When you look at a Philly cheesesteak, "subtle" might be the last word on your mind. But it is, in fact, a sandwich of subtleties—just ask Big Al and his son Adam. When they moved to Florida from Philadelphia, they tried many cheesesteaks that purported to be authentic, but that lacked the small, signature touches of a true Philly creation: ribeye that was sliced and not chopped, for example, or the steak rolls only the East Coast had perfected.
So, the duo started their own cheesesteak restaurant. They sliced the ribeye steak, scheduled weekly deliveries of rolls from Philadelphia, and even put Cheez Whiz on the menu in addition to melted cheeses for added authenticity. This is not to say that they don't branch out—Big Al's also has burgers, hot dogs, and cheesesteak variants, such as the bacon-bleu cheesesteak or the spring-mix salad (it tastes like a cheesesteak if you close your eyes and concentrate hard enough).
Patrons at Red Rock Oasis & Grill can bite into tear-jerking wings, chew through meaty burgers, and peruse the diverse menu to pick from 20 beers on tap. Dip Red Rock boneless wings ($9.99 for 10) in seven sauces, or order the maximum-heat Cosmic sauce and use it to deice your space shuttle. The glow of 42 plasma TVs and projection screens illuminates Double R burgers ($9.99) dripping with barbecue sauce, overlaying their smoked-bacon slices with images of sportsmen sprinting, spinning, and flying away gripping their winged helmets. Red Rock baby back pork ribs soaked in citrus-chipotle sauce ($11.99 half rack, $18.99 full rack) appease flavor-starved palates, and Maine lobster-stuffed ravioli with bacon float idly in cream sauce ($19.99). Red Rock Select, the house lager, smooth-talks palates with its light, malty taste, and beers on tap, such as Guinness and Stone IPA, cry out for attention. The cinnamon-infused, pastry-wrapped Xango cheesecake ($4.99) lives up to its namesake, a Greek village carved from a single puff pastry.
Inspired by Brazilian gaucho—or cowboy—style of cooking meats, the owners and chefs of Brazaviva Churrascaria opened their restaurant and devoted its menu of endless dishes to the Old-World grilling method. As the restaurant describes it, the wayfaring gauchos roamed the expansive grasslands of Brazil's Rio Grande do Sul, skewering their meat dinners and roasting them over a fiery pit, before carving off thin slices to be shared around the fire.
Holding true to that tradition, the eatery's expert carvers bring skewers of fire-roasted beef, pork, lamb, chicken, and sausage tableside to pile plates high. Guests eat as much as they like, using a card that is green on one side and red on the other to indicate to the friendly staff carvers to keep the feast flowing, or to take a moment's savoring pause. Whatever belly room is left over after all cards go red calls for filling up with one of the eatery's unique desserts that swirl South American flavors such as passion fruit and papaya into rich smoothies and mousses. A collection of fine wines selected specially to compliment the charred flavors of the meats is available to complete the experience.
The ambience at Spice Room is romantic and intimate, thanks to the exposed brick walls, the gauzy draperies that hang from the ceiling, and the soft light that gently falls from globe fixtures overhead. The only thing warmer than the ambiance might be the food, though, thankfully, the spice level of the curries and noodles dishes can be adjusted to match the heat of diners’ passions or left mild to calm nerves during first dates or IRS audits.
When Tropical Acres Steakhouse first opened in 1949, a green palm tree festooned its simple menu of seven steaks, chops, and sandwiches. Today, the Studiale family tops tables with a vast menu of T-bones, porterhouses, strip steaks, and filet mignon seared in a bustling kitchen alongside pork chops and veal cutlets. Chefs ladle sauces whisked with horseradish and dill or lemon and capers over shrimp, scallops, and fillets of fish such as snapper and wild-caught salmon. Dark wood columns and beams encircle the dining room's tufted booths and wall-inlaid tanks filled with colorful fish and treasure chests billowing bubbles of steak sauce. Tropical Acres also caters events from luncheons to weddings with light or formal meals, and it hosts celebrations for up to 250 guests in a refined banquet room.