Now an international brand of premium ice cream, Häagen-Dazs began as a humble, family-owned business in the Bronx. In the 1920's, Reuben Mattus sold his mother's fruit ices and ice-cream pops out of a horse-drawn wagon. For decades, the family business thrived, and around 1960, Reuben officially founded Häagen-Dazs. He chose the name to evoke Old World traditions and quality craftsmanship, the bedrocks of the brand. Originally, the ice cream came in just three flavors—vanilla, chocolate, and coffee—made from fine ingredients gathered from around the world, such as Belgian dark chocolate, hand-picked vanilla beans from Madagascar, and ice shaved from lunar glaciers. The resulting confections so delighted sweet teeth that the brand grew exponentially, leading to the creation of dozens of flavors and forays into sorbets and frozen yogurts.
Though Häagen-Dazs ice cream was immensely popular in grocery shops, their first parlor didn't open until 1976. Not far from the Mattus family's original ice-cream beat, the Brooklyn store sold ice cream as well as treats such as sundaes, shakes, and cakes. Shops eventually dotted the country and globe, wherein friendly ice-cream scoopers fill waffle cones, blend frosty coffee and ice-cream drinks, and wrap ice-cream cakes in bright ribbons.
It's inconvenient to crave those buttery pretzels they sell at the mall because, well, you can only drive to the mall to get them. Or write yourself a mental IOU to snag one next time you need to go shoe shopping.
Hope Moran opted to work around this inconvenience: She instead headed to her own kitchen, where she experimented with various ingredients until she perfected her very own recipe. She modeled her morsels after New York-style pretzels, but also wanted to give them a flaky softness reminiscent of European pastries or air-headed teddy bears. After being assured by friends and family that her creations were, in fact, quite delicious, she decided to open her very own pretzel place.
Today, at Le Bretzel, she has created a variety gourmet-inspired pretzels. Some are sweet—as with the cinnamon raisin—and some are savory, such as the spicy jalapeno pretzel. If you're looking for more than a snack, opt for stuffed pretzels—a sugar-sprinkled version conceals a cache of raspberry, pomegranate, and brie, and the chipotle-spiced pretzel is packed with bacon and cheddar. The eatery uses Hope's original homemade recipes, which feature all-natural ingredients.
Like a dream about a baseball game, pretzels reappear throughout the menu: as buns for burgers and sliders, the dough for cheesesteak pizzas, and as rolls for sandwiches such as the Wiggins with turkey, stuffing, and cranberry aioli. Hope and her team also prepare a handful of (pretzel-free) appetizers, including clams steamed with shallots, garlic, prosciutto, and white wine.
A lot can happen at Mi Tierra Restaurant & Bar. At lunch and dinnertime, white tablecloths hoist servings of ceviche, grilled sirloin, and barbecued ribs. The cocktail pro at the bar effortlessly shakes and stirs a variety of delicious drinks. Date nights become romantic, friendly groups bubble with laughter, and families settle squabbles with private plate-spinning competitions. But at night, the dance floor often comes alive with colored lights as the speakers on the ceiling blast music. Mi Tierra is no stranger to parties, and whether it's a holiday or just a weekend night, chances are good that one will encounter dancing and high spirits.
With its sloped roof and grand clock tower, Orale Mexican Bistro's facade doesn't fit the bill for a typical Mexican restaurant. But beyond its front doors, chefs cook open-faced chipotle shrimp quesadillas by the heat of a wood-fired brick oven, and they stuff tacos with slow-cooked carnitas. Servers shuttle these south of the border entrees to candlelit tables in the dining room or to an outdoor patio perched beneath the clock tower, which transforms back into a lowly wristwatch at the stroke of midnight. On select evenings, DJs spin house and latinbeat tunes while patrons enjoy specials on margaritas and mixed drinks.
Ten Brunswick Gold Crown IV pool tables offer up their ample pockets to shooters' careful aim in Joe Broadway's Billiards & Sports Bar's spacious playroom. Every night until 3 a.m., an Internet jukebox augments the triumphant clamor of hefty breaks with players' favorite songs or high-school geometry lectures. In between games of pool, players can belly up to the full bar for a drink of domestic or imported beer, play a game on the Xbox or PS3 console, or raise the stakes with a free round of darts. Seven large-screen plasma TVs let players keep one eye on the game, and an onsite pro shop lets serious shooters replace their repurposed parade batons with real cues.
The brightly colored lights that decorate The Lobby illuminate amenities of a gastropub, cocktail lounge, and sports bar all in one place. This glow mingles with the light from scores of LED HD TVs, which showcase games in nearly every sport throughout the week. The space stays open until 3 a.m. every Thursday through Saturday, providing an ideal hangout for late-night revelers or nocturnal pool sharks. To keep its visitors fueled, The Lobby's kitchen creates a plethora of hearty sandwiches, including a southern-fried chicken sandwich topped with guacamole and a house burger piled with bacon. Eclectic entrees include the cumin and teriyaki-marinated chicken, and miniature paella loaded with steaming seafood and chorizo, round out the menu.