In the skilled hands of Pronto Cafe by-the-sea's bakers, flour, water, leavening, and salt become artisanal breads, pastries, and desserts. But the bakery section isn't the only thing this cafe is known for. A Roman trattoria-style restaurant as well, Pronto's menu invites diners to sip on a cappuccino on the al-fresco patio with a plate of salumi and cheeses or linger over entrees such as wood-fired eggplant pizza. Selections from the international wine list give diners another reason to linger, outside of attempting to eat through every style of bread in the place.
The culinary team at Saigon City Vietnamese Restaurant imports the tantalizing flavors of Southeast Asia to Southeast Florida, whipping up warm, satisfying pho soups, meaty pork chop dinners, and colorful, sweet boba shakes. Verdant sprigs of basil and crunchy bean sprouts add a fresh, springtime flavor to meals, making an appearance in noodle soups, deep-fried imperial rolls, and the Jolly Green Giant's toupee. Model ships line the top of the dining room's dividers, and paper lanterns send a soft, warm light upon diners as they sup on plates of stir-fried beef and vermicelli noodles.
Bright spotlights shine down as the doors swing open. Grinning faces look up in recognition. Dishes emerge from the kitchen at Panda Buffet like celebrities, draped in boas of steam and mantles of honey-garlic or bourbon glaze beneath the lemongrass-hued walls and wood paneling. Waiters toting traditional concoctions such as General Tso’s chicken scoot past mirrors painted with bucolic Eastern scenes that let diners experience exotic locales without hiding in a shipment of pith helmets.
By day, Diner By-The-Sea is just that—a classic American spot for good grub, where visitors will often find the owner, Billy, manning the grill or refilling coffees. In the morning, the cooks turn out piles of crispy, browned home fries next to eggs benedict draped with creamy hollandaise, and midday, they match soups and sandwiches with sides of slaw or salad. When the lights dim in the evening, the restaurant transforms into Checkers Old Munchen, Tuesday–Friday, and the kitchen shifts its focus toward German cuisine, serving up classics such as Wienerschnitzel dinners.