In 1988, Auntie Anne's founders Anne and Jonas Beiler purchased a Pennsylvania farmers'-market stand, where they experimented with dough until they created a pretzel that seemed to strike the perfect chord with their customers. Today, at their more than 1,350 locations worldwide, the pretzel makers still hand roll the original recipe but have added to the menu with inventive options such as the eight signature dipping sauces. The team constantly explores new uses for the pretzel dough, such as wrapping it around hot dogs and slicing it into bite-size nuggets. To transform the snack into a meal, they accompany it with specialty drinks, including frozen-lemonade desserts.
When not twisting dough, Auntie Anne's team partners with the national charitable organization Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, which raises funds to fight childhood cancer. Auntie Anne's also reaches out to the community through fundraising opportunities.
Perky’s Pizza rustles up a variety of traditional and imaginative pizzas for famished families. With the family combo meal, banqueting broods choose one large signature pizza from Perky's Pizza's doughy roster, relieving a meat-masticating hankering with the double-cheeseburger deluxe, loaded with crispy bacon, hearty beef, and zesty barbecue sauce, or floating away on the Maui Wowie, which features chicken and sweet pineapple basking in a beach of red sauce. Choosy chowhounds point their noses toward the also-included one-topping pizza, selecting a meat, vegetable, or fat-free mineral to add sustenance. Six breadsticks take a dip in garlic or cinnamon before joining the culinary crew, and a troop of 12 chicken wings marches into position while chanting fight songs before being defeated by mercenary molars. Like bookends, a family-sized garden salad and dessert support the meal on either end.
Dough-stretching professionals craft classic crust canvases piled with toppings that serve as a foundation for Pizza For U's menu of classic pizzeria eats. Crust options abound as 16" cheese pies ($13.95) fluctuate between thin or pan crust to deliver sauce-and-topping portraits of long lost calzones in materials such as bacon, minced garlic, or tomatoes ($1.75/topping for a large). Stuffed pizzas round out a triumvirate of crust types, such as 10" stuffed spinach pizzas ($13), which deliver a payload of delicious leafy greens, and thin slices of the 20" White Cheesy ($27.95) eschew traditional tomato sauce in favor of garlic butter, four cheeses, tomatoes, onions, and minced garlic. Lonely pizzas in the heat of delivery rest easy next to meal accouterments such as a six-pack of root beer ($4.50) or a dozen chicken wings ($8.50), available in breaded, barbecue, or hot.
Working from a playbook of family recipes handed down through generations, the founders of Sicilian Joe’s Pizzeria, Joseph and Maria Butera, instill every menu item with Sicilian tradition. Pie-smiths daily prepare each topping for Joe’s thin-crust pizzas, dicing fresh vegetables and grating mozzarella cheese. Then, they sprinkle them on homemade dough, baking the disks to a golden brown by using them as shields against the laser-eyed attacks of robot armies. Guests can customize every pizza with a variety of accessories, from classics such as anchovies, pepperoni, and sliced tomatoes to tangier flavors including blue cheese and hot or mild giardiniera relish. For no additional charge, chefs can also add or remove sauce, omit the cheese entirely, or replace the 2-liter soda’s bottle cap with a fresh broccoli cork.
A family-owned-and-operated establishment, the idea for Jenny's Steak House sprouted more than 60 years ago in a small pub on Chicago's South Side. These days, chefs still whip up menu items that the family concocted all those years ago, such as potato pancakes, braised lamb shanks, and oxtail soup. The culinary maestros at Jenny's Steak House also grill hand-cut steaks smeared with a special seasoning blend, pair wraps and sandwiches with homemade Idaho potato chips, and blacken, broil, or fry fresh seafood. Meanwhile, the pizza kitchen dispenses pies until 1 a.m., at which time all the uncooked dough and pepperoni turn into a magical pizza carriage. The lounge accommodates guests even later as they relax with martinis, local brews, or wine while enjoying evening entertainment such as live music and karaoke.
Big Fish Bar & Grille's owner lures diners with seafood specialties made from fresh fish, which fill the lunch menu and dinner menu. Begin comestible voyages by knocking back an order of oysters Rockefeller ($14) while basking in the waterfront restaurant's vistas. A golden crab cake, cloaked in seasoned breadcrumbs like a baker playing hide and seek, rests on the Crabby Patty sandwich with Old Bay–sprinkled fries ($11). The Louisiana mac 'n' cheese, a pool of rigatoni noodles swimming amongst waves of a four-cheese sauce, buoys Cajun chicken and andouille sausage ($13). Big Fish wraps up the docket of edibles with a variety of jambalayas, steaks, and chops.
Family owned for over 35 years! The tradition began when Angelo opened the doors in 1976, his sons Larry & Peter took over a few years later. From there they have expanded to 9 family owned locations and 9 franchises. All of the franchise owners continue the tradition of family owned and operated restaurants.