Devore’s Hopocan Gardens serves Barberton-style chicken, which is locally raised, cut to conserve the tastiest bits of meat, lightly breaded for a natural, seasoning-free flavor, and deep-fried to a golden brown. The crisp, fresh taste of a classic white-meat combination (a breast, back, leg, and wing; $8.95) or a large dark platter (three thighs, two drumettes, and a back; $9.55) makes Colonel Sanders roll over in his roost. Most dinners come with a choice of three sides, such as hot sauce, coleslaw, and mashed potatoes. The menu of fowl-focused palates includes chicken buckets, hot wings, sandwiches, and paprikash (chicken stewed in a paprika sauce), along with freshwater pike, shrimp, and ham.
With a wire whisk and passion for confection, Bonnie and her daughters Rachelle and Michelle whip up more than 10 styles of plump specialty cupcakes ranging from french toast and cherry cola to gingerbread. Maple and vanilla whipped icings sweep effortlessly across cake tops before being drizzled with caramel, or capped with crispy crumbled bacon. The caf?'s wafting aromas of freshly baked blueberry muffins are joined by brewing coffee, steaming espresso drinks, and slowly steeping teas. Patrons may also peruse Magic City's hand-painted crafts such as candles, notepads, and crocheted wire jewelry.
At El Jalapenos, servers bustle between tables and through kitchen doors carrying plates of queso fundido, chicken fajitas, and carnitas. Here, armed with margaritas and overstuffed burritos, guests can savor a Mexican meal that's as relaxing as a nap underneath a warm tortilla blanket. Slice into carne asada or La Oaxaquena—grilled steak served with poblano peppers, bacon, ham, cheese, beans, and rice. Or, grab a tortilla filled with pork al pastor, stir-fried peppers, and refried beans. El Jalapeno has vegetarian options, too, including spinach enchiladas and cheese quesadillas.
Jack and June Durbin, who opened the Magic Freeze in 1953, served up frosty treats to the community for years before retiring and selling off the business to their son, Dan. Today, the spot's ice cream, soft serve, and custard are as popular as ever, winning the top spot for the ice-cream shop category on Fox 8's 2013 Hot List. In addition to cups, cones, sundaes, cyclones, and shakes, patrons can order handmade ice-cream cakes for special occasions.
After arriving in the United States from his native China, head chef Leon Liang honed his cookery skills at restaurants in Montgomery, Alabama, and Charleston, South Carolina, eventually opening an establishment of his own with Kasai Japanese Restaurant. Taking its name from the Japanese word for joyous celebration, Kasai welcomes diners with a parade of udon noodles, hibachi-style steaks, and a dizzying array of sushi makis and nigiri treats. Like butter sculptures or edible finger paints, each meal blends artistry and gastronomy, enrapturing taste buds and eyeballs with sushi rolls draped in vibrant green avocado and meticulously arranged sashimi platters. Visitors share laughs over tuna and sake at the marble-topped sushi bar, or ensconce themselves in the sheltered back room with traditional cushioned floor seating and a simple, elegant decor of dark hardwood.
Within Casa Del Rio's warm orange walls, chefs cobble together fresh meats, vegetables, and seafood to forge authentic Mexican lunch and dinner specialties. They douse shrimp in Diablo hot sauce, stuff flautas with shredded beef and chicken, or slice up grilled steak to accessorize with bacon, ham, and poblano peppers. Traditional and frozen margaritas drench adult palates, and a kids' menu entices tots with both Mexican and American classics. A kaleidoscope of colored tables scatters across the family-friendly dining room, which features vibrant artwork and rustic brick barrel vaults, and televisions above the bar entertain guests with sports games and newscasts acted out through interpretive dance.