Owner Tomek Wrzesien set out to create his own gallery in the renovated office space that now houses Urban Standard, but he soon drew inspiration from the café culture of his native Poland and instead met the neighborhood's need for eclectic deli fare, freshly baked goods, and boutique beverages. Breakfast offers a variety of old-world eats in addition to down-home staples such as creamy grits with sausage and cheese ($3). Share a stylish luncheon of salads, sandwiches, or grilled paninis with fancy-pants ingredients such as truffle oil, balsamic jam, and homemade pimento cheese. Carnivores can sink canines into Tomek's Polish Street Sandwich, a cavalcade of cured meats and cheese on ciabatta (half $5.50, whole $8.75), whereas vegetarians can rustle up a grilled marinated-tofu sandwich ($7.50) with a small roasted-fennel and goat-cheese salad ($4.50). If a whole meal seems too daunting, sophisticated snackers can adjust their pince-nez while sampling from a list of baked goods that would make Marie Antoinette blush.
Local meats, fresh veggies, and imported spices enhance the traditional Thai and Japanese food at Surin of Thailand. Chefs manipulate yellow, red, and green curry dishes with splashes of coconut milk, citrus juice, or peanuts, and they marinate select meats overnight before slow-roasting them until they’re tender enough to fall apart when looked at. To ensure a sushi menu that’s just as authentic as the Thai dishes, many of the restaurant’s chefs train in Japan under the tutelage of sushi masters. The result is a menu of more than 20 varieties of sushi and nigiri, many of which feature pan-Asian flourishes such as plum sauce and drizzles of panang curry.
The chefs at Matthew's Bar & Grill fire up a sizzling menu of barbecue classics amid an energetic sports bar. Diners can swap crispy appetizers to head off the meal, whether tearing into fried butterfly shrimp or heating up gums with breaded jalapeños stuffed with cream cheese. Similarly, sauces—from hot barbecue to tangy lemon pepper—douse flocks of chicken wings to paint a gustatory rainbow when shared between dual or quadruple orders. As pulled barbecue sandwiches and entrees emerge, smoky aromas spark palate salivation like a Fourth of July cookout at Pavlov's laboratory. Grilled chicken slathered in barbecue sauce and cheddar cheese crowns crunchy nachos, and sides, such as sweet-potato fries and onion rings, score Tetris wins in near-full bellies.
Jumpstart dinner with an order of Mrs. Lovett's meat pies, pastry rounds packed with onion, rosemary, and minced roast beef ($4.25). Traditionalists sup on hearty plates such as bangers and mash (roasted sausage stacked atop mashed potatoes and smothered with red-wine gravy and onions, $11.50) or boxtey (potato balls mixed with Dubliner cheese and Black Forest ham, $10.50). Vegetarians can opt for the banshee, a grilled portabella cap topped with cheddar and served on a yeast bun with chips ($9.75). Guzzle a chocolate Guinness milkshake ($6.50) for dessert.
Since 1957, the dog doyens at Lyric Hot Dogs & Grill have sated nostalgic cravings with a menu bustling with perfectly grilled eats. Dining duos salivate over a quartet of flame-kissed dogs resting beside two small helpings of crisp, golden potato spears. Gobblers can choose between a classic bun-filler dressed in a choice of traditional toppings, or indulge in the grill’s specialty—a chili dog smothered in mustard, pickles, onions, and homemade chili.
To craft the signature Momma's Love sandwich, chefs begin with a freshly steamed hoagie bun. They layer on slices of roast beef, ham, hickory-smoked turkey, and muenster cheese before topping the tower off with spicy brown mustard. The chefs also extend their culinary expertise toward a variety of other hearty hot and cold sandwiches, as well as their specialty nachos—crispy Dorito chips showered in creamy pepper jack cheese.