Sweet Marlays' Coffee takes its moniker from the middle name that owner Tammy Kozinski shares with her four daughters and granddaughter. Visitors find members of the family hard at work behind the counter, brewing up coffee from hand-selected beans and baking delicious pastries and desserts. Guests sip coffee drinks spiked with Ghirardelli chocolate and butter pecan, or Irish cream and English toffee, pairing cups with homemade pastries, desserts, bagels, turkey-pesto paninis, and flaky-crust spinach pies.
For more than 30 years, Farah's on the Avenue has been marrying a Mediterranean mentality with an American palate in a bright atrium bursting with hanging plants and natural light. Barge in on bored taste buds fantasizing about unknown tongues with appetizers that include falafel fried to a crisp, arriving adjacent warm pita bread and tahini ($7.95), or hummus with submergible pita pieces ($6.95). Flatbread pizzas clamor for attention atop toasted pita crusts ($7.95), from the ornately dressed barbecue-chicken variety to the scantily clad margherita pizza in crust-exposing fresh basil, red onions, tomatoes, romano, feta cheese, and marinara sauce. Mediterranean pasta makes an appearance in a multitude of ways, topped with chicken ($13.95), shrimp ($15.95), or tofu ($13.95), and made to mingle with artichokes, garlic, capers, sundried tomatoes, and feta cheese drizzled with a concoction of white wine and olive oil that also happens to be a favorite among those looking for an olive-based wine-spritzer alternative.
Heaping platters of steamed fish embellished with ginger and scallions, and piping vats of caramel shrimp and pork stew sit at the center of the table at Ánh Hồng Restaurant. Voted best of Yelp and a Zagat award winner, Ánh Hồng Restaurant serves up family-sized portions that encourage friends and relatives to indulge in not just traditional Vietnamese specialties, but also a shared dining experience. The family-style eatery caters to single and small group diners as well, whether they are vegetarians ready to dive into a pile of lemongrass tofu, or vigilant meat eaters enjoying pork fried rice or chicken pho, a popular Vietnamese soup. The menu also boasts plenty of options for dessert, including mango and strawberry smoothies and Vietnamese puddings made from fruit and fresh milk from the chef’s pet cow’s coconut.
Slurp an 8-ounce cup of mushroom-brie soup ($2.69) or bite into a hearty honey-turkey wrap with colby jack, tomato, and mustard ($6.89). Green day's menu offers lettuce, veggies, and savory dressings spread out in a salad or rolled into a wrap. Fans of fiery flavors can try the buffalo chicken wrap tempered by cool gorgonzola ($6.89). Selections come sided with choice of veggie chips or broccoli crunch (florets flavored up by sunflower seeds and raisins). Energy seekers can rev up naturally with an antioxidant-rich guzzle of cool Via Blast ($4.89). Kids' options are also available.
The neighborhood noshery serves up fast-casual fare for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and is an ideal place to linger over a fresh lunch or scarf up sustenance before a tap-dance battle. Break your nightly fast with an order of the Nutella Belgian waffle with strawberries ($5.50) or a pair of Virgin Olive's breakfast tacos ($3.25+) loaded with eggs, cheese, and salsa. The lunch and dinner offerings include savory sandwiches—available either hot or cold—and scrumptious salads. Herbivores looking for a hearty hand-held meal will enjoy the Flower Child, a swiss cheese and cucumber sandwich seasoned with roasted pumpkin seeds and veggies and a spread of apricot cream cheese ($5.50), while the carnivorally inclined will quell red-meat cravings with The Brute, a roast beef and havarti concoction on ciabatta ($6.50). Salads offer vitamin-enhanced eats such as the Olive Oyl, which blankets baby spinach leaves with turkey breast, gorgonzola cheese, walnuts, and fresh strawberries and pears ($5.95), or the fresh mozzarella, tomato, olive, and basily caprese ($5.95).