Moogy's Sandwich Shop was born from its owners' love of their hometown Philadelphia and the sandwiches made there. Today, more than 15 years later, that once-small eatery has expanded to twice its original size with specialty sandwiches forming the core of its menu. Many feature playful names as well as unorthodox combinations of ingredients: the Moogalopagus comes piled with salami, bologna, and spiced ham, while the Mother and Daughter Reunion is filled with fried chicken and egg. Burgers, such as the Reuben with sauerkraut and Russian dressing, or the Mushaki with mushrooms and teriyaki sauce, also push the limits of culinary convention. To complement these mains, Moogey's tops crispy fries with toppings that range from Old Bay seasoning to beef chili.
Inside their quirky space, guests can socialize with a sandwich and beer sitting at a 50-foot bar or around a cozy fireplace. The space is also equipped with board games that give patrons a way to unwind before a meal or gather vital insider knowledge to prepare for their upcoming vacation to Candyland.
Marilda Kocibelli paints leaves all day. Rather than brushes and pigments, however, her tools are steamed milk and coffee. She runs Dolce Vita Café, a casual oasis of handcrafted espresso drinks, cozy little tables, and sandwiches and pastries. Marilda and her staff serve hot, Italian-inspired paninis, such as the carmine, with fresh mozzarella and prosciutto, as well as the tonno siciliano, featuring imported tuna. Hot mugs of lattes and dark-roast coffee bookend meals. The cafe also conveniently provides free wireless Internet.
Five decades ago, Kirio Pantelis wheeled a wooden cart around Kalamata, Greece, peddling syrupy sweets to locals. Today, his son and daughter-in-law oversee the American patisserie and café that evolved from these humble roots, nestled in both Brookline and Brighton. The bakery pays homage to its heritage with walnut-studded cakes and tarts that echo back to communal baking in wood-burning Greek ovens, though the shop draws from all over Europe for luxurious ingredients such as chocolate genoise, poached Turkish apricots, and Belgian cocoa. Puffed éclairs, petits fours, and fruit tartlets evoke the patisseries of Paris, and the bakery’s from-scratch gelato transports tasters to Italy without the hassle of concentrating hard enough to teleport.
Along with these sugary delicacies, the Brighton location also dishes up savory, Mediterranean-inspired fare at a café with marble tabletops and loft ceilings. Diners here fork into cold poached salmon, munch on paninis layered with gruyere or house orange-scented sausage, and savor cold sandwiches filled with roasted pancetta.
The chefs at Bamboo Thai Restaurant developed a menu that gives diners complete control over their gustatory experience, from the level of spiciness to the type of noodles accompanying their dish. Five distinct curries—red, green, yellow, panang, and massaman—pair with the guest's selection of one of nine proteins and one of 10 rice or noodle options, including udon, buckwheat, and vermicelli, resulting in more dinner options than a socialite's rolodex. The noodle selection process crops up again when ordering one of the six meal-in-a-bowl soups, and five pad thai options dare taste buds to pick from vegetables, chicken, shrimp, or a combination of all three, with rice or crispy egg noodles. To complement spicy bites, a lengthy list of Thai, Japanese, and American beers stands next to warm and draft sakes.
At Tasca Spanish Tapas Restaurant, traditional Spanish seafood and braised meats converge in an intimate dining space illuminated by candlelight. The focal point of the eatery’s menu is its selection of 34 small plates, which feature cured ham, empanadas, and potato fritters, among other flavorful meats and veggies. Tapas and heftier entrees such as ossobucco and chicken stuffed with chorizo pair with Spanish wines and sangrias to create a better testament to Iberian cuisine than flamenco dancing in a vat of paella.
Fruitée Yogurt's two locations invite customers to sprinkle 14 yogurt flavors with more than 50 fruit and candy toppings. Surrounded by bright green walls, self-service stations dispense the likes of passion fruit, salted caramel, and strawberry swirls of yogurt. Customers then belly crawl over to the buffet-style topping bar replete with fresh fruit, candies, and cereal. Finally, patrons weigh their sweet creations, pay by the ounce, and devour frozen yogurt filled with vitamins, essential minerals, and live cultures.