With brown-checkered curtains, wood-paneled walls, a fireplace, and electric lanterns over the tables, Tom Sawyer Restaurant & Pastry Shop evokes the feel of a homey general store. To accompany the frontier-like ambience, the cooks spend their mornings whisking together hearty breakfasts of scrambled eggs and buttermilk pancakes with enough syrup to float a log cabin. Although the restaurant's lunch specials rotate daily, certain homestyle favorites?including orders of fried chicken and open-faced turkey sandwiches?regularly fly out to tables until 3 p.m..
The Jamaican-born family members who own and operate Big Taste Caribbean Restaurant have created a visual and culinary oasis reminiscent of their native island and its neighbors. Basking in the vivid rays of a wall-length mural of a smiling red-and-orange sun, chefs craft small batches of traditional oxtail with plantains along with their own recipes for signature jerk sauce and curried shrimp. The aromas of chicken grilled over an open flame and Fridays' yard-style fish fries invite passersby to experience the cooking of the tropics. As day sets into night, cues clink on the golden pool table and a ceiling fan lazily goads the air into circles simulating a Caribbean breeze or a coconut's whispered plea to be turned into a piña colada. Live DJs and dance performances occasionally sway the straws sticking out of a Jamaican Red Stripe lager to the beat of reggae, hip-hop, and dancehall music.
Leah Gizzi builds fresh pastas and sauces using imported ingredients chosen for their quality, such as Fiorucci genoa salami and Strianese DOP tomatoes. A stash of local veggies and herbs grown in her personal garden help her form her selection of crowd favorites that include her roasted-red-pepper noodles, meatballs, red gravy, and shells stuffed with spinach and ricotta. Leah also mixes fine ingredients into her cannolis and in her cakes, including one that comes in the shape of a three-dimensional teddy bear. On Sunday, she heads over to The Buttonwood Plaza Artisan’s Market, where she sells her handcrafted foods and easy-to-assemble Italian-dinner kits.
Although TalkisCheap’s tech-savvy repair-persons specialize in reanimating and refurbishing smartphones, the crew can tackle a wide array of services and repairs for electronic devices of all stripes. The phone aficionados also unlock iPhones, replace broken screens, or guide clients through the store's staggering stock of phone chargers and protective cases. Guests with waterlogged phones can trot into the shop for repairs or pick up a waterproof skin to keep phones safe from accidental spills or gangs of mugging mermaids.