The despair in Marlon Brando's cry of "Stellaaaa" is lost as the nine big-screen TVs are drowned out by the sights and sounds of confetti cannons, airborne toilet-paper streamers, and rainfalls of bubbles. During afternoon and dinner service, Ballyhoo Restaurant & Bar is tamer, dishing up a menu of classic American fare, including six burgers, more than 10 kinds of sandwiches and wraps, and six pizzas. At night, however, Ballyhoo is a haven for tomfoolery and shenanigans of all kinds.
Framed posters of classic Hollywood A-listers—including Elvis, Brando, and Hepburn—cover the dining-room walls at this movie-theater-themed eatery. Here the staff encourages patrons to indulge in the fun instead of silencing raucous laughter and insisting diners behave themselves or risk finding an alka seltzer under their pillow from the bar fairy. From behind a marble countertop, bartenders dole out a range of boozy beverages while well-loved movies flicker across nine flat-screen TVs. Diners can pick reasonable meals off the menu, or set themselves up for The Challenge—a dinner plate packing four 8-ounce burgers layered in four types of cheese as well as half a pound of bacon and two onion rings. To win half off their final bill (not valid with this Groupon), challengers are allotted 20 minutes to gobble the whole dish while sticking their tongues out at the food gods.
The doughsmiths at Cecil Whittaker’s Pizzeria craft thin-crust pizzas bubbling with an untouched surface of cheese or loaded with toppings such as jalapeño peppers, bacon, and shrimp. It’s their specialty and what they’re known for—“This is the place to go if you like St. Louis-style, thin-crust pizza (though they do offer a thick crust pizza, too) or just want to kick back and have a beer,” raves Metromix.
But the menu isn’t limited to pizzas. Each day, the kitchen roasts and slices tender beef for roast beef sandwiches dipped in savory au jus. The au jus is prepared in house, as is the meat sauce that graces Cecil Whittaker's pasta, chicken parmesan, and meatball sandwiches. There’s also a hearty selection of smokehouse dishes such as ribs, pulled pork, and brisket served with homestyle sides of green beans and coleslaw. A weekday lunch buffet from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. gives diners a chance to sample different entrees and sides–along with a salad and pizza bar–and creative additions the chefs cook up like sloppy joe's one day or bacon cheeseburgers the next.
At It’s a Better Burger, staff focus on one thing: how to make the tastiest creations ever to fill slices of bread. Their entire menu can be broken into three distinct sandwich categories, featuring their gourmet burgers, chicken sandwiches, and specialty sandwiches, all of which showcase their love of this gastronomic genre. Burgers come in three sizes or with two patties, and can be topped with everything from barbeque sauce, pulled pork, and haystack onions to garlic mushrooms and sweet peppers. Their chicken sandwiches transfer the flavors of the burgers to a grilled or crispy chicken breast, while the rest of the menu is dedicated to classics such as the BLT and unique versions such as the chipotle salmon burger. They offer a select menu of diner fare with their burgers, pairing dishes with fresh fries, fried corn on the cob, hand-dipped milkshakes, and their famous cheesecake.
Almost 100 years ago, Peter J. Oberweis found himself with a surplus of milk. Rather than throw it out or freeze it into popsicles, Peter began selling it to his neighbors, an endeavor that was so popular that he began a milk-delivery service in 1927. Fast-forward to today, and Oberweis Dairy still delivers glass bottles of creamy milk to doorsteps. The small family-owned dairies that produce milk exclusively for Oberweis pledge never to use artificial growth hormones, therefore imbuing craft cheeses, super-premium ice cream, and yogurt with fresh, unobstructed taste. Oberweis partners with other like-minded companies to deliver such items as certified-humane Phil’s Fresh Eggs, Chuckanut Bay Foods cheesecake, and Connie’s Pizza to homes or to sell them at the company’s various retail locations.
The chefs at Lucky Sushi House reach beyond the borders of their eatery's name by serving a menu that not only features sushi, but also Japanese teriyaki dishes and Chinese staples such as orange chicken. Behind the sushi bar, chefs stack morsels of eel nigiri and roll combinations of crab, avocado, and tuna into cozy cocoons of rice. While admiring the decorative fans on the walls or peering into the restaurant's aquarium to check for messages in bottles, patrons can also crunch into squid-tempura rolls, split a plate of pot stickers, and swig Harbin Lager imported from China.
The composed, yet inviting presentation of Moto Sushi's maki and nigiri hints at the chefs' dedication to cleanly fused flavors. Behind the sushi bar, chefs roll more than 50 different maki with inventive ingredients–sweet-chili sauce, fried jalapeños, and fajita peppers, among others–before arranging them into arrow-straight lines or scale maps of the Tokyo subway system. Traditional Japanese entrees, including marinated chicken teriyaki and tempura-fried vegetables, round out the menu.
Suspended from the ceiling, cylindrical-pendant lamps light the sage-green sushi bar and cast a yellow glow through wire shades that hang above horseshoe-shaped booths.