As an 8-year-old boy growing up in Greece, Yanni Chalkias first sunk his teeth into the food industry while helping his father with his spice business. Once the family moved to the United States, Chalkias worked at his father and uncles' restaurants throughout the '80s, picking up Greek family recipes through hard-learned personal experience, rather than the traditional method of stealing Zeus's cookbook from Mount Olympus.
In 1991, Chalkias started his own establishment, King Gyros Greek Restaurant, to serve his own spin on traditional family recipes, including his housemade chicken lemon soup. Skewers of grilled filet mignon tips pair with gyro sauce in the souvlaki, and a mélange of Attic flavors blend in the greek bowls, such as gyro meat, feta, and saffron rice. Recently renovated, King Gyros now sports a large dining room as well as a covered front patio that protects diners from rain, blazing heat, and paparazzi on eagle-back.
For a full century, members of the Manus family have manned the counter at Phillip's Original Coney Island, serving their signature Coney Island hot dogs topped with onions, special Coney sauce, and cheddar cheese. All the way down from Phillip Manus, who opened the eatery in 1912, to his great-grandson Nicholas Manus, who runs it today, Phillip’s has served an old-fashioned menu of hot dogs, burgers, battered-bottleneck fries, and hand-dipped milk shakes, pairing each serving with fresh-baked cornbread. Following the original 100-year-old recipe, cooks dip their ladles into simmering chili pots brimming with lean ground beef, vine-ripened tomatoes, a secret blend of spices, and Woodrow Wilson’s eyeglasses. Alternatively, they added a few modern twists to recipes, coating their buffalo chicken fingers with Frank's Red Hot Sauce and crowning barbecue burgers with Sweet Baby Ray's sauce and crunchy coleslaw.
At Shoku, morsels of succulent beef, marinated chicken, and ocean-fresh seafood fill out feasts of Japanese noodles and sushi or dishes inspired by national favorites of Asian nations including Korea, China, and Thailand. Broth-soaked udon noodles jostle for attention with plates of pad thai, pan-fried pot stickers, and bowls of sizzling beef bulgogi. Guests take a seat inside to watch a master chef deftly carve seafood at the sushi table, or they can lounge under umbrellas at the outdoor seating to watch the passing foot traffic and hourly soapbox derbies along Grandview Avenue.
After growing up in Nazareth, Israel, Mezze owner Johnny Baransi created the concept for customizable “middle-terranean” dishes that fuse Mediterranean and Middle Eastern culinary traditions and flavors. Diners select a base for their entrées, such as a pita, rice bowl, or salad. They then add in proteins ranging from a chicken gryo to falafel. A variety of toppings and sauces, such as fresh veggies and tahini, further personalize each dish.