Carrying a pita, a diner approaches a salad bar brimming with pickled condiments, crunchy vegetables, and sauces. Without even speaking to someone behind the counter, the diner lifts the spoon and festoons a pita with a pile of fresh toppings, ready to start the meal anew. At most restaurants, this could get you kicked out, but at Maoz Vegetarian, it’s not only overlooked, but also encouraged. After choosing from such vegetarian and vegan-friendly options as gluten-free falafel and vegan shawarma atop pita pockets or salads, diners head to the stainless-steel salad bar. Belgian fries—a thick-cut version of their french cousins—and mounds of sweet-potato fries complement sandwiches and salads along with green-chili sauce, tahini, yogurt sauce, and salsa for dipping and boosting the self-esteem of napkins.
While feasting, diners sit atop benches at long, shared tables that emulate the communal lunch joints of old in the unabashedly modern chain of restaurants, which was founded in Amsterdam two decades ago. Mirroring the eatery’s fresh, stylish food, the interior at Maoz features green tiled walls and steel fixtures illuminated by hanging lamps.
Founded in 1914, the original New York City location of Sterling Optical doled out frames amid the Ford Model Ts and paperboys that swarmed the city's financial district. The original band of eyesight experts weathered years of economic depression by impressing customers with speedy, full-service vision care, later launching a second store near Washington, DC. Today, a century of steady franchise expansion has given rise to almost 200 store locations in 23 states. Most locations continue the tradition of offering one-stop optical services, giving customers access to exams and onsite labs that manufacture glasses in one hour. The spectacle provider has been named one of the nation's leading franchises by Entrepreneur magazine.
Since 1967, the Mandreucci Family has lured in diners with the scent of bubbly margherita pizzas, sopressata sandwiches on semolina bread, and chicken, sausage, and shrimp mingling with rich sauces on plates of pasta. Tan brick and colorful murals of wholesome Italian ingredients surround families and couples as they twirl linguini around their fork tines or munch on slices of vodka-penne pizza, a specialty pizza topped with vodka sauce and diced ham. During catered events, guests can avoid eye contact with an old lab partner by preoccupying themselves with fresh fruits, antipasti, penne pomodoro, lasagna, and veal.
Since 1988, Specs For Less has been sharpening visual acuity in Staten Island and its surrounding areas. At each of its five locations, customers' eyes are coddled by a staff of optometrists, who examine eyes aided by up-to-date equipment as well as ongoing education. Meanwhile, eyewear consultants concern themselves with keeping newly minted prescriptions stylishly adhered to faces, occupying the vanguard of frame style trends with an inventory of designs from Coach, Fendi, and Dior.
The staff at Folica.com believes that your hair is your most important accessory. Enthused about all manner of tress trends and tools, they sample the shampoos, gels, hair dryers, and curling irons that come in, ensuring their patrons can effectively fashion vintage-style flips, cascading curls, or beehives taller than a short 8-year-old. Their selections hit the virtual shelves of the online shop, which stocks more than 6,000 hair products and tools from brands such as Sedu, Solia, and Alterna. To help shoppers make informed purchases, they've come up with a collection of top-10 product lists—based on customer reviews and in-house testing—recommending their favorite curly-hair products to hair brushes to heat protectants.
The professional photographers at Target Portrait Studios capture paramount moments in premier lighting with high-tech digital cameras and a choice of vivid background images. After clients discuss pose preferences with their portraitist, subjects take the stage for approximately 10 minutes of flashing bulbs, bright smiles, and focused lenses. Clients are welcome to bring props and shadow puppets from home, and after choosing a background, they can further customize each image with one of the studio's props, if desired.