Stephen and Cheryl Kraus, the bakers, teachers, and husband-and-wife duo behind Upcountry Provisions, know that the best food begins with the best ingredients. Drawing upon their education at the French Culinary Institute, they start their crusty breads and flaky croissants with organic, locally sourced ingredients, including fresh eggs and milk freshly squeezed from local milk plants. Beyond pastries, they also bake breads that serve as the basis for sandwiches stacked with tender peppered chicken, crisp fried onions, and homemade chutneys, for example. The Krauses also lead two-hour cooking classes for curious chefs of all experience levels, teaching them to craft croissants, breads, cookies, and scratch-made soups.
Established in 2009, Mojo’s Famous Burgers mingles classic American eats with rockabilly music and décor inspired by tattoo art at two locations. The menu harkens to '50s diner fare with hand-cut onion rings, old-fashioned milk shakes, and build-your-own burgers with two patty sizes. A selection of specialty burgers crowns premium aged beef with toppings inspired by regional flavors—Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Philly, or Hawaiian style—and the chef’s favorite natural disaster. The eatery’s wall of fame commemorates diners who chowed through a food challenge featuring quadruple cheeseburgers or loaded foot-long hot dogs.
Owner Lazaro Montoto maintains a healthy diet, and doesn't believe in sacrificing flavor to do so. That's why he opened Tropical Grille as an alternative to the nation’s preponderance of greasy fast-food dives. Natural light pours from wall-length windows onto his steaming grill, where the smell of sizzling chicken and steamed veggies mingle with the aromatic release of Lazaro's flavor-packed spice rubs. He puts those blends to good use; in addition to spicing up the grill, they also infuse his signature pork, which marinates for 12 hours before taking a trip to the slow-roaster for inclusion in thick sandwiches and hearty wraps.
The notion of “fast and casual” isn't new—most chain restaurants adhere to the concept, as do many conversations with abandoned sock puppets. However, at Brioso Fresh Pasta, efficient service merges with local and organic ingredients to bump "fast and casual" into the glow of a new spotlight. Italian dishes range from house-made pasta to fork-free paninis, all of which arrive at tables on the arms of friendly servers. Brioso’s culinary team also respects special dietary needs with gluten-free pastas and vegan menu options.
The president of Northampton Wines, Richard deBondt, lends his perceptive palate and vast vino-centric knowledge to Italy Exposed, a one-hour educational exploration of the world's second most refined beverage after Tang. Learn proper tasting technique and pairing methods while sampling seven premium Italian wines, accompanied by a selection of Italian cheeses and fresh-baked bread from the Wine Café. Between sips, discover the basics of Italian wine-law and learn to read an Italian label, so you don't get fooled into buying a $500 bottle of moustache oil. Insatiable imbibers can also take advantage of a special 20% discount on all in-stock Northampton Wines merchandise.
Sonic boasts a hunger-obliterating menu of burgers, coneys, shakes, and more—all delivered straight to your road vessel by graceful roller-skating carhops. Settle burger-craving stomachs with a supersonic cheeseburger ($4.64), or craft a creative meal out of sides such as chili-cheese tots ($2.69), the cheesy jalapeño poppers ($3.23), and onion rings ($2.50/large), which, like engagement rings, symbolize love and taste better when dipped in ketchup. If crumb-covered palates need a cleansing, swallow a Sonic signature limeade ($1.50/medium) or a slush ($1.50/medium) in any combo of classic flavors, such as cherry, grape, watermelon, or orange. Once eaters have ordered, the all-American feast will arrive balanced atop the head of a roller-butler. Customers are welcome to feast right there in their cars or savor their selections on Sonic's outdoor patio.