Martha Stewart has lent her name to bath, bedding, and charger plates full of etiquette. But on her 2008 Martha's Favorite Hot Dogs list, she stamped her seal of approval onto the mustard, relish, kraut, and bacon that piles into the buttered bun of a "works" fried hot dog at Rawley's Drive Inn. According to owner Nick Frattaroli, it is now their most popular hot dog, joining the naturally encased ranks of several other specialties. One, the hot Chihuahua dog, is dosed with Mel's Hellish Relish, a recipe Nick would share "if [he] knew it"—he hasn't been able to pry a list of its sweet and spicy ingredients out of his secretive chef.
The "works" has drawn plenty of noncelebrities to this two-story, red roadside restaurant. Locals and repeat customers join diners from as far away as California and Texas who've seen Rawley's featured on Food Network's The Best Thing I Ever Ate. Inside, they're all treated to food that is made to order—including hand-cut fries and thick ice-cream shakes—and old-timey decor that reflects the building's roots in the 19th century. Guests place orders at a short counter before retreating to booths or high-top tables, both surrounded by wood walls that past patrons have thoroughly tattooed with carved initials and florid love sonnets to sausages.
Consuming between 9 and 13 servings of vegetables and fruits each day can seem like a daunting task. But Robeks turns what could be a chore into a delicious pastime, standing behind the idea that you shouldn?t have to sacrifice taste for a nutritiousness?or vice-versa.
Their selection includes a wide selection of good-for-you raw juices and hot beverages, including low calorie, dairy-free, raw options; a kids menu; and seasonal items. Blended smoothies incorporate bananas, blueberries, strawberries, mangos, and other fresh fruits. Hot cider teas are crafted with hand-selected farm-fresh apples, pears, and lemons that are then freshly juiced to order, mixed with your choice of hot green or black tea, and finally accented with a dash of cinnamon and a drizzle of raw honey. Performance Coffee, meanwhile, is specially designed for the elite athlete in all of us, and features a unique blend of energy-boosting organic coffee, premium grass-fed butter, and coconut oil that helps boost mental focus. Elsewhere on the menu, tasty muffins and cookies, breakfast bars, and other gourmet snacks help customers adhere to a healthy lifestyle without hiring an apple tree as a personal trainer.
From its humble beginnings in Kankakee, Illinois, in 1938, Dairy Queen has grown from a delicious experiment in soft-serve ice cream to a household name with more than 5,900 restaurants around the world. The shop's signature frozen delights are built upon a frosty foundation of creamy chocolate or vanilla soft serve, which swirls idyllically into cones, cups, overturned top hats, sundaes, Peanut Buster parfaits, and the chain's iconic Blizzard treats, blended with crumbled candy and other mix-ins. Ice-cream cakes cleverly conceal a surprise filling of fudge and chocolate crunch between layers of vanilla and chocolate ice cream, providing sweet, sliceable sustenance for birthday parties and other special occasions.
Fruit rules the roost on the other side of the slushy emporium, where Orange Julius blends its signature frothy drinks crafted from fruit juice, ice, and a "magic” powdered sweetener that explains why they disappear from most customers’ cups minutes after the first delicious sip. Real fruit purée forms the basis for the shop's smoothies, which also come in diet-friendly light versions that boast 150 calories or fewer.
Having already earned back-to-back spots on Connecticut Magazine's Best of Connecticut in 2009 and 2010, Liquid Lunch keeps bellies full and spoons out of the unemployment line with a slurp-worthy twist on midday meals. Culinary Institute of America graduate and owner Fred Bialek and his wife, Michele, were inspired to open the first Liquid Lunch in 2004, when they'd grown tired of lunchtime standards such as pizza, burgers, and lightly salted printouts of old PowerPoint presentations.
Today, at Liquid Lunch's still-growing roster of locations, a rotating lineup of gourmet soups cascades across the menu alongside six staple soups, including vegetarian lentil and split pea with ham. For an extra crunch, diners can plunge fork-first into salads, or explore healthy Sammiches, which escort taste buds around the globe with names influenced by their ingredients and spear-pickles engraved with necessary passport information.
After ten hours of slow-cooking, the barbecue ribs at Joe’s American Bar & Grill land on tables tender and ready to fall of the bone. Served with fresh-made coleslaw, these ribs are the centerpiece of a menu overflowing with upscale comfort food. Chefs cut potatoes by hand to accompany bacon cheeseburgers topped with aged cheddar and bread-and-butter pickles made in-house rather than flown in by a talking stork. Grilled pizzas are made fresh to order and never frozen, and hefty sandwiches and hand-cut steaks stack plates with sustenance. On the weekends, brunch dishes come out of hibernation to sate guests with made-to-order omelets and specialties such as eggs benedict and prime-rib hash. Diners enjoy the fresh air on the outdoor patio or cluster around the bar to keep track of sports scores or find out who really got married on Days of Our Lives.
At The Original Primo Pizza & Grill, chefs whirl handmade dough and whole, peeled tomatoes into a variety of thin-crust pizzas. While the menu includes classic standbys such as the hawaiian pizza, customers can also create their own perfect pies from toppings such as garlic, mushrooms, pepperoni, and sausage. What really shines through, however, is the restaurant’s large selection of specialty pies: buffalo-chicken pizza is topped with chicken and zesty buffalo sauce; Nutella pizza with brown and powdered sugar; and the American-style pizza gets topped with steak, peppers, onions, american cheese, and a pervasive dislike of the metric system.
While pizza dominates the menu, diners can also explore traditional Italian entrees, including dinner specialties such as chicken scampi, veal milanese, and spaghetti with clam sauce.