Though the entrees at The Dixie Cafe make the biggest splash across its menu marquee, they're threatened with gastronomical upstaging by the southern-style eatery's 19 sides and scratch-made gravies. The chicken-fried steak, for example, is a tender, hand-breaded fillet that fully blossoms with flavor only after chefs smother it with cream gravy and cheddar cheese. And the Cajun grilled catfish's down-home taste isn't fully developed until it is paired up with bites of turnip greens, fried okra, or a homemade roll. The classic platter meals take advantage of this by pairing an entree with two sides, rolls, and jalapeño cornbread and can be ordered "light" for a portion that's smaller than the regular size and easier to toss in the air and catch in your mouth.
The Purple Cow Restaurant injects the classic ‘50s diner with Technicolor tones of lavender, amethyst, and lilac. Booth and counter seating host guests, and a soda jerk concocts hand-dipped shakes, as well as adult-only shakes made with a shot of amaretto, Irish cream, Kahlua, or responsibility. The restaurant’s menu blends comfort food standards including burgers, reubens, and BLTs with spicy soups and salads, while for dessert, the kitchen team whips up malts, ice cream sodas, and sundaes. Polly the Purple cow, the eatery’s mascot, frequently stops by to greet customers and make sure the store’s iconic purple vanilla ice cream is the correct shade of periwinkle.
San Francisco Bread Co. supplies customers with two things: a menu of comforting café fare, and a place to study, work, or write emails with wireless Internet access. Visitors may find themselves breathing deeply to relish the scent of brewing gourmet coffees intermingling with the aroma of freshly baked breads stacked in deli sandwiches and paninis. Every morning, fresh pastries, such as apple turnovers, danishes, or muffin tops, complement breakfast sandwiches borne on bagels or croissants. Slices of dessert from The Cheesecake Factory satisfy dairy cravings.
It's not just cars that get refueled at Road Runner's convenience stores and gas stations. Road Runner's in-house Rudy's Grill serves juicy hamburgers, ice-cold drinks, and desserts that sate the hunger of humans and anthropomorphic cars alike. The shops can be found all across Texas and Arkansas. After guests fill their bellies and gas tanks, they can take their car through the high-tech car wash for a sparkling new shine.
At The Steakhouse, experienced chefs from Brazil roast a menu of more than 12 meats over open flames, serve imported cheeses, and bake fresh bread daily with flour from Brazil. Servers appear tableside wielding cuts of top sirloin, bacon-wrapped chicken breast, or smoked sausages impaled on swords and then shaved into plate-sized portions or busts of Teddy Roosevelt. Duos accompany a helping of garlic steak with fresh mozzarella or savor the house specialty picanha with black beans from the side bar’s selection of 20 salads and meal accompaniments. To cap off the dinner, diners relish the popular roasted pineapple, sprinkled with cinnamon, sugar, and dreams grown in Candy Land.
Rich Hicks and Todd Istre are the masterminds behind many a national food concept—from Rich's southwestern taco at Tin Star to Todd's spicy seafood dishes at Boudreaux's Cajun Kitchen. When the duo joined forces to create Mooyah, however, they cleared the tortillas and crawdads from their mind in order to focus on formulating a quintessential American burger.
Today, within scores of Mooyah locations throughout the nation, chefs bustle behind counters, grilling up burgers in accordance to Todd and Rich's formula. Cooks pile lean-beef, turkey, and veggie patties onto white or wheat buns before loading on cheeses and toppings of bacon, fried onion, and avocado. Meanwhile, freshly cut potatoes simmer in fryers, and blenders whirl with ice-cream shakes. Out in the dining room, tabletops and booths sit atop checkered floors beneath walls of chalkboards, where customers can write messages or draw portraits of what they wished they looked like, could they only grow a beard.