A warm, crackling fireplace greets guests in The Radical Roaster's homey interior, and an alluring menu inspires them to snuggle up for an extended stay. Breakfast bites are served all day, such as savory morning sandwiches that invite you to shelter the group of orphaned egg, cheese, and meat of your choice in a doughy bagel, English muffin, toast, or wrap domicile ($3.95). Spoil your belly guests with a sugary pinwheel cinnamon roll ($1.95) or teach them to play mahjongg with a Belgian waffle ($4.75–$4.95). Free WiFi allows all device-equipped patrons to freely cruise the information autobahn one-handed while sipping hot candied apple cider ($3.25–$3.75) or an iced americano ($2.25–$2.75). Come lunchtime, customers can nosh grabbable grub such as the signature 'Berry the Rooster sandwich, a chicken salad sandwich infused with cranberries and walnuts ($6.25). Friendly servers accentuate the comfortable environment, where families are welcome to check out the night's entertainment, bust out a game of chess at will, or catch reruns of Who Wants To Marry a Chess Robot? on the plasma screen.
When not hosting a cooking show on the local LCTV, The Melting Pot’s family of owners craft a belly-warming menu of burgers, wraps, specialty sandwiches, and hearty dinners. Sidle into a booth for a showdown with the Cowboy burger ($6.99), a slab of beef slung with onion-ring bandoleers and slathered in enough barbecue sauce to fill an unsuspecting coworker's stetson. An appetizer of cheesesteak eggrolls ($5.99) gives taste buds a savory segue into the clam roll ($3.50), which stuffs mollusks into a grilled hot-dog shell lined with lettuce and tartar sauce. At the sound of the dinner sousaphone, insulate innards with chicken francaise ($9.99) drizzled in a lemon-butter sauce, or a Polish plate ($8.99) of golabki, pierogies, and fried kielbasa. A root-beer float ($2.99) adds the sweet taste of Americana to any meal, and the brownie sundae ($2.99) turns frowns upside down into hideous inverted mouths.
Although it may have fallen out of Top 40 rotation in the 70 years since it was sung by a burger-shop owner’s barbershop quartet, the song “When the Red, Red Robin (Comes Bob, Bob, Bobbin' Along)” lives on in the legacy of a Seattle-based burger joint. The Red Robin franchise has spread its wings far and wide, now serving locations throughout North America with sustainably grown, environmentally conscious burgers and sides that marry classic American flavors with savory twists such as onion straws or bruschetta. Most of the shop’s fire-grilled burgers, chicken sandwiches, and entrees come with a side of bottomless steak fries, allowing patrons to soak up the juicy Whiskey River barbecue sauce, melted blue cheese, and edible fedoras that top the menu’s varied eats. The staff are happy to help patrons pair their sandwiches with one of the full bar’s microbrews or specialty mixed drinks, keeping glasses filled while athletic superstars battle it out on the eatery's big-screen TVs.
Chef Lou left Johnson & Wales University with a culinary degree, but another 20 years of education lay ahead of him. At the Federal Hill Club, the Sheraton Hotel at Bradley, and Frigo's, he honed his cooking chops and gained an appreciation for both European and Southwestern flavors. Then, in 2006, with his culinary tastes firmly established and his apron freshly embroidered with "Entrepreneur," he branched out on his own. The result is Abudanza.
Lou's passions come through in his menu selections. A great deal of weight is placed on Central Europe—Italian pastas sing with homemade marinara sauce or oversized meatballs while french-boned lamb chops nod to the traditions of the great Francophiles. But Lou also digs his heels into American soil, rolling out a selection of burgers and Angus steaks. There are even moments where the two continents blend together like an edible Pangea—the Snakebite Pasta, for instance, where jalapenos and cheddar combine into a parmesan alfredo sauce.
Winner of more than 400 awards for its barbecue, Famous Dave’s caters to carnivores with a menu of hearty, flavorful American fare. Kick off the mouthcapades with a starter of sweetwater catfish fingers ($7.99), which pair the whiskered swimmer's cornmeal-crusted phalanges with rémoulade and jalapeño sauce, or begin by using onion strings ($6.99) to weave yourself a lightly breaded palate poncho. A 12-boned slab of St. Louis-style spareribs ($22.99), pit-smoked for three to four hours over a hickory inferno, gives sauce-slathered fingers the chance to enjoy an endless string of napkin hugs, while a Texas beef brisket sandwich ($8.49) provides a bread buffer for the benefit of tidy tasters. A sugary slate of desserts, including Dave's famous bread pudding ($5.99) with pecan praline sauce and vanilla-bean ice cream, give sweets-loving stomachs something to blog about to their gastro-friends.