Ken's Steak House is an improbable success story. Ken and Florence Hanna opened the Lakeside Cafe in 1935, the throes of the Great Depression. Bite by bite, they built a loyal base of customers (who always just called the eatery "Ken's"), and after five years, the restaurant took up residence in a small diner on Route 9, then known as Starvation Alley.
But Ken dreamed of a day when the grimly named strip would flourish. Today, it's known as the "Golden Mile"—and Ken's Steak House itself has mushroomed. The kitchen still serves the salad dressing recipes created by Florence Hanna—now a national line of salad dressings—and Ken's son, Timothy, and his wife are in charge.
Chefs broil and fire-grill prime cuts of steak, marinating the chateaubriand's center cut roast tenderloin in a reduction of port wine, or infusing the 8-ounce filet mignon with the earthy smoked notes of the warm cedar planks it's served on. Seafood options nestle up against their turf counterparts, including bacon-wrapped scallops, a full pound of lobster stuffed with crab and shrimp, and pistachio-crusted Atlantic salmon. Chicken and pasta dishes round out the menu, and diners discover Italian influences and plenty of seafood-pasta plates. The rustic wood paneling harkens back to Ken's Steak House's roots, and the upscale fare and soft light cast from chandeliers make the spot an ideal choice for an anniversary dinner or a piñata's last meal.
For three decades, the chefs at Aegean Restaurant have skillfully sautéed and seared authentic Greek cuisine. Although prices vary slightly at each location, both the Framingham and Watertown menus boast an array of traditional treats such as mousaka—towering stories of wind-resistant eggplant mortared with cheese and béchamel sauce ($12.95–$14.95)—and stuffed grape leaves ($12.95–$15.95). Specialties range from sautéed shrimp blanketed in melted feta ($16.95–$19.95) to skewered lamb souvlaki ($12.95–$16.95), which playfully fences with a swashbuckling squadron of seasonings. Diners sup comfortably at tables draped in crisp white tablecloths in the restaurant's spacious dining rooms, which can accommodate large groups for corporate meetings or Trojan War reenactments.
The staff at Tropical Café patrol the restaurant’s perimeter constantly, spears in hand. They’re not on guard duty, though. Rather, they’re servers, carving off portions of freshly roasted Brazilian barbecue. They stop at every table, offering their savory cargo to diners who have flipped their personal dining card green side up, indicating that they might be in danger of consuming plant matter from the extensive salad bar if more meat does not arrive soon.
The taste of culture doesn’t stop at the barbecue, however. Tropical Café fills weekends with live musical performances of South American and Brazilian folk music. Wednesday evenings are devoted to karaoke, the classic contest made more interesting by participants who sing with mouthfuls of meat.
Guadalajara, nestled in the state of Jalisco, was the birthplace of many of the flavors used in Mexican food. Those influences shine through in the recipes at Taqueria Mexico, where the chefs draw on family recipes brought by over from the inventive city. The dishes have helped earn the eatery very good to excellent ratings on Zagat.
As at any good taqueria, the gorditas, tacos, tortas, and burritos can be stuffed with a wide range of meats and veggies. Carnitas, pork traditionally slow cooked with green chilies, is nearly as tender as steamed beef al vapor. Lengua, or beef tongue, is also a time-tested taqueria meat. And like the dependents section of a scarecrow’s taxes, the eatery’s quesadillas brim with squash.
Green Chili's family of flavor aficionados melds more than 49 years of culinary know-how and worldwide travel with international influences to populate an extensive menu of classic Indian and American entrees. Diners can sample an assortment of traditional Indian dishes, including mint-tinged chicken tikka ($6.99) tucked neatly into a spinach, white, or wheat wrap. Shrimp curry ($10.50) zings taste buds with zesty spices and socially relevant one-liners, and a sky-high veggie sandwich ($6.50) buttresses layers of onion, sautéed potatoes, and cilantro between thick slices of bread. To quell crack-of-dawn cravings, Green Chili whips up breakfast items throughout the day, as well as fluffy Indian pancakes ($4.99–$7.99), served with spicy lentil and cool coconut dip. The savory smorgasbord also includes American entrees, such as the Corporate Dog ($3.15–$6.25), a plump hot dog topped with chili, sauerkraut, and upward mobility.
CJ's is a sandwich shop on steroids! Full breakfast menu every morning...ice cream all summer...fresh seafood plates...and the best rotisserie cooked roast beef sandwich on the planet!! Comfort food at its finest...in a hometown diner-style atmosphere where you'll feel right at home, as soon as you walk in.