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Scorch Grillhouse and Wine Bar

This quaint, burger-bistro-looking joint serves steaks, burgers, and seafood fresh off the grill at affordable prices. The wine list is stocked with bargains too. Toss in extremely friendly service and you have all the makings of a good neighborhood restaurant, which is just what Scorch is. "Scorch steak," a shorter, thicker type of skirt cut, boasts a toothsome texture and robustly fatty flavor, and goes for just $14.95; like all entrées, it is accompanied by either the vegetable of the day or one of sundry starches: the fries are thin and crisp, and skin-on mashed potatoes are creamily delicious. Jumbo ten-ounce burgers, passable pastas, and a juicy roast half-chicken ($13.45) are other popular plates. A fairly extensive list of appetizers encompasses the usual multiethnic mishmash of crowd pleasers -- gazpacho, bruschetta, fried calamari, quesadilla, and a soft patty of crabcake imbued with savory Old Bay-style seasonings. Caramel-fudge pecan pie is the most interesting of the desserts, although not really a pecan pie at all but a dense dark-chocolate pie with gooey nut topping. Scorch might not be the best restaurant you'll ever eat at, but rest assured you won't get burned.