To the brains behind N&J Middle Eastern Cuisine, what's even more important than recreating the flavors of the Middle East is capturing the spirit of communal dining found in homes throughout the region. To that end, lively conversation, cross-table sharing, and families resisting the urge to blackmail each other are the norm here as groups enjoy the menu's regional comfort foods. Plates of silken hummus and crispy falafel, for instance, lead into entrees of marinated steak kababs and pita wraps filled with gyro meat. Yet the experience doesn't stop at the table. Around the feast, N&J Middle Eastern Cuisine's cozy dining area complements the casual spirit of its cooking. Simple booths and dark wooden tables fill the space, which is split into separate sections by half walls featuring cream-colored arches decorated with painted vines.
Planet Sub sidesteps the flavorless land mines of days-old bread, opting for filling-packed subs and sandwiched meaty delights. The menu may differ slightly between the two locations, but omnipresent signature subs cross state lines to sate hungering masses, such as the bacon-bolstered mega roast beef ($4.69/$7.29 ) and the Planet BBQ, a saucy concoction stacked with ham, turkey, and roast beef ($3.99/$6.99 ). Vegetarian options abound, so meat abstainers can try the spicy cheese sub ($4.49/$6.99 ) or the pesto bello ($4.99/$7.19), which is loaded with portobello mushrooms, red peppers, and a tomato-garlic pesto as smooth and suave as an Italian R&B crooner.
For more than 30 years, Quiznos has toasted its submarine sandwiches to help bring out the flavors of their butcher-quality meats, cheese, and artisan breads. Its classic and signature subs take on a variety of shapes, sizes, and styles, ranging from the prime rib peppercorn to the classic italian donning black olives, mozzarella, red-wine vinaigrette, and plentiful sliced meats. Other designer sandwiches bear labels such as classic club with bacon, Baja-chicken, and veggie-guacamole.
In his hunt for the perfect breakfast, Guy Fieri, the host of Food Network's hit program Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, didn't have to look any further than Brint's piping hot platters of homemade hot cakes, egg dishes, and its specialty: biscuits and gravy. Had the charismatic host, whose surgically implanted sunglasses only reflected the glare of sizzling early morning skillets, stuck around, he would've also enjoyed a homemade dinner selection that includes a butterfly-cut chicken breast and fresh, hand-breaded country-fried steak. Molten mounds of chili tumble across heaps of tender noodles on the Cincinnati spaghetti dish, a regional specialty that elevates the traditional pasta dish with diced onions and shredded cheese.
Ben & Jerry's came from humble beginnings—in 1978, its eponymous founders served ice cream out of a renovated Burlington gas station, and delivered pints of their now-classic flavors to grocery stores out of the back of Ben's VW Squareback wagon. Today, its myriad shops dispense cups, cones, shakes, and smoothies brimming with a variety of quirky flavors, including Phish Food and Cherry Garcia, named for famous revolutionary Cherry Garcia. Ben & Jerry's also offers Greek frozen yogurt in flavors such as banana peanut butter, raspberry fudge chunk, and blueberry vanilla graham. The duo is famous for their social responsibility, which is evident in their community activism and in their use of fair-trade products, such as cage-free eggs and sustainable, growth-hormone-free dairy.