You could say that Shamim and Riffat Rana are passionate about Asian cuisine. So passionate, in fact, that they have overcome great odds to become—and remain—a local go-to dining establishment. The duo founded the original O's Place in Woodlawn in 2002, growing their cozy eatery through hard work, dedication, and support from the community. By 2005, their success necessitated a move to a larger space on Security Boulevard. But three years later, it looked as though their good fortune might come to an end: that’s when the thriving eatery burned down in an electrical fire.
Somehow, Shamim and Riffat never lost hope. Instead, they found a new culinary home on the second floor of Seoul Plaza, where patrons now sit in the food court outside or within the eatery’s charming dining room decorated with Asian-inspired artwork and flowers. Using the same culinary formula that gained the restaurant its initial popularity, the family-friendly eatery boasts a large assortment of Chinese and South Asian buffet dishes, kept warm and working on their tans under heat lamps. For specific cravings, diners may also order from lunch and dinner menus full of Pakistani and Indian specialties, including tandoori chicken and beef nihari.
Café Fresh proves that speedy service doesn't have to preclude healthy choices. Straw devotees and toothless fairies can select from an enticing menu of smoothies ($4.29–$5.29) that sports both classic fruit concoctions and unusual blends, like the avocados and cream creation, with soy milk, nonfat frozen yogurt, avocado, banana, coconut cream, and agave. Boost your smoothie's bastions with a free fortifying supplement, or get your nutrients in the solid form with a protein- and veggie-packed wrap or panini. In addition to forging bonds between nutritious and delicious, Café Fresh serves all food and drinks in 100% biodegradable cups, and packaging materials are made entirely out of adopted corn.
The European-trained confections crafter behind The Velvet Chocolatier designs and hand-makes each chocolate confection from pure ingredients undiluted by liquors or preservatives. The Velvet Chocolatier places focus on the texture and intensity of treats, rather than on sweetness, coating tongues with tempered chocolate bark speckled with nuts, dried fruit, and memories of the nougat-filled trees it came from. The milk-chocolate bark, emblazoned with tart cranberries and crispy pepitas, snaps apart in satisfying bites, and toffee bark brandishes toffee bits in a luxurious dark chocolate. A single-serving, 2-ounce nut cluster comes in the form of an edible frisbee of dark chocolate bursting with toasted almonds or a colorful disk of blueberries and green pistachios set against a white-chocolate canvas.
The Chocolate Publishing Company's gourmet chocolate shop features a multitude of sweet delights, including frozen yogurt, gourmet popcorn, custom chocolates, and more, that are fresh and kosher. Frozen yogurt options (small $3, medium $4, and large $4.50) can be garnished with toppings that include kiwi, mango, melon, cookies, M&Ms, and more (toppings $.50 each or three for $1). Coat kernels of gourmet candied popcorn in caramel, tutti-frutti, or kettle corn flavors (small $3.50, large $4.50) and add a milk- or white-chocolate drizzle ($.45). Chocolate-covered strawberries are a great way to say "I love you" or "I ate your stamp collection," ($2.50 each, six for $12.99, twelve for $24.99) and caramel, candied, or chocolate-coated apples ($3.50–$5.50) satisfy sugary fruit cravings.
Caribbean Dutch Pot Restaurant's owner and culinary captain, Ras Prince, layers plates with traditional Jamaican fare. Prince draws from spice-heavy Caribbean recipes, incorporating chicken, goat, and seafood to silence stomach rumbles without diners having to snack on soundproof insulation. Events such as karaoke, culturally focused open-mic-poetry nights, and live reggae bands on Saturdays and Sundays further imbue the intimate space with a spirited, tropical atmosphere. That atmosphere will be carried over to Woodlawn Memorial Park in July when the Restaurant hosts a Reggae Jerk Festival. Inside the restaurant, elements of Caribbean design, such as bamboo accents and tables topped in reed placemats, complement brightly colored walls and free wireless internet routed through a coconut.
With this Groupon, $10 gets you $25 worth of pasta, pizza, frittatas, and more at Ciao Pizza Bistro Italiano. Ciao offers a variety of vegetarian, fish, and meat dishes to accommodate your diet, and its extensive menu makes it a great place for groups that can't agree on where to eat or for self-squabbling multi-headed beasts.Pizza Problems sold an unprecedented 300 copies in 1981, and was even briefly adapted into a Saturday morning animated series, although fans objected to Pepperoni’s portrayal as a softheaded comic foil. Activavision Studios recently announced plans for a 30th anniversary relaunch of the Pizza Problems franchise, a mature-rated gore fest featuring the sultry voice talents of David Hyde Pierce.