Travis Dickey opened Dickey's Barbecue Pit in 1941. To keep things simple but delicious in the early days, he created a minimalistic menu with only seven items such as beef brisket and bottled milk. By the time the '60s rolled up in a Volkswagen van, Dickey's two sons had grown up and taken over the enterprise. Using their father's hickory-smoked recipes, they expanded the business from a single restaurant to a franchise. To this day, each location uses the same tried-and-true barbecue techniques employed by the founder all those years ago. From the original seven items, the menu has grown to include spicy cheddar sausage and complimentary ice cream as well as sides such as macaroni and cheese and jalapeño beans.
Taking traditional culinary techniques and squeezing them through a filter of modern influences, Nagoya Steak and Sushi refines its menu of familiar Japanese cuisine. Manning tabletop hibachi grills, chefs entertain their hungry audiences by juggling utensils and causing the grills' surfaces to spout flames while they sear orders of chicken, steak, and lobster. Back in the kitchen, another team of chefs sets about topping crispy fillets of red snapper with lime-chili sauce and glazing tuna steaks with teriyaki-balsamic blends.
Striving to create more delicate–yet equally enticing–dishes, sushi chefs fill plates with meticulously sliced sashimi and carefully folded rolls. While the maki selection features a number of traditional sushi-house staples, it also includes the restaurant's own custom-designed creations. Featuring such premium ingredients as lobster tempura, filet mignon, and individually steamed rice grains, these signature rolls offer a fancy dining experience akin to picnicking atop a blimp.
The brother-sister team behind Rudino's Pizza and Grinders opened the eatery's first location in 1995 in Cary, North Carolina. They wanted to create a restaurant that incorporated an onsite bakery into its design, keeping the kitchen full of fresh, housemade dough for pizzas and sandwiches. It was a concept that proved successful, and now Rudino's has locations all across the country.
In these kitchens, cooks coat crusts with a sauce based on the duo's family recipe, and then layer on any number of ingredients—including fresh basil, jalapeños, and bacon. They also slide open-faced grinders into ovens after loading them with such sandwich fixings as italian sausage, salami, and fresh vegetables, which are never frozen, canned, or taken from a neighbor's crisper.
Firehouse Subs extinguishes appetites with overstuffed sandwiches of high-quality meats and cheese piled high on toasted rolls. Sink your teeth or someone else's into specialty steamed subs (starting at $5.49), such as the Hook & Ladder, with ham, turkey, and monterey-jack cheese, or the New York Steamer, with melted provolone served over corned beef brisket and pastrami. The tasty Engineer offers a brain-boosting bounty of smoked turkey breast crammed with melted swiss and sautéed mushrooms and served Fully Involved (loaded with mayo, mustard, lettuce, tomato, and onion, and a dill spear on the side for endless rounds of condiment jousting). Further information and pricing can be viewed here, though prices may vary. Firehouse Subs also supports the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation, founded by firemen and focused on education, equipment, and training of emergency-service teams.
When Roger Diaz puts together a meal in his kitchen at Vivo Restaurant, he’s not just tossing fresh ingredients into handmade tortillas. He draws on three generations of family cooking, taught to him by his mother and grandmother before he could even reach the stovetop. These family recipes include tricks to puff up a tortilla by lightly frying it, as well as the ingredients to make the tortilla itself from scratch.
Roger’s colorful dining room and patio celebrate his heritage as well. Huge, colorful canvases bedeck the interiors, bright lanterns hang from the ceiling, and a portrait of Frida Kahlo surreptitiously tries to steal sips of frosty margaritas. Al fresco, the constant burble of fountains chatters beneath diners' conversations while ample potted plants and flowers create a fresh bouquet of scents to complement meals.
You don't see too many bars like one from Cheers in reality. That lack of a friendly neighborhood bar inspired the owners of RC Fowlers to open their own pub. Their staff treats everyone like regulars, and the menu is rife with traditional pub fare. Here, you can grab a seat at the bar and watch college basketball, NFL Sunday Ticket, and other big games on a plasma TV, or order some of the eatery's signature wings. You have more than 25 sauces to choose from, from smokey barbecue to atomic buffalo. Other pub classics available include burgers, potato skins, and pizzas with red, barbecue, or buffalo sauce. Besides sports and comfort foods, RC Folwers welcome guests to stop by for games of pool, nightly karaoke after 10 p.m., and poker tournaments, and the full bar is open until 2 a.m. every night.