It's clear that Socra Tea's priorities are tea and art. Part teahouse, part art gallery, Socra Tea also cares about where that tea and art comes from?all its teas are USDA-certified organic and fair trade, and all the paintings, jewelry, ceramics, clothing, and other art are made by locals. Along with its focus on the environment and local artists, Socra Tea aims to accommodate visitors by offering gluten-free desserts and nondairy milk options, including almond milk.
In the kitchen of Half Time Cafe, you won't find a fryer, or even a freezer. That's because everything on the menu is made fresh and to-order, from the melty chicken quesadilla to a cool quinoa salad mixed with fresh veggies. Freshly brewed coffee is available all day, alongside espresso drinks such as americanos and lattes, as well as wraps and sandwiches lined with just-cracked eggs, tomato, crisp spinach, and feta cheese.
Byblos Cafe & Grill pays homage to its namesake – the city of Byblos, Lebanon – with Lebanese dishes served beneath arched doorways that recall Lebanese architecture. Ornate chandeliers, blush-hued pillars, and walls painted with faux stone surround guests as they dine on the same Mediterranean fare at both of the eatery’s two locations. Skewers hold marinated chicken and lamb while the grill leaves its imprint. Falafel is served with a side of hummus, either wrapped in a pita or stuffed, like a love letter from a short-order cook, inside a burger bun. Classic Lebanese dishes, from meat shawarma to grape leaves, also arrive in the form of a toasted wrap.
Maccabees at Midtown's spacious dining room?with its wood accents, pendant chandeliers wrapped in bronze-colored filigree, and Art Deco?style ceiling?looks like something from the 1920s or '30s. But its bistro food is decidedly modern. Housemade chicken fingers made from all-natural chicken dip into wasabi ranch, Kobe beef burgers support applewood-smoked bacon and garlic aioli, lobster meat joins bacon in the BLT, and certified-Angus new york strip steaks arrive alongside pesto mashed potatoes. The eatery also embraces brunch, a tradition that became popular in the 1930s, along with using a black-and-white filter on every photograph.
Understanding how difficult it can be to eat healthfully while participating in the daily grind, Salad 101's owners contribute quick solutions to the community bustling around Midtown. The menu boasts seven gourmet sandwiches, including the turkey and swiss, eight hot paninis, and the Wayne State Reuben drizzled in russian dressing and geography-quiz answers. Soups include a piping-hot daily special, and a full salad bar lets diners craft their own greeny medleys. With 10 premade salads to go, such as a fattoush bouquet, Salad 101's staff enables patrons to eat well when too busy to dine in or rent their own chef.
OPUS Bar, located within the lavish OPUS Hotel Vancouver, loads its lounge with an eclectic ensemble of light bar fare and a fierce variety of palatable potables. Properly prep stomachs for the delightful drinkables with an "O" Bite such as the pecorino fries, an upscale interpretation of crispy fries accented by luxurious black-truffle oil, chives, and grated pecorino cheese ($9). Dredge crispy squid through decadent kewpie mayo and exotic sweet-chili-sauce terrain before disassembling the makeshift dozers with one swift bite ($9), or nosh on a plate of tandoori wings, spiced with a zesty butter-chicken sauce ($9). Lifestyle cocktails invite guests to analyze their alter egos, pairing fictional personalities with fun drinks, while OPUS's hand-crafted specialties sprinkle drinkable sundaes with cherries, lasers, and precious metals. The Summer Sun places Maker's Mark, calvados, vermouth, and bronze powder into a libation that is both potent and pretty ($16.50), and the Pacific Spa compiles Hendrick's gin, vermouth, rose water, smoked sea salt, silver flakes, and cucumber ($16.50). A quality selection of wines, whiskey, and single malts is also available.