The married couple behind Asia Oriental Cuisine, Alex and May Zhong, thought they retired from the restaurant business until a vacation across Asia reignited their passion for the continent's diverse cuisines. The Zhongs decided to bring a taste of Thailand, China, Japan, and Vietnam to Lehigh Valley, opening up a Asian eatery of their own in a converted house in Allentown.
Because the Zhongs want to cultivate the atmosphere of a friendly dinner party, visitors are welcome to uncork any beverages brought from home after May happily shows them to their seats. In the kitchen, Alex whips up colorful dishes of peking duck with homemade steamed rolls, Hong Kong?style roast pork, or Indonesian tempeh. Over the years, Alex's recipes have received many honors, including five Reader's Choice Awards from The Morning Call, a Decadent Dish Award in Lehigh Valley Style magazine, a spot on the Chinese Restaurant Foundation's Top 100 Overall Excellence list, and the Guinness world record for most accurate fortune cookies.
It sounds strange, but Dan DiZio found the perfect pretzel machine hiding in a nondescript Florida garage. Once he saw it, he knew what he had to do. With help from his friend Len Lehman, DiZio hauled the equipment back to his native Philadelphia?where as a child he once sold homemade pretzels to his neighbors. He soon opened the original Philly Pretzel Factory. Today, nearly 15 years since first opening, Philly Pretzel Factory whips up fresh batches of secret-ingredient dough across 100 locations in eight states. The pretzels are twisted by hand into salted or cinnamon-sugar pretzels and pair with the shop's signature brand of mustard, or sweet blends of chocolate and butter-cream. The menu also tucks hot dogs and spicy sausages into pretzel rolls, and dusts salt on "rivets," or soft pretzel bites, which can top party trays or bind the masts of gravy boats.
Louie’s Restaurant has been an Allentown family favorite since 1958, when Sue and Gino Belletieri–parents of Louie and his two brothers–first opened the restaurant that grew to become the Louie’s of today. Their trademark sauces, such as the marinara with its robust flavors and garlic kick, are made with original recipes and are sold at area supermarkets. At lunch and dinner, families feast on signature Italian dishes at Louie’s checkered tables, where time-tested recipes continue to impress decades later. In addition to playing sports games on flat-screen TVs, Louie’s also hosts musicians on Friday evenings, providing entertainment aside from the pasta, glorious pasta, twirled around forks.
With nods from USA Today, CBS News, and The Washington Post, Rodizio Grill, founded by S?o Paolo?born Ivan Utrerahas, made a name for itself as an authentic Brazilian charrascuria?a South American?style rotisserie. Cooks slow-roast and skewer select cuts of beef, pork, poultry, and lamb, as well as seafood selections and grilled pineapple. They also offer a gourmet salad bar that encourages diners to pair marinated pork loin or Brazilian sausage with fresh, leafy greens and farm-fresh croutons plucked right off the tree. All the while, gauchos?also known as Brazilian cowboys?bustle about the restaurant bringing unlimited slices of tender meat directly to tables.
At The Grid Code, an 11,000-square-foot arena lays the field for bouts of recreational trigger pulling. The indoor NERF arena shelters players from the elements as they duck behind tires, wooden structures, and poles to elevate these Hasbro instruments, which expel soft foam ammo, to a truly competitive degree. The Grid Code rents out all necessary safety gear, masks, and supernatural force fields, and can organize spaces to accommodate parties and corporate teambuilding.
Krocks Grille Pub ushers pub fare toward casual diners gathering for a night out or laid-back meal. The Krocks' menu features hot plates from its arsenal of gut-tickling appetizers and filling entrees. Homemade chicken fingers ($6.95) get mouths warmed up in anticipation of the jaw-stretching honey-barbecue bacon cheeseburger ($8.25) or obstinate hard-c rejecting krab kake sandwich ($7.95).