Even in the morning, Clearman's Steak 'n Stein Inn takes its name seriously. The brunch menu lists five cuts that form the centerpiece for steak-and-egg platters, and the steak lover's omelet comes filled with three: filet mignon, new york strip steak, and rib eye. As for the "steins," drafts of Hefeweizen and Stella Artois begin pouring as soon as the restaurant opens.
Evening heralds the arrival of the restaurant's romantic side. A circular fireplace warms a ring of plush crimson benches, and soft, amber lighting illuminates the dark wood and brick interior and its stained-glass windows. An open charcoal fire roasts steaks, fish, and chicken for ample entrees, from the 16-oz. boneless rib eye to the Australian lobster tail dinner. Combination dinners allow guests to sample both steak and seafood without taking their backyard grill on a fishing trip. Supper ends with carefully hand-fired desserts, such as cr?me br?l?e cheesecake.
The chefs at FalconesPizza can cater to any pizza palate. Depending on a customer's personal tastes, they toss crusts that are hearty and thick or as thin as the parchment from which Leonardo da Vinci placed his first take-out order. Toppings, too, range from traditional flavors, such as the pesto, garlic, tomatoes, and fresh basil that make up the Napoli, to the inventive combination atop the shrimp pizza, which pairs succulent seafood with chorizo, pepperoni, and onions. Italian meats such as mortadella and capacolla join fresh mozzarella on salads and sandwiches, and family-style trays of baked ziti or lasagna keep large groups from taking over a grocery store.
Though Snowopolis got its name from the shop's 100+ flavors of tropical shaved ice (from cherry cola to white coconut), they don't just make desserts for the summertime. When the cool breezes start rolling in, the staff outfits each table with a tiny hibachi grill that roasts marshmallows to a crispy yet gooey finish, which diners use to spackle the ceiling or assemble into s'mores. Each creation can be customized with three flavors of graham crackers, indulgent spreads, and five brands of chocolate. The Snowopolis team has even curated their favorite flavor combinations, such as chocolate graham crackers with Ghirardelli mint chocolate, and a strawberry Nutella s'more.
Hot wings, New York-style pizza, and Philly steak sandwiches may be the signature foods of the east coast, but it's hard to imagine any restaurant treating them with more reverence than west-coast franchise Alondra Hot Wings. The eponymous wings are the house specialty, hot and slathered in one of 18 sauces. Ranked on a scale from mild to atomic?which requires a waiver to order?the sauces also include flavors such as lemon pepper, spicy barbecue, maple syrup, and thai chili.
Alondra's other major influence is written all over the menu?and the walls. Mug shots of famous mafiosi hang throughout the dining room, and the owners are so fascinated by the subject that their website even offers tutorials in mob history. Also from that old Italian-American milieu: pizzas built on from-scratch dough, bearing names such as The Godfather?a hearty amalgam of four meats?and the Little Italy, which flecks chicken breast with basil. Draft beer and wine help mouths cool down after biting into a hot wing or almost insulting the ghost of Al Capone.
Sunlight filters through the pergola framing Piccolo Mondo’s outdoor patio, where diners enjoy their meals amongst hanging plants and fresh air. The mottled stucco-style walls both inside and out complement the menu of traditional Italian cuisine. Nuggets of potato-based dough soak in marinara or gorgonzola sauce for the housemade gnocchi, and oven-baked pizzas—topped with ingredients such as shrimp, sundried tomato, and prosciutto—bring to mind the old country more effectively than watching the Three Tenors serenade a plate of pasta.
Tepiatl Mexico treats guests to a diverse spread of colorful, flavor-filled Mexican dishes from savory grilled steaks and hearty pork carnitas to zesty stuffed peppers and flaky sea bass. Like a beautiful still life painting printed on fruit leather, each meal is both delicious and a delight to behold, with elegantly plated morsels of avocado, grilled green onion, and a kaleidoscope of colored sauces. Diners can enjoy light meals of nopales cactus salad or salmon in Veracruzana sauce, or dig in to hearty dishes of cochinita pibil and ribeye steak.