When Debbi Fields opened the first Mrs. Fields in 1977, it wasn?t all sunshine and cookies. Between her lack of business experience and the unorthodox business model?selling only cookies?not many people believed in her. More than 30 years and a global franchise later, it?s safe to say the doubters are eating their words, at least when they're not busy stuffing their faces with one of Debbi's signature semisweet chocolate chip or oatmeal raisin and walnut cookies.
The wild popularity of Mrs. Fields's cookies can be attributed to the richness of their basic ingredients: real butter, whole eggs, and special blends of chocolate. Classic flavors include chewy fudge, peanut butter, and white chocolate macadamia, and seasonal flavors complement the lineup throughout the year. Select varieties can also be made into cookie cakes of various sizes and shapes that add a delicious twist to any celebration or milk-truck spill.
Since 1981, TCBY has been synonymous with frozen yogurt. The company spearheaded the guiltless consumption of low-fat, chilled dairy treats with iconic flavors such as white chocolate mousse topped with fresh fruit and candy. Today, TCBY yogurt shops across the country continue the tradition with classic and specialty flavors such as caramel supreme, greek honey vanilla, and sugar- and fat-free mountain blackberry. Patrons can also enjoy real fruit sorbets, sugarless options, and more than 35 toppings and choose from soft-serve and hand-dipped flavors.
The chefs at China Moon Restaurant & Lounge aren't afraid of a little spice. Their love for pepper and zest is evident in many of their traditional Chinese dishes, from Szechuan-style chicken to Hunan-style scallops. But don't focus solely on these main courses; doing so means you may miss out on appetizers such as barbecued spare ribs, spicy chicken wings, and chopsticks served raw.
Smashburger's cooks grill each burger ($4.99 for the classic) on the menu to order in addition to crafting grilled and crispy chicken sandwiches ($5.99+), salads ($4.99–$6.99), and sides such as rosemary- and garlic-tossed fries ($1.99+). The Smashburger pairs 100% Angus beef with veggies and cheeses on an artisan bun, and Häagen-Dazs shakes ($3.99–$4.29) keep mouths grounded, cool, and smiley. Add-ons such as applewood-smoked bacon ($1.50) or fried egg ($1) add additional zest to spicy baja burgers overflowing with chipotle mayo ($5.99+) or further personalize regional burgers unique to different cities and states.
Inspired by trips to the state's northwestern lakes, Okoboji Grill conjures the wayfaring spirit of summer vacation with hearty American comfort food. Chefs marinate chicken strips in beer before hand-breading them in a secret blend of spices, crown crispy onion strings with Iowa-raised pork chops, and stack thin-sliced meats into towering club sandwiches and edible replicas of the Chrysler Building. Okoboji Grill also culls recipes from international cuisines, adding an American take to greek gyros, housemade tzatziki sauce, and italian bruschetta and pastas.
The Alohana Hawaiian Grill revolves around the plate lunch, a staple of Hawaiian cuisine that consists of an entree, a scoop of macaroni salad, and a scoop of steamed rice. In the restaurant’s entrees, you can see the American and Asian influences that converge in Hawaiian cuisine: spam musubi, for instance, features a slice of grilled spam atop a block of rice and cinched with nori seaweed. In another dish, strips of deep-fried chicken come with bowls of katsu dipping sauce. Diners can also sample a variety of ramen-noodle bowls as well as piquant barbecued pork and beef dishes.
The culinary fusionists at Yanni's Grill & Vineyards meld vivacious flavors of Greek and Italian cuisine in cozy rooms adorned with murals and sparkly white lights. Peruse a bilingual dinner menu, and untangle hunger pains over uncomplicated plates of buttery garlic knots ($3.95/10 pieces). Sip carafes of wine while servers engage in culinary pyrotechnics with flaming plates of signature saganaki ($5.95). Yanni's signature penne careens down throat canals, gliding along thanks to a tomato-cream sauce and accompanied by sidecars of sweet peas, mushrooms, and ham ($12.95). The chef's coastal lineup of fresh fish ($15.95–$17.95) tempts seafaring folks, who may jump back on shore at the sight of the signature steak Deburgo and its 10-ounce crown of beef medallions bejeweled in wine, mushroom, and basil sauce.