For its more than 20 types of golden-brown pancakes and plentiful selection of omelets, waffles, crepes, and other hearty American breakfast dishes, The Original Pancake House has gleaned accolades ranging from a Zagat rating and a feature on The Food Channel to being named one of the nation's top 200 franchises in 2009 by Franchise Times. It's no wonder why. Since 1953, every one of the family business?s morning specialties have been prepared from scratch daily with a commitment to real ingredients such as pure whipping cream, hard-wheat unbleached flour, and butter made from fresh sweet cream. Powdered sugar lines the souffl?-styled rims of oven-baked German pancakes, which The Food Channel lauds for their "ever so-slightly crispy" edges and calls "just the right balance between a crepe and a pancake." Apple pancakes?with granny-smith apples in the batter and sinkiang cinnamon glaze on top?are another favorite, and those tart apples also share the menu with fresh blueberries and toasted Georgia pecans for a turn to simmer in Belgian-waffle circles like actual grannies in syrup-filled jacuzzis. Unique ingredients add distinction to house specialties such as oven-baked mushroom-sherry-sauce-topped omelets and gourmet fruit-filled crepes garnished with sweet cherry-wine sauce. To accentuate the flavors of each meal, The Original Pancake House brews its own signature coffee blend.
• For $31, you get a ticket for seating in section 104, 106 (rows 15–30), or 128 (rows 15–30) (a $49.50 value before fees, or up to a $62.95 value online, including all ticketing fees). • For $57, you get a ticket for seating in section 7, 101, 103, 106 (rows 1–14), C108, C109, C125, C126, 128 (rows 1–14), 131, or 133 (a $99.50 value before fees, or up to a $114.45 value online, including all ticketing fees). • For $83, you get a ticket for seating in section 4–6, 108, 110, 111, 123, 124, 126, C110, or C124 (a $149.50 value before fees, or up to a $165.95 value online, including all ticketing fees).
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.
From its 1978 opening in New York City, Via Brasil Steakhouse has withstood the test of time and critics to bring the churrascaria tradition to diners on both ends of the country. At the stately Las Vegas restaurant, South American traditions come through not only in the more than 18 meats that grace tables but also in the way each one is prepared and served. The special churrascaria cooking traces its origins to southern Brazil's gauchos, who wound down their long days of herding cattle on the Pampas by roasting cuts of beef over crackling fire pits and writing up formal business proposals for opening steak houses in America. Today, chefs continue that tradition by roasting slabs of meat on rotisserie grills, then slicing each one tableside in order to give diners the exact cuts and temperatures they desire.
Inside the restaurant, an opulent surrounding of marble columns and countertops, floral centerpieces, and huge, sunny windows complement smartly dressed servers as they tote skewers to tables and carve off tender morsels of top sirloin, leg of lamb, and salmon. Selections from 16 side dishes garnish each savory cut of meat with exotic ingredients such as hearts of palm and yucca fries, and a salad bar urges diners to help themselves to more than 30 unique recipes. To complement the feasts, an ample wine cellar and a resident sommelier help diners bring out the rich flavors of each dish with expert advice on the dozens of bottles from around the world.
The folks at Rambo's Kitchen admit it sounds a little crazy—a 1960s-themed diner with pop-culture paraphernalia and a surfer vibe. But they challenge guests to come in and fall in love with the eclectic, friendly spot, where they dish up breakfast, lunch, and dinner at all hours. Outside, rainbow-colored patio umbrellas shield alfresco tables, and inside, you'll find what Jim Begley of the Las Vegas Sun refers to as "a kaleidoscope…awash with psychedelic tones" and tributes to the '60s, be they vibrant daisy prints or pictures of celebs such as Twiggy and Jim Morrison.
Many reviewers caution diners not to judge the place on its flashy decor alone, or, as Begley puts it in Las Vegas Weekly, "you'll miss out on some great cooking." The menu's all-day breakfast specialties include freshly baked biscuits ladled with country gravy and pork chops paired with two eggs. Lunch offerings range from traditional to off-the-wall: freshly shaved pastrami piled on marble rye goes up against burgers loaded with peanut butter and bacon. The signature Rambo burger stuffs its half-pound patty with cheeses, then stacks it with pulled pork, barbecue sauce, and an onion ring or a vintage Beatles record. Diners who want to linger in the psychedelic ambiance can order up a hand-scooped malt or shake, which arrives in an old-fashioned tin and garnished with whipped cream.
The year is 1989, and due to his wild success as a professional rapper and Public Enemy member, cooking chicken is likely the last thing on Flavor Flav's mind. Or is it? His father, William Drayton Sr., owned a Long Island eatery called the Soul Diner, and for Flavor Flav—who, according to the Clinton Herald, earned a culinary degree in 1978—cooking soul food runs in the family. Fast-forward to present day, and you'll find that Flavor Flav, who is also a reality TV star, hasn't fallen far from the family tree. When he's not busy laying down rhymes for Public Enemy or helping Elton John convert 111 million football fans into Pepsi drinkers, he tends to his celebrity-centric take-out restaurant naturally called Flavor Flav's House of Flavor, which has its customers lining up around the block for tastes of Flavor's personal recipes for sauce-slathered chicken and slow-cooked ribs.
The staff divvies out the menu's bounty—fried chicken and shrimp, mac 'n' cheese, and signature red velvet waffles sprinkled with powdered sugar, edible pieces of art that diners can't wait to ruin by eating. Though space is limited inside the take-out-only restaurant, Flavor himself shows up from time to time to dole out chicken, shake hands with adoring fans, and hobnob with celebrities and friends such as J. Cole, Lil Wayne, and Dr. Farrah Gray.