Within Anand Indian Restaurant's bustling kitchen, a team of culinary alchemists carefully blends herbs and spices for its diverse range of Indian dishes. The chefs call upon North Indian traditions to craft tandoori plates, where a special clay oven locks seasoned juices inside cuts of meat better than a mime gives directions to the highway. Meanwhile, South Indian recipes forge Uttappam, Indian-style pancakes crowned with chilis and vegetables, and dosa, thin rice crêpes bundled with savory fillings. Meanwhile, more than 20 meatless dishes offer mouthfuls of creamed lentils, house-made cheese cubes, and sweet baby carrots imbued with light spices.
La Petite France's proprietor, Daniele Crandall, grew up in France, where she spent her youth working in family restaurants before emigrating to the United States in 1964. She stayed in touch with her roots by teaching French to students before eventually deciding that it was time to return to the kitchen with her family members.
Today, they bustle among pots of steaming port with sun-dried tomatoes—which will become a demi-glace for duck—and crackling skillets of salmon, endives, shallots, and white wine. They plate filet mignon and pâté that the Cincinnati Enquirer said “has a nice rustic texture, more like a fine meatloaf than a liver pâaté, with a hint of clove or allspice. Little sour cornichon pickles accompany it, just as they do in thousands of bistros and restaurants all over France.” Beneath glittering chandeliers, the glow of fireplaces dances across tables clad in white tablecloths, like a maitre d’ who forgot his uniform. A stained-glass mural depicts the idyllic charm of Peillon in Provence, France, as diners sup on three-course dinners, enjoy tastings of California wines, or sip cocktails and listen to live music during catered banquets.
Smashburger isn't just the name?it's the way chefs, otherwise known as Burger Smashers, cook every burger. First, they form never-frozen, 100% Certified Angus Beef into a giant meatball. Then they season it, place it on a butter-glazed grill, and smash it into a patty. The process caramelizes the beef, locking in flavor while keeping the meat juicy and tender. Each slab is then sandwiched in an artisan bun and is turned into one of an array of standard burgers or locally inspired specialties unique to each market.
This handcrafting approach typifies everything else the restaurant does, from blending handspun shakes to hand painting Smashburger's logo onto every beverage cup. Letting its food stand for itself and relying mostly on word of mouth for advertising, the Smashburger franchise expanded from one restaurant in 2007 to 220 today, with its swift growth from zero to 100 stores making it one of the nation's fastest-growing restaurant companies. This rapid development even caught the attention of Forbes and Inc. along the way.
A number of housemade sauces add depth to Through the Garden’s dishes. Sweet, smoky barbecue sauce glistens across each rack of ribs, basil-garlic butter softens the deep flavors of char-grilled chicken breast, and garlic-dill sauce pools around the edges of crab cakes, proving that gravity may in fact exist. Bright-yellow walls and wooden floors surround tables scattered with American meals, including Cajun scallops nestled in angel-hair pasta and homemade barbarosa burgers baptized with splashes of beer. Outside, a white fence cordons off the stone-paved patio with oversized umbrellas.
Chefs at Dos Amigos pride themselves on the extensive menu of traditional Mexican favorites, as well as their smattering of unique dishes that customers can rarely find elsewhere. In addition to classics such as succulent carnitas and vegetarian-friendly spinach enchiladas, they harness the natural sweetness of seafood to forge house specialties including lobster chimichangas and fried-shrimp burritos. This family-owned-and-operated eatery also makes it easy to bring the whole clan, allowing kids to eat for $1 on Thursdays and hosting a daily happy hour ideal for atoning after misplacing your in-laws again.
At Cafe Mediterranean, chefs strew tender chunks of lamb and beef with ribbons of virgin olive oil and fragrant spices. The menu spotlights seasonal fruits and veggies, saving them from dull fates as still-life models. Though recipes hail from Egypt, Morocco, and Lebanon, Turkish cuisine proves the chief focus: Turkish spices grace the shish and doner kebabs, and specialty Turkish beverages such as ayran cleanse palates and grant a break from arduous chewing.