The able alemen and grill captains at KC's Alley dish out high-grade burgers and high-quality brews to satisfy the bellowing bellies of hungry visitors. After browsing KC's varied menu, put in an order for a BYO burger ($7+) to initiate construction of a beef monument made to your royal designs, or opt for the classic ($8) or barbecue ($8) options to leave the work to experienced food architects. Salty baskets of Alley fries ($4.50) lightly drizzled with butter and seasoning keep peckish patrons satisfied, and nine salad options ($5–$11) appease leaf-seekers and burgerphobes. House-roasted turkey smothered in gravy ($13) gives diners a flavorful taste of Thanksgiving without forcing them to learn things like how an oven works or how to coax a turkey into one.
The Shanachie's cooks forge culinary classics from Ireland and America to fill a menu with traditional comfort cuisine from both sides of the Atlantic. Tables groan beneath such hearty fare as the shepherd's pie ($14), which corrals a flock of ground beef, carrots, onions, and peas beneath a cumulus cloud of mashed potatoes and fuels attempts to reenact celebrity jigs. Chefs flash-fry slabs of ale-battered fish in a shimmering lake of hot oil before adding heaps of homemade Irish chips to complete the famed dynamic of fish 'n' chips ($12). The burger's ($9) Angus beef patty lounges atop a sourdough roll like a lethargic baker, and a bacon-wrapped plateful of pork tenderloin ($18) bastes in apple brandy jus as it acquires a dulcet tenderness. The pub's dessert menu hushes clamoring sweet teeth with such saccharine delights as homemade bread pudding infused with stout and custard ($6).
An actual tour of Germany would delight all five senses, with attractions like the Brandenburg Gate's architecture and Oktoberfest's polka music. At Otto's Brauhaus, the Tour of Germany focuses primarily on the sense of taste by filling an omelet with cuts of knockwurst and Hungarian bratwurst. Otto's culinary team specializes in crafting hearty meals with German flavors just as they have since first opening in the 1930s. Today, its massive menu encompasses everything from Hungarian goulash over spätzle to schnitzel with a sunny-side up egg.
Cooks whip up plenty American favorites, too, including New York strips spiked with Jack Daniels and burgers smothered in chipotle ketchup. Bartenders pair each dish with pours from an extensive wine and beer selection that also draws equally from the U.S. and Deutschland. Besides the food and drinks, guests can take in Otto's lineup of live entertainment, which ranges from blues musicians to full brass bands as opposed to groups that play instruments hastily shaped from tinfoil.
Puck hosts blossoming local artists onstage in a bustling jazz club atmosphere, augmented by a full menu of casual pub fare served on the fresh-air patio. Gum gallop through the salmon's horseradish-crusted terrain accented with flowing streams of raspberry sauce ($10.95, dinner service only) to bring out savory flavors and prompt splash fights, or scatter caramelized onions and mushrooms across the grilled steak doused in sun-dried tomato and gorgonzola sauce ($12.95, dinner service only). An 8-ounce burger burrows in a pillowy bun ($8.95) with savory snuggle buddies such as bacon and chili ($1 each), and behemoth chicken fingers stir up dangerous rip tides in seas of barbecue sauce ($6.95).
Bernie's Bar and Grill answers the greatest question in life—"What's for dinner?"—with a truckload of pub food. Its kitchen cooks up something for everyone—barbecue burgers, Reubens, chicken burritos, falafel, torpedo shrimp, pizza, and steak. Though beer is in great supply here, Bernie's is equal parts family restaurant and sports pub. At each location, the cozy booths and tables where parents and kids share potato skins and sundaes are joined by a wood bar, where TVs broadcast sports, athletic jerseys huddle in corners, and pennants hang overhead.
Rockabilly crooners serenade an inked-up array of diners at The Blue Comet Bar and Grill, where chefs bebop over stoves laden with a menu's worth of succulent steaks, sandwiches, and seafood. Homemade soups ($3.50/cup; $4.25/bowl) prelude piping-hot sandwiches such as the grilled peanut butter and jelly ($5.25) or the home-cooked meatloaf and cheese ($7.25). A half dozen cold sandwiches shuffle onto salvers decked in hearty mounds of ham, roast beef, or liverwurst and onions ($6.25+) and nestled between slices of swirled rye or rare Johnny Cash LPs.