Egg whites, dried kiwi, a little brown sugar, a little cinnamon, a little vanilla, a few other little things -- that's all that Bruce Harrison, owner of Sweet Bob's, will say when you ask what's in the sauce that comes with his sweet-potato fries. But those words don't even begin to describe these frites, which become as sugary as candy and as addictive as heroin once they're set to soaking in Harrison's secret sauce. Imagine a kiwi cake frosting melted over soft, fried sweet potatoes. Or your grandmother's best sweet-potato pie topped with warm syrup. Hell, imagine anything you like -- but get down there and give these spuds a try.
At the Main Street Tavern, the mozzarella stick has finally grown up and gotten some class. The mozzarella-and-prosciutto spring rolls here put real mozzarella, thick-sliced prosciutto and whole basil leaves inside a crisp spring roll skin for an updated, mature take on the late-night bar-food classic. The rolls come out piping hot, gooey and deliciously salty thanks to the prosciutto, and because no one should ever fuss too much with a proven favorite, each order comes with a little dish of plain, slightly spicy red sauce for dipping. Sit back, call for another round, and enjoy.


At the Main Street Tavern, the mozzarella stick has finally grown up and gotten some class. The mozzarella-and-prosciutto spring rolls here put real mozzarella, thick-sliced prosciutto and whole basil leaves inside a crisp spring roll skin for an updated, mature take on the late-night bar-food classic. The rolls come out piping hot, gooey and deliciously salty thanks to the prosciutto, and because no one should ever fuss too much with a proven favorite, each order comes with a little dish of plain, slightly spicy red sauce for dipping. Sit back, call for another round, and enjoy.
The fabulous pan-fried chicken at the Rocky Mountain Diner and its southern sibling, the Castle Cafe, is enough to fry you to the moon. Pieces of tender bird are coated in a spicy, super-secret-recipe batter, then fried in heart-healthy canola oil until they're tender and juicy inside, golden-brown and crisp outside. With other places dropping fried chicken off their menus, the fact that these restaurants continue to offer fried chicken -- and such good fried chicken -- is something to crow about.


The fabulous pan-fried chicken at the Rocky Mountain Diner and its southern sibling, the Castle Cafe, is enough to fry you to the moon. Pieces of tender bird are coated in a spicy, super-secret-recipe batter, then fried in heart-healthy canola oil until they're tender and juicy inside, golden-brown and crisp outside. With other places dropping fried chicken off their menus, the fact that these restaurants continue to offer fried chicken -- and such good fried chicken -- is something to crow about.
Think you're not a calamari kind of person? That just might be because you've never had your squid done south-of-the-border style. Jalapeño Mexican grill takes thick-cut rings of squid, rolls them in finely ground herbed breadcrumbs, then sends 'em down for a quick swim in the deep fryer, where they're in the oil just barely long enough to cook through, but not so long that they shrivel and turn rubbery. The tender rings come with creamy buttermilk ranch sauce for wimps who want to cover up the fresh, ever-so-slightly funky seafood taste, but all you really need is a squeeze or two of lime juice to make for some great finger food.


Think you're not a calamari kind of person? That just might be because you've never had your squid done south-of-the-border style. Jalapeo Mexican grill takes thick-cut rings of squid, rolls them in finely ground herbed breadcrumbs, then sends 'em down for a quick swim in the deep fryer, where they're in the oil just barely long enough to cook through, but not so long that they shrivel and turn rubbery. The tender rings come with creamy buttermilk ranch sauce for wimps who want to cover up the fresh, ever-so-slightly funky seafood taste, but all you really need is a squeeze or two of lime juice to make for some great finger food.
Frank Bonanno and his crew at Mizuna do just about everything pretty darn well, but the one thing they do far and away better than any other kitchen in town is sweetbreads. Thymus glands are devilishly hard to cook right; they require careful handling and perfect timing in the pan. But in expert hands, the result can be a sublime bit of charcuterie that -- like the preparation of foie gras or the proper handling of truffles, both of which Mizuna also does admirably well -- can be held up as a benchmark achievement. Mizuna's sweetbreads are a fine measure of a galley and crew that consistently bring their A-game every night of the week.
Mizuna
Joni Schrantz
Frank Bonanno and his crew at Mizuna do just about everything pretty darn well, but the one thing they do far and away better than any other kitchen in town is sweetbreads. Thymus glands are devilishly hard to cook right; they require careful handling and perfect timing in the pan. But in expert hands, the result can be a sublime bit of charcuterie that -- like the preparation of foie gras or the proper handling of truffles, both of which Mizuna also does admirably well -- can be held up as a benchmark achievement. Mizuna's sweetbreads are a fine measure of a galley and crew that consistently bring their A-game every night of the week.
Twinkies are good. Twinkies drizzled with chocolate sauce and piped with whipped cream are better. Now take that same Twinkie and dunk it in 350-degree fryer oil for a few seconds, and what you have is a dessert so ridiculously sweet and mind-numbingly bad for you that no life can be considered well-lived until you try one. And now,

thanks to restaurateur and certified mad scientist Derrol Moorhead, you can, because he offers them at Wingin' It, his little sports-themed wing joint. Trust us on this one: A deep-fried Twinkie isn't as gross as it sounds. The hot fryer oil crisps the outside by caramelizing the sugars in the yellow-cake shell and turns the cream filling into sweet, white lava; other than that, though, the Twinkie itself is pretty much unchanged. If the deep-fried Twinkie isn't extreme enough for you, Moorhead has recently started serving a full range of battered and deep-fried candy bars as well. And, of course, Wingin' It also puts out a nice spread of chicken wings, with a dozen-odd gourmet sauces that range from just plain hot to sweet mango.

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