Sulphur Springs’ Celebration Dining District — where American and international flavors and beverages are all within a short walking distance — is an ideal location for a foodie tour. Visit these culinary standouts to sample some of the best cuisine in the Celebration City, or plan your own culinary adventure.
Start the day with a Southern brunch at Haystacks. Their menu boasts “Country Fine Dining,” and so far no one disagrees.
A favorite appetizer is Waffle Chicken Kabobs (pictured above), three hearty skewers of crisp waffle portions and waffle-fried chicken chunks with good helpings of maple butter and spicy syrup. The waffles taste sweet and crispy, and the chicken bites have a crunchy waffle coating that complements their savory taste.
Don’t feel obligated to share this fine appetizer with anyone, though. It’s large enough to enjoy as an entree.
Brunch entrees combine a range of southern flavors. Shrimp & Grits, served with eggs, bacon, and toast, is a popular breakfast entree. The Holy Moly Skillet offers a Southwestern dish of roasted potatoes, bell peppers, cheddar cheese, onion, pulled pork, fried egg, with avocado pico de gallo.
The menu also offers pastries and breakfast sandwiches that are perfect for lighter appetites and make excellent carry-out items.
Haystacks offers bistro coffees and specialty lattes made from inspired blends. Favorites are the Texas Sunrise, with raspberry and white chocolate, and the Haystacks Latte, with dark chocolate, salted caramel, and chocolate chips.
Another delicious coffee is the Fireside Latte, sweetened with toffee crunch, toasted marshmallows, and caramel. Also, check out Haystacks’ Free Mimosa Fridays.
Haystacks is open 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. Outdoor seating and takeout are available, and reservations are always recommended. For information, visit www.haystackstexas.com.
Plain & Fancy Sandwich Shoppe
Less than one block away is Plain & Fancy Sandwich Shoppe, which offers breakfast or lunch options in a variety of combinations — plain or fancy. The deli-bakery serves breakfast all day or a range of sandwiches, soups, salads, wraps, baked potatoes, and specialty desserts.
For a healthy and satisfying light lunch, try the Vegetable Wrap, a blend of lettuce and juicy slices of tomato, cucumber, and bell pepper with olives, cheese, avocado spread, and ranch dressing in a tomato basil wrap. The fresh, crisp veggies offer a delicate blend of flavors.
For an afternoon treat, try Plain & Fancy’s locally-famous Sparkle Cookies. The light and flaky sugar cookies have a sweet, delicate flavor, complemented by their creamy white icing with colorful sparkles.
Richer dessert favorites include the Chocolate or Strawberry Yummy, a creamy layering of chocolate mousse or strawberry preserves, whipped cream, soft cream cheese, on top of a sugar cookie crust.
Due to the cafe’s ideal location and full-length windows, seating at Plain & Fancy — indoor or outdoor — offers a spectacular view of the Hopkins County Courthouse and surrounding park.
Hours are 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. For dining in or taking out, call (903) 885-9225 or visit their menu to place an order online at www.plainandfancyshoppe.com.
MAAK Sushi Cafe
MAAK Sushi Cafe offers dozens of international flavors all from the same menu, which may explain its name, Modern American Adventure Kitchen.
The Temptation Roll is a popular specialty sushi with delicate flavors of the sea, including real crab, avocado, spicy mayo, and tempura shrimp accents.
Besides sushi, MAAK offers dozens of possibilities, with rice, noodle, and salad bowls; chicken, pork, and cheese sandwiches; street tacos; egg drop soup; hamburgers; and fries in a variety of styles and flavors with international flair.
Another MAAK specialty is Boba Pop Tea, a frothy blend of milk and tea with Boba Pop pearls. Widely enjoyed across Asia, bubble tea first appeared at a tea stand in Taiwan in the 1980s, where the owner added tapioca pearls to a frothy tea mixture. It became widely known as bubble milk tea — and widely popular across Asia.
For Boba Pop newbies, the tea is easy to enjoy. Bubbles containing fruit juices or yogurt rest at bottom until drawn upward through a fat straw. The bubbles pop in transit, blending with the creamy tea for a unique taste — which guests can customize to their liking.
One popular drink is the Guy’s Go To tea, a delicious blend of milky white vanilla tea with cherry pops that burst with flavor.
MAAK offers takeout, delivery, curbside, and dine-in options. Hours are 11 a.m to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday to Saturday. MAAK has a second location in Mount Pleasant. For information, call (903) 980-8168 or visit www.themaak.com.
Whimsy Wine Bar, Restaurant & Boutique
Located just one block west of the courthouse square, Whimsy offers a refined full-service menu in a relaxed atmosphere, where patrons can spend hours talking and visiting with friends or shopping in the boutique.
Whimsy’s airy outdoor patio offers plenty of spacious seating with a full view of the restaurant’s warmly-lit interior wine bar and dining area.
The bar serves a selection of 30 or more curated wines from Italy, France, California, Texas, and Portugal. Owner Karen Riddle offers wine tastings and pairings with dishes from the restaurant’s full menu. House Sangrias with white wine and blackberry, raspberry, or peach flavors are also popular.
One appetizer is the Tomato Bruschetta & Olive Tapenade, a Mediterranean delight with fresh tomatoes and basil, mozzarella cheese, and balsamic vinaigrette served on crostini. Whole olives and an olive tapenade round out the bruschetta’s flavors, which are especially poignant when paired with Esprit, a light French white with fruity notes.
With a background in classic French cooking, Chef Thomas Ferguson offers a menu of flavors — from appetizers and charcuterie to hand-ground hamburgers, hearty American and Italian entrees, steaks, and seafood.
Desserts at Whimsy include classics such as Vanilla Creme Brulee, Drunken Fruit Crumble, Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake, and Molten Lava Cake.
Whimsy is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Indoor or outdoor seating and takeout and curbside delivery are available. For information, call (903) 919-3733 or visit www.whimsytx.com.