Adorned in their signature denim shorts, black tank tops, and Timberland boots, the Canz-a-Citi Girlz greet each Canz-a-citi Roadhouse guest. In between handfuls from endless bowls of complementary popcorn, diners can munch on wings slathered in scorching “Dirty Canz” hot sauce, burgers with one, two, or three 5.2-ounce bacon-topped patties, and fried Twinkies or Oreos. More than 200 kinds of canned beer, 20 drafts, and colossal cocktails such as sangria or jungle-juice fishbowls wash down each bite until 4 a.m., seven days a week.
Wood hues, brick walls, and a metal roof create the roadhouse atmosphere, as does decor such as license plates covering the ceiling, a beer-can-lined bar, and old hubcaps patrons can use to reflect light while tanning in the parking lot. Up to 60 TVs also broadcast UFC bouts and accompany visitors during weekly karaoke in each restaurant.
Colorful lights, live music, and the smell of churrasco beckon passersby into Andres Carne De Tres, where chefs recreate the bold flavors of South America. Appetizers, such as empanadas dunked in a housemade sauce and guacamole made tableside, kick off meals before the real treat: platefuls of pork loin, skirt steak, chicken, ribs and fresh seafood—all cooked Colombian style. Patrons can order their own individual helpings from the menu—which includes items such as paella and chicken-and-mushroom crepes—or share a Tejarrilla Andres platter packed with enough Colombian chorizo and smoked pork ribs for two people or one pet bear. As the night rolls on, the dance floor tempts guests out of their seats with neon lights and live music crooned from a nearby stage.
The seasoned chefs at Latin Cabana concoct plates of authentic homestyle Cuban cuisine. Sides include fried green plantains and a spread of spanish guava and cheese patties that pair fruit and dairy more harmoniously than a still life painted in fondue. The daily specials and house specialties match tender, seasoned meats with savory accompaniments, such as roast pork with yellow rice and black beans, or a chicken breast dressed in a jacket of breading and flanked by cassava and salad. Desserts offer sweet endings with options such as a creamy vanilla custard or the shredded coconut with cheese, made from top-secret coconuts that had to be destroyed. Shakes, or batidos, visit the taste of tropical fruit onto taste buds, with selections such as mamey, papaya, or tamarindo.
Aegean Cove restaurateur Stelios Varvounis carried his passion for the cuisine of his ancestral Greece first to Paris for advanced culinary training and then to his low-lit dining room, which "operates on the refined edge of Astoria’s Greek-dining spectrum" with "exceptional flavor and some flair," according to New York Magazine. Amid polished wood, tablecloths bleached white by authentic Mediterranean sun rays, and a stone wall inset with nooks holding traditional crockery, servers glide by bearing glimpses of an enormous menu of fresh, whole fish, creamy appetizer spreads, and grilled chops, steak, and chicken of impeccable provenance, all accessorized with local produce.
Patties of grass-fed beef, wild boar, and free-range chicken fill brioche buns at Bareburger, which eschews the added hormones commonly found in burger meat for locally sourced, all-natural ingredients. Fries cooked in 100% peanut oil complement bites of the Jalapeño Express burger's pepper jack cheese and chipotle ketchup or the Mediterranean's cool spread of cucumber-mint yogurt. Though Bareburger sources its meat and produce from sustainable farmers, its food isn’t the only reflection of its eco-conscious values: Trees felled in storms end up as hardwood tables in the dining room, whose tin-siding ceilings have been reclaimed from barns deconstructed during philosophers' countryside lectures.
Fetching artwork pairs with gritty brick walls and decorative graffiti in El Ay Si’s interior, where diners study an eclectic menu of Southwestern comfort cuisine. Fusing traditional recipes with international ingredients, they craft pulled-pork tacos al pastor with grilled pineapple, as well as slow-cooked pressed pork belly with caramelized apples. Brews such as Saranac India Pale Ale or the Mexican Modelo Especial pilsner complement hearty dishes as diners submerge spoons into chocolate-bourbon pecan pie or cherry crumble crowned with vanilla ice cream.