When Mike Kantrow founded his original sandwich shop in 1979, he thought the name Byron's looked too boring. So, as he explains on his restaurant's website, he scratched the s and added a z to the end, giving birth to both a local legend with the Big Byronz sandwich and a local controversy over how to pronounce "Byronz." "If you want clarification on how to say it," Mike explains, "don't ask me."
So while regulars may fight over phonetics, few argue over the flavors infused in Bistro Byronz's southern-styled bistro cuisine. Hearty entrees anchor both the lunch and dinner menus, inviting diners to dig into the roasted potatoes that flank a French-cut pork chop marinated in Abita root beer. Comfort dishes soothe the soul, such as tender pot roast that wades in creole gravy and the signature Byronz sandwich with three types of meat, cheeses, dressing, and black olives.
Creole and Mexican culinary traditions are a natural fit for one another. Both rely on a healthy dose of spice, and both elevate comfort food. At The Oyster Bar and Grille, chefs draw on the region’s bounty of seafood as well as a range of Mexican recipes. They fill homemade tacos with hot crawfish and batter farm-raised catfish in homemade corn-meal mix. Splashes of champagne make mesquite-grilled oysters sparkle at tables in the dining room, where surfboards and lifebuoys adorn the wall. Murals of beach scenes seem to admit warming sunshine, and an aquarium lets amateur scuba divers practice looking a fish in the eye. High-top tables and stools around the full bar comfortably situate diners, who can also carry po’ boys and oysters on the half shell to the outdoor patio.
The meat specialists at Logan Farms Honey Glazed Hams pride themselves on their signature recipes for hams and turkeys. Each hand-trimmed cut is dry cured in a housemade low-sodium brine, smoked with hickory, and glazed in a blend of honey and spices before being spiral cut and packaged for in-store pickup or shipping. Staff also prepare gourmet meats ranging from akaushi beef to smoked texas brisket. Each of the company's nine locations features its own counter-service market café. Lunches—such as po' boys and grilled burgers—are served, and a range of gourmet groceries—such as mustards and bean blends—line the shelves.
Tableside belly dancers and traditional Mediterranean dishes entertain eaters at Albasha Greek & Lebanese Restaurant. Tender, juicy lamb shanks rest atop rice pilaf and are joined by hummus and sautéed pine nuts to complete the lamb-shank plate. Thinly sliced chicken marinated in garlic, oil, and Lebanese spices populates shawarma dishes, whereas butter-broiled shrimp kabobs simmer with the flavors of garlic and lemon juice.
Mingles’ menu of Southern classics features grilled wings, fried fish, and frosty brews. Among the most popular entrees is the chicken and waffle duo ($7.99), empowered by a posse of sides such as dirty rice and onion rings ($1.99 each). Wings arrive fresh from Mingles’ grill in a selection of savory suits, such as lemon pepper, garlic, parmesan, and honey barbecue ($6.99 for 10), while a triad of fried catfish strips satisfies peckish pescetarians ($6.99). Mingles compliments genial entrees with a variety of social events each week, fueled by draft beers, wines, and top-shelf spirits. Come on Thursday and Saturday nights for Karaoke and sing “That’s What Friends Are For” into sauce-covered wings, or arrive on Friday night to watch live bands court diners in a battle of the BFFs.
Fatboy's Grill & Bar stuffs stomachs with the one-and-a-half-pound patty of their signature The Fat Bastard burger and a savory smorgasbord of finger foods. Mouths that scale The Fat Bastard's tower of tender ground beef ($15.25) —so large that it must be housed within a 9-inch bun—can take in scenic views of the pepper or sweet-potato fries at its base and, if the weather's right, several nearby counties. Diners can also digest daintier burgers, such as the Bad Breath Little Bastard, whose 8-ounce hand-kneaded beef patty comes topped with grilled onions, swiss cheese, and a dollop of halitosis ($8.25). Patrons may also warm up their palates with a Hot Chick sandwich, spicy wing-sauce-covered pieces of chicken ($8.25) that make a perfect finish to a plate of Fat Baby meat pies ($6.75) and an evening practicing self-cryopreservation. Tunes emanating from the bar's TouchTunes jukebox keep hips shaking between the walls' array of neon signs until closing time—usually midnight or 2 a.m.