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.
Genji’s menu of traditional hibachi-style grill cuisine fires up the senses with a memorable dining experience that focuses on a sizzling grill and skilled chef dazzling diners with knife wielding dexterity. Stop in for lunch or dinner, grab a drink, listen to the fragrant aromas, and savor a helping of Genji sesame chicken ($15.99, dinner menu only), calamari ($5.99), or a N.Y. steak and scallops dinner ($19.99, dinner menu only). All dinners include a Japanese Shoyu soup, Genji salad, shrimp appetizer, vegetables, steamed rice, and tableside entertainment. Gaze at the grill in wonder, or simply watch the culinary flames flicker your pocket-sized scrying pool.
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).
When Man vs. Food host Adam Richman stopped into the Thurman Cafe to try a burger, he reported, "The sheer size and tastiness of this burger blew me away." Countless people have had similar reactions since 1942, when Nick Suclescy opened what has become a German Village landmark. It's since spawned a pair of Thurman To Go locations?including one right next door to the original restaurant?that make it easy to grab a burger while heading home from work or while taking a break from running a nearby marathon.
Inside the original cafe, memorabilia collected in the six decades since the spot opened cover the walls and ceilings, enveloping the weathered booths with pictures, signs, and other knickknacks. This laid-back atmosphere invites visitors to relax and get messy, which they almost certainly will: every burger on the menu is 3/4 of a pound and buried under heaps of toppings. That includes the Thurman burger, a glorious monstrosity of mozzarella, American cheese, mushrooms, peppers, mayo, and?taking the word hamburger literally?a hearty slice of ham.
Marco's Pizza founder Pasquale "Pat" Giammarco began helping out at his family?s pizzeria when he was just a boy. The eatery provided a taste of home to the Giammarco clan, who moved to the United States from Italy when Pat was 9 years old. Together with his father, young Pat learned the secrets to creating exceptional pizza sauce: three types of vine-ripened tomatoes and spices that can only be imported from Italy or the moon.
The perfected sauce recipe continues to guide Pat?s kitchen operations?although, these days he has considerably more help. Marco's Pizza has 350 locations in more than half the states as well as in the Bahamas, each store tossing fresh pizza dough daily before sprinkling on a trio of fresh, never-frozen cheeses.