Since the first restaurant opened in 2005, each Fish Place has shared an array of Cajun and creole dishes. In fact, the names of the seafood critters they blacken, boil, and grill daily—including catfish, shrimp, and oysters—are splattered across the restaurant's wallpaper. But, when deciding on a meal, it's the hand-painted chalkboard menus one usually turns toward. The picture-filled boards showcase the eatery's lineup of traditional New Orleans-style seafood entrees, which are complemented by sides of jambalaya, gumbo, and especially polite hush puppies. They round out their menu with hearty seafood po’ boys and tacos decorated with jalapeño mayo, cheddar jack cheese, and crema fresca.
Each day, the chefs at Pepperoni's Pizza's eight locations crush premium tomatoes into sauces, roll out homemade dough, then cover the freshly baked pies with natural mozzarella. Diners can build their own creations from more than 30 toppings, including bacon bits and pineapples, or opt for more than 10 specialty pizzas such as the New Yorker, smothered with heaping amounts of sauce, cheese, and pepperoni. Their menu also sates hearty appetites with more than 20 oven-baked subs, as well as local favorites such as calzones and smokey BBQ Buffalo wings.
Fish Place cooks everything fresh daily and its specialty is crawfish. The New Orleans–inspired eatery preps the crustacean in several classic ways, from cooking up just the tails to brewing an étouffée. Of course, the menu would be remiss to exclude specialties such as shrimp etouffee, crawfish etouffee, seafood jambalaya, stuffed jalapenos, and boudin balls. Other Southern staples include blackened catfish, shrimp jambalaya, and chicken and sausage gumbo. The sides ring authentic as well, complementing entrees with helpings of red beans with rice and hush puppies, so named because their deliciousness causes diners to speak in an awed whisper for several days.
Papa Murphy's Take 'n' Bake Pizza was born out of the owner's frustration with bad pizza from chains, which often tasted as if every ingredient was canned or frozen. Deciding to change the industry, Papa Murphy's tosses every ingredient, all of which are never frozen, onto the crust in front of the customer's eyes and sends them home to bake in a home oven. This dedication to fresh flavor earned Papa Murphy's the top spot on Zagat's National Chain survey.
Visitors can create their own take on the pizza pie or chomp into one of their signature pizzas, which range from meat-filled stuffed crust to calorie-conscious lite varieties covered in vegetables. Their appetizers and desserts follow the same pattern. Customers order raw cookie dough or cheesy bread ripe for the baking, resulting in every course being fresh from the oven.
Named after an island in Nigeria, Lagos Island Cafe captures the flavors of West Africa in dishes that range from the familiar to the exotic. Beneath an arched ceiling painted with depictions of lush foliage and pastel clouds, guests sample a smorgasbord of fried plantains, fresh tilapia, and sausage-encased scotch eggs. The restaurant’s chef calls upon more than 30 years of experience to create Nigerian dishes such as nkwobi—a delicacy made from diced cow feet—and draw phonetic transcriptions of their names on napkins.
Wingaritas' menu unites Mexican cuisine with classic American pub fare such as burgers, sandwiches, and an eclectic array of wings. Tequila lime and other traditional and inventive flavors, such as mango habanero and raspberry chipotle, cloak wings with more variety than the achievements section on Leonardo da Vinci's resumé ($12.95 for 15 traditional pieces; $14.95 for 15 boneless pieces). Seasoned chicken or shredded beef hides inside flautas' deep-fried corn tortillas ($9.95), and green sauce cascades down enchiladas verdes, which introduce chicken to chihuahua and monterey jack cheeses ($7.85). Like shaking hands with an alien, comprehensive combination platters bring together two worlds, allowing a smattering of wings to make merry with tacos, flautas, or quesadillas ($7.95–$9.95). Diners can grab a partner to divide and conquer the fajitas or take the journey solo, assisted only by an encouraging fork ($9.95–$17.95).