Determined to make the best pizza possible, the chefs of Elsa's Eatery traveled to Italy, New York, and Boston's culture-rich North End in the name of research. Upon returning to Shrewsbury, they went to work crafting the best Neapolitan-style pizza possible, hand-made each day. They top it with ingredients such as pesto-infused mozzarella, sliced meatballs, and grilled chicken, before sliding the pie onto an imported pizza stone and baking it to a perfect crisp. But Elsa's isn't just about pies—they also have an extensive menu with other gourmet Italian specials and steak and seafood entrees. Most recently, they have started to present brunch on Saturdays and Sundays, boldly defying the international ban non-Sunday brunches.
Fresh, colorful fruits and vegetables fill the shelves of Weepin Willies, a local market that stocks produce and meats at two locations. Shoppers can find high quality cuts of beef, chicken, and pork, or opt for Boar’s Head meats and cheeses and prepared soups, salads, and sandwiches from the deli.
Bistro Bakery & Deli's artisanal flour specialists whip up batches of freshly baked goods to stock its hearty breakfast, lunch, bakery, and catering menus. Dive face-first into the gravitational pull of the more than 20 bagel varieties, including asiago cheese, spinach-garlic, and pumpernickel ($0.79 each; $7/dozen). Crying stomachs are serenaded with the savory tunes of the Bistro B.L.T. ($5.59) and the Tuscany salad ($5.99), and lonely hands can temporarily embrace the raspberry-chipotle-chicken wrap ($6.99) or the veggie delight ($5.79), which complements marinated artichoke hearts with roasted red peppers and provolone. The culinary artists at Bistro Bakery & Deli also proffer a selection of custom-designed cakes ($18.99+) crowned in a cappuccino mousse, pistachio buttercream, chocolate ganache, or Vanilla Ice sound bites.
Ingredients pulled from grapevines, olive trees, and scenic fishing harbors shine in many of the dishes at Zem Han Mediterranean Restaurant, an eatery that specializes in fresh, authentic Mediterranean cuisine. Slow-cooked lamb shanks, marinated kebabs, and battered calamari are a few specialties. Brick walls and white tablecloths lend the space a tasteful ambiance, and belly dancers entertain on Thursday nights.
In 1993, the basement of a Minneapolis apartment building was transformed into an Italian restaurant, becoming the first Buca di Beppo. The owners soon found themselves riding a wave of popularity and marinara sauce as they opened new restaurants across the nation. Today, the eatery occupies 97 locations nationwide, from San Francisco to Times Square.
At each location, chefs maintain the northern and southern Italian flavors that made the original so popular, with a few American twists. Then they serve it up in massive, family-style portions, making Buca di Beppo a favorite place for hungry families and groups of friends.
For starters, the chefs bake up batches of Cheesy Bread Florentine, a colorful combo of spinach, roma tomatoes, and garlic sprinkled over Italian bread and sealed in place with fresh, melted cheeses. Entrées are prepared with an eye toward quality and quantity, both of size and selection, complete with Veal Parmigiana, Baked Ziti, and classic Italian-American staples like Ravioli and Lasagna. And in keeping with the convivial atmosphere, they also serve truly decadent desserts. The Mt. Vesuvius Dark Chocolate Cake erupts with melted chocolate, and the Colossal Brownie Sundae towers above other sweets with six scoops of ice cream and tiers of sundae trimmings.
Situated in what once was a hoppin' 1940s diner, The Edge cooks up a plate full of Americana with its specialty selection of hot dogs accompanied by house-made relishes. Purebred hot dogs share menu space with their munchable mutt kin, including carnivorous cuts such as the Taco Dog, topped with homemade chili, lettuce, tomato, and shredded cheddar ($2.75). Tongues bite into every apostrophe of the Aloha Dog soaked in pineapple relish and homemade barbecue sauce ($2.25), or tickle taste buds with the saucy selection of the Jalapeño Dog, featuring chili, brown mustard, and jalapeño relish ($2.75). Multistoried, towering bites are demolished by uvula wrecking balls, filling roomy tummies with rubble such as the chili double cheeseburger ($5.25) or the loaded fries, piled high with bacon, chili, and cheese ($5.50). Molten mouths can cool off with a root-beer float ($4), buoying spirits with a homemade root-beer concoction of brown sugar, molasses, and top-secret ingredients.