Salsa Fresca Mexican Grill emphasizes freshness in each taco, burrito, and quesadilla, filling dishes with locally sourced ingredients and house-made salsas that range from mild sweet chipotle to hot fire-roasted jalapeño and tomato dip. A smattering of wood-topped tables populate the crimson- and cream-hued eatery. The eco-conscious business packs up patrons' leftovers in compostable corn based to-go containers, and the delivery person carts food in a banana-yellow Smart car.
Sal's soothes grumbling hunger tubs with its eclectic entourage of edibles, including pizza, specialty pies, calzones, seafood, and other Italian favorites. Anchor incisors on the buffalo-chicken pizza's mozzarella shores ($16/small, $18/large), or tune taste knobs to the egg-battered frequencies of the eggplant parmigiana, which dons a jaunty dressing of mozzarella cheese and marinara sauce ($13.50). Patrons of the noodled arts can commission a meal from Sal's pasta offerings, and garden grubbers can slip into some serious leafage with a bevy of salad selections.
Dante's Trattoria treats diners to Old-World Italian cuisine, yet still manages to put its own little twist on it. Crisp neapolitan-style pizzas get topped with red sauce and fresh cheese, or diners can opt to have barbecue chicken or penne pasta strewn on top. The Italian Flag pizza pays homage to the home country with mozzarella, ricotta, and spinach atop red sauce. Italian flavors burst in housemade pasta dishes smothered with the special meat sauce, and traditional Italian entrees such as parmigiana and marsala come with veal, chicken, or seafood.
At Johnny D's BBQ & Burgers, the barbecue pit spits out plenty of familiar favorites, including hickory-smoked Texas brisket, East Carolina–style pulled pork, and baby-back ribs with sauce on the side. To prepare these savory staples, the staff of the barbecue hot spot source meat from the same butcher they've turned to for the last 20 years, stay up late to slow-smoke these meats, and rise early to form hamburger patties.
We are bakers of bread. We are fresh from the oven. We are a symbol of warmth and welcome. We are a simple pleasure, honest and genuine. We are a life story told over dinner. We are a long lunch with an old friend. We are your weekday morning ritual. We are the kindest gesture of neighbors. We are home. We are family.
Chef Ramiro Jimenez feels most at home in the kitchen, but that doesn't stop him from popping up in national publications every so often. The New York Times recently reviewed his restaurant, with critic M. H. Reed praising the chef's ability to "[balance] textures and flavors subtly and brilliantly."
Indeed, balance is at the center of everything Jimenez does at Ramiro's 954. It all starts with the balance between Latin American and Spanish cuisines. The influence of both is evident in dishes such as the lobster-crowned risotto, the tuna ceviche, and the barbecued pork tacos topped with mango salsa. Of course, balance isn't the same thing as compromise. Jimenez isn't too fond of the latter, and he always takes the time to smash fresh batches of guacamole daily while his soups simmer to perfection.
The restaurant itself is as creative as the Nuevo Latino cuisine. A low-lit dining room with warm orange colors sets a romantic mood, as does a babbling fountain and the occasional tortilla chip that kind of resembles a little heart. Original paintings on the walls hint at the art gallery upstairs, where you'll also find a more formal dining room.