A third-generation Alaskan native, Mike Dodge is proud of his roots through and through. This dedication shines through in his cooking; he insists on using as many fresh and local ingredients as possible in order to support Alaskan businesses. Yet as the executive chef and owner of Hott Stixx, Mike isn’t afraid to look elsewhere for inspiration. He often blends his local raw materials with recipes plucked from all over the world. His appetizer selection—including ginger black-bean tacos, steamed pork buns, samosas, and spicy thai peanut wings—provides insight into the eclectic assortment of dishes. Incorporating international flavors throughout his menu, Mike also uses cooking techniques he learned from his parents, who taught him at a young age to cook baby formula from scratch.
Hot Dog on a Stick Founder Dave Barham opened his first Hot Dog on a Stick in Santa Monica in 1946, and the company has since burgeoned into an employee-owned franchise that's more than 100 eateries strong and spans 11 states. Best known for a 100% turkey hot dog dunked in corn-bread batter made from Dave's mother's recipe and cooked in soy oil, Hot Dog on a Stick also pioneered the dipping and be-sticking of mild american and spicy jalapeño jack cheese. Smiling employees in red-, white-, and blue-striped uniforms with, as Dave put it, "a splash of lemonade," hand over cherry, lime, sugar-free, or original lemonade that they make fresh every two hours by squeezing Ventura County lemons until they cry.
Since 1989, Phyllis’s Cafe & Salmon Bake has injected their traditional steakhouse lunches and dinners with local Alaskan charm. Elk, buffalo, and reindeer meat are served alongside traditional steaks and burgers and a selection of large salads that provide a lighter meal. Seafood ranges from the eatery’s eponymous salmon—in red, silver, and king varieties—to their signature chowder, infused with clams, hearty chunks of halibut, shrimp, and crab and served in a sourdough bread bowl. Alaskan beers, along with wines culled from the Pacific Northwest, round out meals with coastal flavors more robust than the area beaches’ palate-cleansing sand.
At Bombay Deluxe, guests dine in sight of the kitchen's traditional clay tandoor oven, where chicken, lamb, and veggie dishes luxuriate in piquant Indian spices. With more than 40 entrees on the menu, diners can delve into a bowl of chicken curry with fresh garlic and ginger or sink teeth into loaded plates of lamb vindaloo's tender chunks of lamb with spicy red chili and a tangy vinegar sauce. Bombay Deluxe invites customers to dine in, carry-out, or use the Food On the Way delivery ordering system to have meals hot and ready to be savored at home or on the way to a jewelry heist.
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In the 1930s, with only an eighth-grade education and some change in his pocket, young entrepreneur Bill Johnson left his Kentucky home at age 14 to pursue his big-city dreams in Cincinnati. After putting in his time as a hardworking employee at a hamburger stand, Bill gathered his savings and opened the fist Country Kitchen in 1939, where he sold burgers for a nickel and steak sandwiches for a dime.
As it's grown over the years, Country Kitchen has taken on the shapes and identities of many different venues, including a trendy drive-in, a diner, and a breakfast shop. Today, the business has matured into a contemporary, full-service restaurant, plating up a spread of comfort food that includes all-day breakfast and hearty burgers. It does so at locations across the United States—a far cry from Bill's first storefront shop some seven decades ago.