In 1964, brothers Leroy and Forrest Raffel banded together to come up with a new restaurant concept. Arby's took off almost immediately on the coattails of its hallmark roast-beef sandwich and the founders’ idea of providing customers with fast, quality food. Over the company's 48-year franchise history, its foundational pièce de résistance of thinly sliced, juicy beef has been served in a many permutations, and continues to be popular today, served at more than 3,500 stores in North America. Today’s menu still ignites appetites with traditional beef sandwiches, plus hot and seasoned curly fries, fresh-chopped salads, and desserts good for richly capping off meals or bribing any bridge trolls on the way home.
At Easley Smokehouse, open flames lend a smoky flavor to beef brisket, pork shoulders, and other cuts of meat. The restaurant's cooks also fry fillets of grouper and catfish as one of its daily specials, rounding out plates with collard greens, fried okra, and other sides. After the main course, dishes of cake or fruit cobbler sweeten diners' palates.
Stephen and Cheryl Kraus, the bakers, teachers, and husband-and-wife duo behind Upcountry Provisions, know that the best food begins with the best ingredients. Drawing upon their education at the French Culinary Institute, they start their crusty breads and flaky croissants with organic, locally sourced ingredients, including fresh eggs and milk freshly squeezed from local milk plants. Beyond pastries, they also bake breads that serve as the basis for sandwiches stacked with tender peppered chicken, crisp fried onions, and homemade chutneys, for example. The Krauses also lead two-hour cooking classes for curious chefs of all experience levels, teaching them to craft croissants, breads, cookies, and scratch-made soups.
The culinary captain at Milano’s grew up in a kitchen filled with the saucy aromas of traditional Italian fare prepared by his mother and the seasoned zest of Greek dishes grilled up by his father. With that history ensconced, he continued the tradition by marrying both cuisines in a restaurant sporting a hearty menu, casual Mediterranean ambiance, and a justice of the peace certified in marrying cuisines. Offering the best of both worlds, the chef plates everything from grilled rib eye steaks and salmon to Italian casserole, pizza, Greek salads, and oven-baked subs.