Growing up in the Udon Thani province of Thailand, the owners of Orchid Garden learned to love two things: cooking and the province's famed orchids. So when they opened their family restaurant using the recipes they learned in Udon Thani, they decided to name it Orchid Garden. There, they specialize in spicy Thai curries and stir-fried noodles, which they toss with a choice of meat, seafood, veggies, or tofu, using only the freshest, highest-quality ingredients. Their signature dish is the ba lad prig, a whole fish that is marinated and deep fried before being spiced with lemon leaves, Thai basil, garlic, and hot peppers. On weekdays, 30 of their dishes can be found on the lunch buffet. But the selections rotate every day, like the tires of someone who commutes from Seattle to Boston for work. They don't limit their menu to just Thai items, however. They also serve up classic Chinese dishes as well as beer and wine from around the world.
At Steve's Sweet Treats Bakery, husband and wife team Steve and Joy Morris pass their days together baking a menu of made-from-scratch treats in a homey café setting. Between bites of fresh bread, cinnamon rolls, or house-made snicker doodles, visitors can sip gourmet coffee and surf free WiFi as they bask in the shop’s comforting aesthetic, which pairs framed artwork and nostalgic knickknacks with mismatched antique furniture. Saturday mornings invite locals to linger longer over breakfast, and special orders allow customers to take a piece of the bakery home with them.
Custom cakes, cheesecakes infused with fruit or sandwich-style cookies, and cake pops that can be fashioned into edible cartoon characters are just a few of the shop’s sweet specialties, which may also be delivered locally to a home, office, or group of resourceful kindergarteners with convincing baritones.
The scents of grilled lamb and basmati rice filled chef Mustafa Somar’s dreams for 30 years, making him hungry to open his own Turkish restaurant. This dream came true in 2003 with Sherefe Mediterranean Grill.
Mustafa mans the kitchen as his wife, Kathy, delivers juicy chicken kebabs and tzatziki as smooth as a zamboni’s footprint. Greek and Italian influences infuse the menu, seeping into homemade eggplant lasagnas and Mediterranean feasts brimming with hummus, kalamata olives, and fresh tomatoes.
Across town at Cross Creek Mall, Mustafa’s deli counter teems with to-go treats such as grilled-meatloaf paninis and toasted croissant sandwiches. Here, diners can also pull up a chair and practice their Turkish by saying “sherefe”—the word for “cheers”—as they clink glasses of wine and beer.
Lidos - The Euro Spot leads a double life as a quaint European bistro by day and a lively dance club at night. During lunch and dinner hours throughout the week, chefs simmer up signature dishes of russian goulash with Angus beef, Hungarian-style chicken paprikash, or german pork schnitzel in a creamy mushroom sauce. Tabletops sprinkle its sunny outdoor patio, and soft green walls surround the white-clothed tables of its dining room. Come nightfall, however, the tables are swept away, the lights dim, and the room fills with the sounds of bumping dance music, live bands, and karaoke. A well-stocked bar serves up regular drink specials, including ladies’-night discounts for women or poodles in convincing tutus.
Customers won't find any heat lamps within The Wing Co.'s kitchen, but that doesn't mean their made-to-order wings aren't hot. Instead, the increased temperatures come from nine sauces, which run the gamut from sweet chili to Cajun to teriyaki. However, the cooks aren’t content to just spread sauce on wings. Upon customer request, they can also splash the tasty liquids over salads, riblets, and sandwiches—including their signature wing burger.
Matching the wings’ heat is the dining room's firefighter-themed decor. Hardhats and helmets double as lampshades, while firefighter boots, tanks, and clothing hang from the walls, in case of an emergency costume party.
Mystic Jamaican Diner's sign says it all: big block letters, evoking the writing on the hull of a sun-steeped boat, flow over the vibrant colors of the Jamaican flag. Diners saunter into the dining room with its tiki roof and sunflower-yellow walls to a booth, where waiters populate tables with sweet plantains and traditional entrees of jerk chicken and goat curry. Air rich with the scents of hot conch soup and coconut water carries conversation through trellis-style wooden dividers that break up the restaurant and simulate an island dinner uninterrupted by bottled messages advertising long-distance carriers.