1950s ephemera decorate Gunther Toody's eight Colorado locations, lending an extra boost of Americana to plates of classic diner food such as burgers and meatloaf. The menu even draws its inspiration from American pop culture of yore, with Elvis fries, burgers named for Howdy Doody, and Big Bopper breakfasts served on platters of chantilly lace. Classic ice-cream treats including shakes, malteds, and black cows help lead each meal to a suitably sweet conclusion.
Street-style tacos and quesadillas. Earthy tamales. Gorditas overflowing with fixings. These are just a few of the many dishes at Jalapenos, an unassuming eatery that cooks up made-to-order authentic Mexican cuisine daily. Jalapenos’ diners can savor their delectable entrees inside the restaurant or pull into the drive-thru on their way home or to a Bring Your Own Burrito party.
Smashburger isn't just the name—it's the way chefs grill every burger. First, they form never-frozen, 100% Angus beef into a giant meatball. Then they season it, place it on a butter-glazed grill, and smash it into a patty. The process caramelizes the beef, locking in flavor while keeping the meat juicy and tender. The chefs then sandwich each slab in an artisan bun and turn it into one of an array of standard burgers or locally inspired specialties unique to each market. This handcrafting approach typifies everything else the chefs do, from blending handspun Häagen-Dazs shakes to hand painting Smashburger's logo onto every beverage cup. Letting its food stand for itself and relying mostly on word of mouth for advertising, the Smashburger franchise expanded to 160 restaurants in five years, with its swift growth from zero to 100 stores making it one of the nation's fastest-growing restaurant companies. This rapid development even caught the attention of Forbes and Inc. along the way.
Shedding its former Fatburger brand, Epic Grill hosts a revamped menu that includes a new lineup of never-frozen burgers, sandwiches, and sides. Weighing in at 3 ounces, The Little E burger ($3.50) fills smaller appetites but struggles to follow in the belly-stretching footsteps of its 6-ounce brother, The E burger ($4.99)—both of which can be topped with add-ons including chili ($0.79) and grilled mushrooms ($0.69). Cooks slow-cook the pulled-pork sandwich's Carolina-style pork ($5.25), which comes smothered in a smoky barbecue sauce. Patrons can also orally explore nonbunned eats with Epic Burger's salads ($6.95–$7.95) or wrap their jowls around the popular honey-hawaiian sliders (4 for $5.95), great for sharing with friends or imitating how yetis would eat The E burger.
With the pay-as-you-can system, Cafe 180 patrons can pay what they can reasonably afford for any combination of plates, including berry salad, pulled-pork barbecue pizza, meatball sandwiches, or shrimp gumbo, and $8 is the average price paid for a meal. Alternatively, patrons can choose to pay a bit more to pay it forward for those who pay less, or pay by giving one hour of service such as washing windows, wrapping silverware, or filling soup-to-go bags. Cafe 180 relies on additional funding from donations to cover the cost of meals for all those who cannot afford to pay the full amount.