Matthew Corrin was fashion designer Oscar de la Renta's marketing manager, which meant a lot of long hours and a lot of hurried lunches. After his umpteenth greasy sandwich, Corrin began wondering why there weren't more convenient, waistline-friendly lunch alternatives. This rumination—and a resignation letter to de la Renta—begot Freshii, a fast, casual eatery that serves healthy meals and has graced the pages of various publications, including the Chicago Tribune and Inc.’s 30 Under 30 list. Environmental awareness also plays a big part in the business model as the food packaging is made from eco-friendly vegetable starches.
Every Freshii kitchen is stocked with the base ingredients of brown rice, romaine lettuce, field greens, spinach, and rice noodles; toppings such as carrots, broccoli, grilled tofu, and candied walnuts; and an array of dressings and sauces. Using these ingredients, the chefs create bowls, wraps, salads, soups, and burritos for lunch and dinner. During morning hours when the sun is still busy curling its rays, they scramble eggs, serve housemade oatmeal, and top fat-free frozen yogurt with a choice of fruit. Customers can bring their own bowls, and the staff will wash and fill them with fresh ingredients hailing from environmentally responsible farms that fairly compensate their workers.
Her Story Cafe trucks gallivant around Colorado Springs, enlivening lunch breaks with a rotating menu of hearty soups and sandwiches named for influential women and crafted from local ingredients. A selection of soups might include the Greta Garbonzo Bang!, Annie Moore potato soup, or the Marie Curie chicken gumbo, a gluten-free concoction that pays homage to the French woman’s famous discovery of chicken gumbo. Like Frank Lloyd Wright during his underappreciated sandwich period, chefs construct towering stacks of deli meats and vegetables on foundations of pumpernickel, rye, French, and wheat breads, flush with ingredients straight from local farms, ranches, and bakeries. Made from scratch, sides range from tangy German potato salad to banana pudding sweetened with cream and Nilla wafers. Fans of the food truck can now frequent a non-mobile café that also offers breakfast, and where Her Story classics are served up with the same frequently-rotating selection of soups and specials.
With more than 700 locations, Jamba Juice proves to the masses that nutrition can be speedy and delicious. Since the beginning, the company?s product philosophy has revolved around choosing whole fruits and other natural ingredients over artificial flavorings, sweeteners, and preservatives. The menu is completely free of high-fructose corn syrup and trans fats, and it offers additional accommodations for vegan and gluten-free diets.
This naturalistic approach is fully realized in Jamba Juice's selection of smoothies. Made with 100% fruit juice, sherbet, and frozen yogurt, the frosty delights range from all-fruit smoothies such as peach perfection and strawberry whirl to more indulgent creamy treats, including peanut butter moo'd, an enticing blend of peanut butter, bananas, nonfat vanilla frozen yogurt, and milk chocolate.
For those with heartier appetites, steel-cut oats steep in soymilk before being enhanced with toppings such as apples, cinnamon, and brown-sugar crumble. The lunch hour presents protein-packed mini wraps, toasted bistro sandwiches and California Flatbreads that pack only about 320?420 calories each.
The Dickey?s Barbecue Pit sign may be ubiquitous today as a spot for good ole? Texas barbecue, but when Travis Dickey first opened his Dallas shop in 1941, the sign had to share space with advertisements to help pay rent. In the 70 years since then, the Dickeys have done well for themselves, with their initial store spawning a slew of franchises throughout the country. Though the barbecue at each outpost is no longer under the hand of one of Dickey?s descendants, each shop still smokes their own meats in-house to create the signature Texan flavor that infuses their briskets, pulled pork, and fall-off-the-bone ribs.
Meals can come in any size, from the a la carte sandwiches to platters that incorporate a chosen number of meats with a buttery roll, a pickle, ice cream, and two homestyle sides. Whether serving up their dishes in the dining room or packing them up for take-away or catering, the staff ensures that each client gets a taste of Texas home cooking without the hassle rubbing every dish on a campfire crock-pot.
During his 27-year tenure in the bar business, Tim Doherty often stayed up until sunrise. These days, however, he rises with the sun to open his breakfast joint, Syrup. The moniker refers to Tim?s specialty: housemade syrups infused with apricot, vanilla, Kahlua, and seasonal flavors. His sweet creations drench pancakes topped with everything from Oreos to the strawberries and blueberries of the DoubleBerry Bliss, which the Denver Post praises as ?a stack of pancake heaven.?
Flapjacks aren?t Syrup's only from-scratch breakfast treat. There's also french toast smeared with Nutella and Santa Fe??themed eggs benedict topped with local chorizo and green-chili stew. The all-day menu likewise caters to the lunch crowd with open-faced pulled-pork sandwiches and burgers crowned with maple-pepper bacon. Both of those dishes can be sandwiched between gluten-free buns, and the restaurant's waffles, english muffins, pancakes, and napkins can also be served sans gluten.
At first glance, The Grubbery might seem like just another breakfast-loving diner, but the truth is not as simple, nor as boring. Although chefs start with traditional diner staples?french toast, eggs benedict, turkey club sandwiches?they add an artful flair to create dishes that are not only more inventive, but also more delicious. Their multigrain pancakes, for instance, hold together through every bite and misguided juggling attempt with a spread of peanut butter and jelly, and that turkey club shows its beachy inspiration with cilantro and sliced avocado. The chefs also fry up traditional eggs, which they then use to top their breakfast pizzas.
When dinner rolls around, the kitchen takes its playbook from the mothers of the South, whipping up comfort food with a twist: chicken-fried steaks and house-made meatloaf with honey-glazed carrots. And at any time of day, meals pair with pours of Starbucks brand coffee, which baristas customize with steamed milk and syrups.