Buffet islands dot the landscape of the Franconia Heritage Restaurant dining room, populated by platters of veggies and seasoned meats that provide limitless mixing and matching. Throughout the week, chefs whip up a full menu of à la carte options, replenishing buffets with freshly made Italian entrees along with fish dishes and crisp salads. Come Friday and Saturday evening, kitchen crews shift focus to an upper-crust menu of snow-crab legs, steamed clams, and prime rib.
Cozy booths wrap around an archipelago of buffet islands in the spacious main dining room, while subdued lighting and cranberry tablecloths distinguish an adjacent second space. HDTVs and WiFi captivate countertop diners, providing thrilling images of sportsmen arguing with referees and shouting at their own shoes.
Owner and Head Chef Tim Lan draws from his culinary training in Southern China and his travels across the globe to craft a menu that fuses the best of Asian, American, Italian, and French cuisines. Guests take places at tables clad in crisp, white linens before being serenaded with soft classical music⎯suggested by dining experts as a natural way to increase feelings of fanciness.
Diners receive elegantly plated feasts of lobster ravioli, lightly breaded general tso's chicken, and crab-cake sandwiches free of harmful trans-fats and crafted from many organic, hormone-free ingredients. Vegetarian plates and gluten-free options, such as brown-rice pasta with salmon and pesto, satisfy both taste buds and dietary demands.
Since its humble south Philadelphia beginnings in the 1990s, PrimoHoagies has quickly expanded throughout the region and garnered several awards on the strength of its cold-cut sandwiches, made with Thumann's brand of gourmet meats and cheeses. The shop's robust menu features dozens of specialty hoagies, many of which were created in-house rather than underwater, as is the industry norm. Sharp Italian hoagies teem with prosciutto and genoa salami, and pork Diablo hoagies marry Thumann's homestyle roasted pork with a blend of piquant spices.
The pizza experts at Vinny's Pizzarama endlessly innovate new flavor combinations to construct a robust menu sizzling with an impressive array of pan, gourmet, and stuffed pies. Tasting teams begin synchronized digestion with starters such as the curly cheese fries with cheddar or mozzarella, or a plate of beer-battered onion rings. Patrons can relive perilous lemon-hunting expeditions on the isle of Capri with a large chicken caprese salad, which bursts with romaine, roasted red peppers, fresh mozzarella, and diced tomatoes. Dough-lovers can nosh on a pan pizza, such as a red or white bacon-tomato pie, or stuffed pies including the chicago pizza with fresh-ground sausage. For voracious herbivores, the veggie lover's pizza delivers with broccoli, spinach, and mushrooms, and the gourmet hot-wings pizza combines tender chicken wings with a sauce hotter than the Swedish Bikini Team's five-alarm chili recipe.
Owned by the same family since its 1967 opening, Mariano’s Tavern combines hearty, stick-to-your-ribs cuisine with the fun and energy of a neighborhood pub. Guests can dive into casual menu items—such as hot and cold sub sandwiches and cheese pizzas—or splurge on heartier Italian dishes including veal parmigiana, mussels marinara, or chicken scallopini. In addition to playing pool and ogling televised sports, regulars can also entertain themselves by joining Texas hold'em tournaments every Wednesday. The competitions are free to enter, and winners take home cash prizes and keys to the Lone Star State's governor mansion.