New York-style pizza and Italian-style Italian food fill the menu at Café Sicilia, a casual neighborhood joint with a welcoming feel. Served by the pie or slice, sizzling pizzas are topped with canadian bacon, mushrooms, capers, artichokes, and other standard or specialty toppings and give off the aromas of toasted crust and melty cheese. Deep dish, sicilian-style pies pack an extra hearty punch, while stromboli and calzones transform the slice into a more compact culinary vehicle.
Outside the pizza realm, Café Sicilia's chefs plate fettucini alfredo, baked ziti, tortellini, and lasagna. Kids can tuck into spaghetti and meatballs or chicken parmigiana, while parents feast on zuppa de pesce, an assortment of seafood layered in zesty marinara. Culinary expeditions conclude with tiramisu, cannoli, and plain or chocolate cheesecake.
A woven hanging light looms overhead, casting a buttery glow on wall alcoves festooned with orchid arrangements. Nearby, booths flaunt intricate geometric designs to match throw pillows on the adjacent sofa. The walls are comprised of texturally diverse materials such as stacked stone, exposed brick, and barbecue-flavored wallpaper, an eclectic assortment that mirrors Orchid City Café's mélange of Cajun, American, and Asian fusion fare.
Poboys and Thai-style rice dishes overflow with a choice of catfish, salmon, and chicken—all available fried, grilled, blackened, or interrogated. Chefs also mold half-pound Angus sirloin burgers to pair with fresh-cut french fries and specialty drinks such as smoothies or sweet boba tea.
Light streams in through the floor-to-ceiling windows at the front of Glazed Doughnuts & Cafe, glinting off cushy high-backed chairs and sleek wooden tables before mingling with the crystals in the ornate chandelier. Before taking a seat or levitating next to the bookshelf, customers can peruse the mouth-watering menu, selecting treats including tantalizingly fresh scratch-made doughnuts, croissants, and muffins, carefully stacked sandwiches, and draughts of energy-boosting coffee.
Owned by New Orleans expats forced out by hurricane Katrina, Pierre's Mardi Gras Café, featured on Fox 4, rekindles the Cajun spirit from within its kitchen, kicking out authentic New Orleans fare. Friends, romantic partners, or auditioning potato-sack teammates become temporarily obstructed from each other's view by the 12-inch Half & Half po' boy, a classic french-bread sandwich with somersaulting bites of fish, shrimp, and oysters accented by lettuce, tomato, and mayo. Philly steak po' boys sizzle and crunch in their edible envelopes, and surf 'n' turf po' boys squash appetites with steak- and shrimp-inspired stomps of the foot. Pairs take a break from open-jawed po' boy bites and ladle a spoonful of authentic jambalaya into their mouths, an alchemical elixir composed of two different sausages and shrimp in tomato sauce, or trade off spoonfuls of crawfish étouffée as they argue about whose taste buds would be more likely to guest star on reality TV. Cups of shrimp creole and crawfish étouffée boast flavors that slow-dance atop tongues in simmering revelry, while original, coconut, or chocolate praline candy round off any meal.
Tell us about your business.
We are a coffee and wine bar in Arlington. We sell coffee, espresso drinks, frappes, and smoothies. In addition, we serve food such as salads, breakfast sandwiches, turkey burgers, and paninis, [just to] name a few things. We have poetry and open-mic nights, as well as dance classes. We are in the process of obtaining our alcohol license, [but] in the meantime we do [offer] complimentary wine and beer with the purchase of an entree, as well as BYOB.
What kind of expertise do you have?
We're a new business (just opened in November 2012), but I have cooking experience and my son attended Le Cordon Bleu culinary school. Between the two of us, we run the kitchen.
What makes your business stand out from the competition?
We have a niche in that we are not just a coffee house, but a wine bar also. We're sort of outside of the box. Our ambiance is outstanding, and it's a great place to wind down after work, gather with friends, or get some work done on your laptop. We have free WiFi with any purchase, and a rewards program. Great customer service is most important to us.
What are a few of your most popular services?
People love our turkey panini and frappes. Additionally, the chicken and waffles and shrimp and grits are very popular.
At Pie Place Café & Bakery, savory lunchtime sandwiches and pies are a precursor to dessert—a huge selection of pies baked with seasonally rotating fillings and handmade crusts. Check out the café menu to choose from a variety of specialty sandwiches—chefs coat heaps of corned beef, sauerkraut, and swiss cheese in a tangy dressing before stuffing them between two pieces of just-grilled rye bread with the Pie Place reuben ($7.25). In contrast to their sweet cousins, the savory pies fill handmade crusts with hearty combinations such as chicken enchilada, with chicken and cheese playing Marco Polo against avocado and sour cream in a spicy cream sauce. To complement entrees, diners can chomp side salads ($2.95) or slurp a soup of the day ($3.95–$4.95), such as tomato basil, french onion, and white chicken chili.