The wing slingers at Rocky Mountain Wingshak toss chicken in 13 different taste-bud-beguiling sauces, crafting traditional buffalo-style palate pleasers. Couples, friends, or batmen and robins begin the gustatory journey by choosing a sauce to adorn a basket of 20 wings. Like romance novels, the signature sauces come in two basic genres: buffalo and sweet. Flavors, ranging from mild to the scorching XX, include pineapple barbecue and teriyaki that sweet talk palates, and more complex combinations such as garlic pepper or lemon pepper fuse piquant notes with punches of spice. Swigs of soda cool mouths between bites, and dishes of ranch and blue cheese add pep to dipped fries or crunchy tater tots.
Cafe Terrace celebrates its grand opening as a staff of crêpe-crafting wizards puts 14 sweet and savory spins on the French disk. Indulge in the banana-caramel crêpe or the savory SoCal, whose sunny disposition of avocado, roma tomato, and lemon aioli makes diners wish that all crêpes could be California crêpes. Six sandwiches transport their fresh cargo, and soups simmer in the kitchen's pots, awaiting the chance to warm bellies with flavors of butternut squash or tomato bisque. Italian sodas carbonated with air from Mediterranean breezes infuse culinary travels with more than a score of flavors, including mango, raspberry, and passion fruit. While enjoying café fare, patrons lounge in a casual environment strewn with chessboards, available for playing a round against a friend or merely admiring the checkered surfaces.
The potation crafters at Beans & Brews Coffee House whip up hot and cold beverages from perk-proffering coffee beans, relaxing tea leaves, and sweet decaf alternatives. Hot coffee drinks, such as the cappuccino ($3.60 for 12 oz.) or eye-opener brew ($2.80 for 12 oz.) gently jolt the brain awake with mountain-roasted goodness, and the dulcet notes of iced chai ($4.10 for 16 oz.) and B&B frappes ($4.05 for 16 oz.) cool off summer-scorched palates with their sweet, icy taste. Roasters get the most out of each coffee bean with Beans & Brews’ trademark high-altitude roasting, which imparts each batch of grounds with a smooth flavor that, like an angst-riddled teddy bear, maintains a high level of complexity.
Claiming a slew of awards, including Best Chicken Dinner by the Orange County Register, El Pollo Loco fills stomachs on the go with a menu of flavorful poultry inspired by Mexico's kitchens. Enjoy the rich tastes of a four-piece combo—including breasts and wings marinated in herbs, spices, and citrus juices—entouraged by two sides from an expansive selection, including spanish rice, barbecue black beans, corn cobbettes, and mac 'n' cheese ($8.99). For a more portable lunch during parkour breaks from the office, wrap your chicken in the warm tortilla blanket of a twice-grilled burrito ($5.99). El Pollo Loco's innovative salsa bar can tickle your tongue until milk comes out of its nose with fresh varieties of avocado, chipotle, and pico de gallo.
Customers can choose from three kinds of barbecue sauce which glaze the hickory-smoked meats at Rocky’s Rib Shack: a Carolina-style mustard sauce, a spicy Texas-style sauce, and the eatery’s signature Kansas City–style sauce. That last dressing, dubbed Rocky’s Sauce, is a tomato-based paste that's prepared 24 hours in advance and composed of 15 different ingredients. These sauces add a savory glint to many of the restaurant's slow-cooked creations—ribs, piles of pulled pork, brisket, and brisket burgers, all available here for your scratch 'n' sniffing pleasure.
Scott and Nancy Litke opened a roadside food shack in partial tribute to Scott’s grandparents, Emmett and Ethel, who have quite a backstory: After a run-in with the law, Emmett disappeared in 1934, and the couple became a local legend. Just for fun, Scott challenges guests to a bounty game: any customer who brings in someone named “Emmett” will be rewarded with free lunch. The Emmett also receives a shirt and a place on the wall of fame. It’s one of a few challenges the restaurant offers to customers—there are also eating contests, including Man v. Emmett’s Burger and Man v. Ethel’s Sundae.
Since its opening, the “shack” has been updated to become a 2,800-square foot restaurant. The ethic is the same, though: Emmett’s and Ethel’s churns out fresh, homemade food, such as gourmet burgers, hot dogs, and baskets piled high with fish and chicken that has been hand-cut in the kitchen. In addition to traditional malts and shakes, guests can savor parlor-style ice cream sundaes with ingredients such as deep fried peach halves, toasted almond ice cream, and brownies.