A colorful sign juts from Manny’s El Loco, proudly proclaiming “World Famous Burritos Since 1971.” Inside, chefs busily pack the eatery’s claim to fame with carnitas, carne asada, and chicken, or up the ante with rib-eye steak or chorizo. Forks and knives find a place at Manny’s as well, thanks to taco salads tossed with meat and avocado and enchilada platters paired with authentic rice and beans. The kitchen crew incorporates hamburgers and french fries into its primarily Mexican menu, and helps customers tackle the morning or their nemesis with eggs prepared any style, which they can take to go or enjoy on the outdoor patio.
The original Beard Papa’s began filling the airs of Osaka, Japan, with the warm, wafting smells of its original-recipe cream puffs. A double-layer puff featuring piecrust on the outside and a mixture of vanilla custard cream and whipped cream on the inside, the successful little treats have led the bakery to expand to more than 300 locations throughout Southeast Asia, Russia, the United States, and the moon. The venerable bakery has also graduated to other pint-size desserts and Asian-influenced treats, including mochi ice cream and mango ice showers, a fusion of shaved ice, layered sweet sauce, and mango chunks.
Sweet Dreams evokes a cozy New York lounge with large windows, ample table space, and several plush sofas. But the real centerpiece is the dessert case, filled with fruit tarts, homemade apple pies, and fresh-baked cupcakes. Those who don't slip into a sugar trance can grab a warm focaccia sandwich or throw back a few espressos. Diners may also put in a bakery order for a custom cake; past designs include a circus tent, a guitar, and a giant Brussels sprout.
Food is the body's fuel, and the staff at Fenix 5-4 centers its efforts on making sure that fuel is as powerful as possible. That's why their menu of juices and smoothies features wholesome, raw fruits and vegetables grown without pesticides. Wheatgrass is a special star here—the potent superfood comes in concentrated shots and sippable teas laced with honey. It's all in an effort help their guests eat and live more healthily, with more whole nutrients and less refined sugar and preservatives. Café offerings take the same approach—the team pairs many of their sandwiches with nitrate-free ham imported from Italy or meat-free substitutes that taste just like chicken or beef.
The masterminds behind Fenix 5-4 will soon be putting their wholesome efforts into a brother restaurant, The Rusty Monk. An upscale space that features a creative wine list and a slew of Belgian and German draft beers, the restaurant will nourish diners with the same life-giving nutrients in a gourmet seasonal menu.