After ten hours of slow-cooking, the barbecue ribs at Joe’s American Bar & Grill land on tables tender and ready to fall of the bone. Served with fresh-made coleslaw, these ribs are the centerpiece of a menu overflowing with upscale comfort food. Chefs cut potatoes by hand to accompany bacon cheeseburgers topped with aged cheddar and bread-and-butter pickles made in-house rather than flown in by a talking stork. Grilled pizzas are made fresh to order and never frozen, and hefty sandwiches and hand-cut steaks stack plates with sustenance. On the weekends, brunch dishes come out of hibernation to sate guests with made-to-order omelets and specialties such as eggs benedict and prime-rib hash. Diners enjoy the fresh air on the outdoor patio or cluster around the bar to keep track of sports scores or find out who really got married on Days of Our Lives.
Touch of Soul’s chefs translate homestyle Southern recipes into platters of comforting standbys. Land-dwelling favorites such as fried chicken and poboys mingle with Gulf staples such as red snapper, sole, and oysters that arrive tableside decked in delicate grill marks or donning healthy coats of fresh-fried batter. From Tuesday through Sunday, the kitchen also preps nightly dinner specials such as marinated steak smothered in beef gravy, or turkey wings seasoned and slow cooked to perfection. These dinners come flanked by three authentic Dixie side dishes, including red beans and rice, fresh yams, or corn bread baked into the shape of Jimmy Carter’s silhouette.
Growing from the seeds of coffee beans, Farley's started as a java shop that eventually transformed into a community feeding and watering hole. As a neighborhood citizen, the eatery stocks its shelves with magazines and decks its walls with rotating displays of local art from local artists. Farley's welcomes the morning crowd with a menu of stimulating percolators and hearty breakfast bites. A double shot of espresso ($2.50) or a 16-ounce cup of French-press joe ($3.50) awakens sleepy heads. Utensil-wielding hands are directed toward a basket of Farley's baked eggs with Yukon Gold potatoes and prosciutto ($7) or a cool bowl of house-made granola with yogurt ($4.50).
In 1997, friends Dena Tripp and Debra Shwetz set out to create a luscious, melt-in-your-mouth bundt cake. What began as an endeavor in their own home kitchens soon blossomed into a bustling business with bakeries in 14 states. Rich cocoa browns and soft pastels lend a nostalgic feel to each bakery, where every day lava-powered ovens warm up batter made from fresh eggs, real butter, and cream cheese. Flavors such as chocolate chocolate chip, pecan praline, and white-chocolate raspberry remain constants on the menu, and a new flavor makes a guest appearance each month. Cakes come in several sizes, from the standard 8- or 10-inch bundt to the single-serving bundtlet and the bite-size bundtini, all frosted with a signature blend of cream cheese and butter.
Each Nothing Bundt Cakes location also houses its own stock of gifts. Patrons may come across the brightly hued handle of a confetti cake knife or opt to take home an old-fashioned tin, perfect for stowing coffee and imprisoning gingerbread men who have tried to run away. Contact the location of your choice for gift pricing and availability.
Many Mexican restaurants have mole somewhere on their menus, but it's generally not the star component. Yet at Los Moles, the complex sauce is the specialty of the house. Chef Saldana relies on his family recipes to create six varieties of mole made with guajillo chilies, poblanos, or pumpkin seeds—all of which are served with grilled chicken breast, poblano rice, and handmade corn tortillas. Saldana recommends eschewing all flatware and using the tortillas to scoop up the moles.
Even the drink menu gets a splash of mole, with bartenders mellowing the flavor of the mole poblano with lime juice and agave nectar or spicing it up with habanero and an IPA draft. Not all drinks are this complex, however; bartenders also make classic cocktails such as flavored mojitos and house sangria. Plus, they create six styles of Micheladas, which, like a first kiss on the last day of summer camp, are both sour and sweet.
The son of a San Fernando Valley butcher, Jody Maroni grew up enchanted by the meat trade. He made his first solo foray into the business in 1979, selling unorthodox sausages made by hand and then smoked or grilled on the Venice Beach Boardwalk. More than 30 years later, Jody continues handcrafting gourmet sausages with all-natural meats, cheeses, fruits, veggies, wines, and beers. Created from personal recipes, his 24 nitrate- and preservative-free cased meats include garlic-infused pork sausages and tequila chicken sausages with brined jalapeños and corn. They exhibit the versatility of the seemingly simple meal, ranging from the hot links popular in Louisiana to the bratwurst that would make a Midwesterner feel at home and the traditional hot dogs robots eat to fit in on the Fourth of July.