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.
Husband and wife team Ray and Heather Breitwieser opened Raymond’s California Bistro after many years spent in the restaurant biz, stocking up on experience at long-standing, popular restaurants such as The Rusty Pelican and The Yard House. They decided to open shop for themselves to serve hearty and wholesome California and Italian dishes that feature fresh seafood and crisp veggies in a space with, as they put it, an “at-home” feel. Their menu includes pasta dishes such as linguini with clams, grilled rib eye entrees, and Californian salads with poached pears and freshly panned nuggets of gold.
The creativity of Issara's Thai’s chefs is best expressed in their sauces. Cucumber-relish and peanut-plum blends imbue fried tofu and rotisserie chicken with vibrant, unexpected flavors. The restaurant's decor creates striking juxtapositions of its own, contrasting white brick with red banquettes. Patrons may bring their own wine in return for a corkage fee or a promise to help the head chef move into her new apartment next weekend.
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.