Local chef and native East Austinite Hoover Alexander has created one of the city’s best comfort-food oases, blending mama's home cooking, diner short-order specials, Tex-Mex favorites, and Cajun influences in one Southern comfort mecca. The self-styled "Smoke, Fire & Ice House" is known for its large portions and flavorful recipes. The Jamaican jerk chicken and chicken fried steak puts most others to shame, and “side mates” like mac and cheese, fried okra and
creamed jalapeno spinach round out any homestyle cravings. A full bar serves popular staples like beet margaritas. It’s hard to save room for dessert, but the homemade pies are excellent—and their New Orleans–influenced breakfasts are worth a try.