Slinging spirits for nearly 80 years, the historic Checkerboard Tavern tackles appetites with a menu of gourmet hot dogs and slays thirsts with local brews. Toting the oldest liquor license in the state above its well-stocked bar, the Check sports a wide selection of domestics ($2.25), microbrews ($3.50), and regional suds ($3.50) from Golden Hills, Laughing Dog, and Iron Horse, as well as an old-timey jukebox that coughs up five spins for each greenback fed into its golden gullet. Get cozy in a fire-engine-red booth and anchor incisors into an assembly of encased meats, such as the Sonnenberg Dog, which tops a classic italian sausage with onions, ketchup, mustard, and relish, or the old-fashioned PB&J Dog, which arrives with crusts cut off in a He-Man lunchbox ($4). All dogs can be substituted for vegan tofurkey sausage, and assorted snacks and house fries are available for noshing ($5–$6).
Lalo's Pizza & Calzone serves a plethora of pizza toppings and sauces culminating in a savory smorgasbord of customizable treats. Patrons begin by choosing a size of flat earth to forge into homestyle, handrolled crust ($5.99–$16.99). The indecisive may choose to rely on tried-and-tasty specialty pizzas such as The Legend, a toothsome discus piled with pepperoni, italian sausage, beef, mushrooms, and more, or a Lactosaurus, a milky oddessy of mozzarella, asiago, provolone, romano, and parmesan ($9.99–$26.99). Choose from prime pie gravies such as the classic red sauce, tangy barbecue, zesty marinara, or an exotic thai peanut sauce. Toppings include the familiar back catalogue of Pizza's Greatest Hits, such as pepperoni, italian sausage, ham, and black olives, but also fresh-baked b-sides such as anchovies, minced garlic, artichokes, and sweet corn ($1–$2).
Halletts Chocolates carefully crafts its decadent truffles and award-winning chocolate goodies out of the highest-quality local ingredients. Correct bodily cacao deficiencies with the six-piece assorted chocolate box ($5.95) or bribe your way through Candyland's military checkpoints with a full pound of chocolates ($21.95). Naturally sweet souls can indulge in sugar-free options, and Halletts Chocolates also takes great pride in nonchocolate sweets, such as their soft peanut-butter brittle, which forms the base of the food pyramid along with marshmallow chicks and Pop Rocks ($5.50).
At Flavor Cafe, guests settle in for cozy cups of espresso or coffee complemented by friendly conversations, hearty breakfasts, and light lunches. Diners sip chocolatey mochas or frothy cappuccinos as they chow down on breakfast burritos and Sweetwater Bakery bagels or lunch on reubens, caprese sandwiches on focaccia, or veggie wraps.
The chefs at Pizza Oven hand toss fresh dough to create specialty pizzas available by the slice or whole pie. In addition to creative pies like the Bangkok Bombshell, slathered in thai peanut sauce, chicken, cilantro, and mozzarella, they also make classic bread sticks and garlic bread sticks.
According to a June 2012 profile in The Pacific Northwest Inlander, Donna Byrd spent months simmering sauces over her kitchen stove and recruiting family members and friends for taste tests. After those months of experimentation, clear winners emerged and those champion recipes hold a place of honor in the Byrds' restaurant, Noodle Works. Guests order their vegetables, meats, and tofu stir-fried in a teriyaki sauce tinged with pineapple or a sesame and ginger-laced mustard sauce. Then, they watch chefs place the sizzling feast onto a bed of rice or yakisoba noodles to create a dinner in a bowl or onto a bed of rose petals to create a romantic dinner in a bowl. Visitors can pair noodle bowls with domestic and imported beers while taking in a sports game on television screens mounted on the walls.