For John Offerdahl, the aroma of meat sizzling on the grill stirs memories of his family's barbecues in rural Wisconsin. Even when John grew up and became a linebacker for the Miami Dolphins, he couldn't escape that enticing smell?it would waft into the stadium from fans tailgating outside and the mascots who secretly stuffed their costumes with cheeseburgers. So it was only natural that, after retiring from football, John would once again find himself at the grill when he and his wife Lynn opened Offerdahl's Cafe Grill in 2000. The couple were no strangers to the restaurant business; they had previously owned a chain of bagel shops. This venture, however, would prove more ambitious?they devised menus of classic American cuisine that could be served up fast for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with a focus on fresh-grilled fare.
Today, Offerdahl's Cafe Grill has expanded to seven locations, but its flavorful, no-frills meals remain the same. "Johnny O's Famous Bagels" still take the starring roles during breakfast, waking diners up with flavors like cinnamon crumb, pumpernickel, and fruit-and-nut. But once breakfast turns to lunch and dinner, the grill takes over. Chefs swiftly cook up steak, chicken, and salmon, serving the proteins over rice, pasta, or salad with homemade dressings. They also grill chicken sandwiches and burgers, in a nod to the caf?'s backyard barbecue roots.
Packaged by the ounce, The Spice & Tea Exchange hand-mixes spices from around the world to create their unique blends and rubs. Banish blandness from any meal with a wide variety of spices (starting at $0.99 per ounce), more than 60 custom blends and rubs (starting at $4.89 per ounce), and a ton of salts, peppers, and chili powders (starting at $0.49 per ounce). Office workers can wean themselves off the teats of the break room's coffee-cow with dozens of loose-leaf teas ($4.89 per ounce) sweetened with more than 12 flavor-infused sugars ($4.89 per ounce), including blueberry sugar, spicy habanero sugar, and espresso sugar. The Spice & Tea Exchange's huge variety of flavors make it easy to fulfill long-held cooking fantasies, be it a robust hickory-flavored manticore or topping a freshly grilled cheeseburger with unicorn-radish.
Every day at more than 770 locations, Jamba Juice proves that good nutrition can be both convenient and delicious. Since the beginning, the company has based its philosophy on choosing whole fruits and all-natural ingredients over artificial flavorings and preservatives. The menu is completely free of high-fructose corn syrup and artificial trans fats, and it makes additional accommodations for vegan and gluten-free diets.
Although Jamba Juice is serious about using wholesome ingredients, the company is a little more playful when it comes to the palate. Whole fruits and veggies can be blended into an extensive menu of great-tasting smoothies and freshly squeezed juices. But Jamba Juice?s commitment to keeping healthy eating simple informs its solid-food options, too. Customers can kick-start their morning with a steaming bowl of slow-cooked, steel-cut oatmeal, or stay energized throughout the day with six varieties of Energy Bowls: nutrient-rich blends of whole fruit, Greek yogurt or soy milk, and an assortment of dry toppings and fresh fruits.
In addition to nourishing and energizing the human body, Jamba Juice fights childhood obesity by sponsoring Team Up for a Healthy America. The initiative encourages fans to join the Team Up community of celebrities, athletes and other leaders committed to getting kids active?which they can do by visiting the main Jamba Juice website.
Mozart Cafe’s chefs draw culinary inspiration from modern Israeli cuisine, and the result is an eclectic mix of made-from-scratch kosher dishes ranging from pizza and salad to breakfast salmon platters. The Balkan pizza blends Israeli and Italian flavors with olives chunks of smoky eggplant sitting atop a bed of sauce, mozzarella, and feta cheese. Though the café is decidedly health-focused, plates arrive piled high with portions as generous as what you’d find in a neighborhood diner or your mom’s kitchen.
The rich wooden fixtures and chic leather furniture sets the scene for culinary elegance at Cafe 5150. The menu bears that promise out, featuring entrees and small plates that recall continental cuisine while remaining firmly American. Tomato confit bruschetta and tuna tartare tacos make for fascinating tapas plates, while larger offerings include shrimp capellini with broccoli rabe and churrasco steak served with shoestring fries. For dessert, a carrot cake with glazed walnuts and creme anglaise jockeys for attention with a salted caramel ice cream sundae and an erupting molten chocolate cake.
When owner Avi Sekerel envisioned Prosecco Cafe, its aesthetic evoked an Old World bistro as its menu reflected a progressive commitment to healthy, unprocessed foods. With granite-topped tables, leather chairs, and vibrant artwork, the café achieves its aesthetic aim and, thanks to a menu of healthy café salads and sandwiches, its desire for whole, wholesome food. Patrons enjoy entrees that have never been processed or fried, such as pistachio-crusted grouper embellished with mango salsa, tuscan omelets topped with pesto and brie, and bruschetta sandwiches on toasted garlic bread with Angus sirloin beef roasted in-house. Diners can take their meals at sleek indoor tables or sit outside on a sunny day to enjoy a crisp salad or toasted panini. A pastry chef constructs sweet endings to meals or food fights each day, such as red-velvet cake and summer fruit tarts.