The son of an Irish father and a Mexican mother, Jose O'Brien got his first taste of fusion cuisine as a child in New Mexico. While his grandmothers colluded on Mexican-Irish holiday meals, Jose acted as translator, taste-tester, and pint-sized UN Secretary General. The cuisine born in that kitchen lives on today in a restaurant named after Jose and located far from its regions of origin.
As one might expect, the menu features both traditional cuisine such as the casa burrito with shredded chicken, pico de gallo, and guacamole; and slightly more unusual combinations such as the Irlandes burrito, with ground beef, Irish bacon, bangers, mash, and cheddar cheese. It's also punctuated by a huge burger section, brimming with items like the Tijuana Philly, drowning in mushrooms, jalapeños, cheese, and barbecue sauce; or Jose's burger, a house favorite that comes with bacon, avocado, green chili, and the coup de grace, a fried egg. Those with a taste for unaltered Emerald Isle cuisine can get their fill as well: Jose O'Briens makes a mean shepherd's pie and a quite personable bangers and mash.
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It’s a typical Saturday night at Turkois Grille—the dining room is lit up by warm lanterns, lively Mediterranean music fills the air, and a beautiful belly dancer glides across the room, rolling her hips and shaking her glimmering bangles. Diners perch at white-clothed tables, applauding and raising glasses of fine wine. Meanwhile, in the kitchen, the strains of chatter and music are drowned out by clattering pots and the hiss of sizzling lamb, veal, and chicken. Chefs bustle about, skewering marinated meats and seasoning dorado, snapper, and salmon in authentic Turkish spices. They pair warm, crusty bread with seasoned olive oil, a dip that the Journal News lauded as “an addictive combination of toasted sesame and nigella seeds plus a sprinkling of lemony, thyme-like zatar.” The versatile chefs even extend their culinary expertise to a menu of kid-friendly dishes, including crispy chicken fingers and small skewers of lamb, veal, and vegetables shaped like gummy bears.
A mother and her teenage daughter stand at the counter side-by-side, chop, chop, chopping in unison. Neither have cooked much with vegetables before, but under the friendly guidance of experts, they find their veggie phobias fading. This is a recurring theme within The Food Evolution's kitchen, where students learn to toss their culinary insecurities into the flames and begin having fun with meal prep.
At The Food Evolution, which Diane Hoch founded in 2010, students aged 16 and older learn from professional instructors how to create healthful, tasty, preservative-free meals. Classes highlight either techniques or styles of cuisine and vary in levels of participation—from demonstration classes where students observe and take notes, to hands-on courses in which students are required to touch everything with all 10 fingers. In private nutritional-counseling sessions, Diane, a certified nutritional-health counselor, tailors advice and programs to help individuals reach their health and wellness goals.
Funfuzion entertains adults, children, and childless college roommates alike with their wide selection of rides, video games, and other indoor activities. Mix and match your three activity credits among five popular amusements such as Roc’n Bowl, which returns bowling to its Studio 54 roots with flashing disco lights and music. Alternately, laser tag returns tag to its roots on the radioactive playgrounds of the Truman administration, but adds computerized sensor vests to tally points lost on the space-age battlefield. Fulfill a need for circuit-contained speed on the electric-powered go-kart speedway (riders must be at least 60” tall) or test your own black-light sensitivity during a round of glow-in-the-dark minigolf. Players who hate to spoil a neon-laden walk can opt for pool, where a well-sunk ball merely spares you the embarrassment of losing your wife to Robert Redford.
Rehab jolts snoozing taste buds awake with eight rotating flavors of nonfat, kosher frozen yogurt crowned with fresh fruit and candy toppings. Frosty peaks of classic flavors including tart, strawberry, chocolate, and vanilla yogurt avalanche from self-serve machines each day, and less traditional options, such as red velvet cake and peanut butter, make frequent cameo appearances, much like a werewolf professor's substitute. The colorfully lit fro-yo alcove also boasts a buffet of fruits such as just-plucked blueberries and kiwis, as well as candies including gummy bears and crunchy chocolate candies, with which to crown chilly desserts.