BGR The Burger Joint’s burgers start with high-quality ingredients—most importantly, all-natural beef from grain-fed cattle, free to run in the fields and given zero hormones, fillers, or antibiotics. The prime beef is dry-aged, blended, and ground fresh to form patties that are grilled over an open flame, and then placed atop buttery, locally made brioche buns delivered fresh each day. The menu focuses on the Legendary Burger, which includes gourmet toppings such as avocado, applewood bacon, and grilled jalapenos. For nonbeef eaters, the menu's selection of burgers also includes turkey and veggie varieties, as well as The Greek, a seasoned lamb patty topped with tzatziki and feta. Burgers are also available in a lettuce wrap or on a salad in a healthy salad bowl.
Diners can request all of BGR The Burger Joint's freshly made fries—from thick-cut yukon gold potatoes to asparagus fries—be topped with parmesan, rosemary, roasted garlic, or a tiny tiara. The staff hand-spins shakes with Gifford's or Breyers ice cream to create extra-thick treats for finishing off meals, and some shops curate their own selection of bottled vintage sodas and offer beer and wine.
Named after the owners' youngest daughter Layal and an Arabic word meaning "our nights," Layalina Restaurant makes every meal feel like a family dinner. The staff is dedicated to a high level of service that makes every guest feel at home, whether their local regulars or visiting dignitaries such as the crown prince of Bahrain. The decor adds to the inviting experience, with metal chandeliers casting a warm glow and colorful fabrics draped along the ceiling that evoke a tent canopy or hammocks hung playfully out of reach.
The menu showcases family recipes that blend Lebanese and Syrian traditions to create succulent kebabs and vegetarian dishes that earned praise from Gayot. The Washington Post highlighted flavorful appetizers, including the kafta bil jawz, a signature dish that combines lean beef with walnuts, pepper, bulghur, and an enchanting bouquet of herbs. The Post also recognized the hearty entrees, saying that "it would be a shame to miss out on fried lamb shank with creamy orzo."
No time to giggle about the name—you've got some big decisions to make at Big Buns Gourmet Grill. There are five steps to building a perfect custom burger here, and the bun choice––regular, whole wheat, skinny, or in a bowl––is probably the easiest. It's much harder to choose between the seven types of protein (Angus beef, salmon, and portabella mushroom are but a few) and harder still to narrow down the field of unlimited toppings, choosing from among such offerings as roasted corn salsa, grilled onions, pineapple, and banana peppers. Keep going—there are still premium toppings to select, such as hickory-smoked bacon, Sicilian pepperoni, or an entire beef wellington. Then you must pick your cheese. And that's before you even get to the special sauces and dressings (there are five). From there, burger builders can consider their work finished, unless they want to try and tackle the menu of sides, which includes tempting options such as sweet-potato fries, handspun Nutella or peanut-butter-cup shakes, and a long list of ice-cold craft brews.
The Melting Pot transforms date nights and friendly outings into rich, sensory experiences by gathering diners around communal pots of fondue and adorning their tables with sumptuous four-course feasts of cheese, salad, chocolate, and steakhouse fare. Bubbling pots of emmentaler, lager-laced cheddar, and creamy fontina quell urges to engage in skewer swordfights as guests eagerly dip and slather slices of crisp granny-smith apples or crusts of artisanal bread. Creamy peppercorn ranch and decadent burgundy-shallot vinaigrette drape plates of crispy salad greens and roma tomatoes before servers parade out the pièce de résistance—fresh shrimp, sesame-crusted ahi, and succulent slices of filet mignon that bathe in roiling pools of coq au vin and bourguignonne. As a tasty digestif, dessert-savvy diners coat brownies, marshmallows, and unlucky car keys in cauldrons of milk, dark, and white chocolate.
Though you can identify Arabic, Turkish, and Italian influences in many of its dishes, the slender North African country of Tunisia has a cuisine that's all its own. At Taste of Tunisia, chef Baya Stiti introduces diners to a variety of traditional Tunisian eats, from plump lamb sausages to tender beef kabobs. The former chef of the Tunisian Embassy whips up three different couscous dishes, mingling the delicate grains in chickpeas, veggies, and lamb. Baya also folds falafel and shawarma meats into pita wraps, and fries up the crispy breek pastries lauded by writers from Express. As Baya bustles about the open kitchen, diners can watch from red cushioned chairs, sipping cups of white mint tea—a traditional drink sourced directly from Tunisia's delicious waterfalls.
The Zen-inspired décor of Bambu creates the perfect atmosphere for an Asian food tasting frenzy. Diners at Bambu can sample sushi at one of two bars in front of an exposed kitchen, or can opt to sit in the bamboo-colored dining area and choose from a range of Chinese, Thai, Japanese or fusions dishes. There is a full range of entrées, plus plenty of noodle, rice and soup dishes. All dumplings, sauces and spring rolls are homemade, and beef, fish and veggies are fresh as can be. Open for dinner and lunch, the daytime crowd can enjoy Bento boxes for around $10, filled with a featured entrée, soup, salad, a California roll and rice.