Serving 100% fresh ground beef and hand-spun milkshakes, Jake's Wayback Burgers keeps the spirit of classic American diner fare on a culinary iron lung. The menu reads like Moby Dick had Moby Dick been written about all-beef patties, marinated chicken sandwiches, veggie burgers, and caesar salad. Golden fries, onion rings and house-made chips wing-man main attractions while hand-dipped ice cream or milkshakes, such as chocolate banana, coffee, and mint, are tasty post-meal temptations. Jake's Wayback Burgers stirs the menu pot with the Burger of the Month and Shake of the Month. Past monthly specials include the Turkey Dinner, a turkey burger topped with secret recipe stuffing, tangy cranberry sauce and a healthy dose of Norman Rockwell nostalgia, and the Thanksgiving-inspired pumpkin-pie shake.
Drive-in movies. Car hops. Rock 'n' roll. Though human nature compels us to view the past in varying shades of gold, the 1950s almost transcends nostalgia. For those who were there, the smallest of triggers can set off waves of fond memories: a ringing bell leads the mind’s eye back to the polished counter of a soda fountain, and an oldies radio station evokes weekends spent passing quarters through the jukebox slot.
On September 11, 2001, in the midst of tragedy and after 19 years as a flight attendant, Brenda Stranberg decided that she was tired of playing back memories of America’s greatest decade in her head. Looking around her at a cultural landscape that her childhood self would hardly recognize, she teamed up with old friend Naif Makol Jr. and founded Skooter’s, an old-fashioned diner and coffee shop inspired by the simple pleasures of life more than half a century ago. Though somewhat of an anachronism, the diner’s open kitchen has proven wildly popular among the various generations that frequent the sit-down counter to sample thick milk shakes, loaded hot dogs, and burgers topped with fried onions. Between bites, guests can toss coins into the antique jukebox or admonish the diner’s soda jerks for callously dousing their friends with fountain drinks.
Izumi Japanese Steak House & Sushi Bar's cast of sushi and hibachi chefs infuse their culinary influences into a distinctly Japanese menu. They craft more than 30 different maki and hand rolls and deftly slice more than 20 types of à la carte sushi and sashimi. Teriyaki sauce slathers high-end meats and seafood, such as Chilean sea bass and tuna steak, and top-notch proteins also don crispy coatings of tempura or sizzle on hibachi grills. From behind a full bar accented with LCD televisions and high-def umlauts, bartenders pour a wide selection of sakes and craft exotic cocktails.
Golden Irene’s Restaurant tucks diners inside a cozy eating space filled with Greek, Italian, and American specialties. After carefully inspecting the menu for typesetting errors, patrons can introduce their teeth to mozzarella fritto ($7.95) or greek dolmathes, grape leaves stuffed with rice and beef ($6.95). The traditional greek volous stifado makes a stew of beef, pork, and bulgur meatballs, then pours it over garlic mashed potatoes ($12.95), while the chicken parmesan stows steaming pasta and breaded chicken under layers of cheese ($13.95) . The chefs also grace table tops with cheese-sizzling pizzas, delighting taste buds with a 16-inch meat lovers' pie bending under the crushing weight of hamburger, sausage, pepperoni, bacon, and ham and sliced into 20 easy-to-life squares ($19.50) .
Like the sun’s chosen outfit, the lunch and dinner offerings at Skinny’s Bar and Grill vary depending on the day of the week. Where Sundays see cheesy chili with cornbread or spaghetti and meatballs, Fridays’ fried-fish selections join the menu’s mainstays of wings, pizzas, and grinders.
Although it may have fallen out of Top 40 rotation in the 70 years since it was sung by a burger-shop owner’s barbershop quartet, the song “When the Red, Red Robin (Comes Bob, Bob, Bobbin' Along)” lives on in the legacy of a Seattle-based burger joint. The Red Robin franchise has spread its wings far and wide, now serving locations throughout North America with sustainably grown, environmentally conscious burgers and sides that marry classic American flavors with savory twists such as onion straws or bruschetta. Most of the shop’s fire-grilled burgers, chicken sandwiches, and entrees come with a side of bottomless steak fries, allowing patrons to soak up the juicy Whiskey River barbecue sauce, melted blue cheese, and edible fedoras that top the menu’s varied eats. The staff are happy to help patrons pair their sandwiches with one of the full bar’s microbrews or specialty mixed drinks, keeping glasses filled while athletic superstars battle it out on the eatery's big-screen TVs.