Kyjo’s Japanese, Thai, and Sushi Bar builds a bridge between Asia’s diverse culinary traditions, uniting the spicy curries and noodle dishes of Thailand with the delicately arranged sushi rolls and sashimi of Japan. Chefs bustle about the kitchens of the Concord and Troutman locations, tossing ginger and bamboo strips into woks or drizzling spicy Volcano rolls with wasabi sauce and magma. Other signature sushi rolls include the Thai Sunrise—a combination of soft-shell crab and mango—and the deep-fried Gucci roll, loaded with spicy scallops and tied together with a belt of designer seaweed. Sips of wine, beer, and sake accompany sushi entrees, and creamy Thai tea or coffee temper the spices of curry dishes.
Chefs at Romano's Pizza toss handmade dough into pizzas with more than 15 toppings. Guests can choose a thick Sicilian crust or opt for a New York style pie, whose foldable shape allows it to be served as a convenient origami crane. More exotic ingredients such as Alfredo sauce, feta cheese, and hamburger meat top specialty pies, and chefs also cook classic entrees such as chicken piccata. Romano's rounds out its menu with regular or whole-wheat pastas, subs served in hoagie buns, and half a dozen desserts including cannoli and italian spumoni.
Beginning as a single restaurant in Indian Trail, Bonfire Bar & Grill has since expanded to a second location in Concord thanks to its palate-popular fare, ranging from expertly grilled burgers and steaks to Old World favorites such as pastas and pizza. Every Sunday during football season, patrons gather amid the glow of flat-screen TVs to watch grown men resolve their differences on the gridiron and to feast on crispy fish ‘n’ chips, blackened-fish tacos, or barbecue-smothered pork ribs fresh off the grill. On Wednesday nights, half-price bottles of wine supply amateur singers the liquid courage to storm the bar’s stage and belt out karaoke songs. Situated next to the Sun Valley 14 movie theater, the Indian Trail location offers dinner-and-movie packages and deals, such as 10% off food with every movie stub, or 100% off food for every Oscar you've won.
El Vallarta’s festively decorated eateries offer up a menu of authentic, chef-crafted Mexican standards and build-your-own combo platters. The massive Cielo, Mar, & Tierra plate ($14.95) traverses the menu’s annals by land and sea with mounds of grilled shrimp, chicken, and carne asada that captain tortilla vehicles crewed by a choice of guacamole, rice and beans, and pico de gallo. Six burritos built by the kitchen’s culinary wizards include the cheesesteak burrito ($9.75), which tempts stomachs to tackle its bursting-with-beef, rice-laden interior and make it say "uncle" before slathering it in sour cream. Tasty staples such as tamales ($6.45) and enchiladas ($6.45) supplement main courses. Drink in a chameleon-hiding-on-a-rainbow’s worth of colors in El Vallarta’s gaily decorated dining areas, where pink and yellow chairs add splashes of style to rustic, exposed-brick kitchen enclosures.
At PapaRoni's Pizza & Ice Cream, the aroma of freshly made pizzas, calzones, and subs lures customers in for a decadent feeding frenzy. The chefs fleck specialty pizzas in toppings including asiago cheese, provolone, and ground beef, and each of their signature white pizzas hosts fixings on a foundation of house-made garlic sauce, ricotta, and mozzarella. A lengthy dessert menu rewards well-behaved taste buds with a selection of sundaes, shakes, and soft-serve ice cream. Guests can sup in the restaurant's casual dining room, or take their meals to go to devour them at home, at the office, or in a rival pizza place’s parking lot.
In an elegant, family-friendly atmosphere, Max's Ally offers a mix of updated comfort fare and fresh, upscale dishes. Smack tongue buds with flavorful dinner starters such as the five-spice tuna, served rare with a mango-avocado slaw and wasabi aioli ($9.95), or sneak an entourage of fried green tomatoes, stone-ground yellow grits, country ham, leek fondue, and tomato jus past the velvet rope of your mouth club ($7.95). Jed's Pork Chop in a cider reduction rubs elbows with a sweet-potato puree, wilted spinach, and Granny Smith apple slaw ($16.95), and the Just for the Veggies plate teams up handpicked seasonal vegetables with parmesan risotto or couscous ($12.95) for a culinary all-star team.