After years of managing other people’s restaurants, Tinker Berson realized a long-cherished dream by opening her own deli, where a menu of lunches and all-day breakfasts stuffs diners amid verdant potted plants and climbing vines. Clients opt for the simplicity of staff-conceived deli creations or engineer their own, choosing a bread base, favorite condiments, meat such as pastrami or roast beef, cheese, and veggies to match the size of their appetite or one-up a lifelong rival sandwich eater. Breakfasts beckon morning diners with similar creative possibilities as well as quick bites, such as a veggie burrito or belgian waffle drizzled with syrup and topped with strawberries. Fresh salads and real-fruit smoothies with optional Red Bull boosters infuse meals with sweet vitamins, and the onsite espresso bar jump-starts brainwaves with handcrafted caffeine hits that ready minds for Jeopardy tournaments or memorizing the dictionary. Tinker's Rainforest Deli stocks catering trays with vegetables, sandwiches, or assorted meats and cheeses that can feed up to 35 partygoers.
Before opening Taco Del Mar's startup location in Seattle in 1992, its founders spent years surfing California's coastline and devouring fish tacos and stuffed burritos. During this time, they developed a bottomless appetite for the local specialty?a taco with fried fish, shredded cabbage, lime juice, salsa, and a mystery white sauce?and decided to make it their signature menu item. Since then, the chain has opened locations in more than 20 U.S. states and three Canadian provinces.
The restaurant's Spokane location gives locals a taste of California-surfer cuisine and mission-style eats inspired by the Latino restaurants of San Francisco's bay area. Fresh guacamole dresses tortilla chips, and proteins such as seasoned pork and fried Alaskan cod fill tacos. Cooks roll meats such as braised chicken or ground beef into burritos or edible origami. The foodsmiths also whip up vegetarian and vegan options.
A’s Grill salutes classic American cuisine with a menu of fresh-grilled burgers, sauce-spun wings, and hearty salads and sandwiches. In addition to staples such as bacon cheeseburgers and BLTs, the cooks put a spin on the classic fare with hot-dog-shaped burgers and hawaiian burgers with pineapple, teriyaki, and mayo. A beef patty smothered with peanut butter, pickles, and american cheese comprises the Elvis burger, rumored to be the only thing he ate for 30 years after his disappearance. Inside the eatery, wide, arched doorways lead to a dining room lined with dark-green booths.
The Mediterranean Sea is a long way from the Bering Strait, and it took a lot more than a land bridge to import the flavors from one to the other. But that’s exactly what the owners of Sophia’s Café have managed to do with their menu of Mediterranean-style breakfast treats and cleverly named sandwiches. They dress up their Spartan sandwich—a salami and cheese affair—with sun-dried tomatoes worthy of any Greek dish, and the Odyssey pita fills its pocket with scrambled eggs, feta, and tzatziki sauce. The restaurant features a sit-down dining room with tall rectangular windows and colorful centerpieces placed atop each of the tables, as well as a drive-thru perfect for eating in your car or astride your camel.
In a sunny room above Sleepy Dog Coffee, Wendy Wiltfong pulls back the curtains on the windows to the soul. The owner and dexterous aesthetician at Feather Skin & Body Studio specializes in enhancing peepers, particularly eyelashes. She is so keen on them that she became certified in the application of Xtreme Lashes extensions and also learned how to dye eyelashes with LashDip after watching clients inscribe their eyelids with teenage poetry to make them appear darker and their gazes more intense. Also an avid student of skincare, Wendy earned a certification from PCA Skin to vivify and cleanse complexions. Wendy uses tonics from the paraben- and sulfate-free Farmhouse Fresh line to refresh skin all over the body, and her knowledge of the Alexandria sugaring technique eases the pain of whisking hair from tender areas.
The menu at Humdinger's Gourmet Pizza Co. seems to find inspiration from every corner of the Earth. The Gimme the Greek pizza tips its hat to Mediterranean cuisine with feta cheese, kalamata olives, and gyro meat, while the Thai Chick pizza uses chili sauce to sweeten a blend of chicken, shredded carrots, and cilantro. The Tour de Wisconsin pizza has five kinds of cheese made more flavorful by garlic butter. If Humdinger's creativity inspires diners to build their own wood-fired pizza, they can do so by customizing everything from the toppings and sauce to the crust they're spread on. Though guests will be tempted to scarf down such artfully crafted pies, they should save room for a dessert of white chocolate-covered espresso truffles and water, because it's important to stay hydrated.