Tawa’s executive chef crafts a diverse menu featuring traditional and contemporary takes on Indian culinary techniques. Tongues climb the spires of the inventive vegetarian vermicelli kebabs to liberate deep-fried potatoes stuffed with american cheese speared alongside paneer patties ($5.95). Chef Obhan draws on his upbringing by a family of culinarians in Mumbai to infuse baingan bhartha eggplant with an array of spices ($8.95) that let diners dabble in exotic flavors without the dangers of starting a food fight with Willy Wonka. Cooks dress charcoal-cooked tandoori chicken to speed-date cutlery in a red jacket of spices and yogurt sauce ($8.95), and the Sammundari sizzler platter calls together shrimp biryani with tandoori-cooked fish kebabs for medal-winning dives into panoply sauces ($17.95). Soothe spice-cloaked throats with authentic, nonalcoholic libations such as jeera and yogurt chaas, mango lassi, and Masala sodas ($2.50+).
Mirchi, a vast Indian eatery that seats 150, specializes in hyderabadi dhum biryani, a hearty rice dish that draws on both Mughlai and Andhra cuisines. Cooked via dhum—steamed over coals—the biryani sandwiches feature fillings such as steaming vegetables and traditional goat meat nestled in between layers of long-grained basmati rice. To complement biryani, the kitchen wraps crepe-like dosas around fragrant potatoes, roasts chicken in a clay tandoor, and delicately spices curries such as the chickpea-powered chana masala. Paneer-fried rice and other Indo-Chinese cuisine lend international flair to the menu like a UN meeting agenda written in glitter and puffy paint. Staffers can spice dishes to customer specifications to prevent undesired eye watering.
Philly Soft Pretzel Factory's bakers juggle snakes of dough, artfully twisting them into the familiar shape of pretzels. They sprinkle hearty crystals of salt over the trays, then stick their fresh-made snacks into the oven. As soon as the pretzel dough turns golden brown, the bakers retrieve their warm and soft creations and serve them alongside savory dips of mustard or cheese. In addition to traditional pretzels, the factory's pretzel dough surrounds all sorts of stuffings, from grilled hot dogs to all the ingredients of a classic philly cheesesteak.
You don't have to look far into the menu at Thumbs Up Chinese Restaurant to notice their authenticity. Each menu item is first written in Chinese symbols, with the English description and the level of spiciness following. Once your eyes make their way to the description, some of the ingredients may prove unique or untried, such as the edible tree fungus salad. Chefs cook up these unique dishes alongside classics such as Kung Pao chicken and fried buns topped with sweet cream. A true Chinese experience requires trying the Chongqing hot pot, in which staff serve Chinese food staples around a steaming pot in which guests cook cuts of meat and steam vegetables or wrinkled shirts. The restaurant's desserts take both unique and well-known forms, such as sweet sticky beads soup or scoops of ice cream.
The chefs at Bombay Wok delight taste buds with Asian fusion and Thai dishes made from scratch from traditional recipes. The menu is divided into four sections—lamb, seafood, chicken, and vegetarian entrees—and satisfies palates with such creations as lamb in red or panang Thai curries, coriander garlic paneer, and classic sweet and sour chicken. It also features rice and noodle dishes, plus desserts such as green-tea ice cream and kulfi.
Diners devour these dishes at three different locations; each has their own unique look, but also has common design elements. These include bold red and orange walls and wooden tables, plus Asian artwork featuring flying cranes and Buddhist temples.
Red Oak Cafe prepares nutritious pancakes and omelets for breakfast along with gyros, wraps, and burgers for lunch. Try a buffalo chicken wrap or pizza burger with mozzarella and marinara. The restaurant also serves triple-decker clubs and frankfurters with worldly influences, including a Texas dog with cole-slaw, barbecue sauce, and bacon and a Jamaican dog with jerk mayo and jalapeños.