The chefs at Muscle Maker Grill put a healthy spin on flavorful dishes inspired by Italian, Asian, American, and southwestern cuisines. The chain was founded in 1995 by Rod Silva, a fitness enthusiast who grew weary of fast-food eateries that bogged customers down with unhealthy morsels and toys sculpted from butter. What began as a smoothie stand has expanded into a successful franchise that slings pastas, burgers, salads, and Tex-Mex wraps and proudly displays the calorie content and relationship status of each dish on the menu.
Walking into Ruppert's, one might expect to see fedora-clad patrons hunkered over their scotches at the rich, dark-wood bar. That’s because the restaurant strives to emulate old New York City bistros and diners from the 1930's and 40's. This nod to the past also surfaces in its name, which comes from Colonel Jacob Ruppert—the owner of the New York Yankees during the Babe Ruth era.
Like the city they take their inspiration from, Ruppert's cooks meld the international with the classically American. These kitchen staffers looked to the north when coming up with the Canadian Mountie burger, and tapped into their inner island dwellers when developing the Jamaican burger, which they top with cold watermelon relish, grilled pineapple, and jack cheese. They also serve up classic, no-frills dishes, such as tuna melts on New York rye and Top Hat Chicken. As diners enjoy theses inventive or traditional spreads, they can tap their two-toned brogues to live entertainment ranging from Elvis impersonators to Lou Pallo, a former member of the Les Paul Trio.
Pizza Chefs’ homemade sauce comes from a generations-old family recipe. That doesn’t mean everything else here is traditional, though—in a twist of recipes, you can actually have pasta on top of your pizza, such as in the baked ziti, shrimp alfredo, and macaroni and cheese pizzas. That’s in addition to other uncommon toppings such as fried calamari and shrimp scampi. This creativity with pasta extends to other dishes—for appetizers, there are egg rolls stuffed with mac-n-cheese, too, and you’re free to turn their spaghetti into a Fabio wig.
The Little Food Cafe’s cooks assemble sauce-slathered chicken-pesto press sandwiches, fresh salads, and mile-high meatloaf in a charming café setting. Midday hunger pangs meet their match in refreshing entrees such as the avocado club, a bacon-and-avocado bundle that fires up tongues more than trilling the first words of their high-school fight song. Greens include Italian-style salads strewn with bite-size eggplant and provolone and taco salads adorned with ground turkey, cheddar, tomato, avocado, and tortilla strips. Alternately, evening eaters can avail themselves of appetizers such as meat-filled rice balls, fish such as honey-dijon-glazed salmon, and down-home entrees such as mile-high meatloaf.
At TapHouse Grille, 24 different craft beers gush from taps as plates of gourmet pub fare emerge from the kitchen. Chefs shower pastas and pizzas in fresh meats and vegetables or whip up entrees that feature freshly caught fish and quality cuts of meat. In addition to imported and domestic brews, the family-friendly establishment pleases adults with martinis and cocktails, and it treats tots to a full kids' menu and an absence of height-restrictive carnival rides.
Brick walls and ceilings and glistening wood floors surround the casual dining room, where flat-screen televisions beam down from the walls. TapHouse Grille also hosts special events throughout the week, including a Sunday brunch buffet with a live jazz band.
With an NFL champion like Tony "The Goose" Siragusa as co-owner, one might expect Tiffany's Restaurant and Bar to show only football. But the eatery's 20-some high-definition flatscreens—extending all the way onto a heated outdoor patio—display everything from basketball and hockey to UFC. The entertainment at Tiffany's isn't all onscreen—throughout the week, events include sets by local DJs, karaoke nights, and Texas hold 'em tournaments.
Founded over 30 years ago, Tiffany's chefs still baste the eatery's award-winning ribs in house-made barbecue sauce, and make meatballs by hand before tossing them with imported Italian pasta. The restaurant has also updated the menu with new, creative twists on bar food and 25 varieties of wings and sauces, such as buffalo wings coated in wasabi sauce. To pair with it all, there are plenty of beers poured from the tap, served in a bottle, or sprayed directly into your mouth from a Super Soaker.
With live music every weekend of the year and a wall plastered with a Joe Strummer banner, Bardi’s Grill’s prevalent rock 'n' roll theme stands in contrast to its genre-defying menu. Eclectic eats run the gamut from classic Americana—including half-pound burgers on kaiser rolls—to Italian meals of eggplant lasagna and thin-crust pizza. The international menu not only draws from the US and Italy but also the ocean in between, with a tangle of linguine topped with shrimp, calamari, mussels, and other seafood much tastier than once-common fillets of tugboat. Weekly specials ranging from sizzling steaks to discounted three-course meals add an element of surprise to the menu, along with a Monday–Friday happy hour.