Modeled after the dark wood and stone beer halls that dot the European countryside, Bier Academy welcomes weary travelers with international drafts and classic pub eats paired with American beers and comfort food. Its beer menu helps guests plan a pint-fueled tour of the continent’s northeastern corners, with beers from Belgium, Germany, Holland, and the United Kingdom, including Chimay Blue Belgian dark ale or Paulaner’s hazy hefeweizen. On the American side, sudsy sippables from Allagash, Shipyard, and other thriving microbreweries help guests experience the nation’s beer renaissance one glass at a time. To complement this bounty of brews, cooks whip up meaty sandwiches and signature sausage plates featuring 11 kinds of links from around the world.
While working their way through the regular selection of brews or attending special beer tastings, guests stay abreast of international sports thanks to the bar’s fleet of flat-screen televisions, which often showcase international soccer showdowns. In the evenings, the TVs quiet down as the speakers amp up, prepping ears for live performances from local musicians. The staff also hosts poker tournaments and trivia nights every week, helping guests work on their bluffing skills or actually use their encyclopedic knowledge of Spuds MacKenzie’s family tree.
Within Valley Wing Pit Sports Bar & Grill, referee-jersey-clad waiters circulate the sprawling 5,000-square-foot sports bar, serving heaping plates of wings slathered in eight sauces. The bar boasts 19 screens flickering with sports games or the anguished postgame depression of refs. There's even a giant projection screen fitted into a yellow goalpost. Nine draft beers and numerous bottled beers complement the serving of grilled eats, such as hoagie-wrapped brats and 16-inch four-cheese pizzas. Despite its focus on wings, the bar does present an all-you-can-eat salad bar, which shouldn't be taken literally, since they need the lettuce tongs for tomorrow's patrons.
Buon Gusto's classic Italian menu mollifies appetites with a spread of savory pasta plates. Start off with flavorful appetizers such as crab cakes with lobster sauce ($6.95), bruschetta ($5.50), and a belly-warming bowl of pastina in brodo (chicken broth with pasta; $7.50). With your appetite aptly antipastoed, try out pasta dishes such as the fusilli alla fantasia, a magical ride through toasted pine nuts, cream, brandy, shallots, and gorgonzola ($12.50). Sink seafaring pearlies into the linguine with clams or mussels ($17.50), or opt for the alla paillard, its tender veal kissed with extra-virgin olive oil and lemon ($17.95). Buon Gusto also tops tables with pizzas ($8.50–$16.95), calzones ($10.50), and family-style dinners ($10.95 per person), just right for patrons who prefer to control the migratory patterns of their dinner plates. Alternately, for the special wine tasting, guests will stop by to sip from a selection of four notable Spanish wines, each handpicked to tango with complementary appetizers.
Although it now has more than 430 locations in 28 countries, Hooters wasn’t always welcomed by the public. In fact, when it opened in October 1983 in Clearwater, Florida, the founders of the restaurant were “quickly detained for impersonating restaurateurs,” according to the company's website. But the restaurant was able to prove it was more than just a pretty face—that it was serious about serving tasty American food and frosty brews—and its popularity exploded in the decades to follow.
Amid its beach-themed vibe and flat-screen TVs, Hooters still fuels appetites with original chicken wings, burgers, sandwiches, and fresh salads. Of course, nobody carries those casual eats and icy pitchers better than the Hooters girls. To complement their friendly smiles, their uniforms harken back to the ones the original waitresses wore in 1983: orange hot shorts and white tank tops with the emblematic owl on the front—though that owl has lost its Lionel Richie perm.
The chefs at Chadaka Thai shower traditional spices over a bevy of fresh seafood, spicy curries, and refreshing vegetarian dishes. Tender steak and succulent lamb chops don flavors of lemongrass and hot peppers as egg and rice noodles take on a range of shapes beneath savory sauces. In the dining room, towering windows and pillar-like pendant lights illuminate dark-wood décor as stark geometric furnishings find a rustic complement with burl accents and a patchwork-quilt ceiling. Candlelit tables for two fan the flames of a romantic evening or passionate fire-eating contest, whereas an outdoor patio framed by pinewood-hued beams grants diners a glimpse of the bustling shoppers just beyond their savory sanctuary.
Dave Reinitz packed up all his belongings into a motor home, left New York, and began driving across the country because he was bored. When the engine finally blew, he was in Los Angeles, and decided that was where he would stay. As if by providence, Dave immediately took to his newfound city's comedy scene. Eventually, he partnered up with comedian Barbara Holliday for his life's next great adventure—Flappers Comedy Club.
Today, Barbara, whose credits include Naked Gun 33 1/3 and Friends, co-manages the multipurpose club she owns with Dave. A breeding ground for new talent, the venue plays host to standup comics and variety acts, and gives up-and-comers a hand with comedy classes called Flappers University. Many local and rising comedians have tested their standup material at Flappers, and the stage has supported the seasoned weight of stars such as Dave Attell and Jason Alexander. Before, during, or after shows, patrons can fuel their giggle fits with grub from the club's onsite restaurant, including Cajun-spiced burgers, seared ahi, and brick-oven pizzas.
Cafe 322's welcoming atmosphere and rich menu of comforting Italian eats make diners feel at home while the live jazz adds a cosmopolitan flair. Try a different lasagna each day with the lasagna de la casa ($10.95) or opt for the sophisticated mélange of flavors in the fettuccine di spinaci e salsiccia with fresh spinach, italian sausage, and garlic sautéed in olive oil ($11.95). Cafe 322 also serves up tasty meatier dishes, such as lamb shanks slow-braised so they fall off the bone and directly into that special place in your heart reserved for Mom, America, and lamb shanks ($14.95). Stars of the gourmet pizza menu include the quattro formaggio, layered with fontina, mozzarella, gorgonzola, and parmesan cheeses ($11.95), and the flavorful grilled chicken pesto ($13.95).