The seeds for Famous Hamburger were planted in 1970 when Feisal Hider?s father gathered his family, left the United States, and returned to Lebanon with the intention of opening the country's first American-style burger shack. This humble shack became a popular attraction, which prompted the name change to Famous Hamburger and cemented a family legacy that would follow Feisal back to the United States. After returning to America, he eventually opened the first stateside Famous Hamburger in 1998, and founded a second location a few years later.
As its name implies, Famous Hamburger specializes in classic American cooking. Burgers arrive topped with everything from portobello mushroom caps and pesto sauce to habanero peppers, hot sauce, and sliced jalapenos. Banana splits and milkshakes reinforce the American theme, appearing alongside the menu's assortment of wraps and melts. The Hider family doesn't neglect their Middle Eastern roots, though. The chefs exclusively use halal meats, which arrive daily and never see the inside of a freezer, and prepare dishes such as falafel pitas and fattoush salads. Furthermore, the restaurants are attached to hookah lounges where guests can relax after their meal and savor one of the more than 30 shisha flavors.
A lengthy lineup of traditional game-day fare and a sports atmosphere captivate fans at Fox and Hound - Bailey's, where the kitchen remains open as late as its neighboring fully stocked bar. Chefs cook until the wee hours of the morning and always until the bar closes, baking Bavarian pretzel starters, crafting towers of onion rings, and preparing hand-battered chicken tenders that are cooked until they are golden brown. They blend their own seasonings to sprinkle over grilled-to-order burgers, and draw from a diverse roster of cheeses and toppings to crown their wood-oven-inspired flatbreads.
While manning the bars, bartenders tap into a stash of libations, such as UV Whipped vodka and Patron Silver tequila, to mix their specialty cocktails. To further foster a sporting ambiance, high-definition TVs glow with sports games and custom music-video playlists, and guests partake in pastimes of ump bashing, billiards, or competitive people watching.
At Ristorante Ciao, the aromas of cheesy baked pastas and pizzas waft from a stone oven to mingle with the scent of steaks, seafood, and chicken sizzling beneath the broiler. Amid this scintillating perfume, chefs concoct hearty Italian fare infused with imported cheeses, fresh produce, and rich sauces.
Inside the dining area, Roman-style frescos adorn stonewalls and exposed bricks. Burgundy drapes seclude leather chairs and upholstered booths, creating an intimate atmosphere for dinner dates or clandestine meetings about overthrowing a caesar salad. From behind the full bar, bartenders pour cocktails and glasses of wine from an extensive list culled from Italy, France, Chile, and California. Two private banquet areas house seating for up to 100 guests, and the restaurant’s catering crew also eagerly scurries to offsite celebrations.
Recruiting and roasting their own beans harvested from Costa Rica, Ethiopia, and Colombia, Caffina Coffee’s owners Allen Bakri and Mahmoud Sareini pour pitch-perfect, world-traveling brews served alongside house-made pastries. Cradled in 1-pound and 12-ounce bags, Caffina’s signature roasts include the full-bodied and slightly wine-tinged flavor of Colombian Supremo, as well as the Ethiopian Yirgacheffe, which, like the ancient Egyptian custom of ending chariot races with impromptu scuba-diving competitions, boasts ancestral roots in the Red Sea. Fifteen types of whole-leaf tea, including alpine herbal and organic peppermint, round out the menu and complement fresh-baked croissants, scones, and cookies. Burnished-wood tables nestle into Caffina’s intimate interior, where loungers can play chess or hopscotch atop tables painted with checkerboards.
The chefs at Xushi Ko infuse a plentiful menu of Japanese staples with flavors from around the globe. Maki rolls begin with standard ingredients of fresh or fried seafood, then take on bold new directions with flavors of tempura banana or spicy sriracha. Meanwhile, at the hibachi grill, halal-friendly cuts of steak and seafood sizzle to a tender finish and pair up with mountains of grilled vegetables. To crown fusion feasts, ice cream—wrapped inside a mochi shell, rolled in sesame seeds, or deep-fried in tempura batter—follows savory flavors with a tinge of sweetness like the romantic comedies butchers use to cure bacon.
Upon entering Ollie's Lebanese Cuisine, the aromas of roasting Lebanese sausage, spices, olive oil, and garlic evoke an eatery in the Middle East. In addition to baking pillowy flatbread, the chefs make tomato sauces in-house, charbroil marinated morsels of beef tenderloin and chicken breast, and saut? shrimp in a fragrant mixture of cilantro and lemon. The restaurant's vegetarian-friendly selections include steamed lentils and sandwiches with crispy falafel. Happy chatter drifts into the dining room from a partially covered patio, which shelters diners from the hot sun and overly familiar nicknames from fighter pilots.