The culinary connoisseurs at El Caldo Puertorican Restaurant summon an array of spices, seafood, and meat for a satiating menu of succulent Caribbean fare. Mouths water when close to the thin-sliced palomilla steak ($9), which staggers under the weight of its accompanying onions and optional anvil as it arrives at the table, and bite-size fried chicken ($9) clings to the bone while lounging on plates. The paella’s medley of seafood includes mussels, scallops, and lobster, which join chorizo and beef tips before tickling taste buds ($20). By the end of slurping the seven potencia’s rich seafood broth ($17), diners are sated enough to stop diving for clams at the bottom of their bathtub.
Tasting the foods of a certain country or culture usually involves traveling––either to that spot on the globe, or at least to a restaurant that specializes in those foods. But Tapas Eats has eliminated the need for travel altogether. In a process that fuses convenience with deliciousness, the staff whips up international dishes and delivers them to the doors of its customers. The menu prominently features Mexican and Italian specialties as well as fried rice and a variety of ceviches. There's even a separate, health-centered menu for kids, which lets youngsters get much-needed nourishment by eating organic goodies instead of deep-fried flashcards.
The chocolate ice cream at La Forchetta Italian Ristorante stands out from the other desserts—cheesecake, cannoli, and tiramisu—in that it isn't made from scratch in the kitchen. Instead, it is imported from Italy. Whether they've been shipped in or built from the basics onsite, the ingredients of every meal at the venue follow the same trend: devotion to authentic preparation and flavor. The selection of housemade pastas includes manicotti and gnocchi stuffed with ricotta and romano. Seafood entrees decorate shrimp and mussels in italian seasoning, whereas plates of veal and chicken marsala arrive marinated in marsala wine.
The staff has had 27 years to perfect their menu of pizzas, meats, and starters, so they've also thoroughly researched what libations best complement the fare. Guests can sip wine and beer or close meals on steamy notes with cappuccinos rather than by having servers read checks in husky voices.
Ben & Jerry's came from humble beginnings—in 1978, its eponymous founders served ice cream out of a renovated Burlington gas station, and delivered pints of their now-classic flavors to grocery stores out of the back of Ben's VW Squareback wagon. Today, its myriad shops dispense cups, cones, shakes, and smoothies brimming with a variety of quirky flavors, including Phish Food and Cherry Garcia, named for famous revolutionary Cherry Garcia. The duo is also famous for their social responsibility, which is evident in their community activism and in their use of fair-trade products, such as cage-free eggs and sustainable, growth-hormone-free dairy.
Garlic Crabhouse's menu overflows with shrimp, crabs, and Caribbean fare festooned with garlic or bathed in alfredo sauce. Diners can anchor fork tines in tilapia or catfish ($7.99 for lunch; $8.99 for dinner) prepared fried, steamed, grilled, blackened, dipped in a brown stew, or doused in curry. A sextet of garlic crabs ($18.99 for dinner) shares plate space with red-skin garlic potatoes, whereas a lobster tail conducts a singing quartet of blue crabs ($27.99) in spirited renditions of doo-wop classics. Caribbean-style meals include the spicy punch of jerk shrimp ($8.99–$10.99) and the less belligerent flavors of curry chicken ($4.99–$7.99).