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 Pizza Joint tantalizes taste buds with a towering throng of bounteously topped pizzas, stacked sandwiches, and hearty strombolis that capture the cuddle-like contentments of comfort food. Set stomachs to non-growling with a singular stromboli, such as the deluxe boli, stuffed with ham, meatball, sausage pepperoni, and a plethora of cheeses ($7.25), or the Philly boli, replete with grilled steak, sauteed onions and peppers, the tears of New York sports fans, and melted mozzarella ($7.25). Feasting may continue with any of their nine eclectic, oven-baked sandwiches, such as the classic ham-and-cheese sandwich ($6.75) and the Big Mike, bedecked with four different meats, melted cheeses, and enough veggies to woo a peckish green giant ($6.50). Slice-savoring guests may opt to sample one of their 10 specialty pizzas, including the ricotta-crowned white pie (14”, $15.95) or the feta- and chicken-kissed Brando’s barbecue pizza (14”, $15.95), or choose to create one of their own from a list of regular and premium toppings. Diversify edible matter-states with sips from one of 24 beers on tap, which include such luminous lip smackers as Blue Moon, Fat Tire, and Highland Gaelic.
Ismael and Silvia Villegas have been snipping off sprigs of cilantro and squeezing limes onto tacos inside Casa Linda Mexican Restaurant's kitchens since 1993. Beneath decorations such as papel picado and piñatas, staples such as chicken in mole sauce and tacos al pastor join specialties such as the Pollo Loco, a chicken breast topped with cream sauce and a medley of squash and other vegetables. The restaurant also shakes and blends specialty cocktails such as açaí cosmos and superfruit margaritas.
Bruegger's Bagels traces its origins back to 1983, when founders Nord Brue and Mike Dressell began using their years of experience under a professional bagel baker to start their own business. In the early '80s, bagels were relatively unknown to most Americans, rarely seen outside of their natural habitats: Big Apple delis and free-range bagel grazing grounds. At the spearhead of introducing the breakfast delicacy to the world at large, Bruegger's grew locations in 26 states, winning a loyal customer base with crispy, chewy bagels kettle boiled and stone-oven baked fresh each morning.
Today, guests still smear the piping-hot circles with hummus, jelly, or rich vermont cream cheese or sink their teeth into anytime breakfast bagel sandwiches of smoked salmon and ham and egg. At lunchtime, bagels fill up with thai peanut chicken, refueling diners along with paninis stuffed with roast beef and horseradish. Healthy, substantial salads tempt palates with morsels of fresh mozzarella cheese, tender grilled chicken, and crispy cucumbers and greens, and sustainably sourced coffee drinks such as the blended mocha Brueggaccino make for tasty, sweet notes to meals.
Owned by the same duo that operates Village Idiot Pizza, Yumilicious fills patrons up with a heaping helping of simultaneously palate-percolating and low-guilt frozen yogurt. Start by building a base from more than 40 flavors (14 of which are offered on any given day), including blueberry cheesecake, pomegranate, mango, cake batter, lychee, green tea, and acai berry. Next, top your tasty treat with an avalanche of fresh fruits such as cantaloupe and banana, as well as dry toppings such as almonds, Fruity Pebbles, Nilla Wafers, gummy bears, and live baby bears. Customers with dietary restrictions can likewise douse their own sweaty tongues in one of Yumilicious’s no-sugar-added flavors. Yogurt concoctions are self-serve and priced by weight ($0.45 per ounce).
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.