Even bowls of mac 'n' cheese and sides of cooked cabbage get the gourmet treatment at The Soul Food Factory. Founded in 1998 by two brothers who shared a passion for culinary enterprise as well as soul food, the eatery augments tradition with artful plate arrangements and inventive spice combinations. Even with these more gourmet accents, the kitchen stays focused on the basics. Entrees such as fried or barbecue-brushed chicken, baked turkey, and tilapia are paired with Southern sides such as rice and beans or candied yams.
The Embankment’s robust menu revolves around the concept of eco-gastronomy, carefully crafting cuisine with sourceable, environment- and animal-treatment-conscious ingredients. Let all the guilt-free goodness melt into your mouth abyss with the cassoulet, a medley of duck confit, house-made sausage, white beans, smoked bacon, and sage ($19). Or indulge in an ocean potion of baked snapper atop a bed of rice, stewed tomatoes, pine nuts, seasonal veggies, and basil ($22). If you're a sandwich lover, the goat-cheese sandwich with red peppers, mushrooms, baby spinach, and a balsamic reduction ($12) is a vegetarian bombshell. The Embankment is open for lunch and dinner six days a week (closed Mondays), as well as for brunch on the weekends.
The skilled cooks at BBQ Master are no strangers to an open flame, deftly smoking, searing, and saucing triple-decker sandwiches, burgers, and racks of pork daily. Atop heaping plates, molasses-rich barbecue sauce smothers juicy chicken while pork ribs sizzle on the grill. Customers can complement smoky meats with classic sides, including corn on the cob, macaroni, and baked beans.
Its location across the street from the Middlesex County Courthouse flavors the atmosphere at Mike's Courtside Sports Bar & Grill, which blends judicial trappings such as wall-mounted gavels with sports memorabilia autographed by local athletes including Derek Jeter. The servers' T-shirts proclaim, "You've been served" as waiters and waitresses sling plates of rib-eye burgers, 12-inch personal pizzas, and other satisfying comfort grub. Two bars—one on each floor—serve up six rotating draft beers and more than 30 bottled brews as sports fans watch games on 1 of 13 MLB-package-equipped HDTVs. Mike's Courtside Sports Bar & Grill also features year-round outdoor seating and hosts Friday and Saturday night performances by live DJs and holograms of dead DJs.
Hanging baskets line Marty O'Brien's front patio, contributing to a quiet sidewalk ambiance that contrasts with the pub’s convivial laid-back lounge. Regardless of where diners sit, they can expect tables brimming with plates of seafood, grilled chicken, and beef. Nearly every corner of the restaurant exudes an air of comforting americana, from the rugged blue-brick façade to its name, which invokes Frank Sinatra's father's boxing moniker and the pen name gracing Teddy Roosevelt’s fan fiction. As servers roll out entrees, guests toast to each other’s health with glasses of beer or wine and share appetizers of chicken skewers and mussels.
Atomic Wings specializes in crafting authentic buffalo-style wings, delicious sandwiches and soups, and much more for hungry hippos tired of an all-marble diet. After perusing the menu, start with a single serving of 10 wings ($8.99), 11 chicken fingers ($8.49), or a half-and-half combo ($8.49) before selecting a sauce. Most individuals will be content with mild, medium, hot, honey mustard, barbecue (regular or jerk), or teriyaki flavors, but daredevilish diners may turn toward the abusive, nuclear, and suicidal variations of wing lacquer, each suitable for restarting the breathy fires of broken dragons. Those preferring less-saucy bites can grab a Philly cheese wrap with grilled steak, onions, peppers, melted cheese, and barbecue sauce in a tortilla ($5.99) or can skip straight to a double chocolate layer cake ($6) accompanied by a bottled soda ($1.75), vitamin water ($2.25), or pint of carbonated barbecue sauce.