Padded black booths surround grills beneath gleaming hoods, which reflect the glow of sunset-orange walls as they sweep away rising warm air and spice-steeped aromas. On Palace Korean Bar & Grill's tabletop skillets, chefs sizzle menu items such as pearlescent curlicues of kimchi and cuts of seafood as well as bulgogi, spicy slices of brisket also known as Korean barbecue. During the all-you-can-eat special, silverware jangles endlessly like a knight looking for his car keys as diners tuck into bottomless helpings of marinated beef short ribs, tender marble brisket, spicy pork belly, and jumbo shrimp.
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.
The chefs at Go Philly Cheesesteaks & Wings do their best to recreate the atmosphere of a hole-in-the-wall cheesesteak joint in Philadelphia. They start by stocking the kitchen with the traditional fixings, from Cheese Whiz to sliced cuts of steak or chicken. Seven styles of cheesesteaks are available, starting with the traditional sandwich ingredients and adding in options such as barbecue sauce, mushrooms, or pepperoni. But cheesesteaks aren't the only classic they make in the kitchens. Chefs also toss wings in a signature blend of sauces and spices, and serve up filets of catfish with towering piles of fries that are structurally unsound by any city's regulations.
Whole-wheat grains. Fresh herbs. Kalamata olives. These are just a few of the wholesome ingredients that go into the sumptuous yet healthy cuisine served at Ammar's Mediterranean Grill. Each day, the restaurant's cooks turn out plates of flame-broiled kabobs, baked pastas, fresh seafood, and salads topped with made-from-scratch dressings, recreating the flavors one might taste while touring Italy or licking a boulder on Mount Olympus. Not every dish is strictly traditional, though; diners can also devour fusion specialties such as salmon gyros or fish and chips made with cod and Mediterranean spices.
Ah Badabing pays homage to the mob’s favorite pastime: eating pizza. Chefs sprinkle 26 different toppings, such as canadian bacon and capers, on top of crusts that range from 12-inch disks to a behemoth 30-inch circle that feeds up to 16 people or satisfies one restless alligator. The white pizza presents an Arctic landscape of pristine mozzarella, parmesan, and olive oil, and the pepperoni pizza contains vibrant chunks of meat resting atop a thick blanket of mozzarella.
Perry and Penny grew up together near Prosser, Washington in the 1970s, and were close friends throughout elementary school. More than 20 years later, the two rekindled their friendship but it wasn't all smooth sailing from the start. That year, Penny started making fortified blackberry wine, which Perry described as, "indescribably undrinkable." More than a little annoyed by this harsh judgment, Penny challenged Perry to do better. The result of this winemaking challenge was four cases of merlot that won a second-place ribbon among the amateur entrants at the Puyallup Fair. Stina's Cellars grew from this initial success, and over time production grew and grew, until finally the team was able to move into a small facility and officially open the winery for business in 2006.
At the winery, Perry and Penny—joined by helpful family and friends—make small batches of wine using grapes grown throughout eastern and western Washington. The type of wines they make changes frequently, but past bottles have included a dark and fruity syrah balanced by its bold tannic structure as well as an amber-hued roussane with hints of poached peaches and a pronounced nuttiness reminiscent of sherry. These wines appear on store shelves and restaurant menus throughout the region, but can also be sampled inside Stina's Cellars tasting room. Visitors are encouraged to stop in, try some samples, and attempt to guess which wine bottle contains a wish-granting genie.