Part Mexican cantina, part Irish pub, and all cop, Garcia Brogan's blends disparate cultures in both its menu and its decor, which features murals and folk art from Mexico and Ireland. Whether guests want a glass of Irish whiskey or a fine tequila, Garcia Brogan's bartenders keep the drinks flowing, pouring a river of alcohol in which tacos and shepherd's pie bob appetizingly. The restaurant hosts pub trivia nights and live Irish music on the weekends.
If you stumble over a few of the ingredients in Life Alive’s signature Goddess bowl, don’t worry—you’re not the only one. That’s why the restaurant’s website keeps a glossary of its menu’s potentially baffling ingredients and their health benefits. The Ginger Nama Shoyu sauce, for example, may seem outlandish to Americans but “the Champagne of Soy Sauce” shouldn’t be. It’s 100% organic and non-GMO, ages for four years in cedar kegs with less salt than traditional soy sauce, and is completely raw. Ginger adds an extra dose of healing, since it naturally eases digestive issues and nausea, as well as ulcers and inflammation. In this particular dish, the potent sauce flavors a medley of carrots, beets, broccoli, dark greens, tofu, and short-grain brown rice—a nutritional powerhouse all on its own. The Goddess bowl epitomizes Life Alive’s approach to vegan food: it should be organic, whole, and therapeutic, and use ingredients that come from local farms. And, it should meet these requirements without sacrificing flavor or convenience. In addition to nourishing the body, Life Alive believes that cuisine should also benefit the environment and the community. That’s why the restaurant sources its ingredients sustainably, recycles and composts scraps, and uses biodegradable packaging and cleaning materials formulated without chemicals or bacon.
Though it slings its eponymous noodle soups regularly, a few of Pho 88’s specialties only make the menu when they’re in season. The salted soft-shell crab—a Vietnamese classic—shows up sporadically, as does the lau de, a hot pot that simmers goat meat, taro, bean curd, lotus, and chinese herbs to perfection. The good news is that the rest of Pho 88’s authentic Vietnamese selection is available year round, much like an Easter bunny with separation anxiety. Amid a golden dining room, guests dig into plates from a lengthy menu mostly divided by proteins, along with noodle dishes, stir-fry, and rice vermicelli bowls.
Visions of the Italian coastline flood in through faux archways painted on the walls at Scola’s Restaurant. While waiting for the main meal, guests can nibble on shrimp scampi and eggplant rollotini or settle a bitter arm-wrestling dispute once and for all. The chefs' classic Italian dishes include chicken cacciatore and shrimp piccata. There’s an ample seafood selection, too—steamed lobster, stuffed haddock, and broiled scallops—as well as a few American dishes, including a barbecue steak-tip dinner. Guests can also order up sandwiches such as a fried clam roll or meatball sandwich.
In addition stocking to an international assortment of wine and beer, the bartenders mix up martinis that range from classic cosmopolitans to the Starbucks martini, which combines Starbucks coffee liqueur and Stoli vanilla vodka within a chocolate-rimmed glass.
At Parker House Grille, guests choose their ambiance before they choose their dinner—the cozy, contemporary dining room, or the more casual pub where live music starts at 7:30 p.m. most Friday and Saturday nights. Seafood and steak rule the dinner menu, but there's also a handful of homier dishes, including roasted chicken, hand-rubbed baby-back ribs, and braised yankee pot roast dished with mashed potatoes and glazed carrots. For the lunch-and-pub menu, chefs assemble more than a dozen types of sandwiches, melts, and burgers beside a lineup of lightly-battered seafood options. In preparation for Monday-night trivia battles, patrons can sip martinis and wine as they quiz each other on questions such as, "Where was Elvis Presley born?" and "Soup or salad?"
Premium Black Angus burgers, onion rings, and french fries are made fresh daily and fried in zero-trans-fat oil at Blue Angus Cafe. But those are only three of the many items on the eatery’s menu, which is packed with American cuisine. Each meal—whether it’s a plate of Angus meatballs topped with marinara sauce over ziti or classic grilled cheese—demonstrates the chefs’ care. The restaurant’s interior features carpeted flooring, a surplus of sunshine, padded booths and tables dotted with bright floral centerpieces, and vivid yellow flowers sprouting from the walls.