Every morning, Rooster’s Gourmet Popcorn whirs to life with the slow crescendo of thousands of tiny explosions. Snack masters mix a palette of more than 50 unorthodox flavors into the classic confection, resulting in anything from southwest-jalapeño and spicy-queso to toffee-almond and watermelon popcorns. They dole out free samples to acquaint customers with their sweet and savory kernels before packing up handsome gift tins for birthdays, office gatherings, and trips to a corn field to gloat.
The owners' menu of traditional Polynesian dishes hearkens back to their upbringing on Hawaii. Within an open-air kitchen, the staff grills and fries fresh ingredients and assemble them into lunch plates inspired by Hawaii's diverse immigrant population. Techniques and flavors borrowed from Japanese, Korean, and Indian cuisines are woven into Polynesian favorites, such as frybread, barbecue pork, and chicken-curry rice bowls. Through the tall windows of the exhibition storefront, sunshine spills in to bathe the eatery's goldenrod walls in natural light and allow diners to wear their mining helmets solely as fashion statements.
Executive chef Ken Rose—the flavor architect behind Tiburon Fine Dining—tantalizes gourmands with his variation on popular American dishes. Each dish bursts with high-quality ingredients, ranging from artisanal cheeses to wild-caught seafood that includes salmon and Pacific white shrimp. Servers coax out flavor notes with the help of a staggering wine list that catalogs varietals hailing from California, Australia, and Italy. Located in The District, The Wild Rose lies within walking or hopscotching distance of shopping and theaters.
At Rumrz, amid lively rooting and cheers, families and friends linger over plates of hearty burgers, wings, and ribs and frosty mugs of draft beer. Meals pair with bucket-size servings of the kitchen's renowned fries, which are seasoned with spices such as garlic, parmesan oregano, or sports-drink powder. Some of their specialities include a roasted red pepper burger, with mayo, roasted red peppers, bacon, onions and cheese, and a teriyaki chicken burger, topped with mayo, onions, lettuce, tomato, cucumbers, and sprouts.
The warm aroma of freshly baked waffle cones envelops every nook and cranny of Marble Slab Creamery, revving up guests’ senses with the promise of impending decadence. As the hand-rolled cones tan in their ovens, the store’s staff bustles about the premises whipping up fresh batches of super-premium ice cream in the on-site creamery and helping patrons select a flavour from a list of more than 50 options. This chef-driven dedication to gourmet ice cream began in 1983 with the company’s founding in Houston, Texas, when two French chefs were enlisted to create a recipe for Marble Slab Creamery’s signature sweet-cream ice cream using their culinary expertise.
Today, staffers utilize the frozen-slab technique of ice-cream architecture, scooping each customer’s choice of ice cream and mixins onto a chilled marble slab to mix the separate elements into one customized mélange. Though specializing in cone-based ice-cream treats, Marble Slab Creamery also offers a menu full of other scream-worthy confections including cakes, shakes, and ice cream cupcakes.
For more than 30 years, Quiznos has toasted its submarine sandwiches to bring out the hidden flavors found in butcher-quality meats, cheese, and artisanal breads. Its classic and signature subs take on a variety of shapes, sizes, and styles, ranging from the prime-rib mushroom and swiss to the classic italian, which dons black olives, mozzarella, red-wine vinaigrette, and plentiful sliced meats. Those closely monitoring their waistline can take unabashed bites of sandwiches that have fewer than 500 calories, such as the baja chicken and the veggie guacamole sandwich. Soup and a salad line rounds out Quiznos' varied menu.