Lin's Asian Bistro unites Chinese, Japanese, and Thai specialty dishes on a menu divided into more than a dozen categories, including a health and diet section with mostly vegetarian options. Open daily, the restaurant whips up each creation in a fashion true to its culture of origin, such as Thai specialty The King & I–jumbo shrimp and scallop, cooked with Thai spices, and combined with basil and peppers in a spicy brown sauce.
Although tomatoes top the grocery list each week at Twisted Tomato, the pizzeria's most prominent ingredient might be cheese. It's melted inside crispy pizza rolls and calzones, layered across 7- or 14-inch grinders, and sprinkled over hand-spun specialty pizzas such as the Maui Wowi, which is generously topped with ham, pineapple, and plane tickets to Hawaii. Additionally, parmesan, provolone, and blue cheese abound on Twisted Tomato's salads, and cheesecake makes a sweet ending for a dairy-driven meal.
Colorful murals depicting desert landscapes cover the walls of Hot Tamale Cafe, creating a casual environment in which to enjoy hundreds of possible Mexican-entree combinations. The menu abounds with sea scallops and shrimp fajitas, generously sized chimichangas, chorizo tacos, and burritos stuffed with seasoned potatoes, avocado, and black beans. Staff also pours 12 varietals of tequila and serves a tempting selection of cervezas, daiquiris, wines, and knock-knock jokes.
Servers muddle fresh avocado with cilantro and onion beside tables at Plaza Azteca Restaurantes. The theme of the restaurant is freshness—chefs prepare salsa throughout the day and sleep in tupperware containers overnight. The founders of Plaza Azteca opened their first restaurant in 1994 to bring traditional Mexican dishes from Jalisco, their native Mexican state, to Virginia Beach. Today, they have restaurants in six US states. To create fajitas, the cooks fill skillets with grilled vegetables, chorizo, steak, and zesty chimichurri sauce. For the molcajete Azteca, they stuff hot stone bowls with rib-eye steak, chicken, shrimp, poblano peppers, and pineapple, topping it with honey pasilla sauce.
At Ellie Nellie, women and girls browse bountiful and ever-changing racks of consignment clothing that often include brands such as Anthropologie, Banana Republic, and Ella Moss. The boutique stocks garments for all ages, from onesies for newborns to adult sweaters and handbags. Track lighting and a red chandelier illuminate garments lining the walls and the hardwood flooring and roomy shopping space encourages relaxed perusal or moving in.
When Ronn Teitelbaum opened the first Johnny Rockets location in 1986, his goal was to create a restaurant where people could escape the postmodern blues of everyday life and experience a taste of time-honored Americana. The name itself is a nod to this ideal—it combines the star of a classic American fable, Johnny Appleseed, and a classic car, Oldsmobile’s beefy Rocket 88. The chain now makes itself at home in America's cultural landmarks, including Yankee Stadium and the Flamingo Hotel.
During dinners at the famous burger joints, you’ll see signs of simpler times, starting with the cooks and servers—dressed head to toe in white, including white paper hats, they look like they’ve fallen out of a wormhole from the 1950s ready to sling shakes and cook up some eats. Behind a stainless-steel bar lined with red leather stools they tend to their traditional diner fare, including burgers and melts with sides such as chili-cheese fries and onion rings. Riding sidecar to each meal is a collection of hand-dipped and hand-spun floats, shakes, and malts topped with whipped cream.