When Mike Kantrow founded his original sandwich shop in 1979, he thought the name Byron's looked too boring. So, as he explains on his restaurant's website, he scratched the s and added a z to the end, giving birth to both a local legend with the Big Byronz sandwich and a local controversy over how to pronounce "Byronz." "If you want clarification on how to say it," Mike explains, "don't ask me."
So while regulars may fight over phonetics, few argue over the flavors infused in Bistro Byronz's southern-styled bistro cuisine. Hearty entrees anchor both the lunch and dinner menus, inviting diners to dig into the roasted potatoes that flank a French-cut pork chop marinated in Abita root beer. Comfort dishes soothe the soul, such as tender pot roast that wades in creole gravy and the signature Byronz sandwich with three types of meat, cheeses, dressing, and black olives.
The stir-fry cooks at China Garden Buffet welcome hearty appetites seven days a week with entrees and expansive smorgasbords that showcase regional Cantonese, Sichuan, Peking, and Hunan dishes. All-you-can-eat buffets abound, brimming with spicy mongolian barbecue grilled before chopstick-wielders' eyes and separated into lunch ($6.99) and dinner ($8.99) modalities like a proper matron's wig collection. The Four Seasons ($8.75) packs healthy vegetables and light brown gravy into the crevices left untouched by chicken, shrimp, beef, and pork, and the Tung Ting shrimp ($8.95) flaunts succulent prawns floundering alongside vegetables and egg-white sauce. Most meals come with either white or fried rice, which may be thrown at a newly married couple to celebrate their union and mutual love of grains.
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.
Flames soar from the surface of griddles built into the middle of Ginza Sushi & Japanese Steakhouse's tables, as chefs drum out a steady rhythm against the heated metal surfaces with their knives. Beneath the flashy blade-work, delicious proteins – such as filet mignon, scallops, grouper, and chicken – soaked in Japanese style sauces divide into bite-sized cubes of flavor. Meanwhile, sushi chefs perform equally deft, if less often observed, tricks with their knives, dicing rolled conglomerations of rice, seaweed, and raw fish into even morsels. They prepare such treats at the super dragon roll, featuring snow crab and avocado topped with barbecued eel, or the cherry blossom roll, with tempura shellfish beneath a blanket of lobster salad. Mixologists wash the seameats down with concoctions of their own, brewed to order at the full bar.
When patrons at Red Zeppelin Pizza request Whole Lotta Love, Great Balls of Fire, and Mamma Mia, they're not asking to hear oldies hits. Instead, they're ordering uniquely named specialty pizzas piled with toppings that include Sweet Baby Ray’s barbecue sauce and sizzling italian sausage. A guitar, concert posters, and other rock 'n' roll memorabilia dot the tomato and marigold walls, where mounted televisions broadcast footage of Pete Townshend smashing pizzas during cooking-show guest appearances. Twenty-one draft beers and drinks with titles such as Dr. Love and Boo’s Lemon Drop also help wash down sub sandwiches, calzones, and salads. Outside, wrought-iron flames and a sculpture of the pizzeria's namesake blimp guard the entrance of the fenced-in patio from incursions by rival musical genres.
In an effort to find a healthy alternative to fast food without sacrificing speediness, the creators of Pita Pit began assembling their signature sandwiches for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and late-night snacks. At each location, thin, Lebanese-style pitas encircle lean, grilled meats and fresh veggies. Sandwich selections span the spectrum from gyro meat and falafel to turkey and prime rib. The staff empowers customers to make healthy choices by displaying nutrition information for each bread, meat, and post-meal toothpick and corralling a selection of healthy sandwiches, which dining companions can wash down with fruit smoothies.