Don’t judge a dish by its density—the yeasty slivers here boast charred crusts, imperfectly delicious surfaces (some parts chewy, others crisp and crackly), and more than 30 fresh toppings. Combining family recipes with austere advice (his father’s famed phrase was “If you can’t make it fresh, don’t serve it”), first-generation-Italian Anthony Russo spent years developing the special slices, authentic appetizers, and pasta dishes on the menu.
Texas Rib Factory’s sugarless barbecue sauce gilds the edges of beef brisket, juicy ribs, and sausage. Inside the deep fryer, catfish and chicken take on a crispy, golden-brown hue, ready to be paired with southern sides such as fried okra and housemade potato salad.
Before teaming up in 1953, Burt Baskin and Irv Robbins were seasoned business owners with their own ice-cream shops. The words “unusual varieties” shone high above each shop, signaling their respective owners’ passion for anything but an ordinary dessert experience. When the two got together, it was natural that they’d adopt the theme of “31 flavors,” one for each day of the month. Since then, Baskin Robbins has introduced more than 1,000 flavors and opened shops with more than 5,800 franchise owners worldwide. Even their little pink tasting spoon has become a staple as a way to make flavor browsing an event by allowing guests to try specialties without paying cash or chicken-based trade for the privilege.
Smoothies have long been considered the healthier cousins of their milkshake kinsmen. However, even though they typically contain fruit, they’re often filled with things that aren’t good for you. The beverage experts at Smoothie Factory don’t fall into this trap. Their more than 30 smoothie combinations configure fresh fruits such as peach, blueberry, and strawberry with nutritional boosts that include dietary fibers, amino acids, and antioxidants. They also whip up a handful of drinks made especially for kids, and devise athlete-friendly super-smoothies containing bonus protein shots and weight-gain formula.
Topped with salmon, two kinds of tuna, eel, and red snapper, the Harry Roll is an elaborate creation named for Sasu Sushi's owner. Drizzled in each one of the house sauces and sprinkled with chili pepper, this roll lets the chefs demonstrate their sushi-rolling prowess in a way a simple california roll can't. But that’s not to say that the basic rolls here aren’t crafted with as much care as they are packed with fresh ingredients. In fact, diners can watch the chefs in action from a seat at the cozy restaurant's sushi bar. Guests can also tuck into other Japanese staples, including tempura, noodle, and fried rice dishes before chasing the whole thing with sake bombs.
Nikoz Fusion Grill's cooks fill their kitchen with aromas from sizzling mediterranean kabobs, Indian spices from the baking samosas, and the subtle peanut scent from the drizzle of sauce over the asian salads. Blending flavors and dishes from the Mediterranean, Greece, and Asia, the chefs craft savory gyro sandwiches alongside beef short ribs with special spices and fresh hummus. In addition to dine-in meals, they also fill trays with fusion cuisine for catered events such as birthday parties, retirement lunches, and retiring from the birthday-party circuit.
Roberto Rosa first discovered his love of cooking at age 13, when he began learning recipes from his grandmother Antonia. Two decades later, the owner of Antonia’s Cucina Italiana shares his love of all Italian fare, transforming chicken, seafood, veal, and house-made pasta into colorful dishes during lunch and dinner. Across the three locations, décor and amenities vary, from outdoor seating to exposed brick walls and checkered floors where diners can settle arguments over who pays the bill with games of human chess.