Lounging feels perfectly natural at Arabian Clouds. The hookah bar remains open until as late as 3 a.m. throughout the week, encouraging passersby to stop in, gather around the glowing coals of one of the Khalil Mamoon hookahs, and enjoy a round of Arabian coffee or tea with the shisha. The lounge also plays eclectic mixes of pop, hip-hop, rock, and contemporary Arabian music, and guest DJs stop in to perform and energize crowds on the weekends.
Leon Butler opened Brookside Optical in 1989 with the vision that all clients, even those with hard-to-correct eyesight, could have access to stylish eyewear. Today, the shelves stock colorful frames ($100+) by small manufacturers and such designers as l.a. Eyeworks, Theo, and Anne et Valentin. Whether in retro cat-eye shapes or planted with futuristic jet packs, each pair of glasses is crafted by the on-site lab and ready to wear within days.
Planet Sub sidesteps the flavorless land mines of days-old bread, opting for filling-packed subs and sandwiched meaty delights. The menu may differ slightly between the two locations, but omnipresent signature subs cross state lines to sate hungering masses, such as the bacon-bolstered mega roast beef ($4.69/$7.29 ) and the Planet BBQ, a saucy concoction stacked with ham, turkey, and roast beef ($3.99/$6.99 ). Vegetarian options abound, so meat abstainers can try the spicy cheese sub ($4.49/$6.99 ) or the pesto bello ($4.99/$7.19), which is loaded with portobello mushrooms, red peppers, and a tomato-garlic pesto as smooth and suave as an Italian R&B crooner.
Granite City Food & Brewery, a casual family restaurant founded by hospitality experts, has an on-site brewery and a menu stuffed with more steak, seafood, pasta, flatbread pizza, burger, and sandwich options than Abe Lincoln had dollar bills stuffed in his top hat. Gourmet pub-grub appetizers and many other generously portioned dishes are listed alongside the beers that bring out their flavors. The intoxicating taste of the inebriated vodka mussels ($12.99) is suggested alongside Northern Light––a light creamy beer––and the juicy, tender meatiness of a 14-ounce New York strip ($25.99) is advised along with Brother Benedict’s bock––a brownish German-style lager. Others among Granite City Food & Brewery's six specialty brews are the Irish-style Broad Axe stout, known for its nose of roasted chocolate and coffee notes, and Duke Of Wellington, an IPA with muscle-bound malt character and a deep-seated dislike of Napoleon.
At Tables With Taste, a mother-daughter duo combines their vivid imagination with more than 100 years of family tradition to bake up fresh cupcakes daily. Many of the custom-made treats emulate the appearance and tastes of beloved desserts, from the creamy zing of a root-beer float cake adorned with a straw to popcorn-flavored mini-cupcakes arranged in paper bags and served in a quiet, pitch-black room. The chefs also whip up pretzel challah bread, flour-free tortes, and chewy cookies for serving alongside their whimsical cupcakes.
Taste of Europe's shelves are filled with edible nostalgia. Owners and friends Gene Basov and Marat Tsitolovsky grew up together in Ukraine, and now stock their Overland Park grocery with traditional candies, smoked sprats, and other comestibles that are bound to make Eastern European transplants feel a bit at home.
?I enjoy dealing with people and taking them back to their childhood ? down memory lane,? Basov told The Kansas City Jewish Chronicle. Customers often come into the shop to request specific European foods, and Basov searches until he finds them.
English tea, French truffle salt, and Israeli jams are a few delicacies to be found on the shelves. There's also a deli stocked with European sausages and Kosher meats, and a bakery section filled with traditional cakes and pastries. Though the market caters to customers with European ties, it also welcomes shoppers who simply want to try something new, or who wish to impress friends with souvenirs from imaginary vacations.