Pera means "welcome" in Turkish, and it's an apt name for Pera Turkish Kitchen—which welcomes in diners with the smell of grilled lamb coated with Eastern Mediterranean spices. The signature hand-ground lamb dish is just one of many authentic Turkish and contemporary entrees, as is the salmon kadayif, a salmon fillet crusted with shredded wheat that was featured on Thrillist. While diners feast, their eyes take in the contemporary artwork from Turkish artists decorating the crimson walls.
The entire menu at Kenny's Café is served all day, leaving breakfast classics and lunch staples at diners' constant disposal. Stick a fork fashioned out of a hanger into biscuits and sausage gravy ($5.75) or the three-egg Western omelet, with peppers, ham, and cheese ($6.59) to satisfy morning food cravings. From the lunch list, the hickory bacon burger ($7.99) arrives blanketed in cheddar cheese and barbecue sauce, and Kenny's wedge salad ($6.99) pelts a ranch-dressing fairway with bacon and blue-cheese golf balls. Kenny's Café sports optional patio seating, live music on Wednesday and Friday nights, and a palpable absence of sweaty ghosts.
Ruggeri’s Italian Kitchen’s experienced culinary crafters whip together an expansive lunch and dinner menu brimming with homemade Italian dishes. A plate of thin spaghetti ties tongues in a web of noodles and slow cooked bolognese sauce ($16) while a meal of italian sausage and peppers serenade mouths with a harmonizing trio of bell peppers, onions, and tomatoes ($18.95). The pescatore diavalo ($19.95), a savory blend of shrimp, calamari, mussels, scallops, and artichoke hearts, bobs in a pool of marinara sauce to give land-locked tongues a more authentic taste of the sea than a fricasseed ship hull. Though Ruggeri's offers an array of meat options, including chicken, veal, and beef, plantivores can sink their bicuspids into a tomato & blue cheese salad bedecked with fresh basil vinaigrette and shallots ($8).
The name Just Fried Rice implies a very specific menu. But that's not the case at this Addison eatery, where Chinese dishes share table space with Korean, Creole, Indian, and other types of cuisine. Cooks prepare more than 10 types of fried rice, sprinkling them with ingredients such as bacon and chilies. They also fill plates with teriyaki wings, simmer pots of gumbo, and ladle sausage-laced tomato sauce over spaghetti noodles that patrons can braid into edible necklaces. Diners can wash it all back with beverages that range from thai tea to root beer served in a frosty mug.