Small, bright, and filled with colorful wall murals depicting exotic landscapes, this Arabic restaurant offers a big menu of Lebanese standards, including excellent versions of such mezes as hummus, baba ghannouj and tabbouleh. Plenty of vegetarian options, too.
The accountrements are quintessential Lakewood: unpretentious atmosphere, happy-hour drink specials, filling and unfancy bar food. But the music calendar is filled with some of the area’s best singer-songwriters, blues acts, and rootsy rockers.
Though this Polish deli and restaurant looks and feels like it has always been here, the Slavic Village shop opened in 2008. The front portion is devoted to the deli, with wooden shelving and coolers laden with smoked meats, pastries, and imported foodstuffs from Eastern Europe. A spare but elegant dining room in the rear of the shop dishes up hearty, homey comfort foods like pierogies, potato pancakes, stuffed cabbage, pork schnitzel, and cabbage and noodles. A buffet, during busy times, is a great bargain, offering an all-you-can-eat experience for $6.99.
Workingman's blues ooze from the corner stage at Smedley's. When the bands take a midnight break, the ghosts of Jim Morrison and Janis Joplin spook the jukebox back to life.
Short for Southern hospitality, SoHo serves fresh takes on Low Country, Cajun, and Creole cuisine. On the snappy and cohesive menu are classic Southern staples like shrimp and grits, catfish Po' Boys, and chicken and waffles, all dressed up for a more demanding modern audience. Even the cocktails scream Deep South, with bourbon, rye and moonshine-fueled bevies going down like sweet tea on a sticky summer day.
Approachable, seasonal, and expertly crafted, the food at chef Ben Bebenroth's restaurant is a locavore's dream, with the concise menu getting frequent tweaks. Polenta fries combine the crunch of a fry with the creaminess of soft polenta; flatbread is layered with house-smoked trout; soups swing from potato and sunchoke to chilled beet and pickled squash. While treatments change, diners can count on dishes built around flavorful local pork, chicken, and beef.
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