As the proud, busy parents of three young boys, Kang and Mary Nhin know that eating dinner as a family can be a challenge. So they created Nhinja Sushi and Wok, a casual, kid-friendly setting where the service is fast and the menu includes healthy options. As children don a Nhinja mask cutout and sketch the daily Dow Jones chart on a coloring sheet, families dig into spicy tuna rolls or stir-fried Hunan Garden shrimp. The food blog Dishin & Dishes lauded the restaurant for offering the option to order sushi and entrees made with brown rice.
The family-centric vibe even extends to the restaurant's lime walls, which are decorated with artwork of the owners' children. Careful not to neglect fully grown eyeballs, they have also filled the space with futuristic white chairs, tables, and booths accentuated by the pops of bright pink, turquoise, purple, and lime green.
A member of the Drycleaning & Laundry Institute, Legacy Cleaners and Laundry harbors a slew of cleaning techniques that help extract stains and grime from garments. For laundry services, customers can forage closets and or pilfer a tailor’s piñata for clothes such as shirts ($2.25) and pants ($5.25), which the staff will clean and drape on hangers. Alternately, dry-cleaning machines sidestep water to vanquish wrinkles from sweaters ($5.25) and men's or women's suits ($9.25+). Clients can spruce up bedclothes without overworking washing machines or novelty-size toothbrushes with comforter cleaning ($35+).
Behind the counter at Top That! Pizza, a colorful collection of more than 30 toppings, 10 cheeses, and 8 sauces await each pizza-lover’s creativity. They first pick from three crusts, including honey wheat, then choose sauces such as Thai peanut and basil pesto to adorn their personal-sized pies. Lastly, they select from locally sourced toppings such as marinated ribeye, Polish sausage, and applewood bacon, as well as regional cheeses including asiago and gorgonzola, before their creation is baked to a golden crisp in just three minutes. Customers can then sit down to enjoy their customized pie at the restaurant, or take it home. It’s the concept of combining choice, quality, and speed come to fruition that Top That’s creators envisioned years ago. Today, locations stretch across Oklahoma, Texas, and Colorado, and menus make room for baked dishes such as chicken alfredo and meatball marinara.
After a series of kitchen experiments, Jake Wigley finally did it: he created the perfect chili to top Nathan’s brand all-beef hot dogs. Today, Jake rises bright and early each and every day to create and re-create his hard-earned recipe from scratch for his menu of regionally inspired coneys. He piles the Carolina with chili and coleslaw, slathers the Western with the perfect balance of barbecue sauce and cheese, and constructs the classic, famous coney with chili, mustard, and enough onions to make a statue cry. Aside from Nathan’s dogs, Jake also grills brats and ladles chili over spaghetti or directly into bowls for spoon-assisted consumption.
Cafe Icon cooks meat in the style of the world's oldest ovens: volcanoes. Inside specialized black rock containers, flat slabs of lava rock are lightly roasted until they reach 824 degrees Fahrenheit. These rocks are then brought to the table, where they retain enough heat to grill pieces of filet mignon and fresh tuna. The proteins sizzle without any need for fats, oils, or beatboxers, their flavors captured by the unique, open-air process that is as aesthetically pleasing as it is effective.
The distinctive flair of lava rock-grilling evolved from a simple enough dream. Husband and wife Patrick and Joanna founded Cafe Icon as a health-focused restaurant, devising a menu of fruit smoothies and stuffed crepes. As they built a base of fresh food-loving followers, they decided to expand the scope of the kitchen, envisioning a dining room where guests could order hibachi-grilled chicken, sushi rolls, and crepe sandwiches in a single evening. Now, Cafe Icon is as known for its lava rock dinners and elaborate sushi presentations.
Blue Nile Ethiopian Restaurant follows East African culinary customs in its dining room and kitchens, where cooks draw on traditional recipes and spices. During meals, patrons are encouraged to partake in the practice of gursha, a tradition in which diners manually place food in each other's mouths to symbolize the bonds of loyalty and friendship. Traditional unleavened injera bread, forged from self-rising wheat flour and the native Ethiopian grain teff, accompanies all entrees, which chefs load onto one plate designed for sharing among the members of each table. Equipped with the pancake-like accessory, diners can scoop up a panoply of lamb, beef, and chicken stews infused with a flurry of spices that, like outtakes from The Muppets, range from mild to spicy. Blue Nile Ethiopian Restaurant's chefs shun artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives in all dishes, and vegetarian items arrive uncontaminated by butter, eggs, milk, and disparaging thoughts about Congress.