At Philly Station cooks build their eponymous sandwich by piling an Amoroso's roll with rib-eye steak and housemade cheese sauce. They create variations of this specialty sandwich by swapping the steak for chicken or a vegan meat substitute or topping it with bacon, teriyaki, or feta. Their sandwiches pair nicely with housemade soups, such as from-scratch dumplings and chicken off the bone ensconced in a sourdough-bread bowl. Tastykakes and Utz potato chips round out the East Coast experience, as does the graffiti-style mural on one wall that pays homage to Philadelphia better than a reading of the Declaration of Independence by Rocky.
Loyd Have Mercy has earned praise from Metromix and FloridaToday.com for its original southern cuisine. That's because the family-owned eatery's cooks whip up their dishes from old family recipes. The menu teems with southern favorites, such as barbecue ribs, creamy grits, and chitterlings, plus seafood baskets, oxtails, and smothered chicken. The end result is satiated customers who gain all the benefits of home cooking without such tiresome tasks as prepping and cooking the meal and throwing the dirty dishes out of the window when it's over.
Baja Tavern's fresh menu showcases Florida seafood and salsas made from seasonal fruits and vegetables. Underwater treasures star in appetizers such as Bang Bang shrimp ($8.95), which are fried, tossed in a spicy chipotle sauce, and shot out of a small cannon on to plates. Entrees including the pan-fried tilapia ($12.95), a mild white fish with a flaky texture coated with parmesan breading, sate sea-faring appetites. The signature big fish burrito ($8.95) showers baked white fish in chipotle tartar sauce before dressing it in a flour-tortilla tuxedo for a tableside date with homemade chips and salsa. For land-locked appetites, culinary craftspeople slow roast marinated pork to craft caribbean pulled-pork sandwiches ($6.95). While enjoying the atmosphere or engaging in post-dinner staring contests, patrons treat taste buds to island-themed drinks from the bar.
Rusty's Seafood and Oyster Bar occupies a nautical-themed waterfront house, with life preservers hung from the ceiling and fishing trawlers right outside, reflecting a menu full of shellfish, fresh fish, and other fruits of the sea. Expert oyster shuckers sling raw or steamed bivalves by the platter ($9.25) or bucket ($31.99), accompanying them with a range of raw bar accouterments. Jumbo lump crab au gratin ($10.99) bakes sweet chunks of crab meat with four cheeses, served stuffed inside a hot sourdough loaf. The eatery's signature encrusted mahi mahi ($18.25), a savory slab of fresh fish baked in a secret blend of spices, pairs well with a salad ($5.99–$11.99). Customers who visit on Backward Day can start with homemade key-lime pie ($5.99), a sweet-tart treat piled with pillowy meringue.
Wild Ocean Seafood Market’s ocean-ensconced staff helps customers peruse local fishermen’s wild-caught bounty, specializing in hand-processed rock shrimp and other locally sourced grocery items. Like the most humble bananas, royal red shrimp comes peeled and deveined ($11.50/lb.), and a flash-freezing process maintains freshly caught flavor. Not satisfied sticking to one ecosystem, Wild Ocean Seafood Market also boasts landlubbing sustenance, such as cage-free eggs ($3.99/dozen) and grass-fed beef, all from nearby farms, plus aquatic fare from across the country, such as Alaskan king crab, lobster from Maine, and starfish plucked from the lenses of telescopes.
• For $10, you get $20 worth of steakhouse fare for lunch. • For $15, you get $30 worth of steakhouse fare for dinner. The chefs at Durango Steakhouse man an oak fire grill to seal the aromatic flavors of the Old West into their collection of meats, which include USDA Choice grain-fed beef. With menus for both lunch and dinner, diners can snag the delectable Southwestern pork chops for midday meat munching ($7.50–$12.95), or schedule a blind dinner-date with the 8-ounce sirloin steak seasoned with a blend of secret spices ($10.95–$13.95). Durango's sandwiches such as the margarita mahi-mahi with lettuce, tomato, and chipotle ranch ($8.50–$13.50) quell aggressive belly bellows; a selection of fajitas, quesadillas, and burritos encourage taste buds to straddle borderlines. Children ages 12 and under can delve into the kids' menu to polish off a plate of sirloin steak ($6.49), wreck a rack of ribs ($6.95), or name each noodle of the mac n' cheese after their favorite Supreme Court justices ($3.95).
Burritos, enchiladas, and tacos stuffed with cheese and meat share space with Cuban specialties and six savory forms of steak on Chaparral Mexican Grill’s menu. Inside the eatery, wagon wheels and scenes of cowboys dot the walls and a fleet of red and black stools flank the oversize bar. Here, libation wizards top off glasses with the eatery’s pride and joy: the margarita. House recipes and fruit-filled varieties of the quintessential Mexican drink cool down diners who’ve run their tongues along sizzling churrasco, spicy shrimp, and their dates' overheating cell-phone batteries.