Ethel Reds Chop House is named for a red-haired woman hallowed in family legend and yarns: the indomitable Ethel. Her ninety-some years of life were apparently filled with daring adventures, from jumping off waterfalls to riding a bull. The Chop House still serves her famed chili, and massive cuts of steak and chops challenge patrons. The eatery brims with bone-in ribeye and pork ribs like a ballad written by a hungry cowboy, and bacon celebrates an affinity for beef by embracing cuts of filet mignon and piling on top of cheeseburgers.
Diners bond over live country music, chicken wings, and copious use of napkins in the Western-style dining room, which is decorated by saddles, horseshoes, and other riding accessories. On balmy days, visitors toting drinks from the full bar wander to the patio garden to take in the fresh air.
A chef's knife splits the avocado rind. He runs a spoon around the pit and dumps the velvety green slices into a bowl for guacamole. While shrimp and juicy steak sizzle on the grill for fajitas, traditional and chilies rellenos burritos pair with sides of tender rice, beans, and chile verde salsa. After polishing off dinner, guests can sip imported beers and scan Deli Casa's vibrant ocean murals for iconic tropical images, such as palm trees, seagulls, and fanny packs full of sunscreen.
The sweet fragrances of fresh-baked goods, artisan sandwiches, and imported Swedish coffee waltz about the interior of this charming European-style café, nestled in a Swedish timber-framed house with ample seating and loads of warmth. Early morning guests can add pep to their palates with traditional Swedish coffees brewed into lattes as smooth as a Santana and Rob Thomas collaboration. Lingonberry-loving lunchers are invited to nibble on traditional Nordic sandwiches served on Max's stone-baked bread, such as the Scandinavian sandwich, which is layered with smoked salmon, cucumbers, and onions ($8.50), or the smoked-sardine sandwich, which is smothered with Latvian sardine pate and topped with onion slices and cucumbers ($7.50). Stockholm Bakery's vegetarian victuals include creamy potato gratin ($5.50) and the Farmer's salad, sporting fresh seasonal berries, almonds, raisins, thinly sliced onion, and a delicious douse of house dressing ($7.50).
The chefs at Los Pepe's blend spices and sway flames to sear the chicken, steak, and seafood showcased in their authentic Mexican cuisine. Extensive menu options tempt diners to test premeal might by ascending a mountain of nachos laden with cheese ravines, guacamole-capped peaks, and abominable snowmen masquerading as sour cream ($6.95). Warmed up mandibles can take on specialties such as the carne asada ($11.95) or the camarón a la diabla, a sizzling mound of sautéed shrimp, peppers, and mushrooms slathered in a fiery sauce ($13.95). Tortilla whisperers also wrap nine varieties of burritos and chimichangas ($4.95+), including a vegetarian burrito festooned with tomatoes and cilantro ($5.95). Imported beer ($3.75), wine by the glass ($4.25), and margaritas ($4.50), help temper heat by forming a fire line and dousing patrons with buckets of water.
Plates full of barbecue-glazed salmon, grilled sirloin, and country-fried steak emerge from the kitchen at Spike ‘n’ Rail Steakhouse, where chefs assemble hearty sandwiches and carefully spread sauces over meats. In the morning, patrons can sample breakfast dishes such as country-fried streak and eggs and breakfast burritos. Those who prefer a quieter meal can dig into their smoked prime rib on the outdoor patio, which overlooks a pond with burbling fountains and constantly gurgling fish.