Tropical Smoothie Café cools down overheated inner-beings with its all-natural smoothies—forged from real fruit and bursting at sippable seams with energy. Plunge into a 24-ounce low-fat fruit smoothie ($3.99), sweetened with your choice of turbinado sugar or Splenda. Flavors include the strawberry, banana, and pineapple blend of Paradise Point, the blueberry, strawberry, and banana oasis of Blue Lagoon, and the delicious dawnbreak of Sunny Day, which is packed with mango, banana, orange, and kiwi. If teeth start to grumble about having nothing to do, guests can chomp a satisfyingly solid slab of sustenance with one of Tropical Smoothie Café's sandwiches, wraps, or salads. Tear into a bistro sandwich ($6.29) such as the turkey guacamole, or gnaw on a grilled flatbread ($3.99) such as the Caribbean Luau, which is bedecked in chicken, mozzarella, pineapple, romaine, and jamaican jerk sauce. Make amends with mouths for last summer's exhausting gum-chewing marathon with the Paradise Combo ($9.99)—which throws down the gauntlet of appetizing with a smoothie of your choice and any toasted wrap, bistro sandwich, or gourmet salad plus chips or fruit. Menus and prices may vary slightly at different locations.
Cody’s Café’s menu touts hearty American fare that runs the gamut from made-to-order breakfasts to a host of thick sandwiches and juicy burgers for lunch. A stack of one, two, or three golden pancakes makes for an elegant hat ($2.29–$4.79), and Logan’s big breakfast ($5.99) suits up two eggs any style to impress fresh hash-brown debutantes with warm complements of biscuits and steaming country gravy. For lunch, patrons can confirm the length of a footlong shih tzu with super footlong hot dogs ($4.79) slathered with rich chili, cheese, mustard, and onions, then sample Cody’s old-fashioned cheeseburgers, available in regular ($4.59) or double ($5.99). To sustain vegetable fueled go-karts, customers can also partake in dinner salads ($2.99) or veggie plates, available in combinations of three ($4.59) or four garden residents ($5.59).
Marco's Pizza founder Pasquale "Pat" Gianmarco began helping out at his family’s pizzeria when he was just a boy. The eatery provided a taste of home to the Gianmarco clan, who moved to the United States from Italy when Pat was 9 years old. Together with his father, young Pat learned the secrets to creating exceptional pizza sauce: three different types of vine-ripened tomatoes and spices that can only be imported from Italy or the moon.
The perfected sauce recipe continues to guide Pat’s kitchen operations, although these days he has considerably more help. His company has franchise locations in more than half the states as well as in the Bahamas, each store tossing fresh pizza dough daily before sprinkling on a trio of fresh, never-frozen cheeses.
In November of 2009, Adam Richman of Man v. Food sat down at one of the wooden tables inside The Mean Pig BBQ and ordered the restaurant’s Shut-Up Juice Challenge. His only goal: to finish the smoked, pulled-pork sandwich, which comes topped with coleslaw and a slather of Shut-Up Juice—a fiery concoction of barbecue sauce mixed with concentrated habanero extract. After a hard-fought battle, the professional eater barely limped past the finish line, completing a challenge that bests most diners. At the restaurant’s last count, less than 2% of contenders who started the Shut-Up Juice Challenge finished it.
The Mean Pig BBQ may be most widely know for its spicy challenge, but locals come here for the chopped-pork sandwiches, fall-off-the-bone ribs, and smoked beans, a Mean Pig original. The owners smoke the pork and ribs over a hickory-wood smoker for 24 hours before drenching the meat in homemade mild, medium, or hot barbecue sauce. They temper the heat with creamy coleslaw, potato salad, and icy beverages to cool scorched tongues.
Jo-Jo's BBQ loads hungry diners' plates with barbecued pork, baby back ribs, and expertly fried catfish from the tempting menu. Feast-opening starters whet appetites with savory flavor, including half and full orders of barbecue nachos, piled high with meat and topped with a jaunty sour-cream hat ($6.25/$9.50). The catfish sandwich's deep-fried fillet snuggles inside a hoagie, dressed to the diner's liking ($5.50), and a side of deep-fried okra adds additional crunch ($2.25). Barbecue beans, coleslaw, and french fries surround the barbecue-sandwich plates, starring a choice of sliced pork loin, sliced beef, pulled pork, ham, turkey, or link sausage ($7.95–$10.95). Racks of ribs delight diners in full or half sets of baby back or spare varieties ($13.50–$19.95). To complement the flavors of meat, domestic beers ($2.25) and Corona ($3.25) create an international team of thirst-slaying ethanol heroes.
El Porton Mexican Restaurant has sated cravings for fresh, healthy ingredients for more than two decades, serving up authentic Mexican lunches and dinners that complement the bar’s array of 85 tequilas. Amid golden walls that evoke a warm afternoon in a tropical cantina, guests kick-start stomachs by watching chefs craft lime-infused guacamole tableside. From the kitchen, beef and shrimp fajitas sizzle, wafting aromas of onion and bell pepper that transform into cartoon hands to lure in noses. Warm days open El Porton's patio, where sunshine heightens the flavors of make-your-own combo platters spread with chile rellenos, tostadas, and burritos, as well as USDA steaks aged a minimum of 21 days. Tequila shots arrive in flights or individually, and customizable margaritas in flavors such as mango and classic lime pour forth from salt-rimmed glasses to accentuate entrees and fuel conversations about Mexico's hidden agave rivers.
Alongside Highway 1 in Baja, California, waves lap up against the white sand beaches as drivers stop to snack on the region’s famous fish tacos. One such beach, the fabled Playa Costa Azul, inspired the chefs and creators behind Blue Coast Burrito. Baja-style fish, spicy LaTinga chicken, carnitas, pulled pork, and fresh veggies complete the burritos, tacos, and taco salads, all of which you can build to order. After grabbing some freshly made pico de gallo, sour cream, and tomatillo salsa, enjoy the mellow coastal vibe induced by surfboards hanging on the wall and a soundtrack of mellow beach tunes from Santana, the Gipsy Kings, and Los Lonely Boys.