At Steve The Southern Gourmet Restaurant and Catering, chefs Steve Graham and Yanci Evans want diners to feel like they're at grandma's house. To accomplish that, they went to straight to the source—they visited the kitchens of grandmas all around the area, studying techniques for making dishes from smothered pork chops to fried catfish. And like their grandmotherly mentors, they eschew anything prepackaged, using only fresh ingredients such as wild mushrooms and ground Angus beef. Their dedication to southern cuisine extends to the beverages, from the sweet tea brewed with sugar to the Carolina muscadine wines. The chefs keep the kitchen warm daily at the restaurant's large, airy dining space, as well as take it on the road to cater events such as weddings and eating-contest after-parties.
Even the most inexperienced pizza architects can build-their-own slices of heaven using Marco's abundant arsenal of pizza toppings such as Italian sausage, mushrooms, pineapple, and anchovies. Scope out Marco's menu in person or try their easy online ordering system, which lets hungry web-crawlers specify the amount of cheese and sauce they'd like slapped on top of freshly baked crusts and homemade sauce. For a finishing touch, pair the edible masterpiece with a complimentary sprinkle of crust seasoning or a side of Ranch dressing. Marco's oven overseers are able to prepare pizzas in 15 minutes upon request, providing a quick solution for feeding hungry packs of ninjas, turtles, and ninja-turtle hybrids.
Mystic Jamaican Diner's sign says it all: big block letters, evoking the writing on the hull of a sun-steeped boat, flow over the vibrant colors of the Jamaican flag. Diners saunter into the dining room with its tiki roof and sunflower-yellow walls to a booth, where waiters populate tables with sweet plantains and traditional entrees of jerk chicken and goat curry. Air rich with the scents of hot conch soup and coconut water carries conversation through trellis-style wooden dividers that break up the restaurant and simulate an island dinner uninterrupted by bottled messages advertising long-distance carriers.
Growing up in the Udon Thani province of Thailand, the owners of Orchid Garden learned to love two things: cooking and the province's famed orchids. So when they opened their family restaurant using the recipes they learned in Udon Thani, they decided to name it Orchid Garden. There, they specialize in spicy Thai curries and stir-fried noodles, which they toss with a choice of meat, seafood, veggies, or tofu, using only the freshest, highest-quality ingredients. Their signature dish is the ba lad prig, a whole fish that is marinated and deep fried before being spiced with lemon leaves, Thai basil, garlic, and hot peppers. On weekdays, 30 of their dishes can be found on the lunch buffet. But the selections rotate every day, like the tires of someone who commutes from Seattle to Boston for work. They don't limit their menu to just Thai items, however. They also serve up classic Chinese dishes as well as beer and wine from around the world.