The Leverage mall is an interesting place. Of course, it has the usual major chain stores, with a few art galleries, jewelry places, and even a business dealing in rare artifacts like Chinese vases, and the occasional statuary. But people, more often than not, don't come for the shopping, but for the food.
There may be chain stores in the bulk of the mall, but none of the large food franchises are allowed in the food court. Indeed, there's only five restaurants there, total, but with how each one varies, it's not hard to find a place to suit your needs.
For the formal date, might I suggest The Devereaux Dining Theater? They perform plays from all over the world, from classics like Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing to the Japanese drama Shibaraku. It's never the same play the same week in a row, though you may want to time your day a little more specifically. The shows usually take place only in the evenings. The food is, of course, excellent. The cuisine always follows the model of the play. If you're seeing a production of Zorro, Mexican food will accompany it. If you're seeing Chicago, deep dish pizza will be on the menu. Truly an experience.
Nestled neatly next to Devreaux is a place with large windows and a counter running around the perimeter of the restaurant, with electric outlets spaced at neat intervals. The small circular tables have gaming consoles and a few others have desktop computers. Techno music is always playing, but diners are encouraged to bring their own earbuds. You see, this restaurant, Hardison Place, is an internet café with one of the more interesting menus. For one thing, the menus are edible. Yeah, edible. Of course, that's only the menu for drinks, since the food menu is too big to make every day, but it's still quite interesting. The menu is a checkerboard of different colors, and each differently colored square has a label underneath it to show what drink is the flavor of the square. A diner can munch the squares and order the flavor they liked best. The food, in comparison, is rather unremarkable. Still, the restaurant has the fastest Wifi in the mall, and it's a great place to meet up with friends.
Across from Hardison Place, right next to the entrance, is the loudest restaurant in the whole building. The Park is not strictly speaking a restaurant, more like a massive arcade with an option for food. The high vaulted ceiling allows for indoor bungee jumping, though most people stick to the standard arcade games, ball pool, climbing jungle gym, and a small eating area at the back. Food is mostly sweets, soda, and a few real meals in case it's a family dinner and not just kids being dropped off by their parents. Still, it's a great place to have a birthday party.
Across the entrance from The Park is the more adult hangout spot. The Chessmaster, though with an eccentric name, is one of the best bars in the area, and not just because of the imaginative range of drinks and cocktails. It boasts several TV screens showing different programs for patrons. The big one right behind the customary bar usually shows whatever sport is playing at the time, but if you go sit at one of the booths, you might find a documentary playing on a nearby screen, or perhaps the latest news. The mix of different channels and videos acts like background music, but there are booths away from the screens for those patrons who'd like a bit more conversation to go with their food. The food is mostly standard bar fare, and the biggest attraction is the monthly chess tournament sponsored by the bar's owner, thus the name of the place.
But, of course, no food court is complete with a family restaurant, and thus we have Eliot's. There has been speculation amongst food critics and patrons alike whether the restaurant was added to the mall, or the mall added to the restaurant, because Eliot's feels like one of those restaurants passed down in a family. It's very unassuming at first, a simple atmosphere and the food choices, at first glance, look ordinary. But once you order, you'll understand that there is a huge difference. When you bite into a burger at Eliot's, you can taste the garlic added to the sauce and faint traces of egg in the meat. Order a salad, and you'll get a huge variety of fresh garden vegetables with a dressing that, even if you don't like dressing, the relish the taste of. But the best part, hands-down, is the large window on one side of the restaurant. It acts as a one way window into the kitchen, so patrons can watch their food being prepared. With the interesting entertainment, tantalizing smells, and delicious food, this is a winner for everyone.
So, if you ever get hungry while you're shopping, stop on by. Drop the kids in the park, check out the edible menu for any changes, and meet up at Eliot's later for dinner. I promise, the place will steal your heart.
I saw someone do this for Fullmetal Alchemist, but with alcoholic drinks. French Connection is my favorite episode, and I just couldn't let go of this idea. Please review! Whose restaurant did you like best?