Ralph's Market expands on the family legacy started by the original father-son team who opened their first store in 1984. The staff maintains the store's independence as it branches out to serve multiple locations around the region.
The aromas of traditional king cakes and seasonal floral arrangements welcome visitors to each store, where carts weave through rows of vibrant fruits and veggies. In the meat department, butchers slice Ralph's market premium-aged special reserve steaks and wrap up fish fresher than a pickup line stored in tupperware.
Under the on-site supervision of Brooklyn-ite owner and longtime pizza sage Omar, Roma Pizza’s pie-throwers skillfully knead their dough, slather on a potent combination of rich sauce and cheese, and bake until crusts are golden and bubbly. The thin crust and wide circumference of this authentic New York–style pizza will have you dreaming wistfully of quiet cobbled streets in Italy or screaming cabbies in Queens. A savory series of preconceived pies includes such crust-framed masterworks as the BBQ Chicken ($10.99–$16.99), Meat Lovers ($11.99–$16.99), and Hawaiian pizzas ($11.99–$16.99). Solo pie-packers include a hearty array of artichokes, roasted red peppers, spicy jalapenos, and a bevy of other delectable adornments. Calzones stuffed with ricotta and mozzarella cheeses range from traditional pepperoni or sausage ($9.99) to the shocking avant-garde of folded foods—the Philly cheesesteak ($10.99). Hot and cold subs are all priced at $6.99 and come dressed with your choice of cheese. Open seven days a week, Roma Pizza is constantly at the ready to serve a quick lunchtime slice to daytime workers or a dozen large pies to protesters rallying for more lenient cheese laws.
A homegrown success story with a slew of awards and nearly 40 years of history, Popeyes has introduced its menu of Louisiana eats to taste seekers around the globe. Rather than downloading low-quality, unsatisfying meals through the Internet, packs can pick up Popeyes’ family-style meals, pairing eight pieces of Cajun fried chicken with four buttermilk biscuits and a side of award-winning rice and beans ($16.99). A po boy stuffed with crunchy shrimp ($3.49) makes a splash in lunchboxes, and chicken nuggets ($2.49 for six pieces) surf into mouths on waves of refreshing sweet tea ($2.99/gal.).
At Rocco's New Orleans Style Poboys & Cafe, chef Troy Moreau channels Big Easy culinary traditions into a menu rife with po boys and Cajun dishes. Each po boy begins with classic french bread that, like a spit-roasted marshmallow Peep, has a crisp crust and a light, airy interior. The roast-beef po boy drips with homemade brown gravy ($9.49 for a whole), and the frito's Cajun-spiced fried-chicken po boy ($8.99 for a whole) brims with piquant flavors. In keeping with tradition, chefs dress all po boys with lettuce, tomato, mayo, and pickles. Chicken-and-sausage gumbo ($3.99 for a cup) and a basket of crispy fried shrimp quell seafood cravings in tandem with fries and hush puppies ($9.99). The eatery's TVs light up with high-octane sporting events or adrenaline-pumping home-shopping programs as fans sip Miller Lite and Killian's brews.
If the wooden tables that stretch across Country Kitchen’s dining room were any less sturdy, they would buckle under the weight of the sizzling platters of Southern fare that chefs trot out for unlimited buffets. Old-time recipes of fried and baked chicken vie for attention alongside a menu of specialties that rotate daily; the weekend’s seafood gumbo and fried catfish give way to succulent barbecued sausages that can spice up any Monday. Southern cuisine is known for its show-stealing sides and desserts, and Country Kitchen delivers in spades on both counts. Fried hush puppies and vegetable dishes refuse to take a backseat to their main-course counterparts, and a dessert bar exudes nostalgia with heaping servings of bread pudding, peach cobbler, and ice cream. Between bites, guests seated under cheerful framed artworks or beside a colorful rooster statue can reminisce about childhoods spent wrestling catfish or plucking ripe morsels of corn bread fresh from the vine.
Since 2003, Charlie Brown's Family Sports Grill & Bar has paired an extensive menu of grilled sandwiches, steaks, and seafood with a feast for the eyes made up of 25 large flatscreen televisions. The restaurant's buffalo chicken wings come with or without bones, just like the majestic buffalo chickens of yesteryear, and its charbroiled and grilled burgers are piled with enough delicious bacon, cheese, and sautéed mushrooms to distract children from the kids' arcade for a while. Dishes such as fried soft-shell crab and shrimp alfredo offer a seafood angle to the entree list, which also documents chicken-fried steak and 14-ounce rib eyes served, and 8-ounce filets served with with veggies and mashed potatoes. To help guests to wash down hearty meals and salute the local sports memorabilia draped on the walls, the bartenders have composed a long list of beers, specialty drinks, and wines.