Frequent diners at Qdoba come for the eatery’s signature flavors, but they may not know how far the staff travels to obtain them. Qdoba’s staff visits various parts of Mexico on a regular basis in search of flavor combinations that later enhance the shop’s burritos, quesadillas, and taco salads. Among these blends are ancho-chili barbecue, gumbo accented with cilantro rice, and the three-cheese queso, a creation that took 47 tries to perfect. Along with sought-after flavors, Qdoba’s staff members pride themselves on their painstaking preparation of fresh ingredients, from fire-roasted tomatoes to mouth-watering poblano peppers.
No two pizzas are created alike, but most of them look about the same. Not so at Jet?s Pizza, a carry-out and delivery-only establishment created in 1978 by brothers Eugene and John Jett?their signature pie layers tomato or barbecue sauce and melted mozzarella cheese within the crispy, brown right angles of a deep-dish square crust. But the crust?s charms don?t end there; diners can ?flavorize? it for free with seasonings such as shredded parmesan or the Turbo Crust, a blend of butter, garlic, and romano. These extras are what make Jet?s pizzas special; John Jett says ?If you're eating one of our pizzas and you don't have a smile on your face, then something is wrong." In addition to pies, Jet?s serves four flavors of chicken wings, subs, and breadsticks at locations spread across 13 states and two extrasolar planets.
A lengthy lineup of traditional game-day fare and a sports atmosphere captivate fans at Fox and Hound - Bailey's, where the kitchen remains open as late as its neighboring fully stocked bar. Chefs cook until the wee hours of the morning and always until the bar closes, baking Bavarian pretzel starters, crafting towers of onion rings, and preparing hand-battered chicken tenders that are cooked until they are golden brown. They blend their own seasonings to sprinkle over grilled-to-order burgers, and draw from a diverse roster of cheeses and toppings to crown their wood-oven-inspired flatbreads.
While manning the bars, bartenders tap into a stash of libations, such as UV Whipped vodka and Patron Silver tequila, to mix their specialty cocktails. To further foster a sporting ambiance, high-definition TVs glow with sports games and custom music-video playlists, and guests partake in pastimes of ump bashing, billiards, or competitive people watching.
Overseen by classically trained chef Jenn DiSanto, Fresco's busy kitchen churns out fresh, made-from-scratch meals for people with little time to cook. Clients can view the weekly menu online before calling ahead to place their order or stopping into the storefront to mime their favorite foods. Dine on Mediterranean chicken, sautéed with shallots, olives, and white wine and served with orzo (a value of $15 for single servings or $50 for family size), or opt for the vegetarian pasta alla Norma (a value of $13 for single servings or $45 for family size). Locally produced ingredients are used when possible, and simple reheating instructions come with the meals, so no Kelvin-to-Fahrenheit conversions are necessary.
Perkins began as a single humble Ohio pancake house in 1958. More than 50 years––and 440 national locations––later, each Perkins restaurant stays true to its roots by keeping those signature buttermilk pancakes the focal point of a 90-plus-item menu. Cooks layer the popular flapjacks in stacks of two, three, or even five and make the fluffy towers all the more tempting with toppings such as glazed strawberries, whipped cream, or flavored syrups. Breakfast favorites—including hearty omelets and country benedicts—are served all day, meaning kids and adults can order short stacks to accompany their jumbo-shrimp or steak dinner, instead of smuggling them in under a stovepipe hat. Unlike most other chain restaurants, Perkins also features in-store bakeries that churn out the shop's real fruit and cream pies, muffins, and chocolate-chip cookies.