In the kitchen at Mario’s Pizza, chefs heap cheese, steak, and sun-dried tomatoes onto oversize New York–style and sicilian pizza crusts. A white pizza covered in ricotta cheese, fresh garlic, and mozzarella reminds taste buds of eating a delicious snowman, and comes in sizes ranging from 10 inches to as large as 19 inches. Baked pasta and sandwiches, such as a philly steak or veal parmigiana, round out the menu.
Tony, the owner of Bandido’s Mexican Cafe, learned the tricks of the trade while working at his family’s Mexican restaurant as a teenager. Today, he and his wife own and operate three Bandido’s locations, which serve sizzling fajitas, crisp tacos, and burritos stuffed with beef, chicken, pork, or sautéed spinach. The Herald-Sun's readers praised Bandido's as the Best Mexican Restaurant in 2009, and the restaurant returns the favor by awarding individuals who finish the El Gigante burrito—a massive compilation of steak and chicken fajitas, rice, black beans, and shredded cheese—with a T-shirt and gentle pats on the back. The restaurant often hosts live entertainment, and the Durham location supplements its selection of lunch and dinner fare with a Sunday brunch menu served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Inside Russell's Steakhouse, butter oozes through the crevices in soft, flaky shells of baked sweet potatoes, dusted with cinnamon and sugar and sharing skillet space with hand-cut, certified-USDA Angus steaks, aged a minimum of 21 days. Outside of the rustic, two-story clapboard building, a wooden bench perches on the front porch, and a stone chimney and horse-headed valets recall a bygone era. The main dining area features two levels of tables and a glossy barn-dance floor that sprawls before a stage. From behind the wooden bar, replete with a wall-mounted flat-screen television, bartenders pour wines by the glass or bottle, frosty brews, and mixed drinks for thirsty diners.
Intoxicating aromas of warm Ethiopian flavors greet diners as they enter Queen of Sheba’s Restaurant, an authentic African eatery that specializes in grass-fed beef, free-range poultry, and tasty vegan dishes. The dining experience at Queen of Sheba’s is traditional and communal, wherein tablemates eat from the same colorful plates, using their hands as utensils and their elbows to preclude magicians from giving more than their fair share to their hat's rabbit. Individual plates and silverware can be provided upon request. Grab a seat in the restaurant's chic, crimson interior and fill up on a wide range of fresh veggies and meats sculpted into stews atop injera, a traditional Ethiopian flatbread.