Bruegger's Bagels traces its origins back to 1983, when founders Nord Brue and Mike Dressell began using their years of experience under a professional bagel baker to start their own business. In the early '80s, bagels were relatively unknown to most Americans, rarely seen outside of their natural habitats: Big Apple delis and free-range bagel grazing grounds. At the spearhead of introducing the breakfast delicacy to the world at large, Bruegger's grew locations in 26 states, winning a loyal customer base with crispy, chewy bagels kettle boiled and stone-oven baked fresh each morning.
Today, guests still smear the piping-hot circles with hummus, jelly, or rich vermont cream cheese or sink their teeth into anytime breakfast bagel sandwiches of smoked salmon and ham and egg. At lunchtime, bagels fill up with thai peanut chicken, refueling diners along with paninis stuffed with roast beef and horseradish. Healthy, substantial salads tempt palates with morsels of fresh mozzarella cheese, tender grilled chicken, and crispy cucumbers and greens, and sustainably sourced coffee drinks such as the blended mocha Brueggaccino make for tasty, sweet notes to meals.
At Noah’s Antica Pizzeria, pizzaiolos understand that, sometimes, brevity is the soul of good pizza, too. They slide their pies—constructed from Caputo flour dough, San Marzano tomatoes grown in the volcanic soil surrounding Mt. Vesuvius, and locally grown organic herbs—into their wood-fired brick oven for just 90 seconds. If that seems too brief a time for so noble an assemblage, what emerges from the 900-degree heat quickly proves otherwise. Just a minute and a half is enough time to bake authentic Neapolitan pizza to its ideal state: burnt and crispy on the edges but wet and soft in the middle–“kissed by the flames,” as the local saying goes. Each entry on the menu holds a unique combination of additions within its delicately flame-seared folds, such as the Pizza del Cafone’s italian sausage, broccoli rabe, and smoked mozzarella or the medley of seven grilled vegetables along with smoked mozzarella and garlic on the Pizza Grigliata Vegetali.
With breakfast served all day, 20th-century decor, and waitresses clad in red-and-white-striped dresses complete with high white socks, red tennis shoes, and jaunty paper hats, Chickadees Diner would fit right in in the 1950s. But on closer look, it reveals itself to be more than a classic diner.
Creative eats such as a grouper sandwich drizzled with salted maple butter, fried-green-tomato burgers, and the Velvet Elvis french toast—with chocolate, blackberry jam, bananas, marshmallows, and peanut butter—cater to a more modern crowd. Also, unlike traditional diners, and even most modern ones, Chickadees Diner serves bottomless mimosas, beer and wine throughout the day.
The motto at Mudbone’s Swamp Shack is “Laissez les bon temps rouler,” Cajun French for “let the good times roll.” And roll they do, fueled by the smell of the restaurant's Cajun- and creole-inspired cuisine. Popular dishes on the menu include the jambalaya pasta and the shrimp, catfish, and soft-shell-crab po’ boys served with fries and an application for Louisiana citizenship. The chefs even make their own beignets—fritters topped with powdered sugar—and serve them for dessert along with bread pudding and cheesecake.