Against vibrant red walls, a large mural paints a scene of two young lovers embracing beneath the glow of stars and streetlights on an Italian boulevard. It's an ideal evocation of Rossini Cucina Italiana's private dining nooks, where couples can retreat to enjoy an authentic Italian meal bathed in soft, romantic light from a wall-hung lantern. Of course, guests can also reserve a table in the brightly lit dining area, grab a seat on the outdoor patio, or initiate a massage train with all of the other patrons to experience a more communal vibe. As patrons relax in the elegant eatery, chef Tony whips up traditional handmade pastas, hand-cuts tender beef fillets, and drapes seafood entrees in subtle wine sauces. He also offers the Feed Me Tony option, where he'll personally customize feasts from start to finish and pair the appropriate wines to each course.
Mazzio's Italian Eatery's staff rolls out a buffet for lunch and dinner populated with tasty Italian cuisine that they also serve à la carte. The restaurant's staff has been perfecting its culinary modus operandi for more than 50 years, long enough to evolve the pizza selection to include three levels of thickness. Chefs bake standard, deep-dish, and thin crusts—available in gluten-free form—and load each with toppings such as caramelized onions and giant pepperoni. The kitchen makes pasta plates to order, some baked in the oven, such as lasagna, and some tossed in sauce, such as the mainstay spaghetti and meatballs. The signature calzone radiates the ambrosial scent of pizza dough stuffed with meat and cheese, and it's meant to be shared, unlike a pogo stick.
At Sloppy Joe's, sandwich specialist Eddie Deuschle doles out a hearty menu of homemade comfort fare, including barbecue, po boys, and the eatery's eponymous bun-based creation, served through a convenient drive-thru window. Derived from an old family recipe, the sloppy joe ($2.99) vies for finger-staining superiority with a hickory-smoked pulled-pork sandwich ($3.99) slathered with barbecue sauce and coleslaw served on a jumbo bun. Ham, pork, swiss cheese, and pickles get cozy in the cuban panini ($4.49), and roast beef luxuriates in gravy on the new orleans po boy ($4.99). Breadless options include Joe's apple-pecan salad ($3.99/half, $6.99/whole) topped with grilled chicken, fruit, nuts, and feta. Committed to speedy service, Sloppy Joe's lets patrons call in orders in advance and only employs staff members who can summarize the entire menu in a terse haiku.
In 1937, Vernon Rudolph founded Krispy Kreme in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, with the first location on South Main Street in Old Salem. Seventy-seven years later, his secret doughnut recipe lives on within hundreds of Krispy Kreme locations, serving premium sweet treats across the globe.
The entire doughnut-making process, which customers can view up close and personal at many of Krispy Kreme’s outposts, begins with fresh ingredients and ends with the click of a fluorescent sign bearing the words, "Hot Doughnuts Now." From the original, mold-breaking glazed doughnut to newer doughnut varieties, such as Chocolate Iced with Kreme Filling, Glazed Raspberry Filled, and Glazed Chocolate Cake, each round dainty pairs with piping-hot coffee for a compact snack.
The Cookie Store helps its customers to satisfy their sweet teeth with an extensive assortment of fresh-baked cookies and seven types of smoothies. From classics such as chocolate chip to more inventive flavors including snickerdoodle, honey oatmeal raisin walnut, and heath-bar toffee, The Cookie Store’s bakers concoct a spread of delicious bite-size treats daily. In addition to cookie trays and tins, bakers create custom cookie cakes in a variety of different shapes, including hearts and circles, that can be decorated with birthday messages, cartoon characters, or interpretations of Jackson Pollock masterworks.
Amid a modern, sunlit space, the Blue Moon Cafe's extensive menu populates plates with more than 30 creative sandwiches, burgers, wraps, and more alongside fresh salads and daily soup selections. Standard sandwiches such as the turkey swiss ($6.25) and the B.L.T. ($6) satisfy cravings for the classics, and innovative eats enchant palates with such exotic fare as the spicy pork sandwich, draping apple-smoked pork loin in spicy pepper-jack cheese beneath chipotle mayo and creamy barbecue ranch sauce ($6.25). Like an indecisive Broadway star, sandwich savants customize each creation to customers' whims, serving sandwiches grilled or cold on an array of bread and wrap options. More than 20 bottled beers from Bud Light to Sierra Nevada balance meals with bubbly refreshment and a daily rotation of desserts thank taste buds for their steadfast savoring and stamp-licking prowess.