The culinary masterminds at Apollo Restaurant craft juicy beef burgers and Belgian-style fries by hand from fresh ingredients. Every day, chefs grind two cuts of meat together, which intermingle in each patty to form edible masterpieces that resemble flat, cylindrical recreations of Michelangelo's David. Twin grilled-cheese sandwiches take the place of buns in The Mannimal burger, holding caramelized onions, bacon, and a patty in their cheesy embrace. Two patties, cheese slices, and bacon strips reflect a flavorful image unto one another in The Narcissist burger, tickling taste buds while supplying one's stomach with sweet nothings. Bacon, ham, and sausage join a hamburger patty and egg in The Farm burger, and hand-cut kennebec potatoes transform into Belgian-style fries after a golden brown frying and thorough dusting in Italian sea salt. Apollo Restaurant keeps a kitchen stocked full of fresh ingredients, many sourced locally when seasonally possible, leading to a fresh burger experience rivaled only by raising a cow in your kitchen and teaching it to perfectly toast buns.
At Nubi Yogurt, customers decorate blends of self-serve frozen yogurt with seasonal fruit slices and slivers of chopped-up candy. Georgia-peach- or pineapple-flavored yogurt waits for a complimentary showering of kiwi slices and mocha beads, while café-latte yogurt perks up customers with caffeinating chunks of Snickers or Kit-Kat. Most of the shops’ smooth, sinful flavors are fat-free, and are made with live-cultured probiotics that can help improve digestion. Each Nubi location boasts a bright, contemporary atmosphere with wireless internet, satellite radio tunes, and sleek tables polished enough to admire your new fro-yo moustache in.
Ono Hawaiian BBQ brings the island to the mainland with tender meats soaked in made-from-scratch marinades. Chefs hand roll chicken katsu in panko bread crumbs to give it a fresh, crispy texture, and assemble generous portions of crispy shrimp, island whitefish, and barbecue chicken in the seafood mix.
• One appetizer (up to an $11.95 value) • Two entrees (up to a $55.90 value) • Two beers (a $13.90 value) New Ashoka Palace's chefs wrangle Punjabi-style cuisine, which fills the restaurant with the warming aromas of northern India's traditional dishes and fresh spices. Embark on eastern journeys with appetizers such as a duo of crispy samosas, which smuggle delicious cargo in crisp dough shells like a baker's luggage. The selection of entrees includes tender tandoori chicken, which gains its warm aura steeping in marinade over hot coals in a traditional clay oven. Lamb vindaloo mingles with potatoes in a spicy gravy, and fresh peas and homemade cheese engage in a square dance conducted against the rollicking piquant notes of the mutter paneer. Cool down palates with bottles of Indian-imported Taj Mahal or Kingfisher beers, which fuel lively conversation and fan letters to Bacchus.
When it came time for the team at Johnny Carino’s to come up with some new recipes, they began rifling through their personal cooking histories. Executive chef Chris Peitersen took his first kitchen job at a barbecue joint when he was 14, so he was primed to create italian baby back ribs. By infusing brown sugar barbecue sauce with balsamic vinegar imported from Modena, he’s given the marinade a more acidic bite than typical barbecue sauces. As the ribs slowly roast and char on an oak grill, he bastes on his creation before finishing the dish with a dusting of parmesan.
The ribs are one of Carino’s many menu items that follow the restaurants’ approach of classic Italian preparations modified by forward-thinking flavor combinations. Diners will find a Black Angus burger capped with mozzarella and fried pepperoni, or sautéed tilapia spiced with garlic and jalapeño. Other signature dishes include the 16-layer lasagna, Skilletinis that sizzle with spaghetti and a choice of meat, and tiramisu made from scratch.