At Main Street Pizza & Cafe, eager eaters ingest hand-tossed pizzas, hot sandwiches served on french rolls, and breakfast fare. The savory surface of an artichoke-feta pizza supports fresh garlic, tomatoes, and mozzarella, which cower on its edges after glimpsing the approach of world-consuming teeth (starting at $8.99).
Tucked away in the kitchen of each Paris Baguette, bakers trained in French techniques craft buttery, flaky croissants and tart crusts, and their success at this has earned attention from the likes of the New York Times. In addition to pastries and sweets such as mocha rice balls, the bakers knead bread for their namesake baguettes and yeasty creations that hold an Asian twist, such as red-bean-paste-filled donuts. The experts also create fondant-cloaked cakes that venture beyond classic flavors into green tea, cappuccino, and sweet potato, delighting partygoers bored of the same laminated sheet cake that makes its appearance at each year’s birthday celebration.
To wash down these treats, patrons sip cups of java or more exotic drinks such as wheatgrass and black-sesame lattes, persimmon smoothies, and bubble tea. At lunchtime, many locations layer sandwiches, filling hungry stomachs with croque monsieurs and baguettes stuffed with chicken and pesto.
It's been nearly three decades since the first Taco Factory Inc opened its doors, and though the business has expanded to other locations, some things haven't changed. Chefs at all locations still rely on the same family recipes to craft a menu of authentic Mexican cuisine. The guacamole that tops the restaurant's tacos, tostadas, and burritos, for example, is still made fresh in-house, and the salsas and tortilla chips are always handmade. Breakfast, which is served till noon, features hearty eye-openers like egg and bean burritos or huevos rancheros, while a variety of vegetarian options cater to those in search of lighter fare.
The Dessert Lab's pastry chefs stay true to their bakery's name, aiming to redefine the art and science of sweets. Their innovative efforts are directed toward cheesecake, which they elevate to a level of blissful originality with flavor iterations that include saffron, rose, and french toast with bacon. Their specialty flavors change weekly, much like the government's stance on the food pyramid. They experiment with size, too, crafting bite-size and 3-inch cheesecakes to give visitors the freedom to try more than one or two flavors.
Top notch Arabica beans arrive green at Javatinis, each pack mule still wet from its long journey over sea. With 11 blends of African, Latin American, and Asian beans, you can have a different cup of liquid alchemy for almost every day of week (12 oz. bags start at $11). Javatinis allows you to choose your roast level, picking from nine stages of increasingly deadly heat, with the final roast level applied by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.