More than 100 whiskeys and a comparable bounty of beers flow at Johnny’s Saloon, an eccentric neighborhood bar that dubs itself a “twisted Cheers.” Opened in 1982, the bar emanates a charm stemming from its appreciation of the rock 'n' roll generation and a rejection of anything that represents the status quo, such as walls. The jukebox is stocked solely with vintage rock 'n' roll and country, steering clear of Top 40 pop and hip-hop, and in the spotless bathrooms, 20 scented lotions keep hands smelling fresher than the Snuggle bear’s dance moves. Though the bar doesn’t serve food, the staffers happily order in from the nearby famous Donuttery and pour libations from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. They serve up single shots of spirits such as Midleton Irish whiskey and Macallan 21-year, but patrons can also purchase a private bottle of liquor that’s held behind the bar under lock and key.
At MeatHeadz Sandwich Shop, eating like a caveman requires no hunting, gathering, or bartering with pterodactyl femurs. All you have to do is order the caveman club, a medley of turkey, pesto, and avocado on wheat- and gluten-free paleo bread. The cold club is one of 20-plus specialty subs at MeatHeadz, whose hot options include the dirty dominator, a mix of pulled pork, pepperjack cheese, and crumbled chips.
Whether hot or cold, each generously sized sandwich is filled with meats, cheeses, and produce sliced daily by MeatHeadz's team. Said fixings flavor not only specialties, but also customized sandwiches with 40-plus ingredients, including albacore tuna, havarti cheese, and POW sauce. These ingredients can even be assembled atop beds of lettuce for personalized salads.
From the bustling streets of Times Square to the equally vivacious streets of Hong Kong, people walk around with smiles after enjoying the japanese barbecue cuisine at Gyu-Kaku. The restaurant has more than 700 locations worldwide, each rooted in the belief that some of the strongest bonds between friends are forged at the dinner table. Groups dine on a huge variety of Japanese dishes, from popular meat and veggie dishes such as Harami Skirt Steak, Kalbi Short Rib, and Mushroom Medley - to unique Japanese-American appetizers such as the Spicy Tuna Volcano, Pork Gyoza Dumplings, and Chicken Karaage. The real excitement takes place around individual grills, however, where diners can barbecue their own slabs of filet mignon, grilled ahi tuna, or chicken with basil sauce until they are ideally tender or encircled by on-duty firemen.
Tap Shack blends the convivial atmosphere of a lively sports bar with the hearty, flavorful burgers, pizzas, and small plates of a gastropub. Servers haul out plates laden with prime-rib sliders, coconut shrimp, and fish tacos, while tableside taps let patrons sip a nice, frosty glass of draft beer without having to line up behind a crowded bar or fire off a flare to alert a bartender. Twenty flat-screen TVs broadcast games, and a separate video game room lets friends blow off steam with Xbox and PS3 contests. Guests sip craft brews from the bar's lineup of 28 taps, forming a perfect complement to the menu of thick, gouda-covered burger patties, pizzas smothered in Italian sausage and pastrami, and filet mignon surf-n-turf plates with shrimp scampi.
With 40 years of sandwich-making expertise, Togo's gives party planners an extensive catering menu from which to choose their spread. Sandwich trays ($45 regular size, feeds 10), the Endless Combinations platter ($65, feeds up to eight with 16 half sandwiches of four different varieties, plus a regular salad), and a 3- to 8-foot Party Footer (feeds up to 32 people; prices vary depending on sandwich type and size) will supply sustenance for Valentine's Day group gatherers, enthusiastic Presidents' Day celebrators, and supporters of early-February professional American football championships.
Pouring beer is an art form: glasses need to be titled just so or they’ll fill with foam. Fortunately, it’s a skill that’s easy to learn, especially at Tap House, where brews gush forth from 94 taps. Bartenders decant 60 beers in the main room and pour from 12 taps in the downstairs area. Alternatively, patrons who wish to take a hands-on approach can fill their own glasses at a beer wall with 12 self-pouring taps and at a self-serve 10-tap system on the outdoor patio.
Served at a frosty 29 degrees, beers—from light ales to double IPAs—can complement Tap House’s upscale bar food. As tap masters fill pints, cooks in the kitchen top locally farmed Angus burgers with ingredients such as shredded pork and A1 sauce. They also coat swordfish steaks in garlic lemon butter and flavor ribs with house dry rub and BBQ sauce marinated in citrus wheat beer.
These meals unfold in Tap House's elevated dining room, where more than 50 televisions always stay tuned to the night's biggest sports games, never to the night’s biggest mathematical lectures. Bands and DJs take to the main floor's stage on weekends, when the restaurant also hosts Sunday brunches with bottomless champagne and Budweiser.