La Shish Cafe isn't a typical all-you-can-eat buffet. While diners do build their own plates, there are no sneeze guards or heat lamps to maneuver around?just hot and fresh food options. This begins with an all-you-can-eat breakfast with biscuits and gravy, eggs, grits, and waffles. There are also plenty of meats, from sausage and bacon to catfish. At the omelette station, the cooks whip up fluffy egg creations stuffed with cheese, veggies, and meats. After breakfast, lunch and dinner entrees might include everything from fried catfish and macaroni and cheese to shrimp pasta and beef kabobs. Fruit smoothies and raspberry or peach-mango tea add a sweet touch.
Sister restaurants One Trick Pony Grill & Taproom and The Cottage Bar & Restaurant share more than their owners—they're located on the same street corner. That makes it easy for guests to visit both in one night, stopping at The Cottage to grab a beer before heading to One Trick Pony for a pork porterhouse, or ordering a glass of wine at One Trick Pony before eating the USA Today awarded Cottage burger next door.
The two restaurants also share a love of entertainment. One Trick Pony hosts live music each Thursday and Saturday, with acts such as rockers Mid Life Crisis and acoustic folk singer Gabrial James Lundy entertaining diners. And musicians also play at The Cottage Bar's annual chili cook-off, where 40 amateur chefs gather to show off their secret recipes and plan a chili stain-off where they try to wash tomato sauce off their aprons.
Back Yard Burgers serves up North American Black Angus burgers hash-marked to order on genuine flame-licked grills. Third-pound patties dress for dinner with lettuce, vine-ripened tomatoes, red onions, dill pickles, and a condimental trio of ketchup, mustard, and mayo ($3.59). Or gussy up for patty prom with premium add-ons such as coleslaw, chili, sautéed mushrooms, bacon, and more ($0.35–$0.60 per topping). The grill masters also flip the first white meat, prepping Hawaiian chicken sandwiches with grilled pineapple, mustard, mayo, and lettuce ($4.09). Away from the flames, feel free to enjoy a loaded baked potato ($2.79) and a wide range of pairable plates such as chili cheese fries ($2.59 for regular size), garden salads ($2.19), and sweetly baked fruit cobblers ($1.99).
The food slingers at Lunchboxeats dish out a menu of sandwiches and meaty entrees cleverly bestowed with school-inspired names and served on cafeteria-style trays. The Third Period Smoking Birds sandwich ($8.95) rebelliously stacks chicken, tender duck meat, and slow-smoked Cajun turkey between slices of slaw-slathered wheat bread for a nostalgic taste invoking fond memories of cutting class and curing poultry in the school parking lot. Otherwise, hang a fang on the homemade chicken-and-waffles sandwich ($7.95) or the Broken Rib Bones, a red-wine-braised xylophone of beef short ribs nestled within a crispy—and sadly unsigned— cast of grilled cheese, veggies, and gravy ($10.95).
Fronted by British-Nigerian lead singer Sade Adu, Grammy-winning band Sade has seduced eardrums with a potent mélange of R & B, soul, and jazz for nearly 30 years. Performing songs from the new compilation album The Ultimate Collection, Sade will delight fans with greatest hits as well as a smattering of brand-new songs, melding soul-stroking vocals with eye-tickling dancing and onstage spectacle. Special guest John Legend will also throw his honeyed voice into the ring, soothing ears that have been damaged by the cacophony of city life and the screeching of prima-donna chalkboards.
Using family recipes that emigrated from Marigliano, Italy, to the United States in 1901, Pa Pa Pia’s fills bellies with flavorful heaps of Italian favorites. Give the brown paper bag a day off and make a midday meal of the meatball sandwich, served on italian bread and topped with provolone cheese ($8–$9), or gently shove a sharp utensil into a small portion of formaggio manicotti, stuffed fat with asiago, parmesan, mozzarella, and provolone cheeses ($6.50–$7). Because teleporters have yet to be approved for civilian use, Pa Pa Pia's uses its pizza, which is grilled over an open flame in traditional Italian style, to transport taste buds across the Atlantic ($8.50–$29). After a dinner of spagettini bolognese ($9–$10) or a sovereign meal of chicken saltimbocca ($14.95–$15), patrons should demand the dessert tray, lay claim to the chocolate-covered ricotta cheesecake ($6), and scan the wine list for illegal words. Though as much produce is sourced locally or grown in the restaurant’s own garden as possible, Pa Pa Pia’s imports its atmosphere straight from Italy, complete with rich yellow walls, rustic booths, and a patio for devouring innocent pastas outside.