Armed with just a single, generations-old cookie recipe, Great American Cookies opened its first store in 1977, and the rest is history. Today, the franchise boasts locations in malls across the country and nabbed a coveted spot on Entrepreneur magazine’s 2012 list of Top 500 Franchises in the baked-goods category. The shop’s reputation grew, and so did its menu as chefs churned out a mouthwatering roster of gourmet-cookie recipes, each created and carefully tested in Atlanta. The tempting options now include snickerdoodle, peanut butter with M&M’s, and chewy pecan supreme, as well as freshly baked fudge and cheesecake brownies and cookie sandwiches stuffed with frosting. The real showstoppers, however, are the giant chocolate-chip cookie cakes, which can be customized with sweet, celebratory messages or shopping lists penned in colorful icing.
Jack of Malibu Jack's Surf Grill has always loved the beach. He grew up in the surf—swimming, fishing, sailing—and moved away from it only to go to school. His adult life sent him travelling for work, a time when he sought out the beaches of the world and sampled the diverse foods of the various areas he visited. From these experiences he was able to pull together a menu that features beachy foods from various cuisines, such as caribbean jerk chicken and Maine diver scallops. The Augusta location of Malibu Jack’s Surf Grill boasts six big-screen TVs, which broadcast NFL games in the fall and a video feed of Poseidon scraping kelp off his party boat the rest of the year.
Domino's recently reformulated its pizza recipe, which puts the buyer in command of a plentitude of pie-personalizing possibilities. Test the sturdiness of a hand-tossed thin crust with mounds of hearty marinara, ham, chicken, green peppers, black olives, and spinach, or fill a deep-dish foundation with alfredo sauce, bacon, onions, jalapeños, fresh mushrooms, and banana peppers. While delicious design options stretch into infinity like a taffy pull in a black hole, the eatery's specialty pizzas make choosing more manageable. Peruse pies like the MeatZZa Feast, which is piled high with pepperoni, ham, italian sausage, beef, and extra mozzarella, and the Pacific Veggie, a flashy West Coast–concoction of roasted red peppers, spinach, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, black olives, feta, mozzarella, and provolone.
The maritime chefs at Crab King of Augusta populate their savory menu with fresh seafood and a celebrated garlic dipping sauce. Start off with 1- or 2-pounds of shrimp bathed in steam and seasoning blends, recalling a jacuzzi party hosted by Mrs. Dash. Toothsome morsels of bacon-wrapped scallops and fried oysters infiltrate muzzles after increasing their allure with a bath in Crab King's signature garlic dipping sauce. Tea and soft drinks add refreshment throughout the meal, while a pair or quartet of Sara Lee strawberry shortcake cups provides a better finale than eating a The Cosby Show season eight boxed set.
Barberitos assuages stubborn hunger pangs with a zesty mixture of fresh, made-to-order southwestern fare. A popular option on the diverse menu, the Heavy D burritotests tortilla strength with portions of rice, beans, meat, cheese, salsa, guacamole, sour cream, and lettuce ($6.79). Because meals, like pacemakers, can be fun to put together yourself, Barberitos serves sizzling fajitas, a platter of meat, three taco shells, and tasty toppings ready for assembly ($8.99–$9.99). On Fridays only, jerk fish tacos prove they're actually quite nice with a medley of grilled tilapia, cheese, guac, cilantro, and lime ($3.59). Meat dodgers can indulge in vegetarian options such as the vegetarian quesadilla, a grilled 10-inch tortilla filled with cheese and beans or a choice of vegetables ($5.39).
HoneyBaked Ham serves up succulent slices of meat, lovingly roasted, smoked, and otherwise coaxed into deliciousness. Its classic sandwiches pile poultry, beef, and more between bread bookends for a quick and quality meal. Barnyard-based sandwiches include the HoneyBaked Ham Classic, featuring the meat magnate’s signature honey-crusted ham and a creamy honey-mustard sauce. The Turkey Bacon Blitz matches the Thanksgiving mascot with cheddar cheese and savory sauce atop a fresh Ciabatta roll. Chicken salad and veggie sandwiches are also available for farmers attempting to turn over a new leaf. Choose a side item to accompany the classic sandwich on its digestive journey—options include potato salad, pasta salad or a fruit cup—and write an edible epilogue to your tale with one of HoneyBaked Ham’s fresh-baked cookies.