Since opening their first location in 1996, Robeks Fruit Smoothie and Healthy Eats sends their customers well on their way to consuming their recommended daily intake for fruits vegetables, all through a portable smoothie. Customers can step up to the counter and order from a menu of berry, tropical, and “power” smoothies, the latter of which are named for extra boosts of vitamins A and C, fiber, and protein infused in the drink. Nearly a dozen different supplements lend their revitalizing nutrients to the menu, helping create power smoothies like the metabolism-boosting Venice Burner and the heart-healthy Cardio Cooler. Robeks also offers wraps, salads, and gourmet stuffed pretzels, and oatmeal raisin and chocolate chip “power” cookies. Each Robeks location makes a concerted effort to support the neighborhood it resides in, through local organizations, such as Save the Children.
Moe’s dishes out Southwestern savories in a friendly, pop-culture-inspired atmosphere in which ingredient freshness is taken seriously. Despite strong pressure from the powerful small-appliance lobby, Moe's never uses freezers, microwaves, animal fat, lard, MSG, or food reanimators. Scarf up some free chips and salsa before starting an appetizing affair with the Homewrecker Burrito ($6.89), which fills out its tortilla tuxedo with a pound and a half of meat, beans, rice, shredded cheese, pico de gallo, lettuce, sour cream, and guacamole. Chicken club quesadillas ($7.49) provide poultry-powered palate pleasure, while kids’ meals ($3.29+) allow mini-munchers to feel like grown-up gastronomes without having to tackle adult tasks like paying taxes or destroying incriminating evidence. As you slide into your seat, keep an ear out for the music—Moe's prides itself on only playing the tunes of dead musicians, most of whom were alive when their music was recorded.
At Lulu’s Bakery, students learn the art of decadent desserts in five weekend baking classes taught by Chef Rawl, a graduate of the French Culinary Institute in New York. Teach fingers to shape truffles of two varieties, mold caramel treats, and slip a chocolate coat over toffee's shoulders in the chocolate candies class. Dough reinvents itself as edible art in the sweet and savory tarts course, tastily enveloping quiche, creating a chocolate short crust around delicious ganache filling, and forming pastries more elegant than a powdered-wig fight. A bakery breakfast class teaches a.m. eaters how to construct fruit and cheese danishes and bake buttery scones, while a French desserts class whispers the mysteries of the crème brulee and the éclair into ears hungry for pastry knowledge.
The sound of fire. The igniting exhalation before the steady breath of the flame sustains. The heat pulsing steadily outward from the steel grill—you feel it on your glowing face. But the chef looks cool. He’s a master, after all; a flat, metal spatula in one hand and an enormous, sharp knife in the other. Kani House’s teppanyaki tables are no strangers to the action of hibachi, where these chefs entertain their guests before plating seared steak and scallops alongside fresh, sautéed vegetables. The steady sushi masters may not share their compatriots’ outward exuberance, but their work is just as delicious. From behind their long bar, they assemble maki cylinders with tender cuts of fatty tuna and bright salmon, artfully arranging cuts of more than 50 specialty rolls in the shape of gentle caterpillars or fearsome members of the Japanese Diet. Bright bamboo panels and natural stone add to the vibrant ambiance, surrounding diners with dark-wood and nuanced accents that keep the focus on the beauty of excellent cuisine.
CiCi?s Pizza combines the variety of a buffet with the thrill of bottomless pizza. Each pie is crafted with dough made from scratch daily and then slathered with homemade marinara and showered with toppings ranging from traditional pepperoni and Italian-style sausage to creative combinations including buffalo chicken and mac 'n' cheese. The buffet is stocked with a plethora of fresh pastas, as well as signature salads with the option to put tossing talents to the test at the salad bar. After they've feasted on savory options, diners can revisit the buffet for dessert including freshly baked brownies, slices of apple pizza, and cinnamon rolls drizzled with icing?or they can eat dessert first, thereby tearing an irreparable hole in the space-time continuum.
The Derby Sports Grille Pub's crew of cuisine crafters delivers a capacious menu of pub favorites and beverages. An appetizing arrangement of cheese sticks bathes in a marinara concoction ($6.50), and battered buffalo shrimp inhabit oceans of mild, medium, or hot sauce ($6.95). The deft cooks stack up the Derby Melt, an 8-ounce burger cushioned by marble-rye bread and melted swiss cheese ($8.95), and diners can dollop mounds of barbecue-infused pulled pork and coleslaw on waiting buns ($7.95). Order a mealtime multiplicity of wings engulfed in sauces both classic and inventive, such as teriyaki, lemon-pepper, or sweet and sour⎯all served bone in or out ($6.99 for 6, $7.99 for 10, $13.99 for 20). Any of these meals can be enjoyed with a mug of beer, a glass of wine, or a derby hat filled with cognac.