Quality cuts of meat and freshly prepared seafood fill the pages of SBiP's upscale dinner menu. Kick off feasts with a carpaccio appetizer ($10), which beckons eaters with beef tenderloin and capers topped in a cap of horseradish cream and blue-cheese crumbles mined from deep inside the Earth's dairy core. In the kitchen, chefs roast semi-boneless duck ($17) and fresh salmon on a cedar plank ($17), and pound chicken cutlets, sauté the tender morsels until golden brown, and then drizzle them in lemon-caper beurre blanc for a flavorful piccata ($18). Each entree arrives at tables alongside an entourage of vegetables as well as a choice of potatoes or rice, which guests can devour amid exposed-brick walls and the sounds of live, local jazz and blues music on Fridays and Saturdays, or their stomachs' harmonized growls every night of the week.
Rich Hicks and Todd Istre are the masterminds behind many a national food concept—from Rich's southwestern taco at Tin Star to Todd's spicy seafood dishes at Boudreaux's Cajun Kitchen. When the duo joined forces to create Mooyah, however, they cleared the tortillas and crawdads from their mind in order to focus on formulating a quintessential American burger.
Today, within scores of Mooyah locations throughout the nation, chefs bustle behind counters, grilling up burgers in accordance to Todd and Rich's formula. Cooks pile lean-beef, turkey, and veggie patties onto white or wheat buns before loading on cheeses and toppings of bacon, fried onion, and avocado. Meanwhile, freshly cut potatoes simmer in fryers, and blenders whirl with ice-cream shakes. Out in the dining room, tabletops and booths sit atop checkered floors beneath walls of chalkboards, where customers can write messages or draw portraits of what they wished they looked like, could they only grow a beard.
Alongside Highway 1 in Baja, California, waves lap up against the white sand beaches as drivers stop to snack on the region’s famous fish tacos. One such beach, the fabled Playa Costa Azul, inspired the chefs and creators behind Blue Coast Burrito. Baja-style fish, spicy LaTinga chicken, carnitas, pulled pork, and fresh veggies complete the burritos, tacos, and taco salads, all of which you can build to order. After grabbing some freshly made pico de gallo, sour cream, and tomatillo salsa, enjoy the mellow coastal vibe induced by surfboards hanging on the wall and a soundtrack of mellow beach tunes from Santana, the Gipsy Kings, and Los Lonely Boys.
Taste buds do the talking when it comes to making a burger, chicken sandwich, or grilled cheese at Cheeburger Cheeburger. That’s because customers, rather than cooks, design what's for dinner. After selecting a base—whether an all-natural Angus burger, a chicken patty, a veggie patty, or a type of cheese—customers deck it with their choice of 29 complimentary toppings such as roasted red peppers, steak sauce, and chopped garlic.
Customers can also build their own salad or garden diorama with a choice of 24 salad fixings. Freshly gilded fries and onion rings round out entrees. For dessert, cooks blend Edy’s Grand ice cream with syrup and candies to create 1 of 1,258,000 possible shake flavor combinations. Thanks to its neon color scheme and oldies music, the restaurant brims with a vintage ambiance.
Bar Louie patrons can dive into a lunch and dinner menu bursting with salads, sandwiches, burgers, and American entrees, or sneak in on the weekend to sample eclectic brunch fare. At lunch or dinner, fork tines can frolic through the pear and blue cheese salad’s verdant field of greens studded with candied pecans, blue cheese, and craisins ($9.49), and hands can wrestle a fried Louie burger slippery with melted cheddar and cheered on by crunchy bacon, a fried egg, and several big-haired boxing promoters ($9.49). Alternatively, at brunch (Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.), use incisors to excavate chorizo, scrambled egg, and potato fillings from the breakfast burrito’s flour-tortilla crust ($9.99).
Turkish cuisine bears many similarities to its Mediterranean siblings, but the chefs at Istanbul Mediterranean Restaurant claim that one crucial ingredient sets it apart: the spices. This explains why they import their spices and herbs directly from Turkey and measure them out in doses prescribed by centuries-old recipes. Their strict adherence to traditional ingredients and cooking methods results in dishes with the elegance and complexity of a Byzantine mosaic depicting string theory. Such dishes include flaky housemade baklava and the Iskender kebab, whose slices of doner meat swim in a rich tomato-based sauce. Though the spices come from a distant land, Istanbul Mediterranean Restaurant sources much of its meat from local butchers.