Steep your brain with flavorful promises of a menu to plot out an early-morning caffeine infusion, mid-day lunch treat, or late night drive-by brainwiring. Phoenix's coffees are brewed fresh from their very own beans, so have a cup of old-school joe to return to the café's roots (up to $1.70), or punch your taste buds with the devil's brew (coffee with a shot of espresso, up to $2.50). Chug their namesake with a cup of Café Phoenix, a mocha made with their signature locally produced chocolate syrup and an extra shot of espresso ($3.60), or hammer your endocrine system with the indulgent excesses of their Stuporball—two kinds of custom-blended coffee, two different chocolate syrup infusions, and an extra shot of espresso (up to $4). Tea lovers get some love at Phoenix, too—premium oolong, white, and select black or green tea varieties are available iced or hot (up to $2.40), while the house-made artisan Chai latte arrives steamed and creamy (up to $3.20). You can also upgrade to larger drinks and pay the difference.
Alesci’s embraces family traditions. If it’s not already apparent by the third generation of brothers who co-manage the deli and grocer, it shimmers to the surface in the stories of old regulars and those who remember Grandpa Frank Alesci. Starting with Frank, and now for more than 50 years, the Alesci family has curated a collection of imported products, providing immigrants with the sought-after goods from across the pond. Beyond that, it’s a place for fresh, crusty bread, pizza, a myriad of cheeses, and deli meats sliced by hand. Inside the 7,000-square-foot location, shelves are lined with everything from polenta to biscotti, olives to olive oil, and peppers who share space with their natural enemy: the tomato.
Open since 1963, Donatos peddles its doughy, cheese-covered delicacies in nearly 200 stores across five states. The Northcoast Double Sausage Pizza is the newest creation from Donatos thin crust sooth-sayers. The pie balances savory forces with both Donatos family recipe sausage and mild Italian sausage undulating on a taste-bud teeter-totter. Stitched together with a mélange of provolone, mozzarella, and cheddar cheeses, the pizza is blanketed by a patchwork of caramelized onions and banana peppers. See the sidebar for a list of all 18 participating Donatos locations.
Slicing cold cuts and heaping hot pastrami into munchable mounds for more than 30 years, Jack's Deli and Restaurant offers an expansive array of classic deli fare. Retro-deli devotees are sated with a voluminous menu packed with sandwiches, such as the Hot Romanian Pastrami ($8.95) or House Turkey Off the Bone ($8.95), served on rye, wheat, challah, pumpernickel, and more. Credentialed chefs craft a bevy of specialties, such as the Maidlach ($11.95) with nova lox, cream cheese, tuna salad, and whitefish salad served on three mini bagels. Leaving nothing to the imagination, the roasted beef brisket ($10.95) is served open-faced and piping hot, with mashed potatoes and gravy or french fries. The chicken club ($9.95) takes up massive grill real estate with grilled chicken breast and grilled pastrami served on thick, grilled challah. Diners can also have their taste sponges soak up smile-inducing flavors by sampling the stuffed cabbage ($13.95) with fresh ground beef rolled into succulent, young cabbage leaves and bathed in savory sweet-and-sour sauce. With complete disregard for the sun's uncontrollable envy of the moon, breakfast is served all day, offering dishes such as the homemade corned-beef hash ($7.25) with poached eggs.
In 1975, when The Melting Pot originally opened just outside Orlando, diners had just three options: swiss-cheese fondue, beef fondue, or chocolate fondue. The restaurant first expanded four years later, when an enterprising waiter by the name of Mark Johnston opened up a new outpost in Tallahassee. Today, The Melting Pot—now owned by Mark and his brothers Mike and Bob—reigns as a premier fondue, wine, and drink restaurant, stretching across North America with more than 140 restaurants linked by underground tunnels. The restaurant's menu has also expanded, and patrons can now expect six varieties of hot dipping cheese paired with salads, meats, and molten chocolate.
On any given night, groups of dip-loving foodies gather around tables to nosh on fondue appetizers before cooking their steaks and seafood in a choice of healthy broth or oil. Birthday revelers and romance seekers cap decadent evenings sharing the chocolate desserts that have defined The Melting Pot for decades.
Lunch Date's president and founder Mike Green personally meets with all clients to help them navigate the dating world's treacherous waters. From these casual, one-on-one chats, Mr. Green constructs finely tuned profiles, which he uses to find the perfect match from a large database of single professionals in Northeast Ohio. If he doesn't get things right the first time, Mr. Green continues to work with clients until they find a fulfilling relationship. These efforts have proven fruitful thus far; since he founded the company, Mr. Green has helped establish hundreds of friendships, relationships, and marriages.
Until he finds enough batteries for his robot assistant, Mr. Green can't match up every unattached man and woman in the world by himself. So, the dating expert also trains others to set up their own dating services.
The staple of Sushi Rock’s menu is its selection of roughly 50 sushi, sashimi, and maki rolls, which collect multiple Japanese flavors into one neat package. The Sushi Rock roll alone packs a punch of shrimp tempura, crabstick, salmon, tuna, asparagus, and masago. A slate of USDA Prime steaks and fresh seafood entrees such as sesame-seared tuna complement the sushi-bar creations. Each meticulously plated dish arrives in Sushi Rock's ultra-modern dining space, where backlit bottles glisten against a cityscape mural in the bar area, and color blocks of red and black pop in the dimly lit dining areas. Together, Sushi Rock’s choice food and hip vibe earned it a No. 1 ranking on CityVoter's Best Sushi list in 2010.