Temptations' accomplished founders and chefs are striving to create the first national Indian food chain in an effort to make fresh, all-natural Indian fare accessible everywhere in the country. The chefs prepare vegan and vegetarian options nightly, such as the bhindi dopiaza's tomato-smattered okra, and clay ovens churn out grilled dishes, such as murg tikka masala or tandoori chicken. Temptations also fills environmentally friendly boxes with portions of its food on college campuses, and the chefs spread their knowledge of Indian cuisine in cooking classes.
Sunlight streaks through large windows in Temptations' dining room as diners scarf down healthy Indian feasts beneath exposed-ductwork ceilings and soft orange lights. Live music fills the air on weekend nights, with sitars, world music, and kazoo symphonies typifying the sounds. Belly dancers have been known to take to the floors as well, captivating patrons with their hypnotizing hip undulations.
Blue Ginger’s chefs have no shortage of sources when they need inspiration for their next dish. Rather than limit their scope to a single region or country, they scan recipe books from across Asia and pick out their favorites as starting points. Some of the recipes they dig up date back centuries, but they’re more interested in looking toward the future than dwelling on the past.
It’s certainly a bright future they envision—one in which the best elements of various Asian cuisines have joined forces in the same dishes. There are even some influences from outside Asia that make it into the mix, as the duck fajitas and pan-roasted chilean sea bass will attest. This inclusive spirit isn’t just limited to the food. An extensive drink menu features imported beers, martinis blended with sake, and cocktails stirred with miniature world flags.
Tee Jaye's founders began preparing homestyle meals in 1970, a venture that spawned a string of 24-hour diners stuffed with delicious country fare. An egg-centric medley of dishes graces the all-day breakfast menu, with options such as the barnyard buster ($5.10)—two biscuits, two eggs, and country fries wallowing in a puddle of Tee Jaye's famous sausage gravy—and the sunshine sandwich ($6.95), grilled sourdough trapped under stacks of cheddar, swiss, ham, scrambled eggs, and hash browns. Turn to the lunch-and-dinner menu to find the answer to the sphinx's riddle ("sweet tea") as well as a spread of classic country-kitchen eats, including the chicken-fried chicken ($8.25), homemade meatloaf and dressing ($7.75), and Granny's grandburger ($7.95), a half-pound beef patty served with fries and a choice of three toppings. A tot-thrilling kids' menu ($2.49/breakfast; $3.49/lunch and dinner) and a crisp collection of summer flatbreads ($6.95+) round out the restaurant's dining selections.
The personable baristas at 5 Bean Coffee handcraft a caffeine-laden menu of hot, iced, and frozen beverages, crafted using locally roasted Crimson Cup coffee. Gradually stoke sleepwalking brains with a cup of freshly brewed joe ($1.60–$1.95) or restart frozen-flavor sensors by upgrading to a 5 Bean mocha ($3.10–$4.05), or vanilla latte ($2.90–$3.85). A chilly frozen-chai latte puts the freeze on sass-talking tongues ($3.60–$4) and a fruit smoothie helps fulfill the day’s un-meat requirements with a creamy sippable concoction ($3.80–$4.30).
Purveying pizzas and subs is a family affair for the friendly staffers at Flyers, who have been offering patrons saucy circulars and savory sandwiches since 1976. Like the devastating barrage of cake and ice cream that the Air Force drops on other countries during their birthday, The Bomber signature pizza bombards unsuspecting tasters with palatable flavors, particularly its combination of provolone cheese, mushroom, green peppers, and a gathering of meats ($7.99 for stromboli, $13.99 for 11"; $17.49 for 13"; $19.99 for 15"). Peruse pizza and sandwich options here.
PaPa Joe’s menu (varies slightly between locations) specializes in replacing stomach voids with satisfying subs and tasty pizzas. Start with an eight-piece arrangement of wings ($4.95) whose sauces are kept secret unless you can guess your server’s middle name and favorite Muppet. After an antipasto salad ($6) spiced up with pepperoni, mushrooms, salami, tomatoes, and non-faux cheese, procure a personal seven-inch pizza ($4.25) with a topping of your choice. Or give your body’s gas tank a fright with one of PaPa Joe’s famous two-foot monster pizzas ($32.95 with one topping). You can also add extra summer to your summer by gargling a 10-inch Hawaiian pizza ($11.95)—which includes ham, bacon, black olives, and pineapple chunks—or sample all nine inches of the popular non-pizza, the richboy sub ($5.50+), served with ham, salami, peppers, and mozzarella.