In 1988, Auntie Anne's founders Anne and Jonas Beiler purchased a Pennsylvania farmers' market stand, where they experimented with dough until they created a pretzel that seemed to strike the perfect chord with their customers. Today, at their more than 1,150 locations worldwide, the pretzel makers still hand roll the original recipe but have added to the menu with inventive options, such as the pepperoni pretzel and eight signature dipping sauces. The team constantly explores new uses for the pretzel dough, such as wrapping it around hot dogs, slicing it into bite-size nuggets, or using it to build historically accurate Austrian villages. To transform the snack into a meal, they accompany it with specialty drinks, including flavored lemonade mixers.
When not twisting dough, Auntie Anne's team partners with the national charitable organization Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, which raises funds to fight childhood cancer. They also reach out to the community through fundraising opportunities.
Papa Murphy’s serves up a tasty menu of handmade take ‘n’ bake pizzas using dough, cheese, meats, and veggies that are freshly prepared every day. After customers choose their pie, Papa Murphy's slice slingers build the pizza in-store and package it for customers to bake at home in the oven, in a pottery kiln, or over a pile of burning cookbooks. Customers can select one of Papa Murphy's signature pizzas or customize their 'za to a more specific taste, choosing from four sauces, three crusts, and more than 20 toppings available.
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The Cookie Jar Restaurant's bakers expanded their cooking repertoire from making fresh cookies and pastries to grilling burgers, sautéing vegetables, and simmering sauces to populate a menu of classic American fare. Knives carve off hunks of prime rib from broiled midwestern beef and slice into a warm baked potato ($24.95), and forks poke at Bob's Favorite, taking stabs at the sliced chicken, mushrooms, and zucchini dripping in alfredo ($15.95), annihilating the dish before Bob nabs it. Hearty favorites fill stomach caverns with dishes such as the tavern-battered halibut, which is bathed in beer and escorted by a side of homemade tartar sauce ($14.95), or italian lasagna that, like a rock ballad, covers meaty substance in three kinds of cheese ($13.95). Replicas of the famous cookies that inspired the restaurant satiate sweet teeth along with house-made pies and cakes.
Pho Lena East serves up a wide variety of pho and a mélange of Asian cuisines, from Thai curries to Chinese chow mein. Pho, a traditional soup of Laos and Vietnam inundates bowls with clear broth and a choice of seven noodles, including sticky rice noodles, udon noodles, and pastel-tinted pool noodles. A plate of garnishes accompanies each pho dish, piled high with lime wedges, Thai basil, and fresh cilantro to be sprinkled over soups. Noontime snackers can choose from a panoply of lunch specials, while a verdant variety of vegetarian options satisfies herbivores.