Owner Lazaro Montoto maintains a healthy diet, and doesn't believe in sacrificing flavor to do so. That's why he opened Tropical Grille as an alternative to the nation’s preponderance of greasy fast-food dives. Natural light pours from wall-length windows onto his steaming grill, where the smell of sizzling chicken and steamed veggies mingle with the aromatic release of Lazaro's flavor-packed spice rubs. He puts those blends to good use; in addition to spicing up the grill, they also infuse his signature pork, which marinates for 12 hours before taking a trip to the slow-roaster for inclusion in thick sandwiches and hearty wraps.
A nonprofit organization designed to promote and improve the lively Columbia neighborhood, the Five Points Association has spearheaded many projects since the early 1980s, ranging from a large-scale streetscaping project to the construction of two fountains to yearly beautification updates. The group also organizes events to bring people to the landmark district—notably the Five After Five concert series and the city's Saint Patrick's Day festivities. Overall, the association, which comprises more than 100 members each year, works to balance the interests of the Five Points' merchants with those of residents and visitors.
Tokyo Grill’s chefs stand over sizzling grills, their furrowed brows illuminated by the dancing flames as they speedily prepare food that blends hibachi flavors with fast and casual dining. With swiftness and precision, they grill fresh vegetables alongside juicy strips of steak, cuts of chicken, and plump jumbo shrimp, then quickly plate the still-steaming meats atop beds of rice speckled with wedges of zucchini, slices of onion, and traces of fairy dust. Elsewhere in the kitchen, sushi chefs are equally hard at work, folding crabmeat and crisp cucumbers into sushi rolls.
The two sisters and a brother who run Tios Mexican Cafe and Cantina serve up Tex-Mex specialties such as barbecued tacos, mexican pizzas, and wet burritos smothered with mild enchilada sauce and cheese. They also cater to vegetarians with options such as the burrito-in-a-bowl, which is made with lard-free refried Beans and Daiya vegan cheese. Food isn’t the only reason to visit, though: the spot also houses a game room and a full bar with cocktails, beer, and 25 types of tequila.
Beef ‘O’ Brady's is celebrating its 26th year of business-related beefiness. Salute its anniversary with a strawberry- or mango-flavored iced tea, coffee, or a fresh Irish limeade as you drink in refreshing sports action on one of the venue’s many televisions. Amuse your whole family with games in the kids’ zone or by telling stories about Babe Ruth eating pretzels pretty quickly.
Awarded Best New Restaurant of 2010 by Columbia Metropolitan magazine, Rosso Trattoria Italia serves fresh and rustic Italian dishes in an opulent, yet relaxed atmosphere. Rosso's menu features an array of antipasti, pastas, grilled meats, and wood-roasted dishes, all prepared with local and seasonal ingredients. Seat your entourage in dark leather chairs surrounding an elegantly lit table, and begin your chewing spree with antipasti, such as the steamed black mussels ($9). Or share a wood-fired brick-oven salsiccia pizza, topped with spicy sausage, mozzarella, and crushed tomato sauce ($12), in observance of pizza power.