In El Porton's upbeat environs, aromas of authentic Mexican meals distract hungry noses while the sounds of sizzling carne asada paired with traditional Mexican tunes keep ears from getting bored and falling asleep in their lunch or dinner.
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.
Hailing from humble beginnings in a renovated Mississippian gas station, McAlister's Deli has revolutionized the concept of fast food with healthy fare recognized by Parents in 2009. Premium ingredients, such as Black Angus roast beef and black forest ham, pile upon stuffed potatoes or artisan bread, sating hungers and silencing stomachs before they recite bank-account numbers. As patrons wait for servers to deliver meals, they sip signature sweet tea, swirled together onsite daily from pure cane sugar and a rainforest-certified black-tea blend as dictated by a closely guarded recipe.
The sizzle of the round-bottom wok is how many Asian dishes begin, according to the staff at Noodles Asian Bistro. To craft its menu, the kitchen draws together dishes from China, Thailand, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam, which seems to highlight the similarities rather than the differences in the cuisines. The wok sears chopped vegetables and sliced meats with sweet and spicy sauces for both traditional dishes, and house specialties, such as the Happy Family with chicken, beef, and shrimp tossed with veggies, perfect for stuffing an omnivore's pinata.
Firehouse Subs extinguishes appetites with overstuffed sandwiches of high-quality meats and cheese piled high on toasted rolls. Sink your teeth or someone else's into specialty steamed subs (starting at $5.49), such as the Hook & Ladder, with ham, turkey, and monterey-jack cheese, or the New York Steamer, with melted provolone served over corned beef brisket and pastrami. The tasty Engineer offers a brain-boosting bounty of smoked turkey breast crammed with melted swiss and sautéed mushrooms and served Fully Involved (loaded with mayo, mustard, lettuce, tomato, and onion, and a dill spear on the side for endless rounds of condiment jousting). Further information and pricing can be viewed here, though prices may vary. Firehouse Subs also supports the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation, founded by fireman and focused on education, equipment, and training of emergency-service teams.
Grand Buffet's chefs slice fresh vegetables and sear meats in an open kitchen to craft a menu packed with more than 80 classic Chinese and Japanese favorites. The team fills huge chafing dishes with sweet, sour, and spicy buffet treats, including a spread of sushi at lunch and seafood at dinner. Though many patrons enjoy mix-and-matching, chefs also accommodate diners who want their favorite dish. House specialties include beef and scallops with garlic sauce and orange chicken, as well as traditional fare such as chow mein, fried rice, and egg foo young. Alternatively, diners can create-their-own entrees, allowing them to enjoy their favorite vegetables or edit their own fortunes.
Vanelli’s serves up a menu of deli favorites, homemade from old family recipes with fresh sauces and dressings prepared in small batches. Diners can choose from an array of specialty sandwiches such as the Maiale Amore, which layers delicious italian meats, mozzarella, and vegetables with Vanelli's homemade italian mayonnaise (half, $6.99; whole, $9.99), or the Grown-up grilled cheese with asiago, cheddar, and mozzarella ($4.99).