Almost anything could happen to a chicken wing in PS Eatery’s kitchen. The culinary team could crisply fry it and dunk it in buffalo spices, or prepare it Asian-style, tossing it in fish sauce. The eatery specializes in comfort food with a twist, adding flavorful touches and Asian influences to its classic platters. The mac and cheese, for instance, comes crowned in Japanese-style panko breadcrumbs and mixed with spicy tuna. Grilled pork loins arrive sided with tasty tangles of spaghetti chow mein, and even the humble veggie burger is reinvented with six layers of yellow squash, eggplant, and zucchini, rather than the standard autumn leaves.
When he cofounded his first sandwich shop in 1965, 17-year-old Fred DeLuca planned to use his profits to pay his way through medical school. But the combination of quality ingredients and friendly service at the shop—then called Pete's Subway—proved so popular that nine years later, he and his partner found themselves in charge of 16 locations across Connecticut, and Fred left behind his doctoring plans for a career in business.
Today, Subway restaurants number over 34,000 around the world—almost as many shops as there are sightings of Elvis buying cold cuts. At each location, staffers pile sliced ham, marinara-slathered meatballs, and other fillings into halved loaves of bread before customizing handhelds with tomatoes, shredded lettuce, and other healthy toppings plucked from chilled containers behind the counter. Salads free crisp veggies from bread's overprotective embrace, and crunchy baked chips or apple slices accompany entrees to tables. Subway's website also facilitates health-conscious eating by listing each item's nutrition information and fastest mile time online.
Though its name may indicate a highly focused menu, Q’s Halal Chicken serves up an array of Afghan and Mediterranean cuisine in addition to its free-range chicken. Hormone-free meats cooked according to halal tradition star in many of the dishes, which range from classics, such as chicken breast kabobs, to more contemporary preparations, such as portions of chicken teka masala wrapped in naan bread. The father-son team of chefs at the helm of Q’s Halal Chicken also accommodates vegetarians with their falafel made from scratch daily.
Tomatina's chefs rotate their menu three times a year to include the freshest local and seasonal ingredients. Diners can size up appetites with starters such as parmesan-crusted polenta ($6.75) before sinking teeth into more substantial fare on the extensive menu. The culinary wizards ensure freshness and quality by making sauces and dough from scratch and interviewing every tomato before baking an array of specialty pies, including the thin-crusted Pizza Vineyard with oven-roasted seedless red grapes, baby arugula, and gorgonzola ($17 for a large). Similarly, the restaurant's signature piadine dishes cover warm flatbread with cool salads and a bevy of toppings including steak ($10.95), salmon ($11.50), and hummus ($9.95), all of which can be easily imbibed via fork or face-planting.