Olay’s food is never far from reach—in addition to its tidy restaurant on Iwaena Street, its mobile kitchen sets up shop throughout the week at community centers and local high schools. The menu covers nearly as much ground as its employees do; options range from classics, such as pad thai and beef pho, to more exotic entrees of whole deep-fried snapper in a tangy chili sauce. Curries are Olay's specialty—particularly the peanut, red, and green varieties—as is thai Loco Moco, a heap of minced meat stir-fried with veggies and capped with an over-easy egg. Many patrons stick around for the mango sticky-rice dessert, which ends meals more sweetly than a chair that hugs you goodbye.
Meander through Paddle Board's kitchen, and you'll find ingredients such as unbleached flour, vine-ripened tomatoes, and flavorful spices. The chefs fold these ingredients into crispy pizzas, showering thin crusts in cheese, pepperoni, and sausage. In addition to pizzas, they douse juicy wings in hot or mild sauce with ranch on the side, and bake soft breadsticks served with garlic butter and parmesan cheese or topped with cinnamon.
The specialty pizzas at Boston's North End Pizza Bakery are not your average pies. Measuring 19-inches and weighing in at 3 pounds, the Boston's Special pizza cuts an imposing form that will have you reaching for a fork or drilling rig to dig through its decadent layers of cheese, sauce, and fluffy dough. You're also welcome to order up their own custom pie with classic toppings or veggies, or opt for pizza by the slice.
Oft spotted bearing a contagious grin, Ert staffs his restaurant with like-minded folks who prepare hearty, diner-style dishes “cooked and served with love.” Chefs build breakfast plates atop a sturdy foundation of rice and eggs, incorporating the customer's pick of savory, often unexpected meats, such as hotdogs or Spam. The house specialty, a house-made hamburger-steak plate, causes customers to line up at the window of Ert’s mobile food truck and mail lovelorn letters to the restaurant's unassuming storefront.
Aloha Crepes serves dessert all day. Of course, it's in the form of a crepe, so the light treat seems somehow appropriate for breakfast, even if you order the Aloha crepe?loaded with Nutella, a sauce of sour cream and brown sugar, strawberries, whipped cream, and powdered sugar. For something more savory, crepes can be stuffed with portobello mushrooms or grilled chicken or made into pizza-like envelopes that, with the correct postage, the US Postal Service will deliver. For a lighter dessert option, Aloha Snowflakes promise a treat that's part ice cream, part shaved ice with the consistency of frozen cotton candy. Snow ice comes in a variety of flavors made from fresh fruits, juices, and extracts with added milk.
Launched in Florida in the early 1970s, Tony Roma's has since established itself as a cross-country franchise with a knack for cooking up a mean slab of ribs and serving an extensive menu of chicken, seafood, salads, and burgers. The original rack of pork baby backs ($16.99–$23.99) smothers itself in the restaurant's signature sauce, the Hawaiian Coconut Shrimp ($19.99) comes hand-breaded and paired with a culinary bathtub of orange marmalade, and the Ultimate Combo ($28.99) delivers a culinary gift basket of a half-slab of St. Louis ribs, a skewer of grilled shrimp, and a quarter barbecued chicken. Beef buds can savor the flavors of the whiskey-barrel steak, a thick New York strip streak grilled and topped with a Maker's Mark–based sauce ($31.99), served with a choice of side or poem written by Alan Alda. If a hunk of bone-in meat isn't enough to appease the appetite, supplement dinner with Roma's triple-play sampler ($12.99), which includes red-hot buffalo wings, mozzarella sticks, and potato skins, served up with a trio of sauces for dipping.