Cooks stoke brick ovens to bake specialty pizzas crowned with roasted red peppers, prosciutto, and gorgonzola cheese in the kitchen at Carmela's Brick Oven Pizza and Wine Bar. Their darting hands scatter cheese, ladle on sauce, and gently rest sheets of pasta as they craft lasagna. The murmur of conversation drifts from the high-topped tables in the dining room, where glasses clink together making the sound of a knight trying to get out of a Volkswagen. Behind a bar hewn from gleaming wood, bartenders reach up to shelves stacked high with bottles of wine, pairing vinos from the extensive list with lobster ravioli or signature white pizzas topped with mozzarella, ricotta, and garlic.
With swinging wood saloon doors, hanging lamps made from cowboy hats, and local ranchers' brands seared into each tabletop, Cowboys' Bar-B-Q & Steak Co.'s three locations make visitors feel as though they've just stumbled in from the Texas lowlands. Many of founder Jim McCoin's self-devised recipes come from years of careful cooking while on the professional barbecue-competition circuit, which regularly led his team "Big Daddy Q" to victory. Wings strut across plates dressed in up to 20 sauce flavors, compelling tongues to quench thirst with 10 draft beers or Western-themed margaritas. Beverages are served in mason jars, carried past decorations such as photographs representing local ranching families. For outside eaters, Cowboys' supplies its hearty grilled fare through take-out and catering each day of the week.
When Dean Lavallee opened the first Park Avenue BBQ in 1988, he had one lofty mission in mind: to serve the best barbecue ever made. Despite the seemingly impossible nature of his goal, he and his team continue to rise to the challenge, dry-rubbing their meats to smoke and char-grill on-site. They use all-natural, grain-fed, domestic pork for their traditional and Carolina-style barbecue pork—pulled by hand—and only use fresh, never-frozen ribs that are smoked daily over hickory. As diners chow down on hearty homestyle sides, seafood platters, or buffalo wings tossed in one of six sauces, they can admire the dining room's pictures of their city's most prominent people, places, and robot mayors.
Park Avenue BBQ arranges their meats into fun, hearty dishes such as the Dempublican sandwich, which combines smoked pork and beef brisket separated only by cheese and bacon to create a sizeable sandwich that the team has dubbed "porkalicious". They whip up Funnybonz, which look and taste like miniature ribs, using tender, lean pork that's prepared by cooking up regular ribs beneath a shrink ray. In 2008, their dedication to each dish caused Cityvoter's users to name Park Avenue BBQ the best barbecue in town.
Complete Nutrition provides a variety of nutritional supplements for weight loss, sports nutrition, and healthy aging. For those who have accidentally stored too much food for the winter, Tone softgel weight-loss supplements can help empty stuffed pouches and cheeks while keeping lean muscle intact ($49.99). An herbal cleanse aids in toxin cleansing and rejuvenation (59.95), and M.A.S.S. Project Buzzerk flows straight to the muscles, giving them the brawn necessary to finally overthrow the archaic skeletal system ($63.99). No bodily system is overlooked in the product array, including the immune system, which can recharge with Smart Smoothie formula made from whey protein and naturally occurring amino acids such as sun-sweat and rainbow juice ($39.99).
The crackerjack breadsmiths at Importico's bake up artisan breads and delectable pastries daily, lacing their creative comestibles with locally grown fruits and fresh ingredients. Assuage hunger pangs or trick hands into thinking they're novelty sized with one-dozen mini cupcakes, an apple-cheeked panoply of decadent chocolate, vanilla, and red-velvet creations. Palates looking to pick on something their own size can opt for twelve regular-size handheld treats, which slide onto serving trays and across shuffleboard courts in the same rich flavors as their diminutive companions.
Patrons take a seat at The Chef’s Table, where husband-and-wife culinary team Adam Fatigate and Katie Groffman Fatigate appease appetites with gourmet American cuisine prepared with local ingredients. Though the menu may change based on seasonal ingredients, its offerings—such as a rack of lamb with tangerine-glazed carrots and the fish of the day—always tempt taste buds. Diners can savor midday meals Monday–Wednesday or a prix fixe dinner Thursday–Saturday, depending on the time of year or whether it's Martha Washington's birthday. Along with its indoor and outdoor dine-in options, The Chef’s Table offers prepared gourmet foods for takeout until 6:30 p.m., and stocks home fridges full of wines and artisanal cheeses, including Beecher's handmade cheese from Pike Market.