A steady stream of servers constantly moves from the kitchen of Grand Pacific Buffet kitchen to the buffet serving station, where they replenish trays of sesame chicken, pepper steak, crispy egg rolls, and other Chinese cuisine classics. Diners can also load plates with assorted sushi rolls or, on certain occasions, unlimited helpings of succulent snow crab legs. Giant koi fish swim in an indoor pond, adding to the restaurant's Asian-inspired decor.
Petra Café’s gustatory gurus transform pita or ciabatta bread into greek gyros and italian sandwiches at lunch. Diners send spinach-pie emissaries, made with phyllo dough, fresh spinach, and piquant feta ($3.50), to stomachs to pave the way for the Santorini lamb salad ($12.99), a vegetable-and-meat combination more satisfying than a genetically engineered hot-dog tree. Ruminators munch on attic classics, such as pitas stuffed with gyros meat ($6.49), falafel ($6.99), or, in a surprising twist, hundreds of miniature trojan horses. Taste buds can travel across the Mediterranean with the sicilian panini—grilled ciabatta bread enveloping pepperoni, genoa salami, and monterey jack and covered in layers of basil pesto and spicy mustard ($8.99).
Back Yard Burgers serves up North American Black Angus burgers hash-marked to order on genuine flame-licked grills. Third-pound patties dress for dinner with lettuce, vine-ripened tomatoes, red onions, dill pickles, and a condimental trio of ketchup, mustard, and mayo ($3.59). Or gussy up for patty prom with premium add-ons such as coleslaw, chili, sautéed mushrooms, bacon, and more ($0.35–$0.60 per topping). The grill masters also flip the first white meat, prepping Hawaiian chicken sandwiches with grilled pineapple, mustard, mayo, and lettuce ($4.09). Away from the flames, feel free to enjoy a loaded baked potato ($2.79) and a wide range of pairable plates such as chili cheese fries ($2.59 for regular size), garden salads ($2.19), and sweetly baked fruit cobblers ($1.99).
Mexican cuisine’s signature spices help create the first spark on a blind date or the spicy excitement of a night out with friends. Cozy up to someone as intense as cumin-coated chiles within the courtyard-like interior of Abuelo’s, where column-flanked archways divide seating sections into intimate nooks, with private booths tucked away in the glow of wall sconces. Lean back and twirl an imaginary conquistador 'stache while perusing the battle plans, which bear a suspicious resemblance to the menu. A wide variety of enchiladas ($8.99–$10.99) and fajitas ($9.99–$14.99) are available for savory grasping. Properly begin your delicious journey with a mountain of layered dip ($6.49), a stratified feast of chile con queso, roasted chiles, guacamole, refried beans, seasoned ground beef, sour cream, and diced tomatoes. To balance the indulgent dip with a fresh, light lunch that doesn’t skimp on taste-bud stimulation, try the tilapia Veracruz ($9.49), sautéed with shrimp, scallops, tomatoes, roasted poblanos, and olives. Dessert will cleanse spice-saturated palates with traditional sweets such as flan ($4.99) and margarita pie with tequila sauce ($5.49).
Chef Geroy Rachel honed his skills at L'École culinaire in Memphis before opening Royal Flavors, a food truck specializing in smoky barbecued meats. Inside the mobile kitchen, he wraps bacon around chicken legs, flavors pork riblets with a dry rub, and smokes beef burgers to serve on butter buns with provolone cheese and pickles. Smoked cabbage salad or turnip greens with smoked pork round out meals, and slices of caramel cake or strawberry shortcake provide a sweet finish. Diners can take their food to go or eat beside the food truck, where picnic chairs surround a flat screen television.
Outside of swimming laps in chocolate syrup, smoothies at Smoothie King are the tastiest way to improve your health. Smoothie King smoothies combine fresh fruit, natural juices, and special nutritional enhancers into more than 90 flavors (you can customize, add, and subtract the extras), all of which focus on achieving one of seven nutritional goals. Try an antioxidant-rich Pomegranate Punch with pomegranate, bananas, blueberries, apple juice, soy protein, and Turbinado sweetener to stay healthy. Weight-conscious en-smuthiasts can trim down and float away with the Celestial Cherry High, packed with bananas, black cherry, papaya, Turbinado, and honey, and unpacked with fat. You can also customize any smoothie by adding enhancers or “make it skinny” by cutting out the honey and Turbinado.