The pizza-making pros at Luigi’s Pizza & Pasta eschew sugar, oil, and eye of newt when forging their healthy, grease-free dough, which they bake directly atop sizzling hot bricks. In addition to loading these freshly flung crusts with Canadian bacon, spinach, and roasted garlic, they crown pastas with hand-rolled meatballs and ladles of homemade meat and alfredo sauces. They also help diners conclude their meals with a sweet crescendo by infusing desserts with coffee liqueur and rich ganache.
At D'Carlo Ristorante & Pizzeria, a dusting of parmesan romano cheese and sprigs of parsley adorn each plate, which chefs pile high with pastas and other classic, made-to-order Italian recipes. Mostaccioli with housemade meatballs and chicken parmigiana fill the menu alongside the kitchen's signature dish, Mafalde—or "For the King"—which layers wide-noodle pasta with five cheeses, italian sausage, and meatballs atop keys to a new bounce castle. Dinner entrees include side salads and slices of housemade bread.
All the steaks served at Western Sizzlin are first flame-kissed—cooked with flames licking both sides of the steak at once. As general manager Elgin Hamner states on the restaurant's website, this method preserves the flavors and juices of each slab, including the top-sirloin, rib-eye, filet-mignon, and T-bone steaks that populate the menu. Besides steaks, chefs prepare chicken breasts six different ways, including broiled or drizzled with teriyaki sauce, and they skim shrimp and salmon across the grill’s surface to the rhythm of "Gonna Fly Now (Theme from Rocky)." Diners can also tear into a cheeseburger or a philly steak sandwich underneath the antlered chandeliers that dangle from the ceiling.
Proponents of dry rub can be found across the Midwest—Oklahoma’s barbecue joints are an especially good bet. If you ask any of these die-hards, they’ll say that what dry-rubbed meats lack in sauce, they make up for in the delicately balanced flavors of their spices. Rib Crib BBQ & Grill captures these flavors and brings them to its cozy Lakeland restaurant, where guests can feast on chicken, ribs, and briskets smoked onsite over hickory chips. In addition to pit choices, Rib Crib dishes out Southern¬-style sides such as corn on the cob, mac ‘n’ cheese, and slow-cooked cowboy beans that guests can lasso individually with a tiny rope of floss.:m]]
The taste-bud ticklers at La Valentina prepare gourmet Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisine from scratch, using fresh ingredients united by rave-worthy recipes. The menu edifies traditional dishes with tenets of contemporary gastronomy, resulting in enlightened edibles such as fish tacos—corn tortillas topped with grilled tilapia, spinach, and pineapple-avocado pico de gallo ($10.99)—and smoked chicken enchiladas with zesty roasted tomato sauce ($8.99). Avocado artists chop, mix, and serve guacamole ($7.99) tableside, and the back-kitchen preps heartier plates such as the 12-ounce adobo marinated rib eye ($14.99). After the last plate clears, dessert devotees can pay their respects to the sugar gods with Mexican ambrosia such as the volcano—a gooey chocolate mound with a warm fudge center, topped with vanilla ice cream and caramel ($6.49)—and flan ($3.29).