With brown-checkered curtains, wood-paneled walls, a fireplace, and electric lanterns over the tables, Tom Sawyer Restaurant & Pastry Shop evokes the feel of a homey general store. To accompany the frontier-like ambience, the cooks spend their mornings whisking together hearty breakfasts of scrambled eggs and buttermilk pancakes with enough syrup to float a log cabin. Although the restaurant's lunch specials rotate daily, certain homestyle favorites?including orders of fried chicken and open-faced turkey sandwiches?regularly fly out to tables until 3 p.m..
Both of El Sabor Latino?s kitchens, including a newly opened outpost in Greenacres, bustle daily with chefs building Latin dishes from scratch. They patiently stuff chili relleno peppers with beef and veggies, saut? shrimp in garlic sauce, and douse pan-fried pork chops with a flavorful, housemade sauce. Dishes such as paella,churrasco, lechon asado, and fajitas are served alongside such Latin-infused accompaniments as sweet plantains, white rice, and pinto beans. The authentic dining experience is bolstered by salsa, merengue, ranchero, and other Latin music that fills the dining room, a space that is softly illuminated by sconces on the golden walls. On Saturdays, guests can dance to live music or the sounds of their own rhythmic chewing.
The Jamaican-born family members who own and operate Big Taste Caribbean Restaurant have created a visual and culinary oasis reminiscent of their native island and its neighbors. Basking in the vivid rays of a wall-length mural of a smiling red-and-orange sun, chefs craft small batches of traditional oxtail with plantains along with their own recipes for signature jerk sauce and curried shrimp. The aromas of chicken grilled over an open flame and Fridays' yard-style fish fries invite passersby to experience the cooking of the tropics. As day sets into night, cues clink on the golden pool table and a ceiling fan lazily goads the air into circles simulating a Caribbean breeze or a coconut's whispered plea to be turned into a piña colada. Live DJs and dance performances occasionally sway the straws sticking out of a Jamaican Red Stripe lager to the beat of reggae, hip-hop, and dancehall music.