Previous business owners and fellow church-goers Kathy and Jennifer decided to combine their experience and favorite recipes to create K & J’s Café. The joint serves a mixture of diner food and soul food, from all-beef hot dogs slathered in chili and onions to weeknight specials such as meatloaf or baked spaghetti. They also cater off-site events, trucking around steaming hot trays of signature meats, seasonal fruit displays, and homemade designer cupcakes.
At Double Apple, Mahmoud “Joe” Migdadi applies his culinary sensibilities to both Mediterranean and classic American dishes, crafting lamb with tzatziki sauce as well as dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets for kids. Nine types of shawarma, homemade chickpea hummus, and original smoothies stand out among the Mediterranean choices, which The Roanoke Times calls "flavorful" and "healthy." The dining room, which is divided into cozy compartments, surrounds guests with Middle Eastern décor that continues into the upper level's hookah café. There, a separate ventilation system filters smoke from hookahs loaded with fruit flavors such as grape mint and margarita, which are available with or without tobacco and wish-granting genies.
Energetic live music pulsates across the spacious quarters of Growler’s American Grill and Venue—once known as Awful Arthur’s Towers—as barkeeps fill mugs and growlers with local pale and brown ales, porters, and a slew of bottled favorites. Platefuls of hearty American and Southern favorites, from meatloaf sandwiches to fish 'n' chips, energize diners to take the stage for a round of karaoke, with the background music supplied by a DJ, live band, or brownnosing date.
The staff at Yogurt Cafe fills self-serve yogurt machines with a menu of flavors that rotate every 10 days. Guests sculpt smooth, spiraling hillocks of frozen yogurt ($0.45/ounce) in flavors such as carrot cake, classic vanilla or chocolate, and mango tango and heap on ornaments from a range of more than 50 toppings. Fresh fruit, candy corn, and butterscotch sauce help hide snowy yogurt peaks from scorned skiers, and the aromas of roasting Caribou coffee ($1.50–$1.70) drift in earthy clouds over mochas ($4.25), which warm up frozen windpipes and sluggish neurons. Sweet teeth sink into baked delights such as raspberry- walnut pastries ($1.99 for three) and blueberry scones ($2.25) to quiet tummies grumbling like Smokey the Bear touring a fireworks factory, and patrons check emails on Yogurt Cafe's free WiFi.
Henry's brings the flavor of Memphis barbecue to the hungry citizens of Roanoke, slinging smoked meats, Memphis-style dry rubs, and signature sauces. In a smoker made of multiplatinum country records, the barbecued meats are slow cooked over charcoal fires and smoking chunks of hickory wood to achieve award-winning taste.
Soro Chill and Grille's glass-lined door stands as a gateway to creative drinks, contemporary Southern cooking, and the sounds of local bands strumming familiar tunes. The menu unfolds to reveal appetizers brimming with seafood and creole sauces meant to be sopped up with crusty french bread or unusually absorbent mustaches. Entrees of pasta, steaks, and roast chicken follow the same Southern traditions by donning Cajun blackened spices or piquant barbecue sauce, inspiring diners to finger paint plates with love letters to the chef. Soro's commitment to supporting the community extends past menu ingredients to locally made furniture and live music performed by Roanoke artists. The welcoming stone fireplace warms guests, and a large communal table encourages mingling or 30-person games of patty-cake.