When Schlotzsky's first opened in Austin back 1971, the owner offered just one sandwich. Known as The Original, the stack offered lean smoked ham, genoa and cotto salamis, three kinds of cheese, and a layer of marinated black olives, all atop a hot sourdough bun. That?s all it took to get Schlotzsky?s off the ground and send it on its way to become a global franchise, today featuring locations in 35 states and four countries. Of course, today?s menu holds many, many more flavor combinations?Angus roast beef and cheese, chicken and pesto, and a smoked-turkey reuben, to name a few?along with salads and pizzas. The latter aren't as much of a divergence from Schlotzky's lunch-friendly template as it might sound: at eight inches across, they're still easy to grab on the go, and the crust is made with sourdough just like the signature sandwich bread and the walls of the head baker's home.
Traditional topping, such as mushrooms and olives, are sprinkled atop Pizza Schmizza Pub & Grub?s crusts. But more often than not, the chefs incorporate eclectic ingredients that leave tongues wagging. Baby red potatoes and sour cream top the Ol? Hickory, and garlic chicken and spicy peanut sauce flavor the Spicy Thai. Meatballs with marinara, Mexican-roasted chicken, spaghetti noodles, and alligator sausage top other crusts, all of which can be stretched up to 18 inches?enough to feed a family of six or one velociraptor.
The eatery?s decor is just as unique as its ingredient combinations. An evergrowing wall of sticky notes memorializes the thoughts of past customers, and a framed print of Chewbacca chilling with a surfboard and lei watches over the pizza chefs as they work. Sporting events flicker across a squad of flat screens, and on select nights, musicians play live tunes.
Island Wing Company Bar & Grill is most famous for its extra-crispy chicken. Which is pretty remarkable, considering there's no deep fryer?in the kitchen. All of the wings and tenders at the restaurant's multiple Florida and Alabama locations are baked with a proprietary technique that leaves them even crispier than a fryer would. After they emerge from the oven, they're dressed in one of more than 20 sauces and dry rubs, and the results continue to bring regulars back for more. But wings aren't the only crowd favorite here. The menu also highlights seafood dishes and burgers so tall they require a steak knife or forklift to eat.
To craft the Momma's Love sandwich, the chefs at Momma Goldberg's Deli begin with a freshly steamed hoagie bun. They layer on slices of roast beef, ham, hickory-smoked turkey, and muenster cheese before topping the tower off with spicy brown mustard and Momma's sauce. In addition to offering a variety of other hearty hot and cold sandwiches, which can be served beside soup or salad, the chefs extend their culinary expertise toward the deli's specialty nachos?crispy Doritos showered in creamy pepper jack cheese.