Born in New York and raised in Puerto Rico, Iris Cintrón was always fascinated by her family's deep genealogical ties to Spain. She decided to combine her passions for food and her Mediterranean heritage in 2009 by founding La Makarena—a restaurant dedicated to hot and cold tapas as well as iconic Spanish dishes. Manchego cheese and Serrano ham demonstrate her menu's commitment to Old World flavors, as does the selection of traditional paellas loaded with seafood and chicken. Even the wine list manages to feature bottles from winemaking regions throughout Spain alongside selections from Germany, South America, and California.
Sunset-hued murals of Spanish villages and the vast Mediterranean countryside dominate La Makarena's dining room walls, bolstering Cintrón's vision. To fully immerse diners in the culture though, the restaurant hosts live entertainment on select evenings. Flamenco dancers perform on Fridays, and Saturday nights feature an eclectic mix of Latin and international music intended to get diners' toes tapping and diners' passports out of their desk drawers.
Rice House of Kabob's signature sumac sauce is known for its versatility—so much so that several customers want to buy it by the gallon. The coveted marinade was invented by Ali Shabani, one of the restaurant's four founding brothers, and seems to complement almost any item on the Persian menu. By seasoning char-grilled chicken, sirloin, shrimp, and vegetables, it serves as one of two constants in the kitchen. The other, of course, is rice—the family describes it on the website as "the world's ultimate comfort food" and lays it as a base for several platters, including housemade falafel and combination meals of ground-sirloin kubideh and charbroiled tenderloin.
From the vegetarian dishes to the pan-seared tilapia wrap, every item is prepped from all-natural ingredients. The culinary team arrives early in the morning to slice the preservative-free eats, which they always cook to order instead of reheating them beneath lamps or the smoldering gaze of Yosemite Sam.
Candido's Restaurant treats hungry visitors to a smorgasbord of global cuisine featuring succulent Mediterranean kabobs, Italian pastas, hearty American burgers, and Mexican huevos rancheros and chicken burritos. The menu tempts palates with upscale dishes such as the grilled salmon with mango vinaigrette, as well as simple delights, such as their signature Mediterranean Bullet, a cylindrical pita sandwich filled with Greek sausage and mozzarella that is fired out of a tiny cannon into customers' mouths. Chicken and shrimp mingle with alfredo sauce and olive oil in mouthwatering pastas, while charbroiled burgers deliver handheld meals of beef, melted cheese, smoky bacon, and crispy veggies.
The signature sandwiches at Gyroville might be named after Greek Gods?Zeus, Hermes, Athena?but the power to control your mealtime destiny can rest in your hands, if you so choose. The shop's You Build It meals allow you to customize your own dish in just three easy steps. Start by choosing a pita, rice bowl, wheat wrap, or salad, then add one of four proteins, such as gyro meat, pork, or vegetarian falafel. From there, the only thing left to do is top your creation with one of six sauces that are made fresh daily such as tzatziki or Mediterranean relish. Truly herculean appetites can also choose to add one or two of Gyroville's sides, such as spinach pie or hearty tomato vegetable soup.
Dine in or slide up to the pick-up window?however you choose to enjoy a meal at Central Park Food Station, you'll leave feeling satisfied and perhaps even a little more cultured. That's because the eclectic menu combines dishes from all over the world; just try to find another restaurant that serves both burgers and empanadas. Of course, there are also salads loaded with extras and hearty sandwiches fit for breakfast and lunch alike. Every sub and wrap here is personally designed by chefs, and the same care goes into selecting the drink menu's wines, beers, and typeface.
Since 1969, the cooks at Mario the Baker have followed the same tried-and-true recipes, resulting in pizza after fresh-baked pizza emerging from the oven with the same flavors as the restaurant's very first batch. Diners settle into red and black booths to split signature pizzas, including La Maflosa pizza with sliced eggplant and mozzarella. As part of an unrefusable offer, the Godfather pie comes topped with capicollo, ham, and salami and is served with a side of housemade italian dressing.