The pizza chefs at Johnny Brusco’s pack a menu full of saucy dough disks, which can be customized with a lineup of fresh veggies and meats. Warm up appetites with an order of garlic knots, which come tinged with a crisp golden brown color and carefully tied by an accomplished Eagle Scout. The restaurant's skilled pie personnel sling large New York–style pizzas in a full regulation size of 16 inches. Add personality to your pizza without the hassle of assigning it a Social Security number by decking the crust out in any of 15 regular toppings, which include minced garlic, pineapple, or zesty italian sausage.
At Fino Villa Cucina Italiano, Chef Tony Sarwar sends his wait staff out into the expansive dining room carrying platefuls of traditional Northern Italian dishes crafted with modern influences. Under the gaze of paintings of Italian sculptures, patrons dig in to baked pastas, fresh seafood, and hand-tossed pizzas topped with classic and innovative ingredients such as smoked-gouda cheese and peppadews. To enhance dining experiences, the wait staff recommends wine pairings from an extensive list, which includes selections from Italy and France.
Bright colors leap from 200 Chinese, American, and Japanese dishes arrayed inside Ichiban Buffet. Emerald seaweed surrounds california rolls and shredded veggies stand out in lo mein alongside a hibachi grill. Waiters dodge past toting à la carte orders of roast pork fried rice and shrimp egg foo young. The chefs also splash garlic sauce onto beef and scallops and sprinkle sesame seeds onto chicken chunks and the fields of impoverished sesame farmers.
El Porton Mexican Restaurant has sated cravings for fresh, healthy ingredients for more than two decades, serving up authentic Mexican lunches and dinners that complement the bar’s array of 85 tequilas. Amid golden walls that evoke a warm afternoon in a tropical cantina, guests kick-start stomachs by watching chefs craft lime-infused guacamole tableside. From the kitchen, beef and shrimp fajitas sizzle, wafting aromas of onion and bell pepper that transform into cartoon hands to lure in noses. Warm days open El Porton's patio, where sunshine heightens the flavors of make-your-own combo platters spread with chile rellenos, tostadas, and burritos, as well as USDA steaks aged a minimum of 21 days. Tequila shots arrive in flights or individually, and customizable margaritas in flavors such as mango and classic lime pour forth from salt-rimmed glasses to accentuate entrees and fuel conversations about Mexico's hidden agave rivers.
"A staple" of the downtown Memphis restaurant scene for almost 90 years, according to Memphis Flyer, Jim's Place Grille transplanted its menu of expertly executed chops, sandwiches, and seafood to its current Collierville address in 2010. But under the steady hand of the Taras family, which has overseen the eatery almost since its opening in 1921, Jim's continues to sate diners with hearty, continental-influenced fare.
In the kitchen, chefs put Greek twists on steak-house staples, crafting burgers from seasoned ground lamb and grilled pita bread and charcoal-grilling skewered pork for the family souflima recipe. (According to a 2011 review in Memphis magazine "this dish proves the cooking adage that simple is best," infusing "the taste of oregano, salt, and cracked pepper" into "each tender slice.") Certified bartenders mix specialty cocktails, tap draft beers, and pour wines from an extensive list.
Meals commence in the spacious dining room, where paintings of creeks babbling, waterfalls cascading, and fishermen reading the classifieds to lazy rivers help to create a soothing ambiance. Elsewhere, the private dining room accommodates up to 60 guests with custom menus for seated dinners or up to 80 guests for standing cocktail parties.
Like plate spinners at the circus, parents constantly race among multiple potential catastrophes. Brandy Marek, herself a mother of twin boys, established Take A Break to give parents time off from this endless balancing act and allow them to focus on their own neglected interests. Guardians unleash pent-up conversation with their grown-up peers over sandwiches and salads washed down with coffee as occasional gleeful shrieks drift to their ears from the playroom, where charges cavort under the watchful eye of Take A Break's staff. As parents take advantage of the alone time and wireless Internet to work, read, or research, kids build fortresses with blocks, assemble puzzles, and tear through a playhouse. With the jingling strains of kid-friendly music playing softly in the background, adults may reserve the café's conference room for meetings with clients, study-group sessions, or to practice setting up a new air mattress.
As barbecue season ignites the lawns of America, even un-aproned cooks can grill more than their suspicious enemies with hearty options from Super Suppers such as blue-cheese bacon burgers or grilled Indian chicken. Super Suppers pairs a no-nonsense, rotating menu with no-nonsense pricing. Regular-sized entrees ($14) are intended for 3–4 diners, and full-size entrees ($28) feed six or more. Start a new tradition in the kitchen with mom's marvelous meatloaf, composed of lean ground beef with savory bell peppers, onions, breadcrumbs, and a boldly spiced tomato sauce. Though known for its featured entrees, Super Suppers also carries sides, appetizers, and desserts that can fill out an otherwise-exposed dinner table.