Tin ceilings hover above the weathered plaster and brick walls of Two Olives Café, whose rustic, old-world character is bolstered by exposed ventilation pipes that run the length of the room. The founder of the café, Tricia Henderson, designed the room to reflect the history of the area, mounting black-and-white photographs to offer guests a more explicit glimpse into the past.
In the kitchen, fresh chicken salad is laced with apples, grapes, and almonds, giving it a sweet, tart crunch that makes it the most popular sandwich on the menu and the expected winner of next year's prom court. Ham, salami, and olive salad stack the muffaletta sandwich, and housemade chipotle dressing adds a subtle smokiness to the otherwise classic caesar salad.
At Harry Bear's, chefs hand-shape Black Angus beef into thick burgers, grill them to order, and slather them with homemade hickory sauce. For dessert, they dunk plump peach slices into the deep fryer, and then sprinkle the crispy crescents with cinnamon and sugar. Harry Bear?s matches these quintessentially American dishes with an equally patriotic dining room?blue walls sport stenciled stars, as well as vintage Coca Cola signs, teddy bears, and a collection of baseball memorabilia. Dining companions can also turn their attention toward flat-screen TVs if games of napkin peekaboo lose their appeal.
Dark Horse Grill’s menu overtakes lesser menus with a galloping barrage of burgers, steaks, and pizzas, as well as lush libations from a fully stocked bar. After whetting appetites with a starter of fried pickle chips ($3.99–$5.99), diners can tuck into a personalized pizza ($5.99–$11.99) wreathed in such textures as canadian bacon, grilled chicken, and pineapple. The Dark Horse fried chicken is battered and winged by texas toast, pickles, and onions ($12.99 for 8 pieces), and the southern-fried catfish, farm-raised in the States, is rolled in bread crumbs, cooked until golden-brown, and eaten until invisible ($10.99 with two sides). A full bar stocked with sumptuous liquors and suds on tap provides apt accompaniment for the kitchen's rustic, crispy servings.
All Royal Bavaria's unfiltered beers are brewed by guidelines of German purity law, which means they can use only four ingredients: hops, malt, yeast, and their own well water. Owned by Andy Gmeiner, a chef and restaurateur from Munich, the microbrewery sits on a 5.5-acre property. The central building is fashioned in the image of a 5,000-square-foot Bavarian farmhouse, complete with an enormous gabled roof, a 175-person outdoor beer garden, and guard rails to prevent polka dancers from flying out of control. As cool steins click to punctuate songs and toasts, traditional German dishes such as wiener schnitzel, sauerbraten, and bratwurst unfurl banners of steam against the wood-paneled walls and vaulted ceiling.
The dining room, which is reminiscent of a rural bed and breakfast, is lined with antique knickknacks, pans, and deer antlers. Large picture windows offer patrons a view of the brewery, where copper tanks mash and ferment Royal's six house-made beers. While noshing on a handcrafted sausage, revelers sway to sounds of occasional live entertainment or purchase beer by the half-barrel, hand-squeezed from the folds of the finest accordions.
Owner Ricardo Lopez infuses each of his restaurant’s dishes with the distinctive flavors of Mexico, peppering marinated slices of chicken with chipotle spices and grilling steak with onions and peppers in an iron skillet. Couples and families sit at tables strewn with complimentary chips, queso, and salsa as they carve into cheesy chilies rellenos or fashion house-made flour tortillas into origami sombreros. Open seven days a week, the restaurant hosts special celebrations inside a private dining area and delivers orders of at least 10 entrees.
The namesake dishes at Sushi and Teriyaki make for a delicious pairing of traditional Japanese cuisine, sometimes cutely referred to as sushi-n-teri by the staff. Outside of the expected dishes, such as the mountainous Ahi Tower roll with spicy tuna, the chefs also prepare hibachi entrees and specialties such as spicy ramen. And customers can wash it all down with a cool Japanese beer. The entire menu is also available for takeout, letting customers still enjoy an exotic dinner in the midst of a busy schedule.