Even the most inexperienced pizza architects can build-their-own slices of heaven using Marco's abundant arsenal of pizza toppings such as Italian sausage, mushrooms, pineapple, and anchovies. Scope out Marco's menu in person or try their easy online ordering system, which lets hungry web-crawlers specify the amount of cheese and sauce they'd like slapped on top of freshly baked crusts and homemade sauce. For a finishing touch, pair the edible masterpiece with a complimentary sprinkle of crust seasoning or a side of Ranch dressing. Marco's oven overseers are able to prepare pizzas in 15 minutes upon request, providing a quick solution for feeding hungry packs of ninjas, turtles, and ninja-turtle hybrids.
At Steve The Southern Gourmet Restaurant and Catering, chefs Steve Graham and Yanci Evans want diners to feel like they're at grandma's house. To accomplish that, they went to straight to the source—they visited the kitchens of grandmas all around the area, studying techniques for making dishes from smothered pork chops to fried catfish. And like their grandmotherly mentors, they eschew anything prepackaged, using only fresh ingredients such as wild mushrooms and ground Angus beef. Their dedication to southern cuisine extends to the beverages, from the sweet tea brewed with sugar to the Carolina muscadine wines. The chefs keep the kitchen warm daily at the restaurant's large, airy dining space, as well as take it on the road to cater events such as weddings and eating-contest after-parties.
Customers won't find any heat lamps within The Wing Co.'s kitchen, but that doesn't mean their made-to-order wings aren't hot. Instead, the increased temperatures come from nine sauces, which run the gamut from sweet chili to Cajun to teriyaki. However, the cooks aren’t content to just spread sauce on wings. Upon customer request, they can also splash the tasty liquids over salads, riblets, and sandwiches—including their signature wing burger.
Matching the wings’ heat is the dining room's firefighter-themed decor. Hardhats and helmets double as lampshades, while firefighter boots, tanks, and clothing hang from the walls, in case of an emergency costume party.
Blue Moon Café serves up a menu of enticing eats in a cozy atmosphere of families and foodies. The black-bean hummus appetizer greets diners flanked by a veggie and pita entourage ($8). Pizza-wooers can choose from a selection of pies such as the margherita pizza, topped with tomato, mozzarella, fresh basil, and marinara ($10). Smoked stacks of turkey in the Big Nice 'n Panini stand on layers of havarti cheese, basil pesto, and sun-dried tomato spread set into a focaccia foundation ($9). Though this Groupon cannot be used on alcoholic beverages, the café's vast selection of wines and specialty craft beers pleasantly accompanies digesting delights.
Growing up in the Udon Thani province of Thailand, the owners of Orchid Garden learned to love two things: cooking and the province's famed orchids. So when they opened their family restaurant using the recipes they learned in Udon Thani, they decided to name it Orchid Garden. There, they specialize in spicy Thai curries and stir-fried noodles, which they toss with a choice of meat, seafood, veggies, or tofu, using only the freshest, highest-quality ingredients. Their signature dish is the ba lad prig, a whole fish that is marinated and deep fried before being spiced with lemon leaves, Thai basil, garlic, and hot peppers. On weekdays, 30 of their dishes can be found on the lunch buffet. But the selections rotate every day, like the tires of someone who commutes from Seattle to Boston for work. They don't limit their menu to just Thai items, however. They also serve up classic Chinese dishes as well as beer and wine from around the world.
The scents of grilled lamb and basmati rice filled chef Mustafa Somar’s dreams for 30 years, making him hungry to open his own Turkish restaurant. This dream came true in 2003 with Sherefe Mediterranean Grill.
Mustafa mans the kitchen as his wife, Kathy, delivers juicy chicken kebabs and tzatziki as smooth as a zamboni’s footprint. Greek and Italian influences infuse the menu, seeping into homemade eggplant lasagnas and Mediterranean feasts brimming with hummus, kalamata olives, and fresh tomatoes.
Across town at Cross Creek Mall, Mustafa’s deli counter teems with to-go treats such as grilled-meatloaf paninis and toasted croissant sandwiches. Here, diners can also pull up a chair and practice their Turkish by saying “sherefe”—the word for “cheers”—as they clink glasses of wine and beer.