Since 1984, Champps Americana's kitchen has sizzled with made-from-scratch dishes, satiating sports fans and families with a comfortable atmosphere. Amid sunlit dining rooms, diners seated at wooden tabletops can root for their favorite pixels on flat-screen TVs broadcasting live sports. In the kitchen, chefs prepare pastas with grilled chicken and roasted artichokes, pile buns with barbecued pulled pork and spicy buffalo chicken, and fill soft taco shells with grilled steak. Behind the bar, bartenders whip up specialty cocktails and margaritas and fill goblets with wine and local craft beers on tap.
FOODĒ co-founder Beth Black and executive chef/owner Joy Crump please palates and the planet with their seasonal menu, full of locally sourced spins on classic American fare. Wake up taste buds without licking ice cubes thanks to the house doughnuts—freshly dropped dough served Tuesday–Saturday until 11 a.m., and dusted with cinnamon and sugar ($2), or put standard notions of french fries to sleep with the FOODĒ fries—hand-cut potato products flanked by lemon-herb aioli, mixed-cracked-peppercorn aioli, and spicy chipotle ketchup ($4). The grilled cheese for "big kids" serves up a healthy dose of nostalgia lounging on a bed of local cheeses, arugula pistou, and herb-buttered bread ($8), and the house-made single pizza warms hearts and digestive tracts with a pieful of organic Berkshire pork sausage and parmesan crust ($7). FOODĒ rosters child-approved selections such as the all-natural hot dog ($5), which can be capped off by snuggling Miss Susan's chocolate chunk cookies next to a glass of milk ($4.50) and a solar-powered electric blanket.
Since 1951, The Nook has been serving up classic and creative diner fare in a historic building from the 1880s—adorned with mahogany booths, welcoming outdoor seating, and vintage charm inside and out. The pages of Nook's breakfast, lunch, and dinner menu are lush with tempting selections, such as thick apple-wood-bacon-covered burgers ($6.95), homemade twice-baked meatloaf ($9.95), chili-cheese-drenched fries ($5.95), turkey-stacked club sandwiches ($7.95), syrup-slathered pancakes ($4.95), and other meat-melded comfort fare. If an item can be made by hand, it is, and if a guest's tongue appears parched, the staff quickly whips up a sip—such as freshly squeezed juice, a thick and quick shake, or one of many artistic cocktails.
At Love In A Cup, frozen yogurt isn't just a dessert—it's a way of showing your body that you care. The shop's natural yogurt boosts bodies’ live, active cultures, which have been shown to bolster the immune system and protect the intestinal tract from the harmful bacteria that steals its lunch money. Eight frozen flavors swirl from self-serve machines, presenting taste buds with a continuum of sweet and tart tastes to explore. The toppings bar rolls out a smorgasbord of fresh fruit and candy to add crisp and crunchy textures to the mix, preventing diners from needing to head to the wilderness to forage for berries and discarded cookie crumbs.
Growing up, Chakra Café’s owner Monisha lived two different lives. At school, she was known by her given name and spent lunch hours twirling spaghetti on a fork. But at home, Monisha’s Bengali parents only referred to her by her nickname, Hashi–or laughter–and mealtimes meant scooping up lamb curry with a piece of luchi. The duality of Monisha’s two worlds–and the food she was exposed to–left a lasting impression and is the driving force behind the Café’s menu.
Inside Chakra Café’s kitchen, chefs marry Indian flavors with culinary traditions from around the world, using recipes adapted from Monisha’s mother, according to a Patch.com article. Traditional Bengali dishes such as begun bhartha–roasted eggplant flavored with green mango–are served solo or stuffed inside quesadillas with smoked fontina cheese, roasted pine nuts, and raitha yogurt sauce. Other Indian staples are also Americanized, from the tandoori chicken that tops flatbread pizzas to spaghetti paired with lamb meatballs and a whisper of ghee. Each item on the menu is clearly marked as halal, vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free, making it easy to decipher the dishes without meat and the ones that require each bite to be chewed 32 times.