Stacks Pancake House and Café offers early-rising breakfasteers and midday-rising lunchatoons a menu brimming with fluffy pancakes, double-decker sandwiches, and piping-hot cups of Joe. But Stacks’ dishes aren’t the usual diner mess; they are elegantly presented and often overflowing with fresh fruit. Peruse the list of more than 20 pancakes varieties and order a stack of Strawberry Fields (infused with farm fresh strawberries, $7.25) or Addiction (banana-mixed pancakes topped with melty chocolate chips, $7.25), or opt for oversized pancake wraps, which are named after Hoboken streets, such as the Hudson filled with scrambled eggs with home fries, melted cheddar, bacon, and salsa ($7.95). Those hankering for protein can chomp a flavorful omelette, such as the tomato-infused American ($6.95), paired with breakfast all-stars crispy bacon and toast. Stacks' talented team of batter-flippers also serves an array of hearty sandwiches, including corned beef on rye ($6.95) and Philly cheesesteaks ($7.25). Stacks' dining room, which has bare brick walls and high ceilings, makes diners feel at home with a blend of traditional and trendy decor.
A zinc-topped bar snakes along one side of The Continental Fitchburg's dining room, its shimmering metallic surface cool to the touch. Imported from Germany in pieces and retro-fitted by a local metal fabricator, the bar is reminiscent of the traditional zinc bars of the early-20th-century European cafés and bistros that The Continental strives to emulate. Drawing on family recipes, the chefs prepare each dish with fresh and local ingredients, many of which are grown in their onsite garden. Soft lights dangle from the ceiling of the Wi-Fi-saturated dining room, illuminating martini and cocktail glasses alongside plates of upscale Italian fare. A private party room and large outdoor patio host groups of up to 125 people, roughly the same amount that attended the first Tupperware party thrown by Gertrude Stein.
Papa John's has carefully crafted a menu of specialty pizzas to satisfy any taste or mouth shape. Order a hawaiian barbecue chicken ($16), or go all-out and get The Works ($16), a top-heavy combination of pepperoni, ham, spicy italian sausage, fresh-sliced onions, green peppers, gourmet baby portabella mushrooms, and ripe black olives. Satisfy herbivores and herbivoyeurs with a tuscan six cheese or garden fresh pie. The full list of specialty pizzas includes several more; take the hassle out of haggling over individual ingredients and boldly cast your straight-ticket ballot for the pizza party that your conscious dictates.
Carefully balancing starter platters stacked with housemade cornbread and frozen margaritas, the servers at Casa del Sol wind their way through the tables on the outdoor deck overlooking the water. As diners dig into burritos, the flavors of chicken or carnitas meld with garnishes of mango and pineapple or with ingredients from one of four other unique burritos. Meat dishes span many styles, from pork-loin medallions with garlic-adobo sauce to enchiladas verdes with a choice of meat or cheese filling. The inside dining area's bright yellow and purple walls adorned with paintings of whirling dancers complement the bright flavors of the dishes, often delicately evoked by cilantro, poblano chili pepper, or guacamole.
Vintage Brewing Company deluges devotees with bountiful beers born out of Belgian, German, and American traditions. These refreshing hop-laden selections rest beside a slew of creative culinary concoctions, many of which comprise locally sourced ingredients. A plate of AJ's pretzels ($6) saunters in at the beginning of a feeding frenzy, with house-made pretzels perched on a pedestal and set to dive into a sea of VBC beer mustard and cheese dip. Vintage Brewing Company ups the burger ante with bratwurst burgers ($10.50) that explore what happens when two 4-ounce grilled brats are picked to live inside a beer-bread pretzel roll with oatmeal stout bacon sauerkraut, swiss cheese, and beer-cheese sauce. Throughout the visit, diners can pair plates with an array of bottles and cans, beers on tap, and wine.
Like many Mexicans, owner Antonio Estrada considers himself a Mestiza, which means that his lineage consists of both European and American Indian people from many different regions. To pay homage to this eclectic heritage, he not only draws upon traditional family recipes from his own family, but from culinary traditions all around Mexico. Using fresh ingredients, the chefs at La Mestiza craft a lineup of classic dishes, including poblano and cheese quesadillas and juicy carne asada steaks. To add to the authenticity, they make their own homemade tortilla chips and tamales the old-fashioned way—forging them in the searing, cauldron-like trumpet bells of ancient Mariachi bands.
The festive dining room’s warm orange and yellow walls serve as roosts for pieces of art, which gaze down at flower-topped tables illuminated by hanging lights.