The cooks at Napoli Tom's Pasta may seem like magicians, but they only need durum wheat, semolina flour, water, and a touch of sea salt to create their bewitchingly delicious pasta. It serves as the starting ingredient for most of the carryout eatery's from-scratch Italian specialties, including ravioli, spaghetti, and manicotti?all made from family recipes. The lasagna features five layers of handmade pasta carefully placed between layers of five cheeses, a choice of Italian sausage, ground beef, or spinach, and handmade marinara sauce. Like the marinara, Napoli Tom Pasta's Bolognese sauce is cooked for three hours, though each Bolognese gallon receives an extra kick from two pounds of Italian sausage.
Savory and sugary scents envelop customers when they walk inside Winchell's Donut House. That's because the shop specializes in 70 varieties of fresh cakey donuts and breakfast baked goods. Inside every dozen, staff sneak in 14 jelly donuts, crullers, long johns, and twists, with each available in a range of flavors and icings. Just as they pack their "dozen" with 14 donuts, they pack the individual donuts with fruity fillings such as strawberry, lemon, or raspberry. Then, they complement those flavors with cinnamon crumb topping, a dusting of donut sugar, or bittersweet chocolate icing. While they might use these same fruity flavors in their croissants, the bakers impart more savory flavors in their fresh bagels and sandwiches. To complement either type of breakfast food, the team brews Arabica coffee into flavors that evoke the season like a scarecrow, a snowman, or a scarecrow in snow pants and ski goggles. Impressively, Winchell's Donut House traces its roots back to 1948, no doubt because of its ability to unite savory with sweet on the menu.
Owners Rita and Eldon Larson constantly refine their eclectic cellar stocked with more than 700 varietals from every corner of the planet. During wine tastings, guests sample premium vinos such as Don Olegario Albarino and Vietti Nebbiolo. Throughout, knowledgeable and accessible staff members happily answers questions and demonstrate the 25 different pronunciations of the word tannin.
At the adjoining caf??s elegant tables, forks spear seared sea scallops and other savory entrees designed for pairing with selections from the 150-bottle wine list. Peckish patrons can also pluck heirloom prosciutto from charcuterie plates or bait traps for classy mice with morsels from 11 different cheese plates. Chef Jason Lee alleviates the stress of decision making with his prix fixe wine dinners, which complement entrees with appropriate sips.
With more than 700 locations, Jamba Juice proves to the masses that nutrition can be speedy and delicious. Since the beginning, the company?s product philosophy has revolved around choosing whole fruits and other natural ingredients over artificial flavorings, sweeteners, and preservatives. The menu is completely free of high-fructose corn syrup and trans fats, and it offers additional accommodations for vegan and gluten-free diets.
This naturalistic approach is fully realized in Jamba Juice's selection of smoothies. Made with 100% fruit juice, sherbet, and frozen yogurt, the frosty delights range from all-fruit smoothies such as peach perfection and strawberry whirl to more indulgent creamy treats, including peanut butter moo'd, an enticing blend of peanut butter, bananas, nonfat vanilla frozen yogurt, and milk chocolate.
For those with heartier appetites, steel-cut oats steep in soymilk before being enhanced with toppings such as apples, cinnamon, and brown-sugar crumble. The lunch hour presents protein-packed mini wraps, toasted bistro sandwiches and California Flatbreads that pack only about 320?420 calories each.
The aroma of Cajun and Creole cooking is known to make mouths water, and at Bayou Snack Shack, the kitchen doesn’t keep anyone waiting too long. Its cooks invite people in for Louisiana fast food such as chicken-and-sausage gumbo, blackened catfish po’ boys, and snow crab, shrimp, and crawfish boiled by the pound.
The Dusty Boot Steakhouse & Saloon welcomes hungry guests to dig into burgers, steaks, and Mexican-inspired specialties. In the dining room, more than a dozen TVs tune in to games as diners sip tequila, margaritas, and other drinks. Meanwhile, the chefs wrap filet mignon in bacon, slow-cook slabs of pork ribs in tangy barbecue sauce, and garnish fish tacos with fresh cilantro. Diners not in the mood to build their own burgers can pick one of the specialty burgers, which include a breakfast burger with bacon, cheddar, and a fried egg, and the Fatty melt—a burger, sautéed mushrooms, and onions between two grilled-cheese sandwiches.
On the weekends, the Dusty Boots' staff wakes up early to the sound of their rooster's idiotic radio show and cooks up breakfasts of three-egg omelets and latke reubens, which include two potato pancakes smothered in corned beef, sauerkraut, thousand-island dressing, and melted swiss.