Local Spotlight

Like That Chain Restaurant? Try This Local One Instead

In the last couple of weeks, we've explored fun and funky Texas wines to drink in lieu of old standbys like Cabernet and Chardonnay and we've showcased local beers that can be enlisted to help wean your friends off adjunct lagers made by giant corporations. And just like we all have loved ones that won't drink anything other than Cupcake wine or Miller Lite, we -- me especially included -- all have loved ones that won't roam outside their comfort zone when it comes to restaurants.

Maybe they just really love the Cheddar Bay biscuits at Red Lobster (I know I do) or they just don't want to take a chance on venturing into a restaurant and paying for a dinner they might not like. Maybe they're just stubborn. Either way, none of these are excuses for refusing to try something new.

Instead of dragging your friends and/or relatives kicking and screaming to an Ethiopian restaurant, however, try introducing something new gently and kindly. If they just adore Big Macs at McDonald's, for instance, encourage them to try the delicious, fast-food-style cheeseburgers at Liberty Kitchen.

With that idea in mind, here's our list of ten local alternatives to popular chain restaurants. It's a chance for your loved ones to try something new and support their community at the same time.

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Katharine Shilcutt