Pooja Cuisine of India’s owners, Asha and Satish, opened their eatery to pay homage to the distinctive dishes originated by the restaurants and chefs of their Indian homeland. They specialize in vegetarian and vegan Indian fare, such as delicate rice dosas stuffed with curried vegetables or fresh cheese and all-you-can-eat thali platters. Their chefs whip up spicy morsels for dine-in customers and for their catering business, where they transport homestyle meals to events such as weddings, corporate meetings, and World’s Greatest Grandpa award ceremonies.
At the medieval-themed Radcliffe’s Royal Ribs, colorful hanging banners adorned with family crests and a suit of metal armor set the scene for a hearty menu of finger-licking barbecue fare mixed with Old English favorites. A queen-sized plate of grilled Cajun shrimp ($12) fills bellies flanked by one of seven sides, including smoky baked beans and grilled asparagus, and the king-sized brisket ($15) roasts overnight in a dragon’s orthodontic retainer. Diners clasp gauntlets around the barbecue-chicken sandwich on a sesame bun ($9) or lick their chops in anticipation of the brisket on a french roll ($9). A large outdoor seating area fills about 50 patrons with mirth as friends sip bottled and draft beers and joust with leftover rib bones.
The same master chef has captained the sushi bar at Sushi Kawa Sports Bar & Grill for more than a decade, folding fresh scallop, tuna, and salmon into a sweeping array of colorful specialty rolls. As he works, a team of kitchen chefs whips up tender teriyaki dishes, flavorful Japanese curries, and simmering udon-noodle soups. Diners await their meals out in the sleek bar area, sipping on specialty cocktails and sharing giant towers of draft beers beneath the glimmer of widescreen TVs. Twice a month, a live guitarist appears on the scene and fills the room with the melodies of classic-rock, jazz, and country tunes.
At the Hot Dog Shoppe, the team members define "hot-dog topping" broadly. They can smother their hearty dogs in a classic blend of chili and cheese, for example, but they can also enhance them with more unusual flavors, such as a teriyaki glaze and pineapple chunks, or mac and cheese fried to a crispy finish. Side dishes are similarly adorned, ranging from classic french fries to fries topped with chili, cheddar cheese, pastrami, bacon, grilled peppers and onions, jalapeños, nacho cheese, and sour cream.
With 40 years of sandwich-making expertise, Togo's gives party planners an extensive catering menu from which to choose their spread. Sandwich trays ($45 regular size, feeds 10), the Endless Combinations platter ($65, feeds up to eight with 16 half sandwiches of four different varieties, plus a regular salad), and a 3- to 8-foot Party Footer (feeds up to 32 people; prices vary depending on sandwich type and size) will supply sustenance for Valentine's Day group gatherers, enthusiastic Presidents' Day celebrators, and supporters of early-February professional American football championships.