When to Go: between 3–6 p.m. for happy hour, which offers discounted small plates of nachos, deep-fried green beans, waygu beef sliders, and cheese quesadillas, along with discounted draft, well, and wine drinks.
While You’re Waiting Enjoy one of the 22 rotating on-draft microbrews, which come in sizes ranging from the small “schooner” to the pitcher.
Inside Tip Late risers can still enjoy breakfast—it’s served until 2:30 p.m.
The Story: Leon Torrey’s first experience in the restaurant business was as a dishwasher salesmen. It didn’t take long before he decided to trade in his tie for an apron and open Egg Cetra, which would become a hugely popular breakfast restaurant with three local locations. After more than 20 years of success, he decided to branch out and try his hand at classic pub staples, founding Blue Star Cafe and Pub in 1997. It wasn’t too much of a departure, though—he still kept the breakfast and lunch favorites that made Eggs Cetera such a hit. Today, his daughter Wendy carries on the torch.
Quote That Best Sums It Up “I avoid the trends and focus on offering consistent comfort food with homemade ingredients.” - Founder Leon Torrey
Roasting meat over an open flame may sound like a rustic style of cooking, but at Rio Grill Brazilian Steakhouse, it's an exact science. The Brazilian steakhouse's churrasco grill rotates skewers of New York steak, tri tip steak, top sirloin steak, Australian lamb, and other meats over open flames, making a full rotation precisely three times per minute. This allows the meats to be basted in their natural juices as they're roasted to succulent perfection. Servers present the finished skewers to tables, carving choice cuts directly onto plates or into guests' gaping mouths. Diners can also savor authentic side dishes such as fiejoda and empanadas, or head to a fully stocked salad bar to load up on fresh greens.
During a night at Rio Grill, you might run into a few unfamiliar terms, defined below.
Churrasqueira: The history of Rio Grill's churrascaria cuisine stretches back centuries, to the cattle-herding cowboys of southern Brazil. Those cowboys?known as gauchos?cooked cuts of beef over open fire, a technique that became known as churrasco. At Rio Grill, the churrasqueira is indoors, but its flames still slow roast each skewer of meat until they are just so.
Rodizio: In Brazil, rodizio simply means "all you can eat." But in the United States, it means "all you can meat." Diners devour as much meat from the churrasqueira as they want; but they never have to leave their seats. Instead, the meat comes to them, via passadors.
Passadors: Holding skewers loaded with fresh-grilled meats, the servers?or passadors?navigate the dining room. When a diner gives the signal, the passador neatly slices a cut of meat from their skewer directly onto the plate.
The culinary team at The Office Bar & Grill pairs a stock of well drinks and tap and bottled beers with gourmet American-style pub food. Their eclectic menu includes spinach and artichoke dip with homemade pita chips, a chicken breast and pineapple burger drizzled with homemade teriyaki sauce, and fried-cheesecake bites topped with sweet raspberry sauce. While a jukebox spins customers’ favorite tunes, six high-definition flat-screen televisions keep patrons abreast of the latest sports scores. The Office Bar & Grill also entices clientele with a spacious outdoor courtyard and an arcade with sports-themed games such as Golden Tee, Silver Strike Bowling, and Extreme Referee Coin Toss!.
Chef Peter Gallin had just constructed a custom grill, and was stoking its first fire with applewood harvested from a nearby orchard, when the idea struck him—the name for his Northwest-centric restaurant: Applewood. Though Chef Gallin's restaurant foregrounds its Northwest heritage, it also incorporates recipes gleaned from a childhood spent living in the Asian Pacific Rim with his anthropologist and sociologist parents, as well as French cuisine, and influences from years spent in New Mexico. He incorporates these varied culinary styles while avoiding traditional dishes, instead mingling flavors such as chipotle, lime, ginger, and orange into new incarnations.
Though he favors elegant food presentation when furnishing platters of roasted duck and northwest fish, Gallin uses only regular, relatable ingredients, which make his dishes approachable for all palates and untraceable by detectives. He brews all of the restaurant's soups in-house, designing up to six unique soups each week. West Coast wines, microbrews, and desserts made in-house complement his international appetizers and main courses. The focus on simplicity extends to the restaurant's decor: framed photographs hang above potted plants on rustic side tables, and long communal tables stand next to floor-to-ceiling windows looking out onto deep pine forest. Behind a hardwood bar, flanked by exposed brick walls, hangs the giant, hammered steel apple that serves as the restaurant's emblem.
When night falls over southern Brazil, groups of gauchos gather around flickering fire pits and celebrate the end of another day by slowly grilling meat over the open flames. Novilhos Brazilian Steakhouse aims to capture the spirit of these traditional meals by hosting all-you-can-eat churrasco feasts that Zagat scored as "very good to excellent."
The chefs roast up more than a dozen cuts of meat, including filet mignon, bacon-wrapped chicken, lamb chops, and pork sausages. Servers dressed as gauchos parade these freshly grilled skewers throughout the dining room, stopping at diners' seats and offering to carve them slices tableside. In between these protein-laden servings, guests can visit the salad bar and load their plates up with more than 60 different side dishes, such as fresh-cut vegetables and imported cheeses.
At The Majestic Caf?, everything is homemade?even the ketchup. Proudly sticking to classics?with a few contemporary twists?it's been lauded by Open Table diners as a "neighborhood gem." The chefs work with small, local purveyors to source super-fresh ingredients that compose each dish. Menus unfold to reveal starters of crispy shoe-string fries drizzled with tangy, housemade gorgonzola sauce, and Majestic white bean and butternut squash hummus with toasted crostini. The signature french dip sandwich, lined with house-seasoned and roasted beef and shredded lyrics to "Da Dip," shares the spotlight with new york strip steak, fish and chips, and St. Louis ribs. Weekend brunch is offered to those who need their morning fix of huevos rancheros, spinach florentine scramble, or the Northwest benedict with housemade crab and bay shrimp cakes, all of which can be paired with bloody marys, screwdrivers, and greyhounds.