Nitrates and phosphates have no place at Grilla Bites. As a former organic farmer, Fred Marken founded Grilla Bites to serve and support his community with natural foods from local farmers. Free of hormones, growth stimulants, and other additives, his cornerstone all-natural sandwiches include chicken breast smothered in chipotle aioli and turkey layered atop avocado and soy bacon. The soy bacon strips also top burgers, which come with four patty options: veggie, organic tempeh, natural beef, and local, grass-fed bison. Vegetarian- and vegan-friendly options abound, including curried tofu sandwiches, a salad bar rife with locally grown fixings, and cheese quesadillas. To wash down organic feasts, the staff serves up organic juices, smoothies, and coffees.
Waffles both sweet and savory kick off the menu at Num Num Confiteria, where chefs top each golden grid with eggs and bacon, or combinations of whipped cream and cookie crumbles. The kitchen's repertoire also includes burgers on white or multigrain bread, fried from lean beef or turkey as well as paninis and herb-marinated greek chicken. The menu offers plentiful vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options as well. Num Num also keeps cookies and ice cream on hand for dessert, and packs freshly blended smoothies with protein and leafy greens.
At 5 years old, Agave owner Lenny Garcia was already working alongside his father in the family’s Mexican restaurant. Gathering produce from the walk-in fridge and learning cherished family recipes by heart, he developed a deep-seated love of authentic Mexican cooking traditions. But it wasn’t until he studied alongside a chef in Guadalajara that he realized he could make those same family recipes without all of the saturated fats and oils.
When he took over the family business, Garcia updated the menu to bring together the best of both worlds. The restaurant promotes healthy eating while preserving the delicious tastes of Mexican cuisine, with MSG-free chipotle burritos, enchiladas a la crema, tostadas, and tacos made with cholesterol-free vegetable oils and organic ingredients. Guests feast on hearty steak fajitas, smoky chicken mole poblano, and slow-cooked pork carnitas, or sample seafood plates, such as spicy camarones a la diabla, or vegetarian mushroom chimichangas.
Customization is key at Deano's Pizza Builders, where customers can decorate their pies with up to 19 toppings. Medium, large, and extra-large pizzas sport a fluffy crust and bounties of anchovies, green peppers, jalapeños, or sausage. Specialty pies include combinations such as tomato, basil, and beef or the Extreme Vegetarian, which saddles the pizza with eight different veggies including carrots and mushrooms.
After selling his Brazilian import store, Brazilian-born J.R. Lopez opened Braza Grill, a rodizio-style steak house reminiscent of the barbecue restaurants in his home country. Servers tote skewers loaded with pork sausage, garlic-infused tenderloin, and other meats from table to table, offering unlimited portions and variety to hungry diners. An open fire pit cooks the bacon-wrapped chicken and pork loins along with pineapples for a sweet sidekick. Patrons can stretch their legs and nonchalantly loosen their belts during trips to the hot and cold buffet stocked with pastas, salads, and a brazilian black-bean stew called feijoada, according to CityWeekly.
When it came to designing their menu, the chefs at Gandolfo's NY Deli didn't want to leave out any of their favorite New York staples. Alongside meaty deli sandwiches on freshly baked hero rolls, they also whip up schmeared bagels and Coney Island hot dogs. But above all else, deli meats are their specialty. They top rolls with layer upon layer of thinly cut meats to construct New York–centric options such as the Carnegie Hall, which features corned beef and turkey on rye with Swiss cheese, cole slaw, russian dressing, and a crystal-shattering soprano. Much of the menu is devoted to signature roast beef and turkey creations topped with everything from barbecue sauce to a dollop of cream cheese. Behind the counter, the staff also keeps a whole row of deli salads that add a flavorful yet homey kick to meals, much like a pre-meal guitar solo played by grandma.