Leon Butler opened Brookside Optical in 1989 with the vision that all clients, even those with hard-to-correct eyesight, could have access to stylish eyewear. Today, the shelves stock colorful frames ($100+) by small manufacturers and such designers as l.a. Eyeworks, Theo, and Anne et Valentin. Whether in retro cat-eye shapes or planted with futuristic jet packs, each pair of glasses is crafted by the on-site lab and ready to wear within days.
Granite City Food & Brewery, a casual family restaurant founded by hospitality experts, has an on-site brewery and a menu stuffed with more steak, seafood, pasta, flatbread pizza, burger, and sandwich options than Abe Lincoln had dollar bills stuffed in his top hat. Gourmet pub-grub appetizers and many other generously portioned dishes are listed alongside the beers that bring out their flavors. The intoxicating taste of the inebriated vodka mussels ($12.99) is suggested alongside Northern Light––a light creamy beer––and the juicy, tender meatiness of a 14-ounce New York strip ($25.99) is advised along with Brother Benedict’s bock––a brownish German-style lager. Others among Granite City Food & Brewery's six specialty brews are the Irish-style Broad Axe stout, known for its nose of roasted chocolate and coffee notes, and Duke Of Wellington, an IPA with muscle-bound malt character and a deep-seated dislike of Napoleon.
Planet Sub sidesteps the flavorless land mines of days-old bread, opting for filling-packed subs and sandwiched meaty delights. The menu may differ slightly between the two locations, but omnipresent signature subs cross state lines to sate hungering masses, such as the bacon-bolstered mega roast beef ($4.69/$7.29 ) and the Planet BBQ, a saucy concoction stacked with ham, turkey, and roast beef ($3.99/$6.99 ). Vegetarian options abound, so meat abstainers can try the spicy cheese sub ($4.49/$6.99 ) or the pesto bello ($4.99/$7.19), which is loaded with portobello mushrooms, red peppers, and a tomato-garlic pesto as smooth and suave as an Italian R&B crooner.
Lounging feels perfectly natural at Arabian Clouds. The hookah bar remains open until as late as 3 a.m. throughout the week, encouraging passersby to stop in, gather around the glowing coals of one of the Khalil Mamoon hookahs, and enjoy a round of Arabian coffee or tea with the shisha. The lounge also plays eclectic mixes of pop, hip-hop, rock, and contemporary Arabian music, and guest DJs stop in to perform and energize crowds on the weekends.
The dietary experts at Success Meals KC have a knack for creating healthy meals that taste just as delicious as their calorie-bogged counterparts. They concoct their nutritious alternatives according to a personalized meal profile, which they compile based on a customer's goals, caloric quota, lifestyle, palate, and ability to photosynthesize. By 6 a.m. each weekday, a bounty of three meals and two snacks lands on doorsteps, prepped for heating and eating. The three feasts include eatables such as a turkey-sausage breakfast burrito, a lunchtime mediterranean pizza, and grilled pork tenderloin, broken up by a midmorning snack and midafternoon dessert. Dishes are doled out according to several different programs, including ones for couples and kids, and are supplemented by guidance from dietary specialists to help achieve fitness.
Wurstle endeavors to revolutionize the classic American hot dog by concocting a menu of completely customizable and mess-free gourmet sausages. Three types of baguette encase half a dozen sausage choices—each MSG- and filler-free —in standard, junior, or mini-sizes, which customers can each crown with an array of toppings such as homemade mustard, spicy ketchup, or Wurstle-kraut. The kitchen crew trades in their deep fryer for the oven, complementing their hand-held feasts with healthful baked accompaniments of french fries, Nutella puffs, and piping hot sodas.