Indian cuisine is famously complex, but diners at Koyla Indian Restaurant get at least a peek at how it's prepared. The restaurant's signature cooking method is right in the name—koyla means "coal"—and chefs use its heat in full view within an open kitchen. Cinnamon and cloves, garlic and saffron fill the air as marinated chicken, shrimp, and goat simmer and sizzle. Although grounded in the cuisine of Northern India, founder Deep Singh and his chefs demonstrate a strong taste for experimentation. That's evident in the large menu's Indo-Chinese section, which holds hybrids such as chili paneer—the traditional Indian cheese spiked with house-made chili sauce. Pesto chicken and calamari masala reflect Singh's time as the proprietor of a small Italian cafe.
A mural of an especially cuddly-looking Taj Mahal brightens one wall of Koyla's softly-lit dining room. The motif continues as painted chili peppers wind around the room behind an ample buffet, served alongside champagne on the weekends.
Eddie's Pizzeria & Eatery answers an ancient culinary dilemma: do we go out for pizza or stay in for Mom's meatloaf? Serving New World fare, the restaurant satisfies cravings in a single sweep. Even its pizzas champion this culinary marriage—New York–style pies arrive speckled with traditional toppings as well as premium options, such as rosemary ham. Yet, despite such culinary fusion, the pies never lose sight of their roots. Margherita pizza recalls the dish’s Italian heritage, whereas a 10-inch gourmet Bada Bing represents pizza’s modern stomping grounds with sausage, gorgonzola, and a mini “I Heart NY” shirt.
The menu also explores a large landscape of pasta entrees, from four-cheese ravioli to penne sautéed with mushrooms in a tomato-cream sauce. Meatier plates continue to span continents, with chicken parmesan prepped near st. louis ribs and handcrafted Angus burgers. As patrons strip tangy wings bare, they can watch the venue's eight televisions, two of which boast 70-inch HD screens.
Just because Indian food is filled with spices doesn't mean it has to set your tongue on fire. That's the philosophy at Haandi Indian Cuisine, where chefs, owners, and brothers Hartaj and Sartaj Singh use a bevy of North Indian spices when flavoring their authentic dishes. A careful dash of chili has the power to elevate a mild dish to the medium threshold or even to "Indian spicy," but only when the customer asks for it. Tandoori clay ovens churn out discs of piping hot naan bread and platters of marinated meats and seafood, while vegan dishes come together without the use of meat, dairy, or catnip.
The chefs at Taco Hut grill up an expansive menu of traditional Mexican fare, as well as breakfast served all day. Greet the sun with a morning-time dose of chorizo and eggs ($7.99) or crack open a huevo ranchero breakfast burrito ($5.49) and prep for a full day of practicing axe-slashing skills on a neighbor’s picket fence. Patrons can explore the vast expanses of rice and beans strewn across a combo plate, as taste buds journey to the dish's main attraction: steak or chicken fajitas ($10.99). A chicken burrito ($6.99) sates hunger pangs and two tacos with a choice of meat ($7.99) occupy idle hands while diners use their feet to trim their mustaches.
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Wake snoozing taste buds with a hearty starter such as mozzarella suprema breadsticks adorned with natural cheese and herbs ($3.95 side; $5.95 large) before moving onto a signature fire-roasted pie. An authentic terra-cotta oven blasts RedBrick's prided circles with more than 1,000 degrees of heat, alchemically transforming their base dough into crispy gold in less than three minutes. Enjoy stationary drive-in dining with a bacon-cheeseburger pizza topped with ground beef and three kinds of cheese ($17.95 for a 14"), or graze on the veggie gourmet works, which comes loaded with a Peter Piper's worth of fresh vegetables including bell peppers, artichokes, and mushrooms, swaddled in your choice of a vegetarian red or white sauce ($17.95 for a 14"). Create-your-own pies are also available, providing palate-pleasing fill-in-the-blanks for the munching mad-libbest. Yowling sweet teeth can be silenced with a dessert of gourmet gelato or a surprise dinner visit from the dentist's wife, the librarian.