Chefs use grass-fed beef, cage-free chicken, and steroid-free pulled pork that hail from sustainable sources to craft a bounty of tortilla-wrapped treats that take their names from the likes of Caddyshack, Fletch, and Seinfeld. It's this dual mindset of serious food and irreverent attitude that tinges every one of the eatery's southwestern morsels, from the Art Vandalay burrito to the John Coctostan quesadilla. As the kitchen staff crafts their daily batch of guacamole to join the lineup of six zesty salsas, diners choose from a list of more than 20 ingredients to fill out the entree that will soon be conjured before their eyes. Because dishes are made to order, each finds easy customization for vegetarian, gluten free, and low-calorie diets, and the absence of microwaves, trans-fats, and MSG keep eats wholesome. Meanwhile, a complimentary accompaniment of chips and salsa turns portions into full meals faster than an industry-grade blow-up ray.
At Annangol, the signature Korean barbecue dishes don't just get barbecued in the kitchen. The culinary team prepares some plates—like the thinly sliced pork belly—at patrons' tables, inaugurating dinners with quick cooking shows. The kitchen whips up Korean specialties outside of barbecue dishes, too. Stone pots of bibimbap, for example, ensconce rice and a choice of veggies or succulent meat, and hotpot soups come in spicy and nonspicy incarnations, much like most pop stars.
Fausto Garces gives South American transplants more than one reason to visit his restaurant, Don Churro Café. In addition to authentic dishes from Peru, Ecuador, Venezuela, Chile, Argentina, Colombia, and Spain that earned Don Churro Cafè recognition as one of the region's Best New Restaurants by Northern Virginia Magazine in 2009, the restaurant entertains sports fans by broadcasting soccer matches from South American nations. Diners gaze at twin plasma televisions or a pull-down projection screen as athletes play the sport known as "fùtbol" in Latin America, and as "dangerous" in antique stores.
The dining room's yellow walls and floors are offset with royal-blue wall sections, matching seat cushions, and a bright painting of Quito––Fausto's mountain-clad Ecuadorian homeland. Illuminated by hanging light fixtures, lime-marinated ceviche and crispy plantains cleanse the palate before entrees rife with grilled pork belly, chorizo, and certified Angus beef arrive. Fresh, marinated fish filets come grilled alongside rice and patacones or buried beneath a creamy signature seafood sauce.
The V Eatery and Brewhouse takes a simple approach to updating classic dishes by incorporating fresh, local ingredients into homestyle recipes. The specialty- and craft-beer menu joins forces with an on-site brewery to complement hearty sandwiches, bowls of jambalaya pasta, or seared strip steaks. Recently celebrating its grand re-opening after relocating and renaming, The V carries Vintage Restaurant Group's tradition of the former Vintage 51 into a new era.
When the first Eggspectation eatery opened in Montreal in 1993, the concept was simple: upscale brunch with a focus on decadent egg and crepe dishes. The founding concept has been tweaked only slightly since then, with a menu that today includes more than 160 breakfast, lunch, and dinner items. Breakfast remains the menu’s biggest draw, with a dozen egg benedicts and savory crepes, 16 omelets and fruity pancakes, plus french toast and waffles. At lunch and dinner, chefs stack plates with fine-dining-style entrees, such as half-pound USDA-choice beef burgers and steak and seafood entrees, such as maple-glazed rib eye or lump crab cakes. Whether at a location in Canada, the US, or India, patrons can slide behind a table amid rustic stone and brick walls flanked by jubilant circus-theme decor, such as colorful murals and paparazzi snapshots of Humpty Dumpty.
WaBa's chefs ladle house-made teriyaki sauce over meats striped with grill marks, adding no oil or MSG to any items on the menu. Sweetly marinated ribs pile high atop rice and fresh steamed veggies ($9.99), the same savory underpinnings that form the foundations of chicken plates ($7.99), shrimp skewer plates ($8.99), and most downtown skyscrapers. Party platters multiply servings of meat, providing enough protein to feed gaggles of friends.