At Piara Tandoori King, spicy sauces cover seafood and goat dishes alongside paneer—Indian-style cheese—and other herbivorous fare. Biryani entrees are filled with saffron-infused basmati rice laced with succulent meat or vegetable pieces, and flatbreads such as aloo paratha and naan are browned in a traditional tandoori oven, rather than a newfangled chocolate fountain. An all-you-can-eat lunch buffet lets diners sample diverse Southeast Asian flavors without settling on one, and yogurt-based mango lassis and other beverages neutralize the burn of spicy dishes.
The culinary gurus at Thip’s Thai Cuisine blend pineapple, chili paste, and basil while churning out 50+ authentic curries, noodle entrees, and rice specialties. Patrons choose among chicken, pork, and tofu for nearly every dish, and upgrade to beef or shrimp to infuse their plates with a classic surf-and-turf vibe. Knives chop fresh veggies such as bell peppers, carrots, and green onions, which pile atop rice noodles and play water polo in steaming coconut milk.
When founders J. Kim Tucci, Joseph A. Fresta, and John P. Ferrara first opened The Pasta House Co. in 1974, they wanted to elevate pasta to an art form. “Some artists sculpt, some paint, and some sketch,” they write on the restaurant’s website. “But, at The Pasta House Co., we create authentic Italian culinary delights.” A few of the locations even have giant, exhibition kitchens so you can watch as pizzas, pastas, and entrees come to life.
Naturally, The Pasta House Co.’s menu revolves around the Italian staple from which it gets its name. There are more than 25 varieties of pasta to choose from, including linguine with chicken livers and the signature lasagna, plus weekday specials such as stuffed manicotti. Meanwhile, the mangia bene menu—which translates to “eat well” in Italian—showcases the more wholesome side of Italian eating, with dishes low in fat and calories that won’t peer pressure you to break curfew.
For more than 30 years, Quiznos has toasted its submarine sandwiches to bring out the hidden flavors found in butcher-quality meats, cheese, and artisan breads. Its classic and signature subs take on a variety of shapes, sizes, and styles ranging from the prime rib mushroom and swiss to the classic italian donning black olives, mozzarella, red-wine vinaigrette, and plentiful sliced meats. Those closely monitoring their waistlines can take unabashed bites of sandwiches that have fewer than 500 calories, such as the pork-cuban, Baja-chicken, and veggie-caprese subs. Quiznos' Toasty Bullets and Torpedoes offer slimmer versions of sub fare and flaunt supreme aerodynamics when shot out of T-shirt cannons and into mouths. A selection of Flatbread Sammies, soups, and salads round out Quiznos' varied menu.
Orange Leaf showers customers with healthy dessert options, including flavors with 2 grams of fat or fewer, dispensed from rows of self-serve machines. A torrent of frozen yogurt in wedding cake, brownie batter or pineapple pours into waiting cups below, augmented by wisps of coconut or mochi. After finishing their masterpieces, customers can take seats next to the shop's neon-lime walls to eat or read the detailed nutritional information out loud in an important voice.
Dos Primos Mexican Restaurant, named after the two legendary cousins who founded Mexico, brings spicy south-of-the-border cuisine to the table. Plates of tamales, chilaquiles, and fajitas flavored with peppers and salsas pair well with margaritas or a few bottles of Coors Light and Bud Light Lime. For dessert, the eatery’s chefs set out fried ice cream, sopaipillas, and flan.