Adrie Groeneweg was 19 when he decided he was tired of leaving his hometown of Hull, Iowa, every time he wanted pizza. Armed with six pizza recipes from his mother, Groeneweg opened the first Pizza Ranch in 1981, delighting travel-weary pie lovers with dough and sauce made fresh every day. At more than 170 locations in 11 states, a bevy of signature pizzas forms the backbone of the sprawling menu, with options such as the bacon- and beef-covered Bronco, as well as the Tuscan Roma's delicate assemblage of spinach, tomatoes, and alfredo sauce. A wide variety of such specialty pies lines the buffet table, but diners who don't see their favorite combo can make a special request to the pizza chefs—who will not only bake it and add it to the buffet but also hand deliver the first slice to the table. Alongside the disks of mozzarella and pepperoni are trays of the Ranch's other specialty, crispy broasted chicken that's seasoned with a house blend of spices and then broasted so that its crunchy coating conceals ultramoist meat and the occasional winning lottery ticket.
Taco John's swiftly serves an assortment of tangy Mexican fare and bold-flavored innovative snacks. The edible oeuvre includes the eatery's signature super potato olés: black olives, beef, beans, tomatoes, guacamole, sour cream, and melted cheese smothering a helping of golden-brown tater nuggets ($4.99). Those who create Venn diagrams to decide between soft or crunchy tortillas can choose the middle ground and get both with the taco bravo ($2.29). Taste another victory for American and Mexican relations with the taco burger, featuring tacos' usual contents nestled between two fresh buns ($1.99). The fajita chicken quesadilla melt ($6.29) awakens groggy taste buds with fire roasted bell peppers and onions.
The blender operators at Juice Stop power bodies and please taste buds with a menu of smoothies and juices made from real fruits and vegetables. Blades slice through pineapple bits, blending in sherbet, yogurt, and coconut to create the Double Dribble smoothie, and the 4x8 smoothie combines skim milk, yogurt, honey, peanut butter, and bananas for liquid sustenance ($3.44–$4.44). Each thick beverage includes a free nutrient boost such as the daily blend, with 51 vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that supplement nutrition, or the intensity blend, with creatine, potassium, and phosphates to power trips to Europe via row boat. Drinkable salads in the form of veggie-combo juices combine carrots with other healthy options such as parsley, apples, and spinach ($3.69–$4.91), and just-crushed oranges tickle tongues with a sweet juicy tang ($3.97–$5.14). Hands grip hot drinks, warming fingers with the Top Shelf—apple and cranberry juice brewed with cloves and cinnamon—or the Alpine Slide, a cascade of mint and hot chocolate pouring over a scoop of vanilla yogurt ($2.80–$2.95).
Zaroty's sign proudly proclaims the small, casual spot as a source of Mediterranean street food—and true to form, the menu features pitas stuffed with hummus, baba ghanoush, chicken shawerma, and house-made falafel. But the folks in the kitchen don't limit themselves to a single source of inspiration. To keep up with the eclectic, internationally inspired core menu dishes, the team prepares appetizers such as hummus with pita, chips and salsa, and cheesebread—another name for cash on bread. They top Taste of Mexico pizzas with taco meat and veggies and crown Down Home barbecue pizzas with chicken and bacon, all atop dough made from scratch. Inspired by the calzone-like Italian panzarotti, their signature pockets emerge golden-brown from the oven, stuffed with combinations from Hawaiian ham-and-pineapple to steak and barbecue sauce.
Zaroty also offers a catering menu, which includes boxed sandwich lunches to keep hungry businesspeople from eating important handouts during meetings. The catering menu also catalogs dinner buffets such as roasted pork tenderloin and glazed ham.
Located in 19 cities nationwide, Wine and Canvas commissions accomplished artists to spread the joy of painting during informal painting classes that pair a featured painting with specialty cocktails and wines available for purchase. The mobile studio’s monthly calendar includes themed classes in which instructors expound on the nuances of painting Parisian street lamps, Japanese flowers, or Venetian cityscapes. The master painters—many of them local artists—provide step-by-step instructions while students mimic each stroke and periodically dip their brushes into glasses filled with crimson cabernet. Each of the studio’s various drink-friendly venues boasts a specialty libation selected to incite creativity or conversations with fellow painters. When the artistic frenzy concludes, students return home with a finished masterpiece large enough to conceal any wall safe or mirror portal.
For more than 30 years, Quiznos has toasted its submarine sandwiches to bring out the hidden flavors found in butcher-quality meats, cheese, and artisan breads. Its classic and signature subs take on a variety of shapes, sizes, and styles ranging from the prime rib mushroom and swiss to the classic italian donning black olives, mozzarella, red-wine vinaigrette, and plentiful sliced meats. Those closely monitoring their waistlines can take unabashed bites of sandwiches that have fewer than 500 calories, such as the pork-cuban, Baja-chicken, and veggie-caprese subs. Quiznos' Toasty Bullets and Torpedoes offer slimmer versions of sub fare and flaunt supreme aerodynamics when shot out of T-shirt cannons and into mouths. A selection of Flatbread Sammies, soups, and salads round out Quiznos' varied menu.