At K & J's Ice Cream Shop, you can eat pumpkin pie without a fork. That's because the shop's 40-some flavors include several varieties inspired by time-honored desserts. In addition to pumpkin pie, there's Twinkie, Almond Joy, and raspberry cheesecake. The creamy selections are supplemented by 25 fruit-flavored italian ices, which cool off tongues faster than a french kiss from a snowman.
For Darrin Miles, co-owner of Buffalo's Chicken Shack, barbecuing began as a hobby. Using seasonings, sauces, and rubs learned from his mother, he grilled, smoked, and deep-fried meats for his coworkers and friends during cookouts. But his occasional culinary endeavors soon became a passion. First, he built a brick and mortar smoker in his backyard. When his dreams grew beyond his fence and swimming pool of Sweet Baby Ray’s, Darrin opened Buffalo's Chicken Shack with his wife, Tiffany.
The restaurant now serves up a full menu of southern-inspired dishes, all of which earned the approval of Darrin's assembled focus group of friends and local foodies. Popular items include jumbo buffalo wings, slabs of ribs, and fried chicken, which pairs well with warm buttermilk waffles and home-style sides such as cornbread, sweet potato fries, and macaroni and cheese. Buffalo’s Chicken Shack challenges diners’ appetites for these comfort dishes during annual eating contests: in 2012, Jamie “The Bear” McDonald became the newest Buffalo King after consuming 53 spicy wings in seven minutes without belching cartoon flames.
For 30 years, Pizzeria Diamici has tossed its piping-hot pies and sauced its flavorful Italian fare from the same spot on Hackensack Street. The mouthwatering menu ushers its pleasing pizzas into being the moment they’re ordered, saving them from the complexion-mottling scourge of heat lamps. Gourmet and specialty pies—such as the sun-dried tomato, mushrooms, basil, and mozzarella pie or the spicy, meat-strewn four-alarm ($13.95–$15.95)—arrive loaded with ingredients fresh enough to garner a four-scold rating from the U.S. Department of Schoolmarms. The pizzeria also stuffs its calzones to the seams with savory cheeses, rendering them hefty enough to ensure that any food fight ends in mutually assured destruction.
Red Hen Bistro orchestrates fresh, organic ingredients into a seasonal menu of French-American fare. Diners settle into the cozy confines of cherry-red walls with an hors d’oeuvres of moules frites, a plate of mussels basking in a tastescape of white wine, chorizo, and dijon cream ($13.95). Braised beef short ribs preen in a roasted cremini demi glace ($25.95) and a cushion of warm lentil salad supports pan-seared scallops ($25.95). Sate carbo-carnivorous cravings with the croque madame, which spreads dijon aioli on franchese bread, folds in ham and gruyere, and tops everything with an organic egg cooked sunny-side up ($12.95). Each week the desserts change according to availability of quality seasonal ingredients and horoscope readings.
San Juan Express aims to take taste buds on a tour of Puerto Rico's diverse flavorscape. The menu delivers authentic cuisine from around the famous island—from its well-trod beaches to its rural tropical jungles. Servers bustle about behind the counter, ladling out portions of oxtail stew, juicy slices of beefsteak, slow-roasted garlic pork, and crispy fried shrimp from a row of freshly made dishes. They also whip up a variety of traditional mofongos, topping mashed plantains with shrimp and pork. For dessert, the staffers dole out custard flan and moist tres leches cake.