Himalayas Indian Restaurant showcases the rich, diverse flavors of regional Indian cooking. Roasted meats, simmered vegetables, and fragrant curries all benefit from the wealth of spices and herbs found throughout South Asia. The chefs begin every day by grinding and preparing fresh spices for their dishes, lending vibrant flavors to the menu that Zagat scored as "very good to excellent."
Herbs and Spices on the Menu
The eclectic character of the Indian subcontinent comes out in more than just the menu's herbs and spices. In the dining room, meals unfurl to a soundtrack of Indian flutes and drums; in the kitchen, the chefs embrace traditional cooking techniques by roasting everything from skewered meats to breads inside their charcoal-fired, clay tandoor oven. Even the recipes have deep ties to Indian tradition, having been passed down through generations of Indian families.
At Krazy Buffalo's, it's not enough to make the decision to order wings. You also have to decide between three dozen sauces, which range from spicy (hot parmesan) to sweet (honey onion) to savory (garlic pepper). The rest of its menu is as varied as its sauce selection?other specialties include philly sandwiches with your choice of meat and bubble-tea smoothies in flavors such as mango-peach-banana. Diners can also opt for fresh fruit sundaes, the best way to get kids to eat their fruit apart from putting it inside candy wrappers.
Flanked by rustic stone columns and carved lions, 5 Seasons Brewing's entrance looks like the secluded front to a Napa Valley villa, belying its cozy atmosphere and community-focused mission to provide tasty, affordable food and drink. Founded by chef David Larkworthy—son of a pioneering advocate of using organic food in restaurants—Five Seasons Brewing carries its commitment to community to its ingredients, cooking with a cornucopia of regularly shifting local produce from a gaggle of affiliated farms. The menu features such fusion dishes as crispy alligator served with a blackened chili glaze and Remoulade. At tables, guests dig in to home-baked bread, whose warm crust exudes tangy scents from the brewery's spent beer grain.
In the towering tanks that skirt the pub, brewmaster Kevin McNerney creates a kaleidoscopic selection of unique small-batch beers. The cofounder of flagship Georgia brewer SweetWater, McNerney brings two decades of experience to his craft, making refreshing brews such as the Chug Monkey and turning to ancient Belgian traditions to make his crisp, orange-infused witbier.
Robert Gayle, the executive chef at and owner of Chef Rob's Caribbean Cafe & Upscale Lounge, combines his Caribbean background with a Culinary Institute of America education, gathering flavors from around the world to refine a menu of island comfort fare. After spending his childhood in Jamaica and the West Indies, Chef Rob relocated to the United States and began to develop his culinary lobe at age 13 by working as a steward in Brooklyn. His skills and prestige steadily increased over time, allowing him to eventually open P. Diddy's Atlanta venture, Justin's Restaurant, in 1997 and prepare meals for such celebrities as Jennifer Lopez and Akon. Chef Rob's mental rolodex includes recipes for curried goat, dry-rubbed spare ribs, and his signature spicy jerk seasoning, which he massages into mesquite-grilled chicken. For lighter nighttime fare, diners can convene in the newly opened Chef Rob's Upscale Lounge for hookah, top-shelf cocktails, satisfying tapas, and signature wines. The contemporary furniture completes the swanky atmosphere.
Colorful instruments erupt with sound as belly dancers twirl and shake their bejeweled torsos to the musical beats. As the dancers weave between tables, some diners remain enraptured by the show while others carry on intimate conversations with their companions. Along with belly dancing on Friday and Saturday night, Fanoos Persian Cuisine hosts flamenco music and dancing by performer Calo Gitano on the first Sunday of each month.
In the kitchen, cooks flit about with the same merriment as the dancers. The owners fondly remember the Persian flavors that highlighted their youth and commemorate these recollections with a menu replete with familiar and lesser-known Mediterranean dishes. Steaming platters of shish kebabs and veggie-rich stews served alongside beds of rice round out the menu and complement spirits and international bottles of wine. For special occasions, they also rent out their restaurant for events to entertain up to 400 guests.
Smashburger isn't just the name—it's the way chefs, otherwise known as Burger Smashers, cook every burger. First, they form never-frozen, 100% Angus beef into a giant meatball. Then they season it, place it on a butter-glazed grill, and smash it into a patty. The process caramelizes the beef, locking in flavor while keeping the meat juicy and tender. Each slab is then sandwiched in an artisan bun and is turned into into one of an array of standard burgers or locally inspired specialties unique to each market. This handcrafting approach typifies everything else the restaurant does, from blending handspun Häagen-Dazs shakes to hand painting Smashburger's logo onto every beverage cup. Letting its food stand for itself and relying mostly on word of mouth for advertising, the Smashburger franchise expanded to 160 restaurants in five years, with its swift growth from zero to 100 stores making it one of the nation's fastest-growing restaurant companies. This rapid development even caught the attention of Forbes and Inc. along the way.