During the evening, 3 Brothers Deli and Brewhouse exudes the warm glow of an after-hours hangout, one where friends congregate and the faint din of chatter spills out into the parking lot every time the front door swings open. But it wasn't always this way. According to BoroPulse.com, just 100 days after brothers Rob and Eric Fortney opened their first Italian deli, it burned to the ground. Rather than throw in the towel, they spent half a year retooling and plotting a grand reopening that surpassed all their earlier ambitions. And this is what they came up with. The rebuilt and expanded 3 Brothers Deli and Brewhouse beckons loyal regulars to sip 1 of more than 60 beers or premium spirits while tackling a massive signature hoagie or pasta dinner. In a back room, a salacious lamp inspired by A Christmas Story illuminates a small collection of arcade games, including a pinball machine and a miniature bowling game designed to be played with tiny balls or unripe plums. In addition to these fun-filled diversions, the pub entertains guests throughout the week with a schedule of live music, open mic nights, and other events.
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% 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 H?agen-Dazs 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 to 160 restaurants in five years, 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.
The patty sculptors at Your Burger hand-form locally raised beef, Alaskan salmon, and vegan-friendly veggies into juicy patties crowned with a farmers’ market’s worth of local produce. Available at a buffet, toppings such as crisp onions, cool lettuce, and plump tomatoes hide and enhance certified Angus or grass-fed patties, just as footie pajamas both hide and enhance the existence of a person's flippers. Sides of sweet-potato fries and onion rings round out casual American meals, as staffers blend up creamy hand-dipped shakes and scoops of Edy's ice cream, providing a more pleasantly frosty epilogue than a cryogenically frozen narrator.
Just as Your Burger's patties outpace stereotypical burgers, its decor transcends typical quick-service eateries. An exposed stone divider cordons off the open kitchen, allowing guests to watch their meals being flipped as they recline near the purple-and-orange Edy's counter.
The chefs at Samurai's Cuisine don?t hide in the kitchen. Their cooking skills are on full display as they chop and set fire to chicken, steak, and seafood aplenty right at diner?s tables. The chefs cook food on a special hibachi grill, and they encourage guests to cheer as they flip pieces of shrimp high in the air and put a match to a tower crafted from onion rings. Across the eatery, a textured wave wall overlooks sushi chefs as they slices avocados, tuna, and jalape?os, tucking the combination into a maki roll topped with eel sauce and a dollop of spicy mayo. Meals are accented with martinis and thimbles of cognac. Alternatively, guests can have a server pluck a wine bottle from the floor-to-ceiling rack for the entire table to share.
Barbecue is about balance, about finding the right suspension of smoky and sweet flavors even if it requires hours of labor and patience. At Slick Pig BBQ, chefs achieve flavor harmony by slow cooking and saucing up meats—which range from classic ribs to honey-barbecue wings—and then plate them with requisite sides such as corn bread, turnip greens, and mac ‘n’ cheese. They also tantalize visitors with an array of Southern staples, frying up catfish, baking chess pie, and sweetening tea by telling it how special it is.
In 1991, tired of sating their late-night delivery cravings with pizza, University of Florida pals Matt Friedman and Adam Scott concocted an alternative snack in their frat house's kitchen. Many hours and tweaked sauce recipes later, the duo dispensed their brand of buffalo wings to the university?s students, selling out their stock in the first two nights. Since relocating from the frat house to its two original Gainesville storefronts, Wing Zone has opened nearly 100 locations nationwide, supplying wing lovers with boneless bites slathered in 15 award-winning flavors, including nuclear habanero, garlic parm, and blue buffalo. Three of the pair?s sauces have garnered awards at the National Buffalo Wing Festival, which recently inducted Adam and Scott into the Buffalo Wing "Hall of Flame," where they share reigniting duty every time a strong breeze extinguishes its symbolic eternal flame.