When childhood friends Ronald Liu, Jessica Chiep, and Thomas Wang decided to veer off the traditional corporate path, they set out to open their own cafe. Combining their American upbringing with Asian culture heritage, they wanted to create a unique and Asian-American fusion concept to put the power of culinary creation into the hands of their guests. The result was The H.A. Cafe, a casual dining spot where guests can choose everything from fresh fish and veggies to sauces and starches to create their own sushi rolls, dons, or okonomiyakis?a Japanese version of American pizza. The menu relies on plenty of startling ingredients; wakame seaweed, greens, and cucumbers flavor many of the dishes, from the tuna sashimi salad dressed in wasabi ranch, to the grilled chicken teriyaki bowl. At the bubble tea and smoothie bar, baristas trained in mixology hand-craft fresh brewed tea infused with fruit juices and a large variety of boba.
During the sweltering summer of 1984, former Philadelphia firefighter Bob Tumolo decided to open the first Rita's Water Ice, naming it after his wife. The specially formulated treat fueled Rita's growth, expanding the family-run business to more than 500 franchised locations nationwide. Despite the incredible expansion, each Rita's stays true to the company's origins by mixing their Italian ice according to Bob's original recipe. Their most famous dessert, the Gelati, features layers of his signature Italian ice between two giant dollops of custard, combining flavors such as mango with vanilla or introducing recently emigrated Swedish fish to vanilla or chocolate. Rita's also promotes community awareness with regular fundraisers for organizations such as Relay for Life.
Whether fresh or raw, the seafood at Asian Bistro comes tinged with Pan-Asian flavor. Opt for sushi rolls, such as the specialty volcano roll with spicy salmon, spicy tuna, and avocado, or take your fish fried or grilled with rice and veggies. A raw bar serves up fresh clams and oysters, and fish balls plumb the depths of noodle soups. Land-based dishes include spareribs and chicken, as well as smoothies and tea with optional flavored tapioca pearls.
OKI Asian Bistro's menu offers a sprawling variety that includes sushi, hibachi, and Thai. Fresh rolls contain fish such as tuna, salmon, or shrimp, while hibachi grills sear steak, chicken, or lobster tails. Fried rice and noodle options include pineapple or basil, while other entrees include ginger beef, yellow curry, and shrimp tempura.
There is no "behind the scenes" at Three Amigos Mexican Taquiera; instead of toiling in the back of a kitchen, the restaurant's cooks pile steak, grilled vegetables, and other fresh ingredients into tacos, burritos, and quesadillas as customers watch. Patrons can customize orders with toppings such as fresh lime juice or an assortment of housemade salsas.
Although it may have fallen out of Top 40 rotation in the 70 years since it was sung by a burger-shop owner’s barbershop quartet, the song “When the Red, Red Robin (Comes Bob, Bob, Bobbin' Along)” lives on in the legacy of a Seattle-based burger joint. The Red Robin franchise has spread its wings far and wide, now serving locations throughout North America with sustainably grown, environmentally conscious burgers and sides that marry classic American flavors with savory twists such as onion straws or bruschetta. Most of the shop’s fire-grilled burgers, chicken sandwiches, and entrees come with a side of bottomless steak fries, allowing patrons to soak up the juicy Whiskey River barbecue sauce, melted blue cheese, and edible fedoras that top the menu’s varied eats. The staff are happy to help patrons pair their sandwiches with one of the full bar’s microbrews or specialty mixed drinks, keeping glasses filled while athletic superstars battle it out on the eatery's big-screen TVs.