Willie's is a neighborhood eatery dedicated to classic American menu items, with a bevy of comfy-as-a-favorite-flannel appetizers and pub grub such as burgers, pizza, sandwiches, salads, wraps, and more. Adventurous appetites, however, will uncover exotic flavors sprinkled amongst the chicken stir fry ($12.95); the half-pound southwest burger ($8.95) smothered in Monterey Jack and cheddar, barbecue sauce, and pico de gallo; the tropical topical Hawaiian chicken sandwich ($8.95); and ethereal delicacies known as "wings" ($4.95–$11.95). Bulk up for the season's mixed martial shuffleboarding tournaments with the Monte Cristo sandwich ($8.95), a hearty helping of turkey, ham, and swiss in egg-battered bread that's deep-fried and served with powdered sugar and a strawberry jam session. Willie's has also tailored a summer menu meant to be enjoyed on its sunny outdoor patio, along with a slenderizing, sundress-flattering lighter side menu, where all meals are less than 500 calories.
Working within a lofty stone structure, Geisha Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Bar’s chefs sear Asian entrees on hibachi grills and tuck French-inspired tidbits into specialty sushi. Across the chic, plum-hued dining room, they’ll sizzle succulent hibachi meats, fresh vegetables, and incriminating tax documents atop slick grill tables. Otherwise, they can pull from a dinner menu filled with fusion entrees such as shrimp and lobster risotto, and Jekyll-and-Hyde pad thai.
Melodie's Coffee Café sates grumbling tummies with a menu brimming with traditional and specialty beverages, baked pastry treats, and daily lunch specials. Caffeinate sleepy souls with the italian cappuccino ($2.30 for a 6 oz.), coat throats with an iced chai tea ($3.30 for 12 oz.), or indulge in the sweet stylings of a Milky Way constructed from espresso, steamed milk, and a caramel galaxy swimming with 400 billion chocolate stars ($3.80 for 12 oz.). Inner food processors howling for heavier dishes can fuel up with one of Melodie's specialty dishes including hot paninis, soups, salads, and belgian waffles (only on Saturday and Sundays). For a sweeter treat, bite into a cinnamon roll ($2.75) or lick away a cake-cone-swaddling soft-serve ice cream ($1.60–$1.90).
Essencha's leisurely tea lunch begins with your selection of either a hot pot of tea or a shot of matcha (finely milled green tea). The tea house lets you choose from over 70 varieties of high-quality blacks, oolongs, greens, whites, rooibos, herbals, and organic flavors. Essencha's passionate staff of tea-totalers will help you navigate this voluminous variety until you find the tea you never knew you craved. Next, a soup of the day or miso soup stretches tongue tendons, followed by a fruit salad or a café salad with seasonal greens, veggies, dried fruit, pine nuts, and lemon vinaigrette. After you fill up on finger sandwiches with your non-teacupped free hand, enjoy a scone paired with clotted cream and jam. A cupcake or triple-chocolate-chunk brownie caps off a meal fit for tea tycoons and tea-drinking raccoons alike.
To help readers venture beyond classic children’s tomes such as Dr. Seuss and Last Exit to Brooklyn, Blue Manatee will happily introduce you to the latest in li’l lit. Escape to the city with Brown Rabbit in a new title by Natalie Russell, or investigate the adventures of Origami Yoda with a pint-sized padawan Star Wars fan. Slightly older readers, meanwhile, can stock up on award winners such as Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book, a macabre re-imagining of The Jungle Book. Check out the list of recently released titles, or peruse the shelves to find books for babies (prices vary). Blue Manatee also offers a unique gift selection of Uglydolls ($6–$22) and puzzles (starting at $9.99). Blue Manatee is open daily.
Blue Chip Cookies’ delectables have sated the toothsome taste buds of dessert-deprived sugar mongers for more than 25 years. The handmade chewy rounds are concocted with real butter, premium Guittard and Ghiradelli chocolate, and pure cane sugar. Blue Chip's recipes contain no artificial preservatives or trans fats. Sink teeth into a variety of the shop’s signature cookies ($7.50 for a half-dozen; $13 for a dozen), including chocolate chip, peanut butter, oatmeal raisin, and Blue Chip joy, a tasty trifecta of coconut, almonds, and chocolate chips—all mingling, networking, and schmoozing to be the cookie’s number-one ingredient. Pint-sized confections can be paired with a sip from Blue Chip Cookies’ drinkable menu, featuring steaming cups of gourmet coffee ($1.85 for a large) made from freshly roasted coffee beans ($14 for a one-pound bag) and fruit-packed smoothies ($2.75 for a medium), perfect for cooling off scorching mouth pipes or recently-branded tongues recovering from your knitting group's controversial initiation ritual.
The creative culinarians at Aquarius Star’s Om Café transform organic, local ingredients into savory salads, sandwiches, and wraps that pair perfectly with fair-trade coffee and tea. The menu offers meat-free munchers a slew of vegetarian and vegan options, including the shareable organic hummus and veggie plate ($8.75), Om’s grilled blackened-tofu wrap ($8.75), and the Om salad, topped with raw nuts and homemade lemon-garlic dressing ($9.75). Om Café's Double Decker turkey sandwich ($9.25) delights eco-conscious carnivores with its blend of free-range turkey, locally sourced veggies, and organic mustard, mayonnaise, or aioli.