It’s easy to become mesmerized while standing in line at Fresh Cutt Carving Grill—just behind the counter, slabs of roasted meat are finished on the grill and hand carved to order. This is where Fresh Cutt’s signature three-step ordering process begins. First, customers select one of the high-quality meats, such as all-natural chicken, prime cut steak, and chipotle PorkBelly, to be hand-carved. Then, they can have their chosen meat rolled into a pita or tortilla, spread across fresh salad greens, layered into a plump sandwich, served as is on a plate, or fashioned into a cummerbund for black-tie butcher’s galas. Finally, they can customize their meaty creation with a colorful assortment of fresh ingredients, such as wok-sizzling vegetables, fresh cut slaw, and pinto beans. If they’re not in the mood to make their own meal, they can order from an unintimidating menu that features specialty dishes, such as a pizzeta layering spicy shrimp, avocado-jalapeno salsa, fresh cilantro, and cheeses atop a pita crust, and sides such as hand-cut fries and avocado salad.
The hardest workers at Bagel Broker aren't allowed a lunch break or time to sleep—they bake bagels continuously throughout the day. However, because they're ovens, they aren't aware of their own work ethic. They produce 18 varieties of bagels, from plain to pumpernickel to the popular cheese onion, whose doughy rings satisfy even "New York transplants," according to Epicurious. Guests can decorate their bagels with whipped cream cheese and several types of spreads, or opt for heartier sandwich options, such as breakfast combinations of eggs and meat or slices of nova lox. The Tarnol family—owners of the shop since its 1987 inception—steers clear of added fats, preservatives, and oils when creating the signature food. The shop also compiles catering platters for group functions such as corporate complaining parties.
At Tarascos, owner Antonio Garcia and his chefs blend the comfortable and familiar with the slightly out of the ordinary. A chalkboard-scrawled menu lists Mexican classics such as enchiladas alongside lesser-known dishes such as huaraches, large, oblong tortillas stacked with charbroiled meats. Plates of barbacoa feature the seasoned beef wrapped in maguey leaves and slow-steamed until tender. Likewise, the tap menu mixes Mexican imports such as Pacifico and Modelo Especial with Tarascos's own home-brewed organic beers.
Patrons can dine inside or outdoors on a beer garden–style patio shaded from weather and warmed with gas heaters. On the patio, Tarascos also regularly holds cooking classes, such as a tamale class that was featured on ABC 7.
Grilled or chilled, layered or wrapped, the chefs at The Original Sandbag's Gourmet Sandwiches uphold the age-old art of bread bundling as they craft a mélange of classic sandwiches alongside a complement of classic soups, sides, and desserts. Staffers load up the shop’s fluffy rolls or toasty bread slices with spiced cuts of turkey, saucy meatballs, and veggies before pairing each creation with a homemade chocolate-chip cookie, imbuing senses with nostalgia for days at mom’s house or late-night shindigs at Cookie Monster's mansion. Diners can take their bounty to go or linger at the restaurant, which features a lineup of indoor seating and a collection of patio tables soaking in the warm rays of the noonday sun.
The aroma hits you first. It could be the brisket fresh off the smoker, or the candied yams carmelizing similar to how grandma use to make them. No matter the dish, D's Original Take Out Grill makes sure it's menu carries the soulful essence of owners Damon and Wendy Stalworth's southern roots. He whips up Louisiana-style chicken sausages, and coats St. Louis-style ribs in a sauce inspired by his grandmother's recipe, which is now sold at Whole Foods. Diners can also enjoy the signature sauce on wings or take bottles of the sauce home to paint edible murals on open walls.
Spark Woodfire Grill features contemporary American cuisine with an Italian twist. As the restaurant’s name suggests, Spark's chefs use woodfire specialty cooking equipment to prepare their dishes, or they yell at them until the dishes become cooked by shame.