Wasabi Zen's chefs slice, dice, and coil savory morsels of crab, eel, salmon, and fried shrimp into more than 50 sushi rolls splashed with mild and spicy sauces. Pay homage to Mother Nature without building her another recyclable spice rack by sampling the Green Tree roll ($10.95), an epicurean jungle lush with crab, cucumber, eel, and masago. The Hawaiian Sunset roll ($11.95) invokes tropical vistas through its plethora of salmon and pineapple, and the Hot Knight roll ($14.95)—an off-menu item available by request— jousts taste buds with fried shrimp and spiced shrimp and crab. Alternatively, dishes of traditional aged tofu ($5.95) or edamame ($4.95) offer meat-free options that forgo the tossing and turning of salads and soy-tracked rollercoasters.
Chefs at Taste Mezze craft small plates of Mediterranean fare laden with meats, seafood, and veggies—all based on the owner's family recipes. Flaming kasseri cheese and feta cheese whipped with chilies appear on tables alongside gyros, pan-seared scallops, and spanakopita. Smaller portion sizes enable patrons to share dishes or slip them into pants pockets where they keep a tiny but constantly hungry black hole.
Bottles populate the menus at Mannequin Pis, advertising the extensive selection of Belgian beers and primarily French wines that lines the dining room's shelves and windowsill. Originally founded by Belgian chef Bernard Dehaene, the restaurant "feels as if it were plucked from a cobblestone street in Brussels" according to the Washingtonian, which awarded Mannequin Pis a spot on its list of the 100 Best Restaurants in 2011.
Although the menu includes pan-seared trout and roasted pork loin, the spotlight is reserved for its mussels. Kilograms of bivalves bask in one of the chefs' 17 signature broths, waiting to be opened by deft hands or sincere compliments in wine- or beer-based mixtures that incorporate bacon, coconut milk, or lobster bisque.
Gee whiz, Skip, is it true that Cheeburger Cheeburger's been voted Best Burger in 29 Cities? Yup. This is a real 1950s-style hot spot. This is a place that takes pride in serving additive-free, 100% all-natural Angus beef and frothy milk shakes in thousands of possible flavors. Amidst vintage-inspired decor, cooks fry freshly cut Idaho potatoes and onion rings in cholesterol-free peanut oil and top American-bred, vegetarian-fed beef with a choice of 30 toppings. Modern day soda jerks also add one of more than a dozen syrups to flavored sodas and scoop ice cream into floats fizzing with cola, root beer, Dr. Pepper, or the lesser-known Pepper sibling, Gary, who forever lives in the shadow of his brother's medical degree.
Owners Bruno and Jimmy fill Mamma Lucia’s kitchen with housemade Italian family recipes. At each of the eight locations, chefs mix and match myriad pastas and sauces such as penne in pink sauce or chicken pesto ravioli in a creamy pesto sauce. Chicken and veal can be dipped in egg and sautéed in a lemon-and-wine sauce or prepared in any of 15 other ways. In the dining room, servers happily deliver New York–style pizzas to tables or to passing taxicabs full of lost Brooklyn residents.
Before approaching the counter to place saucy demands, take some time to examine the extensive menu. Cue the meal with a country appetizer, like a 12-pack of corn nuggets ($4.99) or 20 BBQ hot wings ($13.99). Barbecued bites are prepared using a combination of techniques. Meat simmers patiently and submits to charbroiling to achieve off-the-bone tenderness. Get a Texas-sized barbecue sandwich full of chopped chicken ($5.99) or sliced or chopped brisket ($5.99). Investigate the rib scene with a full rack of baby backs ($21.99) or a half order of pork spare ribs ($14.99). All dinners come with two sides and a warm dinner roll. Sides include hand-cut fries, Texas-style beans, and luscious hush puppies.