Owners Vaughn and Kristi Huslig cast an aromatic net out the door of Andover Popcorn Company, drawing shoppers in with the scents of freshly popped corn and tasty desserts. Once inside, guests can browse 16 flavors of gourmet popcorn and pick their favorites to stuff into colorful, seasonal tins or buckets adorned with the logo of a favorite regional college team. Popcorn flavors range from white cheddar and salty-sweet kettle corn to fiery cinnamon and the peanut-butter-and-chocolate puppy chow, which is not a recommended replacement for actual puppy chow.
The quick-serving cooks at Spangles engage appetites in a '50s-themed dining environment, having recently bolstered the menu with a saucy taste of the Far East—Wok 'n' Roll Bowls, which come in three flavors ($4.49 each). The sweet chicken teriyaki and sirloin steak spoon with stir-fried carrots and broccoli on a bed of steamed white rice, and diners longing for legumes can sink their teeth careening into the spicy kung pao chicken bowl crowned with peanuts. Keep thirsty mouths from imbibing ketchup packets by dangling a pair of 32-ounce soft drinks in front of them ($1.69 each). Ten varieties are available, such as tropical punch, green-peach tea, Pepsi, and root beer.
A wave of flavor washes over visitors to Tsunami Teriyaki, who can dig into charbroiled teriyaki, chicken wings, and Thai and Vietnamese dishes. Spring rolls stuffed with chicken and vegetables and garnished with a ginger-lime sauce can start off meals, or diners can sample salad rolls made with carrots, bean sprouts, and peanut sauce. The hearty selection of noodles ranges from pad thai, “Thailand’s official rice noodle,” to vermicelli, Vietnam’s “light and healthy rice noodle.” The luscious noodles arrive mixed with cilantro, toasted peanuts, lemongrass, bean sprouts, and proteins such as tofu, chicken, or steak. The house Tsunami Specials platters include chicken or tofu mixed with string beans, Thai herbs, or a crushed peppercorn sauce. Thai iced tea and Vietnamese iced coffee wash down spices, and boba drinks of avocado, mango, and sour-green-apple flavors provide refreshing sips that may come with pearls of tapioca freshly stolen from the elusive tapioca oyster.
Breakfast used to be simple. Just have a glass of oatmeal with a teaspoon of half-and-half and run for the school bus. These days, our evolved bodies require a bit more sustenance to jumpstart a productive weekday or hyper-productive weekend, and the freshly revamped menu at Egg Cetera won't let anyone down. Simpletons can take a pared down two-egg plate with bacon, house potatoes, or toast, but a breakfast savant might opt for the more refined eggs benedict with poached eggs, hollandaise sauce, and smoked salmon.
But Egg Cetera's chefs don't cease to emphasize the "Cetera" half of the eatery's name—the expansive menu lists an array of classic Mexican dishes: from morning-time huevos rancheros and breakfast burritos to sizzling fajitas and tamales. Mid-day diners can also gorge on BLTs and cheeseburgers while sipping on a classic soft drink or juices from a freshly squeezed piñata.
With three beach volleyball courts on the outdoor sand bar, people don?t just watch sports at Jerseys Grill and Bar, they also play them. Of course, those in the mood for watching can sidle up to the inside bar, where a squad of TVs and projectors displays live sporting events. There, beers pour from taps and servers deliver flatbread pizzas, sandwiches, and chicken dishes. The chefs flex their creativity with the menu's handful of half-pound Black Angus burgers, as they roll one patty in black peppercorn, dip another in a teriyaki glaze, and top a third with a fried egg. While eating, guests can check out the football helmets that line shelves above the windows and the framed jerseys that bedeck the walls. The bar has a designated space for kids to expend their energy in the game room, and another space for DJs, live bands, and the local theater troupe?s re-enactment of Space Jam.
A chef stands over a flaming tableside teppanyaki grill, twirling his cooking instruments in the air and catching them in each hand. As his audience whistles and cheers, he sears juicy morsels of filet mignon, chicken, and seafood alongside colorful slices of mixed vegetables. Chefs are equally busy behind the sushi counter, artfully arranging more than 100 different types of rolls with fresh tuna, spicy salmon, and crispy shrimp tempura. At the bar, expert mixologists shake premium liquors and juices into cocktails, garnishing them with duos of plump olives and curls of lemon rind. At nightfall as the moon filters in through the skylight windows, the contemporary dining room comes alive with glimmering televisions, lively music, and friends debating the existence of wood nymphs over drinks.