After acknowledging their own dinner-related stress, two busy mothers founded Social Suppers as a way to help others avoid it. Their four meal programs are designed for people who don't always have the time to prepare their own food from scratch, but still want to eat nutritious food. The staff prepares fully cooked dishes for pick-up, assembles them for future cooking, and stocks house freezers with pre-made dishes. They also help customers make their own meals within two hours in an on-site kitchen, using provided ingredients, recipes, and Emeril look-alikes. Though menus change monthly, each offers up to 16 healthy, internationally-inspired entrees, sides, and desserts featuring a variety of vegetables, meats, seafood, and poultry. The culinary curators also accommodate special requests, food allergies, and dietary needs. Each prepared meal comes in freezer-ready, labeled packaging to protect them against freezer burn, and keep them from getting into the ice cream.
Born in Mexico City and raised in Yucatán, Chef Tito has led a more than 30-year culinary career that's taken him through every position, from bartender to executive chef to tableside magician. He has cooked for celebrities as varied as Hilary Clinton, Sean Connery, and Norway’s King Olaf. With his bold mustache and even bolder personality, some of his dinner guests, such as The Pitch's Charles Feruzza, have claimed he could be a movie star. At his flagship restaurant Latin Bistro, he very nearly is.
In Latin Bistro's dining room, patrons are serenaded by Latin music as well as a symphony of shouts, bellows, and laughter. At the center of the room stands Chef Tito's open exhibition kitchen, where he and his chefs dash to and fro in a complicated dance, fashioning vibrant meals that draw from the regional recipes of Mexico, the Mayans, and more than 60 Latin countries in South America and Europe. With each dish, Tito balances three properties—texture, color, and flavor—and his most prized recipes come with extra flourish. He grills and braises pescado a la Veracruzana in white-wine rum sauce and Spanish spices, and tosses in green olives, onions, capers, and raisins. He conjures Mayan cochinita pibil after slow-roasting banana-leaf-wrapped pork in a pit with spices for up to eight hours. His crew drapes chile rellenos en nogada—ground beef-stuffed poblano peppers—in dried fruits, pine nuts, and creamy pecan sauce.
Jay Mathiesen cooked up Backyard Bash as a means to combine his passion for barbecue with his years of business experience. His dedicated team helps grilling fanatics navigate the store's collection of seasoned rubs, savory sauces, and recipe books. Mathiesen's collection of meat-heating paraphernalia also includes Weber grills and essential barbecuing tools and utensils. Neophyte grill masters can even enroll in cooking classes taught by award-winning chef Chris Marks. The topics of these classes range from how to prepare succulent ribs and grilled seafood to how to safeguard your eyebrows from overly exuberant flames.:m]]
The trill of an air wrench. The falsetto song of a squeegee against glass. The sounds of a stock-car repair pit drift from JC's Speedy Lube, where crews work to focus that same level of efficiency on vehicles returning to the road. Along with expeditious oil changes, mechanics perform light mechanical work and employ Genisys scanners to diagnose future problems. Visitors wait for their steel steeds to return to them, passing the time in a waiting area with free WiFi, a flat-screen TV, and steaming cups of Keurig coffee. JC's Speedy Lube also collects an ever-changing stable of used cars, which wow prospective owners with low mileage numbers and past owners who never drove them very far back in time.