Oly Burger's grill gurus unite Angus beef and bun to create a menu of traditional and specialty sandwiches. Starting with a chopped-steak patty, the Oly Deluxe bacon cheeseburger comes piled with peppered bacon, choice of cheese, and Oly sauce ($5.49), and the Oly Heads to the Ranch burger lassoes a fried egg and rounds up American cheese, all while wearing a bacon bolo tie ($5.99). White-meat co-stars include the Oly Gets Peppered grilled-chicken sandwich ($5.99) or a trio of Alaskan Amber–cod morsels accompanied by Francophone fries ($7.99). Sides such as onion straws ($2.49+), sweet-potato waffle fries ($2.49+), and tater toddlers ($1.49+) complement Oly's roster of hand-held eats, and more than 10 flavors of ice cream shakes tremble in excitement at the prospect of meeting an A-list celebrity straw ($3.99).
When discussing his innovative Mexican dishes with a reporter from Northwest Military, Chef Michael Beierle explained, "I want to open people's eyes to what food can be." Seeking to shatter perceptions of Mexican cuisine as lackluster combinations of rice and beans or Chinese takeout furtively stuffed into a tortilla, the skilled chef folds fresh ingredients into a variety of authentic tacos, enchiladas, and tortas. He douses overstuffed burritos in zesty red and chili colorado sauces before sprinkling on fresh cheese and pico de gallo. To craft his specialty camarones al mojo de ajo, he sautés plump gulf prawns with mushrooms, garlic, and white wine. For dessert, Michael drizzles creamy avocado cheesecake in strawberry-tequila sauce with a hint of roasted jalapeño.
Diners can enjoy their meals at high-top tables in the elegant dining room, their faces illuminated by the flicker of candles. Others can choose to curl up in cushy booths beneath the hushed glow of overhanging lights and fireflies working double shifts. Behind the handsome wood bar, bartenders fold top-shelf liquors into a variety of imaginative cocktails, including a margarita with real jalapeño and sangria with fresh fruit.
The dough wizards at Papa John's hand toss circular masterpieces with original and thin crusts made from high-protein flour to support warm bouquets of toppings. Hand-cut produce crowns all of Papa John's pizzas, mingling with the sun-soaked sweetness of sauce made from fresh, California-grown tomatoes. By adhering to its brand promise of "better ingredients, better pizza," Papa John's grew from a back-tavern pizzeria into more than 4,300 restaurants locally owned and operated within three decades' time, or the amount of time it takes to grow a single pizzeria from a small seed.
The oven at Pizzeria La Gitana burns apple, cherry, and pear woods, which impart the pies with a delicate smoky flavor. That's just one reason why these pizzas go far beyond the two-for-one offerings from chain restaurants. The crusts are made with flour that's imported straight from Italy after taking a year off to find itself, and they're topped with organically grown produce and fine cheese and cold cuts.
Beneath the softly glowing paper lanterns above the sushi bar, chefs at Happy Teriyaki #4 are hand rolling maki destined for both individual plates and the all-you-can-eat sushi bar. But it's the signature sauce, fresh vegetables, and charcoal-broiled meats in their teriyaki dishes that are their claim to fame: the restaurant earned the title of Best Teriyaki in Evening Magazine and KING 5's Best of Western Washington awards in both 2011 and 2012.
The owners' pride in their work is not only evidenced by their artful and flavorful culinary creations but also by the restaurant's inviting ambiance. Colorful Japanese screens add a touch of authentic flair to the dining room, where high-backed, private booths prevent fellow guests from copying homework. Beyond praising the "fast, tasty and affordable" food, Jennifer Johnson of the Weekly Volcano commended the staff for "service [that] has not only been efficient and swift but pleasantly provided."
When even the most inexperienced chef visits Dinners Done Right's spacious kitchen, she can whip up 12 meals in two hours; gourmet ones—from apricot-glazed pork roast to chicken fajitas. It all sounds a bit unrealistic, until you consider the hefty head start visitors have on the typical from-scratch cook, who typically only has scratch. The building blocks for each of their meals await—freshly pre-cut and prepped—at stations throughout the company's kitchen. With the assistance of a hostess, easy-to-follow instructions, and all the necessary kitchen tools, visitors simply combine the ingredients into freezer-ready containers, first seasoning them to taste with a host of spices and herbs. When customers get home, they can freeze their handiwork for a future quick and easy meal or bake, grill, or slow-cook it to impress dinner guests on the spot.