Cuisine Type: American
Established: Before 1950
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Number of Tables: 50+
Parking: Parking lot
Most Popular Offering: 12-hour roasted prime rib and salad bar
Alcohol: Wine only
Delivery/Takeout Available: Takeout only
Outdoor Seating: Yes
Larry's II Restaurant, which is co-owned by Bob and Ryan Middleton, is a second-generation, family-run restaurant with a history that goes back to 1949. Originally a diner, the eatery has maintained a casual setting while growing with the times. Today, its menu has developed to include American cuisine with global touches and fresh ingredients, including the use of local produce whenever possible.
Details such as a self-serve salad bar and outdoor-patio seating augment dinners of 1.5-pound pork osso bucco, cedar-plank salmon, freshly ground burgers, and housemade cheesesteaks. To accommodate as many diners as it can, the staff also prepares kid-friendly and gluten-free options. The eatery even has a coffee-bar area where patrons can quickly grab an espresso and to-go bite, allowing them to get back to watching cat videos on their work computers as fast as possible.
Since the first Friendly's opened in 1935, staff members have been serving up hand-crafted ice cream in scoops, cones, and sundaes alongside juicy beef burgers crowned with crisp lettuce and tomatoes. Now with locations spanning the United States, Friendly's has come a long way from its first modest shop in Massachusetts, which sold double-dip cones for 5 cents. Today, servers scoop ice cream in classic flavors such as chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry and dish out new twists on the favorites, including Fribble soft-serve shakes and Friend-z ice-cream desserts whipped with toppings such as Oreos, Butterfingers, and Reese's peanut-butter cups. They also top crisp belgian waffles with scoops of ice cream and hot caramel and fill dishes with new ice-cream flavors such as Vienna Mocha Chunk and Rockin' Poppin' Cotton Candy.
Behind the grills, cooks build big beef burgers such as the Vermonter with melted vermont white cheddar and maple-pepper bacon on a toasted ciabatta roll. Healthier options include meals under 555 calories, such as the sweet and spicy grilled shrimp over rice pilaf and the chicken-caprese sandwich.
Salvatore DiLisi and his family immigrated from Carini, Italy in 1978, and they founded DiLisi Ristorante soon after. A few years later, his parents returned home, and Salvatore took over. The next 35 years saw some changes. Sal expanded his family to include his wife Nancy and their children Giacomo and Valeria. He made the eatery's name synonymous with family-style servings of seafood, pasta, and pizza. And he opened up a second location, connected to the original by a 10-mile-long zip line of spaghetti. Today, in DiLisi's two kitchens, chefs draw upon the culinary traditions of northern Italy and the Mediterranean, kneading dough by hand and combining meat and seafood in unexpected ways.
At Kura Thai and Sushi, chefs concoct tasty, authentic Thai and Japanese specialties. Sushi-bar creations include the Shrek roll, a combo of crunchy lobster, tuna, and avocado with masago in green soy pepper. Noodles, curry, and tempura dishes also abound, helping guests conquer any number of cravings.
Though the cooks at Taylor's Williamstown reflect a range of culinary traditions with dishes from veggie quesadillas to sesame ahi tuna, classic bar treats remain the core of their menu. They slather char-grilled baby back ribs with signature glazes and top burgers with ingredients such as homemade chili and beer-braised onions. To help wash down feasts, bartenders maneuver around an outdoor cabana deck bar, as well as an indoor granite-top bar, filling glasses with 10 draft beers.
Inside, 15 big-screen, high-definition televisions broadcast the latest hockey, baseball, and football games. In-house competitions also brew during beer-pong tournaments with cash prizes and contests to see who can most accurately read Latin. Over on Taylor's Williamstown's two dance floors, DJs keep guests grooving to an eclectic mix of tunes until 3 a.m. four nights a week.
Philly Pretzel Factory churns out more than 100 million fresh, hand-twisted soft pretzels per year. However, the business wasn't always so big. Initially, it was a one-man operation, and the man in question--current president Dan DiZio--was just 11 years old.
As a kid, Dan loved soft pretzels so much that he sold them on a street corner using an authentic Philly recipe so popular that he often sold out before noon. Nowadays, he manages his inventory better, and the proof is in the pudding: since the bakery's 1998 launch, it has expanded to more than 100 locations. Each outpost serves Dan's signature golden-brown pretzels in assorted flavors, alongside pretzel sausages and bite-sized pretzels, ideal for people with very tiny mouths.