An actual tour of Germany would delight all five senses, with attractions like the Brandenburg Gate's architecture and Oktoberfest's polka music. At Otto's Brauhaus, the Tour of Germany focuses primarily on the sense of taste by filling an omelet with cuts of knockwurst and Hungarian bratwurst. Otto's culinary team specializes in crafting hearty meals with German flavors just as they have since first opening in the 1930s. Today, its massive menu encompasses everything from Hungarian goulash over spätzle to schnitzel with a sunny-side up egg.
Cooks whip up plenty American favorites, too, including New York strips spiked with Jack Daniels and burgers smothered in chipotle ketchup. Bartenders pair each dish with pours from an extensive wine and beer selection that also draws equally from the U.S. and Deutschland. Besides the food and drinks, guests can take in Otto's lineup of live entertainment, which ranges from blues musicians to full brass bands as opposed to groups that play instruments hastily shaped from tinfoil.
Rockabilly crooners serenade an inked-up array of diners at The Blue Comet Bar and Grill, where chefs bebop over stoves laden with a menu's worth of succulent steaks, sandwiches, and seafood. Homemade soups ($3.50/cup; $4.25/bowl) prelude piping-hot sandwiches such as the grilled peanut butter and jelly ($5.25) or the home-cooked meatloaf and cheese ($7.25). A half dozen cold sandwiches shuffle onto salvers decked in hearty mounds of ham, roast beef, or liverwurst and onions ($6.25+) and nestled between slices of swirled rye or rare Johnny Cash LPs.
Bernie's Bar and Grill answers the greatest question in life—"What's for dinner?"—with a truckload of pub food. Its kitchen cooks up something for everyone—barbecue burgers, Reubens, chicken burritos, falafel, torpedo shrimp, pizza, and steak. Though beer is in great supply here, Bernie's is equal parts family restaurant and sports pub. At each location, the cozy booths and tables where parents and kids share potato skins and sundaes are joined by a wood bar, where TVs broadcast sports, athletic jerseys huddle in corners, and pennants hang overhead.
A former industrial chemist, Italian native Franco Federico brings the same attention to detail to his efforts to synthesize classic Italian flavors at Primo Bacio Ristorante Italiano & Bar. The owner's culinary team, led by the same chef for more than 10 years, painstakingly prepares each dish using fresh seafood and quality cuts of veal and steak.
Dishes such as chicken saltimbocca and veal marsala make their way out to tables in the main dining room, the banquet facilities, or the outdoor patio surrounded by a stone wall. Guests can also stick around for weekly entertainment, including weekend party nights, Thursday karaoke nights, and Tuesday nap times.
Live weekend entertainment enlivens the traditional vibe at O’Mare’s Irish Pub. Homemade sauce drizzles over platters of 10 or 20 buffalo wings spicy enough to prepare mouths to perform CPR on a dragon. Little-neck clams splash around in garlic sauce, and the king tuna club tops Albacore tuna with bacon, lettuce, and tomato. Crispy, golden shells ensconce tender crabmeat on seafood platters, and heaps of chips anchor hoagies, quesadillas, and cheesesteaks to plates.
The Shanachie's cooks forge culinary classics from Ireland and America to fill a menu with traditional comfort cuisine from both sides of the Atlantic. Tables groan beneath such hearty fare as the shepherd's pie ($14), which corrals a flock of ground beef, carrots, onions, and peas beneath a cumulus cloud of mashed potatoes and fuels attempts to reenact celebrity jigs. Chefs flash-fry slabs of ale-battered fish in a shimmering lake of hot oil before adding heaps of homemade Irish chips to complete the famed dynamic of fish 'n' chips ($12). The burger's ($9) Angus beef patty lounges atop a sourdough roll like a lethargic baker, and a bacon-wrapped plateful of pork tenderloin ($18) bastes in apple brandy jus as it acquires a dulcet tenderness. The pub's dessert menu hushes clamoring sweet teeth with such saccharine delights as homemade bread pudding infused with stout and custard ($6).
Father-and-son team Ken and Terry Sweeney founded Sweeney's in 1985 to fortify sports fans and unaffiliated revelers with family hospitality and hearty pub eats. Like visiting foreign dignitaries, wings arrive smothered in one of eight zesty sauces and sampler platters designed for digital delectation bear chicken fingers, mozzarella sticks, jalapeño poppers, pizza fingers, and onion rings. Eight Philly-steak sandwiches sport tender slices of beef and chicken alongside oven-warmed jewels such as a roast-chicken grinder stacked with bacon and swiss cheese on crisp garlic toast. A pair of house-made broiled crab cakes steps out on dinner platters with potatoes draped in parsley and the vegetable of the day carved to comment on that day's newspaper headlines.