Chicken Delight piques appetites with a plethora of quick poultry eats served in a casual eatery or, for an additional fee, delivered fresh from the restaurant to dining-room tables. Family feeders can quiet an entire brood of bellowing bellies with a 12-piece family special of fried or grilled chicken breasts, thighs, legs, and wings accompanied by a six dinner rolls, a batch of french fries, and a pint of coleslaw, potato salad, or macaroni salad ($22.70). Miniature fowl feasts, such as a 5-piece chicken-tender lunch special with a can of soda and choice of side ($6.50), appease solo eaters, and a 14-piece shrimp plate raised on deep-sea granges, cooked to perfection and paired with dipping sauce ($15.30) invites twosomes in the mood for underwater barnyard grub to share. Fighter pilots can keep hot and spicy aileron edibles, such as 20 white-meat buffalo wings ($12.50), company inside stomach skies with a smorgasbord of savory sides, such as mashed potatoes ($1.75–$2.85), mac 'n' cheese ($2.60–$4.50), breaded mushrooms ($6), yellow rice ($2.05–$3.20), or corn on the cob ($1.95).
At El Carretero 66, the aroma of sizzling steaks and baking Colombian sweetbreads triggers visions of family panaderias, cups of café con leche, and vibrant salsa music. The staff chats animatedly in Spanish as they fold fresh meats and seafood into Colombian specialties, including empanadas, mondongo (beef tripe) soup, and lomo salteado (sautéed beef and peppers served with french fries). Meanwhile, bakers line the shelves of their panaderia with still-warm cheese breads, rich cakes, and rolls that are ready to melt the most stubborn of butters.
Burrito Joint's meal maestros stuff traditional Mexican fare with the freshest fillings available. The cooks steadfastly refuse to employ reheated or frozen ingredients, banning microwave ovens and outlawing Mr. Freeze from the kitchen. The Joint's nine varieties of burrito wrap a whole-wheat or white-flour tortilla around a choice of protein such as steak, tofu, or carnitas pork, with additional fillings including black or pinto beans and lime cilantro. Burrito Joint's menu fills out with Kick Ass fajitas, Bravas enchiladas, and Bumpin' tacos such as the original baja fish, a creation that nestles grilled or breaded tilapia inside soft corn tortillas, all crowned with chopped cabbage, mild salsa roja, and chipotle-ranch sauce.
Twenty years as a chef has taught Bua Nartpranin, a self-proclaimed cooking perfectionist, the secret to delicious food: fresh ingredients combined with just the right amount of spices and herbs, grown in her very own garden. Her culinary talents have taken her to northeastern Thailand, Atlanta, New York, and finally New Jersey, where she whips up dishes in the kitchen at Lotus Thai Cuisine with the motto of "always cook with love and passion." Her garden-fresh herbs and spices are found in a smattering of sauces—from the spicy chili sauce that blankets crispy red snapper to curries and basil sauce that flavor chicken and tofu. And when she is not busy cooking at the restaurant, Bua happily cooks for her three children at home or for anyone she hears is hungry and stuck in a nearby elevator.
Of all the utensils and appliances in the kitchen of Let It Be Grill, few are as crucial as the thermometer. The kitchen staff uses it to monitors the level of doneness in an host of rib eyes, sirloins, and T-bones, as well as nearby meats such as meatloaf and turkey. They also prepare Italian dishes such as spaghetti with meatballs and southwestern eats such as Texas-style ribs, churrasco skirt steak, and flan. The BYOB eatery, which also serves up large pancake stacks and omelet ziggurats for breakfast, lets diners take up the mic on weekends during karaoke evenings.