An iconic pig sits atop the roof of Carter's Pig Pen Bar-B-Que, where the scent of smoking chicken and simmering pork wafts through the air. Inside, chefs dress up hand-pulled meats and dreary cubist masterpieces either with a spicy, vinegar-based north carolina sauce or a thick, Virginia-style tomato sauce. Meaty cuts grace tables alongside classic Southern sides such as red-skin-potato salad and fresh-baked corn-bread muffins.
At each Moe's Southwest Grill location, the same signature three-word greeting tickles the eardrums of each diner who enters the doors: “Welcome to Moe’s!” Inside, chefs prepare a bounty of fresh burritos, fajitas, and tacos filled with grass-fed beef, cage-free chicken, grain-fed pork, and fresh veggies. The staff caters to diets of all sorts with high-fiber guacamole, gluten-free sour cream, and hand-diced pico de gallo made in-house every day, all of which complements hormone-free meats and organic tofu. In all, they use more than 20 wholesome and often sustainably acquired ingredients—one for each subliminal but positive message in the average PSA. As a mellifluous embellishment to the ambience, a sound system plays songs solely performed by deceased artists to honor their musical legacy.
The chefs in the kitchen at Sapori craft both Italian dishes of pasta and chicken parmigiana with Latin classics such as sweet plantains. They craft each dish to order including empanadas stuffed with beef and ceviche cooked in natural lemon juice with ginger, red onions, and Spanish spices.
The chefs at Calabash Seafood craft a menu of grilled, broiled, and fried seafood and tender, land-dwelling fare. The deluxe platter ($24) invites guests to dive into all four quadrants of the sea with fried-up mouthfuls of flounder, shrimp, oysters, scallops, and molded crab cakes. The succulent and sweet fried canadian scallops ($23.75 for deluxe) and fried or broiled homemade crab cakes ($18.75 for four) double as disks for taste-bud matches of frisbee golf. Fusions of land and sea include the combo of a 10-ounce filet mignon and fried shrimp ($24.75) and the pairing of a half-rack of ribs and snow-crab legs ($21), which supplies patrons with their daily recommended dose of snow crab.
It was more than 50 years ago that Mike and Ellen Montecalvo opened Italian Kitchen, where they whipped up traditional Italian dishes with the help of their six children. Today, their daughter Gina and her family have taken charge of the restaurant, continuing the Montecalvo tradition by serving authentic Italian-style pastas, pizzas, and specialties made from seasonal ingredients. Their guests perch at white-clothed tables in the softly lit dining room, clinking glasses of wine and bottles of local beer over plates of cheesy manicotti, tender veal parmigiana, and hand-rolled cannoli.
The chefs at Mimmo's Restaurant whip up New York–style pizzas, hot subs, pasta dishes, and other Italian-American eats. Seven days a week, you can cruise the huge menu, which includes more than 10 types of calzones, 8-inch subs, and daily specials such as homemade spinach ravioli.
Farmer Johnson’s Country Kitchen owners Brady and Tara Johnson draw on their rural roots to whip up a menu of locally sourced, organic burgers, salads, and slow-cooked barbeque pork, which earned them a feature in Hanover Lifestyle magazine. Forks can play hooky from etiquette lessons in the raked heap of local field greens in a Farmer’s salad, ornamented with seasonal tidbits of fruit, edamame, and pecans ($7.99). Juicy, slow-cooked pulled pork ($7.99) descends to the table steaming beside hearty sides such as hand-cut fries or savory baked beans. Chefs show their commitment to sustainability and hatred of unkempt lawns by procuring grass-fed beef from local farms for specialty burgers such as the build-your-own Farmer’s burger ($8.99) or the barbecue-slathered Southern-style burger ($8.99). Farmer Johnson's also features a variety of daily specials, which have included lettuce wraps with peach vinaigrette and meatloaf with mashed potatoes.