The chef at Zaika Barbeque & Grill pulls 14 years of experience out of his hat as he prepares traditional Pakistani dishes cooked- and spiced-to-order with halal ingredients. As he barbecues chicken, lamb, and beef, he locks spices and flavors into kebabs, whereas his tandoor oven slowly lets juicy chicken tikka stew and gather up as much flavor as it can. Waiters guide diners through the wide selection of entrees, which includes vegetarian curries and rice dishes. A petite menu of Pakistani desserts coddles sweet teeth after dinner, assuaging their ever-present, irrational fear of the tooth fairy.
Muscle Maker Grill grew out of a small smoothie shop, where owner Rod Silva prepared health-conscious alternatives to fast food. The restaurant has since expanded with a menu tailored to accommodate diners with vegetarian, carb-free, and gluten-free diets. The crew prides themselves in creating healthy versions of popular foods, and continues to serve the shop’s original protein shakes with favorites such as chocolate peanut butter and strawberry banana. Additionally, Muscle Maker Grill displays the calorie count for each dish on the menu.
Mary and Shelly Withers let more than two decades of cooking together shine through in the kitchen, which fills with the crackling of hot oil and the slower contralto bubbling of stews and gravy as the two work in concert. Flanked by berry-colored walls, diners take seats at raw-wood tables and benches to dig into soul-food favorites such as baked mac 'n' cheese, fried catfish nuggets, and jerk chicken. Caterers laden with trays bound for weddings and other events rush past diners slowly working through cups of coffee and Mary's red velvet cake, which lets feasts end gradually, unlike picnics in wind tunnels.
The skilled cooks at BBQ Master are no strangers to an open flame, deftly smoking, searing, and saucing triple-decker sandwiches, burgers, and racks of pork daily. Atop heaping plates, molasses-rich barbecue sauce smothers juicy chicken while pork ribs sizzle on the grill. Customers can complement smoky meats with classic sides, including corn on the cob, macaroni, and baked beans.
It’s more than just gooey, melted mozzarella on bubbling pizza. And it’s more than a long list of 29 sandwiches including meatball parmigiana and BBQ grilled chicken. Johns Pizzeria & Italian Restaurant has brought these dishes and more to thousands of events since opening in 1989. For offsite soirées—such as the ones they catered for the New York Police Department and Staten Island University Hospital—Johns can also provide tents, tables, and chairs that make planning a party so easy that some might want to start celebrating their birthday three times a year. Alternately, customers can dine in at their pizzeria, choosing from a menu of nearly 20 salads as well as seafood entrees and crowd-pleasing pizzas.