Bucky’s BBQ owner Wayne Preston honed his craft at a young age, spending boyhood afternoons in his father’s meat-packing plant and Wednesday nights preparing suppers for his local church. Word about Wayne’s saucy ribs and pulled pork spread shortly after he founded his own roadside barbecue stand, forcing him—like the barbecue-sauce barons of years past—to expand his operations to new frontiers. Today, each of Bucky’s four locations fashions heaping plates of never-frozen Boston butt, tender chicken, and St. Louis–style ribs in the traditional country style: hand-rubbed with secret seasonings and slow-cooked over a smoky fire of hickory chips. Five house-made sauces garnish slices of juicy meat served alongside traditional sides of baked beans, coleslaw, and sweet potatoes. When they aren’t dishing out meals in the restaurant, Bucky’s tireless staff serves parties, formal events, weddings, and flash mobs as large as 1,500 people with fully catered barbecue feasts.
Fu of Kyoto's chefs speedily serve up a delectable roster of traditional sushi rolls and Japanese entrees. Tongues can practice for the main meal by first unwrapping pork or vegetable dumplings ($3.15) and ponder why the eight-piece Rainbow roll's tuna, salmon, and cucumber ($4.39) haven't been added to the visible-color spectrum. Teriyaki-infused bites of chicken ($4.95) or eel ($6.85) caper through fried rice in one of Fu's rice bowls, and the hibachi-grilled fillet steak and jumbo shrimp ($8.99) spurn the centuries-old feud between their families by courting in a thicket of vegetables.
A community-minded hideaway of hospitality, P. Simpson's is helmed by chef Patrick Hartnett, who crafts his delectable lunch, dinner, brunch (beginning November 28), and dessert menus using locally sourced and organic ingredients whenever possible. Should the ambrosial selection of Spanish-style small plates ($3.58–$8.58), steaks ($17.59–$24.59), and seafood ($16.59–$21.59) fail to evoke a Pavlovian response or meet special dietary requirements, the restaurant's gracious gastro gurus are also happy to customize plates to cater to persnickety palates. Discerning ears and auricular kneecaps can place special requests for live tunes on Fridays.
Against the idyllic backdrop of a renovated, 101-year-old Victorian house, Elegant Gourmet Cafe and Catering's owner and chef Geno Portele crafts lush dishes and desserts that can sate appetites at the eatery or during catered events. A daily lunch menu lists sandwiches and salads compiled with such ingredients as lemon-pesto mayonnaise, sugared pecans, and bread dipped in orange batter. Though the café does not offer a kids' menu, parents are welcome to bring their own meals and Heroes of Tax Reform coloring books for their children.
Chef Portele also outfits fetes of all types with custom catering menus loaded with ingredients such as applewood-smoked roast beef and imported cheeses. The eatery's picturesque facilities serve as the arena for merrymaking festivities. A spacious front porch wraps around the historic building, which comprises four separate dining areas peppered with art-deco décor. Indoor-outdoor bashes utilize a cushy reception tent that accommodates up to 250 guests or one replica of the Sphinx. To further simplify party planning, staffers can help procure music, decorations, and cakes.
In 1964, brothers Leroy and Forrest Raffel banded together to come up with a new restaurant concept. Arby's took off almost immediately on the coattails of its hallmark roast-beef sandwich and the founders’ idea of providing customers with fast, quality food. Over the company's 48-year franchise history, its foundational pièce de résistance of thinly sliced, juicy beef has been served in a many permutations, and continues to be popular today, served at more than 3,500 stores in North America. Today’s menu still ignites appetites with traditional beef sandwiches, plus hot and seasoned curly fries, fresh-chopped salads, and desserts good for richly capping off meals or bribing any bridge trolls on the way home.