Texadelphia takes the cheesesteak and makes it the way only Texas can?overflowing with hearty meats and served with a side of tortilla chips and salsa. These 100% Angus beef sandwiches come slathered in a variety of toppings, including grilled onions, jalape?os, and cherry peppers, and rest on artisan-baked bread. Try a Founder's Favorite cheesesteak with mozzarella and mushrooms or turn to poultry with The Left Coast, which comes topped with chicken, grilled onions, and guacamole. Items of non-Philly origin also dot the menu, including a grilled-chicken sandwich, smoked turkey and guacamole salad, and a bacon-cheddar burger served with hickory sauce.
The sweet scholars at Great American Cookies bake up a bounty of chocolaty cookies, moist brownies, and festive cookie cakes. Chomp on chunks of chip-infused cookies in a variety of flavors, including snickerdoodle, white-chunk macadamia, and double fudge ($14 for a dozen), or nestle chewers into a moist, frosting-festooned brownie available in cheesecake and german chocolate. For an additional fee add a letter or word to any size cookie, or order an entire 16-inch special-occasion cookie cake ($26.49) decorated with fun, fanciful frosted images of puppies, sailboats, or M.C. Escher's favorite sport. Surprise a loved one with a small heart-shaped cake, ideal for a traditional Valentine's Day gift or a nontraditional Flag Day gift ($28.99 for large).
Where to Sit: Pull up a chair in the colorful dining room, which is decorated to look like a stucco courtyard. Even the light fixtures are painted with crescent moons.
Inside Tip: Be sure to ask if El Metate is serving chicken mole that day. Even though it’s not a mainstay on the menu, this special has won plenty of awards and fans.
Dutch Crunch: also called “tiger bread,” this roll features a mottled exterior that hides a soft, chewy center. Bakers use sesame oil to lend it a distinct aroma, and paint the top with rice paste before baking it to create a cracked appearance and salty-sweet flavor.
Mole: there are many regional varieties of this rich sauce, but chilies, spices, and mexican chocolate are the most common ingredients. It’s typically served atop poultry or pork.
While You're in the Neighborhood
Before: Browse new and used books in English and Spanish at Alley Cat Books (3036 24th Street).
After: Sip some bourbon while playing pinball at Blind Cat (3050 24th Street).
Google, Safari, and PowerPoint all share something special: a place on the sushi menu at Otto Sushi & Seafood. At least, they inspire some of the tongue-in-cheek rolls that chefs create there. The Google roll hugs avocado and fried shrimp inside fried rice; the Safari roll is composed of crab, avocado, and cream cheese; and the PowerPoint roll includes asparagus, cheese, and fried fish in soy paper with squid salad on top. The rolls represent the Japanese portion of the menu, but chefs also pay homage to Mexico and America through cooked seafood plates—try the spicy à la diabla fish or shrimp for a taste.
The Marble Slab Creamery sensory experience begins by just walking past the storefront, where the buttery scent of fresh-baked waffle cones drifts out into the air. Gourmet ice creams are freshly crafted on site from Marble Slab’s original recipe, enticing customer's eyes with a rainbow of colors. Once clients have made a flavor selection, they choose from a smorgasbord of mix-ins, from fresh fruit to nuts to candy and crumbled cookies, which an ice cream chef then hand-folds in atop a frosty marble slab before packing the finished custom-designed flavor masterpiece into a housemade waffle cone.
In addition to procuring hand-held treats, Marble Slab Creamery can send creations home in a variety of other formats, such as ice cream cakes, cupcakes, and hand-packed quarts, or in the capable hands of a catering team for sprucing up special events such a corporate get-togethers or school functions with portable marble slabs or sundae bars in tow.
While the heart of Johnny Carino's menu is rooted in genuine Italian traditions, forward-thinking creativity has birthed what they like to call their signature dishes. Led by executive chef Chris Peitersen, the seasoned kitchen staff blends fresh ingredients along with extra time to create high-quality, spiced Italian preparations. Diners will find entrees such as 16-layer lasagna with made-from-scratch sauce, and pizzas made with home-baked crust. Other signature choices include the spicy shrimp and chicken, baked stuffed mushrooms topped with house lemon basil cream sauce, and tiramisu made from the ground up. Entrees can be paired any selection from Carino's extensive wine list and drink menu.