When Flavors Indian Restaurant cofounder Shiv Dave was working as a financial advisor for a big-time accounting firm in Indonesia, he was struck by the lack of authentic Indian cuisine outside of his native country. Together with his wife, professional dietitian Shilpa Dave, Shiv set off the spark for a family-run restaurant dedicated to producing healthy traditional feasts from the Indian subcontinent. As an American extension of the Dave family's original venture in Indonesia, Flavors Indian Restaurant introduces meals of fluffy naan bread, creamy paneer, and zesty curries to the American diet of apple pies and candy-based cereal products. Chefs from India draw from years of professional experience and firsthand knowledge of their culture's cuisine, whipping up meals of tender lamb vindaloo or seafood masala with a well-honed expertise.
Johnny Huntsman founded the first Johnny's Pizza House in Louisiana in 1967, calling it the "only link in the world's smallest pizza chain." The restaurant's signature pizza crusts, made fresh daily, soon caught on and led to rapid expansion. Although the restaurant declared bankruptcy in the late 1980s, Huntsman rallied enough support to pull his empire out of Chapter 11 by parading down the street wearing only a barrel with suspenders and carrying a sign saying, "Please Eat Johnny's Pizza." Today, Johnny's Pizza House's Addison, Texas, location continues to serve the franchise's tried-and-true dishes, such as buttery muffuletta sandwiches and 11-ingredient Sweep the Kitchen pizzas. While awaiting a specialty pizza, guests can study the contemporary dining area, which includes red accent walls, flat-screen TVs, and pizza paintings that are remade fresh daily.
Seven days a week, the kitchen at Duke's Original Roadhouse stays bustling into the wee hours of the night as cooks whip up hearty comfort food. Patrons can nosh on “Fall Off The Bone” barbecue ribs, which arrive at tables accompanied by garlic mashed potatoes or seasoned fries or enjoy one of six mac ‘n’ cheese varieties, including one that’s topped with a half-pound of grilled hot dog. Hefty sandwiches, such as the open-faced pot-roast sandwich topped with brown gravy, pair well with a shareable 104-ounce cylinder of beer known as Duke’s Tower of Power. The restaurant also features an outdoor patio and deck, where guests gather each Wednesday evening to toss large bouncy balls into trashcans during bouts of Big Balls.
From the perfectly spiced stews to a dining room filled with woven basket tables, every detail is carefully planned to help people forget about Texas the moment they step inside Queen of Sheba Restaurant. The authentic Ethiopian dining experience begins with a traditional hand washing ceremony before guests dive into family-style trays of meat- and vegetable-laden stews simmered in ginger, garlic, and spicy pepper sauces. A crepe-like bread called injera serves as the fork and spoon when eating, and tastes better than a napkin. And as Ethiopian tradition follows, a cup of coffee concludes meals. Alternatively, chefs can call upon the culinary traditions of Italy as they coat fettuccine noodles with alfredo sauce and bake trays of chicken parmigiana.
“Indian food.” Those two words call to mind a handful of ubiquitous dishes but hardly capture the subcontinent’s wealth of regional cuisines. Wild Chutneys Indian Cuisine goes beyond what’s expected to introduce palates to a new world of fragrant spices and colorful curries. The menu reads like Marco Polo’s travelogue, spanning nearly all of India and Pakistan with regional dishes such as goan fish curry, peshawari biryani, and the fluffy naan that once paved the Silk Road. Clay ovens bake dishes of chicken tikka and ginger-infused lamb chops to tender perfection, and stews of black lentils, chickpeas, tomatoes, and okra ensure ample options for vegetarians.
Best Thai’s founder and chef, Booney, possesses Thai cooking skills that are a little bit highbrow, a little bit homegrown. Her first culinary experiences took place in the family kitchen, where her father passed down the recipes and cooking styles he had learned from his own parents. She soon refined those skills in the kitchens of the five-star Mandarin Oriental Hotel. With this two-pronged approach, she devises menus—which vary by restaurant location—brimming with pad thai, pineapple fried rice, and panang curries swimming with meat and veggies.