Founded in 1954 by James McLamore and David Edgerton, Burger King rapidly expanded from humble beginnings as a lone burger joint to more than 12,400 locations across 79 countries today, making it the second-largest fast-food-hamburger chain in the world. Its signature burger?the Whopper sandwich?consists of flame-broiled, quarter-pound beef patties crowned with a miniature fedora and a fully customizable array of toppings such as tomatoes, onions, and dill pickles. Focused on continual improvement, the chain recently reinvented the fries that accompany each value meal, outfitting the spud slices with a thicker cut of potato for a fluffier texture on the inside and crispier golden-brown exterior. A spread of decadent desserts including dutch apple pie and Hershey pie keeps sweet teeth from elongating into fangs, and made-to-order breakfast sandwiches clasp eggs, american cheese, and bacon, sausage, or ham between two halves of a flaky croissant to round out the speedy menu.
When Bob Candice opened Candicci's Italian Restaurant in 1980, he wanted to re-create the intimate ambiance and authentic cooking of restaurants he admired in New York's Little Italy. To do this, he hired Chef Rodney Leadbetter to forge a menu of classic and innovative pasta, seafood, chicken, and veal dishes, all enriched with fresh herbs and produce, nutty Italian cheeses, and salty cured meats. As a special treat, Chef Rodney sometimes dishes up his signature risotto, which bursts with so much flavor that the staff declared him the "King of Risotto" despite the Prince of Parmesan being the rightful heir. All of his mouthwatering masterworks find their way to a rustic, butternut-hued dining room, where staffers routinely light votive candles to cast a soft glow on guests' tables and booths.
Almost 100 years ago, Peter J. Oberweis found himself with a surplus of milk. Rather than throw it out or freeze it into popsicles, Peter began selling it to his neighbors, an endeavor that was so popular that he began a milk-delivery service in 1927. Fast-forward to today, and Oberweis Dairy still delivers glass bottles of creamy milk to doorsteps. The small family-owned dairies that produce milk exclusively for Oberweis pledge never to use artificial growth hormones, therefore imbuing craft cheeses, super-premium ice cream, and yogurt with fresh, unobstructed taste. Oberweis partners with other like-minded companies to deliver such items as certified-humane Phil’s Fresh Eggs, Chuckanut Bay Foods cheesecake, and Connie’s Pizza to homes or to sell them at the company’s various retail locations.
Since 2001, the cooks at India's Kitchen have fashioned fresh vegetables and halal meats into northern and southern-Indian cuisine. They simmer tikka masala with charcoal-roasted shrimp, roast ginger-marinated chicken in a tandoor oven, and fry battered morsels of housemade paneer cheese. Patrons savor these dishes in an inviting dining room with red walls and hanging chandeliers.
When founders J. Kim Tucci, Joseph A. Fresta, and John P. Ferrara first opened The Pasta House Co. in 1974, they wanted to elevate pasta to an art form. “Some artists sculpt, some paint, and some sketch,” they write on the restaurant’s website. “But, at The Pasta House Co., we create authentic Italian culinary delights.” A few of the locations even have giant, exhibition kitchens so you can watch as pizzas, pastas, and entrees come to life.
Naturally, The Pasta House Co.’s menu revolves around the Italian staple from which it gets its name. There are more than 25 varieties of pasta to choose from, including linguine with chicken livers and the signature lasagna, plus weekday specials such as stuffed manicotti. Meanwhile, the mangia bene menu—which translates to “eat well” in Italian—showcases the more wholesome side of Italian eating, with dishes low in fat and calories that won’t peer pressure you to break curfew.
When Krupa and Sid Panchal moved from Bombay, what they missed most about their native city was the food. Hence, they revved up St. Louis's first Indian food truck, showcasing a menu paying homage to their traditional Indian street fare, including vegetarian and vegan-friendly options. They sizzle up easy-to-transport eats, such as vada pav?mashed potatoes deep fried in a chickpea flour batter?and dosas?thin crepes, stuffed with potatoes, cheese, or vegetables. The flavorful dishes are enhanced with dry or wet chutneys made from tamarind, cilantro, or garlic.