At The Great Mongolian Grill, patrons are free to assemble their own plates of Mongolian fusion fare at buffet-style counters, a process that earned the grill favorable mention in Cary Living magazine. Protected by vaulted glass, a long counter hosts bins of noodles, fresh veggies, and meats waiting to be assembled into novel combinations. After filling their bowl, diners snag a colored stick denoting their sauce of choice, then watch the chefs fire up their meal on the grill or at a nearby Olympic torch. While the selection of meats, veggies, and sauces is ever-changing, the Cary Living feature highlights the crabmeat, mushrooms, sprouts, shrimp, and honey-citrus pepper sauce. Patrons can also relinquish the burden of dish-building responsibility with special entrees on the menu, such as galbi—Korean barbecue beef ribs served with a ginger salad or boneless beef short rib steak. In the eatery’s dining room, sleek modern lines and neutral tones are illuminated by wide cylindrical lamps hanging above tables.:
A science lab calls to mind test tubes, bubbling flasks of chemicals, maniacally laughing men in white coats—but rarely ice cream. But that's exactly where Curt Jones, chairman and founder of Dippin' Dots, came upon the inspiration for the tiny flash-frozen beads of ice cream. A microbiologist, Jones spearheaded the flash-freezing process of cryogenic encapsulation, a method capable of trapping flavor and freshness.
Beginning as a retail shop in Lexington, Kentucky, the ice cream quickly began to quell the tantrums of Fortune 500 CEOs all over the country. Having won numerous awards since he created a new way to enjoy an old treat, Jones stays true to Dippin' Dots’ roots, making the ice cream at the company headquarters in Paducah, Kentucky. New additions to the Dippin' Dots family include Dots ‘n Cream, a treat similar to traditional ice cream.
Arthur Murray has been a leading name in franchise dance since 1912, when the entrepreneur began selling mail-order dance lessons. Expanding his reach, he enlisted teachers to spread his signature dance lessons on first-class steamships and skyrocketed to fame in the '30s after introducing the public to such dances as the Lambeth Walk and The Big Apple. By the 1950s, Arthur and his wife, Kathryn, were hosting their own highly popular TV show on ABC, The Arthur Murray Dance Party, which ran for 12 years. Today, Arthur Murray's team prepares students for rug cutting at special events and weekend nightclub jaunts. Throughout lessons, instructors teach the foundations of two to four dances from a long list of styles that range from Latin to country-western, helping students to learn basic step patterns, timing, and the ability to lead or follow.
It's been more than a half-century since the first Char-Grill opened its doors on Hillsborough Street in Raleigh, but not much has changed at this beloved local chain. Whether in the original cinderblock building or one of the 10 locations that have been added since, people still approach the counter to jot down orders, pass them through the window, and then look on as cooks grill half- and quarter-pound steak patties over charcoal flames.
In addition to the signature smoky-flavored burgers, Char-Grill also fires up grilled chicken, chili dogs, and pulled-pork sandwiches. Milkshakes and fries add to the eatery's classic feel, helping land it on USA Today's list of 51 Great Burgers and reminding guests of simpler times when hamburgers were used as currency.
Past a verdant forest of shrubbery, a welcoming umbrella-tabled patio, and homey bright red drapery, diners at La Shish tuck into sumptuous fare from Greece and Lebanon. Gyros crammed with beef and lamb lurk on the lunch and dinner menus, attended by tangy tzatziki sauce and a pronunciation coach. Entrees often arrive with house-whipped hummus and a Greek or Lebanese salad as well. News and Observer food critic Greg Cox is a big fan of La Shish, placing it on his “Hot List: Middle Eastern” not once but twice, and citing the baklava’s “shatter-crisp texture and golden brown color” as just two reasons why it is “without peer” in the region.
At Unaabi Grill, chefs orchestrate a menu of authentic Afghan kebabs, rice dishes, and vegetarian platters. Wood charcoal infuses lamb, beef, chicken, and seafood kebabs with a smoky aroma and empathy for humidors, both of which mingle with the meat's freshly grated spices. Vegetarian palates savor eggplant, okra, or pumpkin simmered with onions, tomatoes, herbs, and spices. Before delving into desserts such as rosewater-and-pistachio pudding or homemade baklava, guests can admire the collection of intricate tapestries and burnished cooking vessels that pepper the dining room.