Though the family-oriented grill's atmosphere mostly recalls a comfy Mexican restaurant (down to the homemade chips and salsa greeting you at the table), the menu touts tastes from across the globe. Try the signature Hawaiian-style ribs ($13.99 half order, $24.99 whole) marinated and grilled in a secret-recipe Jack Daniel’s barbecue sauce, or take a Bavarian turn with the mett-n-kraut ($12.99), a German-style minced pork with sauerkraut on rye bread. Otherwise, opt for something more Italian such as the homemade meat or vegetarian lasagna ($12.99). Classic Tostado's burgers ($8.49) with your choice of toppings (including mushrooms, bacon, barbecue, and Swiss, Provolone, or American cheese) and reubens ($8.99) bring the around-the-world menu back home. True to its name, though, Tostado’s also serves up Mexican dishes that range from familiar burritos ($9.99–$11.99, depending on filling) and quesadillas ($9.99–$11.99) to the creative Mexican hot dog ($6.99), which comes with sour cream, mustard, and pico de gallo.
Creating a custom-made wine is a lot more rewarding than producing questionable homemade toothpaste. At Tino Vino Vintners, the 6- to 10-week process begins with you “researching” (tasting) wine varietals to determine what you want yours to taste like. Five tastings will introduce your palate to its options in a round of speed dating for the taste buds. Next, the desired grapes are crushed, pressed, concentrated, and mixed with reverse-osmosis-filtered water, yeast, and other ingredients under the supervision of a winemaker. The winemaker will watch over your mixture’s progress during its two to three weeks of fermentation before stabilizing the wine with an optional clarifying agent and racking (removing sediment). Once your wine has been bottled, you may either pop it open and have a party or stash it away to let it age as gracefully as Burton Gilliam.
Smoke scented with flavors such as mango, pineapple, and cherry wafts through Aladdin Restaurant and Hookah Bar as patrons linger over waterpipes as late as 3 a.m. Besides Al Fakher and Starbuzz tobacco, skilled staffers also blend house mixes with names such as Bubble Yum and Candy Drop, and can even fit hookahs with heads made from hollowed-out pineapples, watermelons, and other fruits. The kitchen also crafts a full menu of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern fare, including kebabs, gyros, and Turkish coffee.
Craig and Laura Decker seem to have a difficult time making up their minds. They also seem to have a knack for turning this indecisiveness into an advantage at every turn. When it came to opening their new business, for example, they briefly wondered whether it should feature a wine shop, a wine bar, or a gourmet bistro. Their solution? All three.
This spirit of inclusivity pervades The Wine Guy Bistro, where the Deckers pair seasonal wine varietals with globally inspired cuisine. Rather than choose between European elegance and New-American pizzazz, they settled on a compromise they describe as “Old World chic.” This label suits a menu that features small plates of housemade meatballs and bruschetta alongside assorted cheeses from around the world. The focus on small plates is in keeping with the Deckers’ have-it-all mentality and gives diners the option to sample several dishes without having to barter with adjacent tables.