Every 20 years our government allows one business to turn every day of the week into a Friday with a series of special calendars printed on stone. Today's Groupon honors the restaurant gubernatorially ordained in 1993 with $20 worth of week-ending cuisine at T.G.I. Friday's for $10. Bring your family, friends, or a group of tourists that follow you because they think you're Jamie Farr to indulge in distinctly Friday fare at a restaurant renowned for delivering the euphoric feeling of having two consecutive days off work.
Tom Krukemeyer, owner of The Mad Cactus, learned many things when celebrity chef Robert Irvine stopped by to assist a 48-hour restaurant makeover. Firstly, don't insult a celebrity chef when your microphone is still on. Secondly, small touches—such as a complimentary salsa bar—offer large boosts to customer satisfaction. As Krukemeyer explained to Debbie Palmer of Strongsville Patch, though Irvine's visit with the crew of Food Network’s Restaurant: Impossible started off shaky, if resulted in subtle, but significant improvements that he's proud to stand behind.
Today, after the hurly-burly brought by Irvine, Krukemeyer’s chefs continue to turn seafood and barbecued meats—including mesquite-grilled steaks—into Tex-Mex dishes. To complement the menu’s array of southern flavors, a toppings bar furnishes diners with more than 10 salsas. Krukemeyer also slates daily food and drink specials, which encourage diners to socialize in the main dining space, the cantina, the walk-in humidor, or on the patio.
At Sakura Sushi House, fresh morsels of fish, eel, and octopi nestle into handcrafted rolls, a hibachi grill sears steak, and teriyaki sauce infuses chicken and tofu with savory flavor. Patrons perch at the granite-topped sushi bar and browse a menu brimming with four pages of specialty sushi rolls, or lounge in maroon booths, filling squirt guns from bowls of udon noodles. In the kitchen, chefs season meats ranging from filet mignon to lobster and augment shrimp tempura with teriyaki. After chopsticks ferry the final pieces of maki to tongues, punch their timecards, and head home, diners sip hot or cold sake to finish the evening with a final gustatory flourish.
Mike Santosuosso got into the restaurant game early. At age 15, he left his father’s bar business to work in a pizza shop, where he learned all the tricks of the trade and secret handshakes he needed to open up his own pie joint only a few years later. Now, Mike collaborates with his wife, Debbie, to create an authentic Italian dining experience, loading their menu with homemade ravioli, tender cutlets of veal, and fresh-from-the-grill steaks. They also whip up pizza dough from scratch every day, before layering it with fresh tomato sauce and toppings such as meatballs, artichokes, and imported romano cheese.
The environmentally conscious chefs at Tree Hugger's Cafe unite locally sourced organic ingredients into healthy, flavorful fare that respects Mother Nature. Every dish on the eco-friendly menu comes free of hormones, pesticides, and plastic fruit, and many are also vegetarian, vegan, raw, or gluten-free. Paninis cram fillings such as grilled eggplant and homemade pesto between slices of fresh artisan bread, and burgers mash up such ingredients as organic chicken and feta or sweet potato and quinoa. Breakfast dishes include house-made granola, muffins, and mixed-berry couscous. Tree Hugger's Cafe tries to reduce its carbon footprint by using compostable containers, blowing kisses to clouds, and outfitting the café's interior in recycled decor.