delicious award-winning wings, but that’s not all they have to offer. To see why Wings ‘N More remains a fan favorite in the Brazos Valley, visit one of their four locations today! All you have to do is come hungry and Wings ‘N More and their great team will do the rest.
Wings ‘N More is always looking to improve their service. At their Express locations they are working to have equipment so staff can come out and take guest orders to increase speed and accuracy. At Full Service locations, Online Ordering, Mobile Ordering, and Curbside Pick-Up are offered. They have recently added a system to help decrease wait times when their guests come and dine in. Wings ‘N More introduced new items this year, and are featuring a new Beverage Menu!
It’s no secret folks do things a little differently in Texas, and Wings ‘N More is excited for their newest additions to the menu including Pulled Pork Nacho Fries, Texas Tender Sandwich, and a burger named The Mess. Stop by Wings ‘N More today to try our tasty creations that is soon-to-be a favorite of yours.
Best Wine by the Glass | Downtown Uncorked
Voted “Best Wine by the Glass” 2011-2014; 2017
[ 206 West 26th Street | Bryan, TX 77803 | 979.823.4837 ]
Downtown Uncorked Wine Bar in Historic Downtown Bryan is fun, vibrant and designed as a place to meet for a quick specialty pizza, appetizer, dessert, and a glass of wine. It offers the right combination for small or large groups in search of a laid-back evening with comfortable seating and the opportunity for some quiet conversation. Uncorked is not a restaurant with a wine list, but a true wine bar where you can hang out while learning about, or just enjoying, wine. The ambience is as unpretentious as the attitude, providing an inviting space to sit back and relax in the afternoon or enjoy a lively crowd at night. The focus is definitely on wine, and tasting is believing.
The wine by the glass list changes monthly, so you can always count on discovering the new and the best of Old and New World Wines. Our by-the-bottle wine list represents over 17 countries, and we are always bringing in different regions. Our friendly wine-educated staff — seven servers have been certified level one — is very familiar with every wine on the list, and they can suggest something that speaks to your current wine mood. Beer lovers will find 20 specialty beers on the menu including a new beer as each new season rolls around.
Downtown Uncorked offers specials almost every day of the week. Wine Wednesday gives everybody 20% off the entire menu. Thursday Uncorked showcases an entire different wine menu for Half Price Bottle Night. On Friday Flight Night you can order your own flight or purchase a pre-designed flight created by the knowledgeable staff. Join us on Facebook or sign up for the monthly newsletter to keep informed about new events such as wine makers visits. Always evolving to better serve their guests, Downtown Uncorked will soon offer a new selection of mixed drinks, liquors and shakers for guests’ enjoyment. Also coming this fall, their food menu will feature many new exciting items, including tantalizing paninis.
Downtown Uncorked seeks to convey the highest levels of knowledge with regard to wine but without the air of exclusivity that so often afflicts the industry with catering to every individual; from aficionados to novices. It’s all about the wine! Melba Tucker, the owner of Downtown Uncorked Wine Bar, invites you to “uncork” the mystery of wine in a fun and relaxed environment.