Founded in 1954 by James McLamore and David Edgerton, Burger King rapidly expanded from humble beginnings as a lone burger joint to more than 12,400 locations across 79 countries today, making it the second-largest fast-food-hamburger chain in the world. Its signature burger—the Whopper sandwich—consists of flame-broiled, quarter-pound beef patties crowned with a miniature fedora and a fully customizable array of toppings such as tomatoes, onions, and dill pickles. Focused on continual improvement, the chain recently reinvented the fries that accompany each value meal, outfitting the spud slices with a thicker cut of potato for a fluffier texture on the inside and crispier golden-brown exterior. A spread of decadent desserts including dutch apple pie and Hershey pie keeps sweet teeth from elongating into fangs, and made-to-order breakfast sandwiches clasp eggs, american cheese, and bacon, sausage, or ham between two halves of a flaky croissant to round out the speedy menu.
Featured on the "Deli Delights" episode of the Food Network's The Best Of program, the team at Kopperman's Specialty Foods & Deli works hard to deliver a classic delicatessen experience. They serve breakfast all day as well as overnight on Fridays and Saturdays, poaching eggs for benedicts and frying potato pancakes for orders of latkes. Smoked salmon and trout top bagels with cream cheese and housemade chopped chicken liver dresses up slices of rye bread. Carnegie Deli salami, corned beef, and pastrami come in from New York City, as do cheesecakes, black forest cakes, and apple crumb pies baked in the Statue of Liberty's torch.
Led by executive chef Dylan Cunningham, the crew at Sage Urban American Grill works hard to shrink the eatery's carbon footprint by employing a number of green practices. First and foremost, they craft dishes using fresh ingredients from local harvests, including herbs plucked from the organic garden on the restaurant's outdoor dining patio. Second, the staff ensures all kitchen waste gets reused when possible, by composting food scraps, recycling recyclables, and setting aside fry oil for biofuel.
Chefs at Astoria Kabob House draw on authentic Slavic recipes that span multiple centuries and nationalities, crafting a menu of meaty stews, cheesy blintzes, and kebabs. Every Saturday night, a live band plays Russian music amid the restaurant's arched windows and carved wooden chairs as patrons sing along and do the Macarena, a traditional Russian dance.
Pint glasses fill with fresh drafts of craft beers from Parma Grill and Tap's microbrewery while cooks prepare platters of Italian fare, such as lasagna and eggplant parmesan, inside the kitchen. A selection of specialty pizzas includes buffalo chicken with blue-cheese or ranch dipping sauce and Elizabeth's Favorite, a vegetable pizza topped with roasted eggplant and fresh tomatoes.
John Adam Lemp arrived in the United States in 1838, intent on seeking his new life and fortune. He established a grocery in St. Louis, but it was something else that catapulted him to success: a recipe for lager beer. The beer made his fortune, and the Lemps became one of the most wealthy, prominent families in St. Louis. As the money flowed in and the beer flowed out, Lemp decided to purchase a mansion where successive generations could rule their empire of breweries. That's exactly what they did, for a time.
Family fortunes began to turn, however, with the century. In 1901, the heir apparent to the family business died under mysterious circumstances, leading his father to take his own life in a mansion bedroom. The brewery persisted somewhat tenuously until Prohibition fell upon it like a hammer, shattering family fortunes. This led to a further spate of suicides, two of which were committed in the family mansion. The mansion's history of tragedy has led many to suppose that beneath its elegant, 100-year-old veneer are hiding dark secrets and supernatural presences.
Today, the parlor serves as a restaurant, richly appointed with original African mahogany and hand-painted ceiling murals. The rest of the house, though, is a venue for paranormal investigations and a stage for murder mystery dinner comedies. Many of the rooms even serve as guest suites for those brave enough to face ghosts dressed in Victorian-era undergarments.