Each of Lumberjacks Restaurant’s six locations invites patrons to sup on grandiose portions amid mostly wooden, log-cabin-inspired décor. A giant flannel-clad lumberjack greets guests at entryways, and inside, rustic walls display handheld saws like the one George Washington once used to carve his many girlfriends' initials into cherry trees. Hunter-green booths flank tables weighed down by giant burgers, sandwiches, and steaks that dare guests to leave hungry. Chefs also concoct classic breakfast fare, including skillets, waffles, omelets, and eggs benedict.
To support the community both local and global, Matteo's Public packs its menu with homemade ingredients from local farmers and ranchers and employs sustainable business practices. The napkins are made from recycled paper, the patio garden is chemical-free, and the trash is all composted, then used as feed for free-range irascible muppets. Start off your appetite's scrumptious stay-cation with brew battered mushrooms ($7.99), made with the “beer O'the day,” before orally deconstructing a Matteo's pub burger ($13.99), which swipes its half-pound patty locally from Niman Ranch. Matteo's chickpea burger ($9.99) arrives topped with a lemon dill dressing and is made so close to home that, at some point, it must be encouraged to get a job and move out. For those who don't put much stock in a name, try the stinky mac 'n' cheese entree ($10.99), which gracefully welcomes chicken or shrimp (add $5.00) into its crunchy breadcrumb and bacon shell.
The words “Colfax Pharmacy” are still printed in big, sky-blue letters on Colfax Greek Bistro’s white-brick façade even though the building, which was built in 1880, is no longer a place to pick up a prescription. Rather, visitors shuffle in to enjoy owner Elan Vitkof’s falafel sandwiches, baklava, greek salads, and gyros made with house-roasted lamb and beef. Classic Greek and Mediterranean dishes are complemented by glasses of Greek wine and beer from Russia, Germany, Greece, Italy, and Belgium. The café-style eatery boasts exposed-brick walls, couches, and live music and dance acts, making it a great place to enjoy a meal and daydream about someday teaching a horse how to play fetch.
With Schoolhouse Yogurt's six self-serve yogurt stations and 35 topping choices, wannabe confection creators can blend creamy concoctions to their hearts' content. The rotating flavors please picky palates with varieties such as cookies and cream, pomegranate-raspberry sorbet, and classic vanilla. Top a tour de fro-yo at the toppings bar, selecting from sweet and savory dustings, and then allow a staffer to ring up the mighty creation to the generous tune of $0.40 per ounce. Though self-serve yogurt may seem like a self-indulgent, self-serving activity, Schoolhouse Yogurt donates 10 percent of all sweet, sweet proceeds to local schools' classrooms, chalk buckets, and kickball-ball lockers.
Though the walls at Original Mel's Diner are decked out in 1950s memorabilia, the eatery dates back to the 1940s, making its throwback aesthetic something of a natural development and not purely a put-on. The diner also owns another indelible link to the Eisenhower era: in 1973, George Lucas featured the restaurant in American Graffiti, his iconic paean to all things swell. The restaurant’s screen time didn’t end there; it would later serve as the setting for the sitcom Alice, as well as the famous breakfast laser shootout in Return of the Jedi.
True to its roots, the eatery's massive menu carries the torch for classic eats. Its bounteous American staples include steaks, third-pound burgers, sandwiches, all-day breakfast. While rocking out to '50s and '60s music from table jukeboxes, diners can sink teeth into Hawaiian burgers with teriyaki-glazed pineapple or cheesesteak hoagies, piled high with grilled sirloin steak, jalapeno, and pepperoncini. Fries come topped with gravy, garlic, cheese, or chili. An ice cream parlor-style dessert menu boasts ice cream sundaes, hand-dipped milkshakes and malts hearken back to the days when soda jerks still roamed the earth. A banquet room fit for celebrating birthdays, team gatherings, and more seats up to 50 people.
Full-service snack and beverage bars provide lubrication for moistureless mouths and nourishment for nosh-needy teeth with a menu consisting of sandwiches, snacks, and sodas, and pool tables and video games keep trained fingers in pin-fighting form. The on-premises pro shop allows bowlers to accessorize their outfits with matching balls, stylish wrist guards, and spare shoes for centaur teammates.
It is not just the pastas, sandwiches, and pizzas that keep guests coming back to Pete's Restaurant and Brewhouse and Original Pete's—the handcrafted beers also play a major role, quenching thirsts with flavors ranging from the Uptown blonde’s light layers of honey to the highly hoppy profile of the Skinner’s Horse IPA. Pete’s team keeps meals in balance by offering food-and-beer-pairing suggestions, assuring diners that the Midtown ale harmonizes with fish tacos and that the Old Town red—a malty, medium-bodied amber ale—improves coordination for slam-dunking meatballs.