A Neapolitan blend of country, classical, and contemporary, The Texas Tenors made a name for themselves in 2009 as top contenders on America's Got Talent, earning their position as the competition’s top finishing vocal group. Turning ear-stalks with their genre-spanning renditions of My Way, Danny Boy, and Unchained Melody, the three offer operatic ear candy, runway-worthy eye candy, and mesquite-flavored nose candy. John Hagen brings the operatic noise, drawing on his tanker-like lungs and national experience to craft a classical sound which gets along with modern lil' doggies. JC Fisher, the romance-tending tenor, belts tunes from twangy country and gospel to show tunes and arias, and seasoned singer/actor Marcus Collins' silky vocal acrobatics add a contemporary edge. With an ongoing world tour, The Texas Tenors are a unique phenom in the making.
Part Mexican cantina, part Irish pub, and all cop, Garcia Brogan's blends disparate cultures in both its menu and its decor, which features murals and folk art from Mexico and Ireland. Whether guests want a glass of Irish whiskey or a fine tequila, Garcia Brogan's bartenders keep the drinks flowing, pouring a river of alcohol in which tacos and shepherd's pie bob appetizingly. The restaurant hosts pub trivia nights and live Irish music on the weekends.
Aromatic spices blend with hearty meats and veggies on Madras Grill's extensive menu, which is filled with traditional Indian cuisine. A house blend of coriander, red chilies, cumin, and turmeric joins chicken for a dip in a pool of light onion-and-tomato sauce in the Madras chicken curry, which is finished with a refreshing splash of coconut milk ($13.95). Artisan Indian breads ($2.50–$8.95) soak up runaway sauces and bake in a range of styles, from unleavened and deep-fried to stuffed or invisible. The smoked-eggplant punjab specialty, baigan bharta ($12.95), sates vegetarians, while a meat-filled trio of chicken tikkas, lamb kebabs, and shrimp cooked in a tandoor oven pairs with protein seekers in the Madras mixed grill ($17.95). Warm yellow tones surround wooden tables and chairs cushioned with burnt-orange cushioned seats. Decorative lighting illuminates entrees, and a wall-mounted wooden wheel stares unblinkingly at a large TV flickering behind the sleek bar.
The crackle of a grill and the gentle purr of beer spilling into a pint are very soothing sounds. That gleeful noise serves as a constant backdrop at The Peddler’s Daughter, punctuated occasionally by live rock or Irish music and pub trivia. The menu is varied, but everything orbits around the dishes you might find in the Irish countryside. Beer-battered fish ‘n’ chips nestle alongside shepherd’s pies filled with beef and veggies like the briefcase of someone who is only pretending to be an accountant. Burgers—topped with Guinness blue cheese påte, aged cheddar, or housemade hot sauce—vie for attention against the likes of bangers and mash. On the bar, light cuts through glasses of ruddy Newcastle, Old Speckled Hen, and Guinness.
Sports, Steaks & Spirits combines the television-studded walls of a sports bar with the hearty comfort food of a neighborhood pub. Menu items include baby back ribs and half-pound burgers, as well as more internationally inspired dishes, such as tempura-fried shrimp with coconut breading. Cooks can also top hand-stretched, thin-crust pizzas with a combination of 17 available toppings, including basil, sausage, and red onion.
Although its menu might distinguish Sports, Steaks & Spirits from other bars, guests are also welcome to just knock back a beer while watching Boston sports teams compete for control of the world’s supply of silver-plated trophies. Sixty plasma televisions line the bar’s walls, and all booths boast their own small screen, which may have prompted Patch to describe the spot as “a veritable North Reading sports haven.” Even the color scheme evokes the feel of well-trodden sports turf, surrounding visitors with yellow-green walls and pool tables lined with emerald-green felt.