Sixty years has seen Tastee Freez transform from a cozy two-man operation to a gargantuan national franchise, with more than 100 locations decorating the United States like sprinkles. The menu is casual but diverse, ranging from cheeseburgers and corn dogs to frothy shakes and 97% fat-free ice cream, which can be customized with candies and fresh fruit. Patrons may also request one of Tastee's signature Freezees available in flavors such as oreo, butterfinger, and reese's pieces.
When Debbi Fields opened the first Mrs. Fields in 1977, it wasn’t all sunshine and cookies. Between her lack of business experience and the unorthodox business model—selling only cookies—not many people believed in her. More than 30 years and a global franchise later, it’s safe to say the doubters are eating their words, at least when they're not busy stuffing their faces with one of Debbi's signature semisweet chocolate chip or oatmeal raisin and walnut cookies.
The wild popularity of Mrs. Fields's cookies can be attributed to the richness of their basic ingredients: real butter, whole eggs, and special blends of chocolate. Classic flavors include chewy fudge, peanut butter, and white chocolate macadamia, and seasonal flavors complement the lineup throughout the year. Select varieties can also be made into cookie cakes of various sizes and shapes that add a delicious twist to any celebration or milk-truck spill.
The resident chefs at Nicky's Grill & Yogurt Oasis have been flipping charbroiled burgers and slow-cooking house-made italian beef since 1997, mingling sandwiches and hot wings with ice-cream and YoCream frozen-yogurt treats on their Chicago-style menu. The casual Beverly eatery serves a roster of deep-fried sides to round out meals, including onion rings and breaded mozzarella sticks. An on-site ice-cream and yogurt parlor proffers cups, cones, and industrial vats of creamy desserts, including 16 flavors of milkshakes.
Jamba Juice's salads, sandwiches, and wraps, which are made without artificial preservatives or trans fats, are ready-made to superbly complement Jamba's famous blended concoctions. Crunch through a Zesty Southwest Chicken Salad’s bell peppers, corn, cotija cheese, and crunchy tortilla strips while pumping your palate full of Peach Pleasure® smoothie’s peach, banana and orange flavors. All of the smoothly blended smoothies have no artificial flavors; they’re simple concoctions of ripe fruit, tart juices, creamy frozen yogurt, and/or tangy sherbet that whirl together to create strikingly complex taste tingles. Customize the Strawberry Surf Rider™ smoothie, a blend of strawberries, peaches, lemonade and lime sherbet, with with an Energy™ boost or a Whey-Protein boost for an edge in everyday tug-o-war encounters. Further increase vivacity with the Chimichurri Chicken Wrap (an herbed tortilla wrapped around grilled chipotle-lime chicken breast with fresh field greens, served with chimichurri sauce on the side) or a Gobble’licious sandwich (a focaccetta roll stacked with sliced turkey breast, provolone, field greens, and red bell peppers, served with dijonnaise on the side). Vegan, gluten-free, and non-dairy options are also available; check out Jamba Juice’s full menu here.
Danny’s Cafe warmly serves what co-owner Carl Dote described as “Italian peasant food” on Danny’s Check, Please! feature. Their cooking aims to comfort, from generously stuffed artichokes to their signature fried-meatball sub. The hefty sandwich, highlighted on WGN, comes to fruition after staff members hand-form fresh meatball mix into patties and pile on fried peppers. Co-owner and chef Paula Dote told ABC’s “Hungry Hound” that when she and her husband bought the restaurant, she wanted to make exactly what she made at home, and indeed, she uses recipes from her mother and mother-in-law in all of her cooking and homemade volcano experiments. She ladles vodka sauce and crumbled sausage over homemade rigatoni, and layers provolone, parmesan, mozzarella, and ricotta in the four-cheese lasagna. Pork neck bones, one of Danny's more unique dishes, are served twice a week and praised by Hungry Hound for the tender meatiness resulting from hours spent simmering in spiced tomatoes. The eatery has also spawned relatives—appropriately named “Cuzzin’s Cafe”—that serve similar dishes in Des Plaines and Orland Park.