The sandwich artists at Silver Mine Subs take a no grilling or frying approach to designing bread-bound eats, putting the spotlight on fresh, crisp ingredients. Browse the menu in search of the Steam Engine, a warm hoagie stuffed with meatballs, marinara sauce, and provolone (5", $4.19), or the turkey-and-avocado-packed Caribou (8", $5.79). For a more flavorful punch than a chocolate-dipped boxing glove, patrons can aggravate the Mother Lode's layers of roast beef, turkey, ham, and salami (11", $9.79). Complement subs with a piping-hot cup of broccoli-cheese soup ($2.99) or a garden salad sprinkled with fat-free ranch dressing ($3.99).
On average, it takes one year to invent a sandwich that meets the standards of Jason's Deli—countless combinations of breads and filling won't ever leave the test kitchen. Those that do follow a strict set of rules: no artificial trans fat, no high-fructose corn syrup, and flavors that come from freshness rather than additives. The results can be bitten into at hundreds of locations across America. At each, difficult choices abound between reubens and spicy-ranchero chicken wraps, or between a turkey club and a New Orleans-inspired muffaletta, spread with a family-recipe olive mix. Even those who don't want a sandwich still have to make tough decisions when they approach the salad bar brimming with organic fixings.
Despite the difficulties of selection, Jason's Deli prioritizes convenience. Its stores have organized a list of gluten-sensitive selections as well as healthy kids' meals, which come with sides of organic carrots or apples as opposed to other restaurants' deep-fried lard balls. The company also advocates for emotional health as fervently as it does nutrition—its Leadership Institute hosts workshops for employees on topics ranging from conflict resolution to finances to ethics.
Pizza enthusiasts have long been divided by a contentious debate: thick or thin crust? Rather than miss out on either kind of crust by picking sides, the cooks at WhichWay Pizza knead a crust that falls somewhere in between. These pizza bases are pleasantly chewy, but still thin enough to be picked up and eaten without a fork and knife, unlike famous styles such as the Chicago deep-dish crust or the Atlantis fish-crust. On top of a WhichWay Pizza crust might rest one of 10 specialty pie combinations, including the jalapeño and buffalo chicken Firecracker and the playfully named Kids, topped only with the pizzeria’s seven-cheese blend. Crusts can also be customized with combinations diners select from the pizzeria’s six sauces and 18 ingredients such as Ranchapeno sauce and pepperoncini. For dessert, the versatile crusts might transform into apple-streusel- or cherry-flavored treats, which, like regular pizzas, emerge from the oven piping hot in fewer than four minutes, roughly the same time it takes tomatoes and sausages to melt into a meat sauce.
The Dickey’s Barbecue Pit sign may be ubiquitous today as a spot for good ole’ Texas barbecue, but when Travis Dickey first opened his Dallas shop in 1941, the sign had to share space with advertisements to help pay rent. In the 70 years since then, the Dickeys have done well for themselves, with their initial store spawning a slew of franchises throughout the country. Though the barbecue at each outpost is no longer under the hand of one of Dickey’s descendants, each shop still smokes their own meats in-house to create the signature Texan flavor that infuses their briskets, pulled pork, and fall-off-the-bone ribs.
Meals can come in any size, from the a la carte sandwiches to platters that incorporate a chosen number of meats with a buttery roll, a pickle, ice cream, and two homestyle sides. Whether serving up their dishes in the dining room or packing them up for take-away or catering, the staff ensures that each client gets a taste of Texas home cooking without the hassle rubbing every dish on a campfire crock-pot.
It's not too unusual for a superhero or princess to stop by in full costume to delight the children at Cool Beans Playhouse. But the spot wasn't just built with little ones in mind—it's a combination café-playspace that parents and kids to enjoy together.
Kids age 6 and younger skip past surrealist tree sculptures to clamber up the twisty stairs into the clubhouse before careening down a shiny slide. In the Pretend Play area, a tiny kitchen and grocery store allow kids to play their favorite game—trying to shop within the pretend food budget of their pretend household. Meanwhile, a Quiet Play area is stocked with books and games. While their brood plays, parents sip fresh-brewed coffee drinks, and during breaks, families can refuel together on the café's healthful fare, including salads, wraps, and smoothies.