The culinary mavens at Totti’s Mediterranean Kitchen infuse fresh meats and vegetables with vibrant homemade flavors for a palate-pleasing take on traditional Israeli and Greek street-fare. Ensconced in a pita or wrap, crispy falafel treats vegetarians with ground chickpeas and a symphony of signature spices ($5.95), and carnivorous companions devour shawarma crammed with thin slices of slow-roasted chicken ($6.95) or marinated lamb ($7.95) and more Mediterranean panache than Zeus’s feather boa. Duos can synchronize dipping with a shareable plate of hummus and pita wedges ($3.95), or risk inter-finger mingling with a serving of french ($1.95) or sweet potato ($2.45) fries. Iced green tea ($1.95 for a large) and homemade mint lemonade ($2.45 for a large) wash down morsels and leave breath refreshed and ready for uncomfortably close staring contests with mannequins.
A shroud of fog surrounds Nitro Ice Cream & Frozen Yogurt's staff members, who employ chilly liquid nitrogen to concoct smooth and thick custom treats in a futuristic-themed setting. The creamery—recently featured in the New York Daily News—invites clientele to experiment with combinations and invent vaccines against brain freeze using a wide range of flavors, colorings, and an unlimited supply of mix-ins. The process begins by choosing a base ice-cream flavor such as vanilla, chocolate, or mint, which can be prepared from soymilk, non-fat yogurt, organic ingredients, or sorbet. After choosing the coloring and mix-ins—which include oreos, Kit Kat bars, and gummy bears—the mad doctors transmute the ingredients into a creamy mélange with an industrial blender and a liberal application of liquid nitrogen, all the while shrouded in a safe-yet-spooky fog. Visitors can also expand their palate without stretching out their tongue by tasting eclectic fixtures such as the Bacon 'n Eggs—a nutritious breakfast of bacon ice cream and a candy gummy egg.
The chefs at Mimmo's Pizza Cafe & Catering favor Grande Mozzarella—a tender and buttery Italian cheese that can bake in high-temperature pizza ovens without getting scorched. They shower this magical mozzarella atop thin-crust and Sicilian-style pies before adding on fresh toppings such as eggplant, garlic, and green peppers. The versatile chefs also extend their culinary expertise toward a variety of other traditional Italian dishes, including ravioli, lasagna, and chicken parmigiana. They layer focaccia bread with turkey, ham, and roast beef, along with brie and dabs of spicy mustard.
As chefs slice up pizza pies and hot subs in the kitchen, baristas busy themselves behind the café counter. They whip up espresso beverages with a variety of decadent ingredients, from shaved almonds to sweet chocolate syrup to juicy cherries plucked from the gardens of ancient Roman deities.
For John Offerdahl, the aroma of meat sizzling on the grill stirs memories of his family's barbecues in rural Wisconsin. Even when John grew up and became a linebacker for the Miami Dolphins, he couldn't escape that enticing smell—it would waft into the stadium from fans tailgating outside and the mascots who secretly stuffed their costumes with cheeseburgers. So it was only natural that, after retiring from football, John would once again find himself at the grill when he and his wife Lynn opened Offerdahl's Cafe Grill in 2000. The couple were no strangers to the restaurant business; they had previously owned a chain of bagel shops. This venture, however, would prove more ambitious—they devised menus of classic American cuisine that could be served up fast for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with a focus on fresh-grilled fare.
Today, Offerdahl's Cafe Grill has expanded to seven locations, but its flavorful, no-frills meals remain the same. "Johnny O's Famous Bagels" still take the starring roles during breakfast, waking diners up with flavors like cinnamon crumb, pumpernickel, and fruit-and-nut. But once breakfast turns to lunch and dinner, the grill takes over. Chefs swiftly cook up steak, chicken, and salmon, serving the proteins over rice, pasta, or salad with homemade dressings. They also grill chicken sandwiches and burgers, in a nod to the café's backyard barbecue roots.
More than just a simple dairy dispensary, Eco Yogurt Lounge pairs sweet treats with environmental stewardship in a space that’s more club than ice cream shack. More than 30 flavors of traditional frozen yogurt, including wild strawberry lemonade, peanut butter, and blueberry tart, play well with sugar-free, tart and agave-sweetened varieties, many of which also contain vitamin and protein boosts to replenish bodies with nutrients. Once patrons have selected their swirls, they can head over to a series of small alcoves, where a toppings bar with self-serve cookie, candy, and fruit pieces awaits sweet inspiration. Yogurt in hand, they can sit at one of the modern white benches or plush chairs as brilliant LED lights reflect a wall of color-changing waves across the room. In addition to placating sweet teeth, Eco Yogurt Lounge also allays consciences, supporting earth awareness by using recycled materials and donating a percentage of the proceeds to ecologically friendly organizations.
Under the leavened leadership of executive pastry chef Alethea Hickman, Passion for Pastry bakes a butter-creamed bounty of sweet treats. Cupcake paramours can relish in their selection of one dozen moist cupcakes, each made larger-than-average for an added number of heavenly bites and to make their oversized sunglasses look less ridiculous. Guests can choose their decadent desserts from an extensive selection of flavors such as cherry-topped black forest, crushed cookie-coated Oreo, apple cinnamon, peanut butter, red velvet, and butter rum.