The sports-centric atmosphere at The Mulligan’s Pub lures big game-revelers with sports-beaming TVs and a menu of classic grill favorites. Kick off an ocular sports feast with appetizers such as homemade fried pickles battered, fried, and shot out of a T-shirt cannon onto plates ($6). The nurturing hoosier strom coddles ground beef, pepperoni, and saucy Italian marinara inside a doughy sleeping bag ($7), and juicy prime-rib sandwiches travel mouthward via hoagie-roll palanquin ($9). The Mr. October, a lemon-pepper-rubbed haddock hoagie, transforms stomach rumblings into nearly inaudible whimpers and takes its name from the famed inventor of Halloween ($9). Before going toe-to-toe with hearty entrees, and after thumb-wrestling with to-go boxes for possession of leftovers, patrons tipple draft brews from a collection of 16 domestic beers.
Embracing the true spirit of Italian cuisine, the chefs of Allegria Italiana draw from centuries of tradition, crafting classic dishes with bold flavors that stem from the ingredients' freshness and simple preparation. Evenings, servers transport steaming bowls filled with generous portions of homemade gnocchi tossed in zesty tomato sauce, pepper-encrusted beef tenderloin with tender, sweet shallots and mushrooms in a marsala sauce, or penne alla Vodka. Praised for their authentic desserts, the kitchen sends out Italian-style ricotta cheesecake, slabs of light and rich tiramisu, and cannoli.
The owners at The Oaks grew up in the area, and they treat their restaurant almost like a second home. This isn't just because their restaurant physically resembles a house, with its cavernous screened-in porch and french doors. It's primarily because community is important to them, and they make it their mission to define The Oaks by its welcoming, homey environment. It's also a point of pride to the owners that much of their staff has worked there since The Oaks opened in 2000, after the Y2K panic subsided and restaurants could once more sell noncanned food. To craft upscale comfort and pub food from scratch, the owners mined their families' recipe books. The result? Ribs, fried mac 'n' cheese, grilled-grouper reubens, and a slew of beefy burgers savored both indoors and under the patio's strung-up lights and parasols.
Armed with just a single, generations-old cookie recipe, Great American Cookies opened its first store in 1977, and the rest is history. Today, the franchise boasts locations in malls across the country and nabbed a coveted spot on Entrepreneur magazine?s 2012 Top 500 Franchises in the baked-goods category. As the shop?s reputation grew, so did its menu as chefs churned out a mouthwatering roster of gourmet-cookie recipes, each created and carefully tested in Atlanta. The tempting options now include snickerdoodle and chewy pecan supreme, as well as freshly baked fudge and cheesecake brownies, and cookie sandwiches stuffed with frosting. The real show-stoppers, however, are the giant chocolate-chip cookie cakes, which can be customized with sweet, celebratory messages or shopping lists penned in colorful icing.
Five growing boys equals five hungry mouths to feed. This is how Moe Elkasri got his start: cooking healthy food for himself and his brothers. Later, in 1990, this experience served him well when he opened the original Pita's Republic, which has since bloomed into 16 locations. His eateries focus on crafting food on-site that is flavorful and nutritious, unlike mints made from seaweed. To this end, most dishes start with whole grain pita bread, made from Moe's secret recipe, which wrap around protein such as fresh, marinated chicken. Low-fat yogurt forms the base of the tzaziki sauce, and gyro meat is broiled to rid it of excess fat. Vegetarians also find satisfaction here with pitas brimming with hummus, veggies, and tabouli.
There is an activity for family members of any age at Timeout Family Pub & Grub. While kids try to beat their top scores on the racecar-driving simulator, adults can catch the day's football games on massive projection screens or simply chat with friends as they shoot some pool. But when the food comes, the whole clan gathers back at the restaurant's dining counter. There, they enjoy hearty daily specials such as homemade shepherd's pie, meatloaf with mashed potatoes, and pulled pork sandwiches. Most days, the chefs include at least one seafood option to showcase the area's freshest catch and to appease the ghost in their oven who demands both land and sea tributes.