El Porton Mexican Restaurant has sated cravings for fresh, healthy ingredients for more than two decades, serving up authentic Mexican lunches and dinners that complement the bar’s array of 85 tequilas. Amid golden walls that evoke a warm afternoon in a tropical cantina, guests kick-start stomachs by watching chefs craft lime-infused guacamole tableside. From the kitchen, beef and shrimp fajitas sizzle, wafting aromas of onion and bell pepper that transform into cartoon hands to lure in noses. Warm days open El Porton's patio, where sunshine heightens the flavors of make-your-own combo platters spread with chile rellenos, tostadas, and burritos, as well as USDA steaks aged a minimum of 21 days. Tequila shots arrive in flights or individually, and customizable margaritas in flavors such as mango and classic lime pour forth from salt-rimmed glasses to accentuate entrees and fuel conversations about Mexico's hidden agave rivers.
Owner Kathy Gentry once relied on baking to console her during marathon studying sessions in college. Years later, Gentry has built a booming business devoted to celebrating cake’s charms. Staff guide budding and seasoned pastry chefs alike toward cake tools and instructors curate a packed schedule of courses that cover everything from finessing fondant to freeing trapped clowns from giant cakes. The chefs even film a hugely popular YouTube video series in which they meticulously guide bakers on sugar-laced odysseys.
At West Street Diner, retro swivel stools have served as a prime vantage point for watching line cooks fry up selections from a menu of traditional Southern comfort fare for 20 years. Fried seafood and slow-roasted meats make cameos in hot sandwiches and poboys, and nuzzle up next to 11 classic Southern sides. To answer yens for dessert, chefs bake pies on the premises rather than import them from nearby clown schools.
When you bite into the juicy tomatoes and finely tuned sauces that grace the pizza pies and strombolis at Johnny Brusco's New York Style Pizza, you're experiencing a genealogy of flavor that extends back to the recipes of Johnny Pace in his 1965 Manlius, New York, pizza shop. Today the restaurant prides itself on using the finest ingredients and a diligent sauce-stirring wrist to deliver a lot of love (and just a sprinkle of hatred to give it zing) into every savory bite.
At Equestria, skilled chefs reinvent comfort food classics as authentic, refined Southern dishes using ingredients grown in the on-site greenhouse. The eclectic menu features inventive starters such as soups, salads, and flavorful bites, including roasted green tomatoes with feta and torn basil ($9), Creole Caesar salad topped with fried oysters ($8), and fried goat cheese dressed in a pecan crumble and citrus honey ($9). For dinner, down-home standbys such as fish and grits with tomato confit ($24) and blackened rib eye with crawfish fritters and homemade remoulade ($29) satisfy meaty nibblers, and veggie-friendly options include eggplant parmesan over pasta and garbanzo beans ($20).
Back Yard Burgers serves up North American Black Angus burgers hash-marked to order on genuine flame-licked grills. Third-pound patties dress for dinner with lettuce, vine-ripened tomatoes, red onions, dill pickles, and a condimental trio of ketchup, mustard, and mayo ($3.59). Or gussy up for patty prom with premium add-ons such as coleslaw, chili, sautéed mushrooms, bacon, and more ($0.35–$0.60 per topping). The grill masters also flip the first white meat, prepping Hawaiian chicken sandwiches with grilled pineapple, mustard, mayo, and lettuce ($4.09). Away from the flames, feel free to enjoy a loaded baked potato ($2.79) and a wide range of pairable plates such as chili cheese fries ($2.59 for regular size), garden salads ($2.19), and sweetly baked fruit cobblers ($1.99).