When restaurateur Chris Papas set about creating a Greek taverna, he decided to serve simple, healthy dishes that follow the Mayo Clinic diet––less salt, more fresh herbs, and heart-healthy oils. Below the iron curves of hanging lights, tables hold specialty dishes such as greek lasagna and Aunt Geri's family-recipe moussaka. Fresh whole fish like snapper, bronzino, and dorade as well as filets of Pacific sea bass and sole are brought in daily. Shrimp and lamb souvlaki platters marinate in special Greek-imported spices in the kitchen before they're brought out to pair with more than 20 wines by the glass and 30 by the bottle. After taking a final bite of their gyro, guests can replace the desserts perpetually stolen from their windowsills with housemade baklava.
Firehouse Subs specializes in toasted signature sub rolls overflowing with hand-sliced steamed meats, Sargento cheeses, and fresh-cut toppings. The platter offers enough hearty fare to feed 10 people or appease one yeti. Stock up on shindig-friendly fare or shun the crowd for a more intimate gathering at a Firehouse location. Hoagie-hungry diners can take their pick of hot specialty subs such as the Firehouse meatball or the New York steamer, brimming with beef brisket, pastrami, and melted provolone (8-inch $5.89, 12-inch, $7.89). Satisfy a cool craving with a savory cold sub packed with white chicken salad (8-inch $5.49, 12-inch $7.49). Fresh-baked cookies come in three flavors ($.75 each) and the classic chocolate brownie stands alone ($1.09 each). Little ones can extinguish their hungers with a kids' meal that includes a sub-roll sandwich, drink, dessert, kid-sized fire hat, and directions to the nearest tree-bound kitten awaiting rescue.
You can travel through the entire Indian subcontinent with just one meal at India Grill & Bar. Chefs showcase the flavors of northern India by preparing tandoori specialties. They place options such as tiger prawns in a garlic marsala marinade or chicken slathered in yogurt and spices inside a cylindrical clay oven to impart the cuisine's slightly charred grilled flavor. They blend together spices to create a Goa-style vindaloo that emulates the flavorful curries of the south; they also craft pan-Indian flavors with their herb-infused basmati-rice biryanis. Chefs even borrow some key ingredients from the neighboring China to create Indian-Chinese fusion dishes such as gobi manchurian. The desserts also vary by region: northern Indians enjoy the honey-dunked pastries known as gulab jamun, whereas others cool off with kulfi—an Indian ice cream made from alphonso mango pulp, pistachios, and saffron.
A Latte Fun Indoor Playground and Café brims with happy chatter, which drifts from regular classes, special events, and open playtime seven days a week.
Children frolic across multicolored carpeted floors in a 6,000-square-foot playroom, exploring climbing structures, foam pits, and a floor-level trampoline that is kept safe by rounded edges, extensive padding, and declawed teddy bears. The playground eschews video games, prize games, and violent toys, instead letting older children don animal costumes in the dress-up area, while toddlers younger than 2 romp in their own play pit and toy bins. Cool zephyrs of air conditioning sweep contented sighs away from zebra-print sofas or onyx-hued wooden tables, where adults peruse a gourmet café menu. A boutique toy store extends the center's positive attitude toward play into homes with a slew of unique gifts and rare and eclectic toys.
A private room reverberates with the youthful energy of A Latte Fun Indoor Playground and Café's classes, formal functions, and parties, which staff members provide with refreshments, cake, and decorations. At least two assistants remain on hand at kids’ events to provide full setup, cleanup, and supervision to ward off squabbles that arise when imaginary friends show up wearing the same outfits.
Barber tools are not toys. But even as a child, Dennis Marquez couldn’t resist playing with his father's set of barber tools in the attic, as he told Wellington the Magazine in 2008. This early admiration led Dennis to train at many prestigious hair schools including Vidal Sassoon in London. More than 35 years ago, Dennis and his wife, Kristina, opened the first Pizzazz Hair Design. The venture succeeded: their business has grown to include five separate salons, many of which have gained praise from NBC 5. Each salon’s stylists, armed with Redken and GKhair products, consult with men, women, teens, and children before revamping their manes with cuts, foil highlights, and hair-smoothing treatments. At the adjoining spas in three of the five salons, technicians paint nails with OPI polishes and cleanse skin with botanical-based Pevonia products.
To stay up to date on current hair trends, each salon's beauticians attend continuing-education courses and dissolve fashion magazines older than three months in jars of barbicide. The Pizzazz team also gives back to the community by donating a portion of salon proceeds to the Adopt-A-Family organization.
When Dean Lavallee opened the first Park Avenue BBQ in 1988, he had one lofty mission in mind: to serve the best barbecue ever made. Despite the seemingly impossible nature of his goal, he and his team continue to rise to the challenge, dry-rubbing their meats to smoke and char-grill on-site. They use all-natural, grain-fed, domestic pork for their traditional and Carolina-style barbecue pork—pulled by hand—and only use fresh, never-frozen ribs that are smoked daily over hickory. As diners chow down on hearty homestyle sides, seafood platters, or buffalo wings tossed in one of six sauces, they can admire the dining room's pictures of their city's most prominent people, places, and robot mayors.
Park Avenue BBQ arranges their meats into fun, hearty dishes such as the Dempublican sandwich, which combines smoked pork and beef brisket separated only by cheese and bacon to create a sizeable sandwich that the team has dubbed "porkalicious". They whip up Funnybonz, which look and taste like miniature ribs, using tender, lean pork that's prepared by cooking up regular ribs beneath a shrink ray. In 2008, their dedication to each dish caused Cityvoter's users to name Park Avenue BBQ the best barbecue in town.