At Cinnabon, the aromas of scrumptious baked goods waft through the air as chilled beverages help to sate the snack appetites of weary mall-walkers. Munch on a variety of cinnamon-infused treats, from the classic Cinnabon, temptingly filled with Cinnabon’s famous makara cinnamon ($2.99), to the Caramel Pecanbon, topped with an edible medley of luscious caramel and tasty pecans ($3.49). An assortment of goodies can be toted home in one of the store’s CinnaPacks, good for at least four classic rolls or nine Minibons ($9.99; combo packs add $1.50, Pecanbons add $2). Revitalize the taste buds with a frosty Chillatta, a frozen drink available in chocolate mocha, strawberry, strawberry banana, and tropical blast, each more refreshing than a game of patty-cake against a polar bear ($3.99–$4.79).
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 Top 500 Franchises in the baked-goods category. As the shop?s reputation grew, 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&Ms, and chewy pecan supreme, as well as freshly baked fudge and cheesecake brownies, and cookie sandwiches stuffed with frosting. The real show-stoppers, however, are the giant chocolate-chip cookie cakes, which can be customized with sweet, celebratory messages or shopping lists penned in colorful icing.
IHOP's first pancake was flipped in Toluca Village, California, in 1958. More than 1,500 locations later, IHOP's kitchens still grill their signature pancakes next to a surfeit of omelets, stuffed french toast, and inventive breakfast creations that rival the government's WiFi-compatible biscuits and gravy. Though syrup is IHOP's condiment of choice, diners can squirt ketchup onto an assortment of meaty burgers or french fries that share plate space with country-fried steaks and french-onion pot roasts made with USDA-choice beef. The Euless, McKinney, and Ardmore locations serve their smorgasbords of sustenance 24 hours a day.
As a high school student in 1954, Hank Lovejoy started working at the local pharmacy's soda fountain, blending up shakes and mixing cherry Cokes for a regular customer, Rita—who later became his wife. Together, the pair started Lovejoy's On Main Street in 1983, which evolved from a garment factory and clothing store into a gift and décor shop with its own restaurant, according to a feature in Texas Co-op Power. In 2010, the couple added their own soda fountain, where Hank and his grandkids are often spotted scooping sundaes and disorienting time travelers behind a vintage-style counter.
The shop still brims with gifts, toys, and stylish clothing. After finding the perfect keepsake, guests can reward themselves with sandwiches, salads, quiches, or German-style chocolate bread pudding from the restaurant