So established is Circle K Midwest that even brand-new vehicles recognize what its red-and-white logo stands for—fuel, snacks, and everything else a car might need to keep powering down the road with its driver. Circle K's story starts back in 1951, when Fred Hervey bought three Kay's Food Stores in El Paso, Texas. Under his guidance, these three little shops grew into the more than 3,000 convenience stores that crouch on our nation's street corners today.
After rolling up to a Circle K, drivers can pump their faithful roadsters full of high-octane fuel and send them skipping through a car wash to experience the cleansing touch of Blue Coral Beyond Green and Rain-X products. Then it's time to step inside the air-conditioned shop for a peek at the provisions. Rows of sodas hibernate behind glass doors, and snacks, candy, and their ATM guardians stand boldly out in the open. Some Circle Ks also offer the Take Away Fresh Café, which presents an appetizing lineup of healthy road fare including sandwiches, fruit cups, and fresh-cut vegetables. Drivers can gear up for a long drive with premium coffees or enjoy a cold Polar Pop, whose specially formulated cup keeps drinks colder thanks to the family of tiny snowmen trapped in its foam walls.
Domino's has been decorating dough canvases with flavorful sauces, an assortment of cheeses, and high-quality toppings that range from classic to unconventional since 1960. Domino's dough is tossed daily and stretched by human hands, not by clumsy catapults and model airplanes flying in opposite directions. Treat friends to a tasteful feast by checking the online menu and crafting a custom masterpizza with Domino's wide range of ingredients, or choose nonpizza fare such as buffalo wings, pastas, sandwiches, and breadsticks. Famished diners too starved to choose their own pizza toppings can select from Domino's American Legends, featuring signature flavors from throughout the land. Pizzas such as the Pacific Veggie, Honolulu Hawaiian, or Wisconsin 6 Cheese impart all the delicious diversity of a road trip without the hassle of decoding an atlas.
Kathleen's cookies are not just her own—they're the result of the hard work and traditions carried on by five generations. Inspired by her grandmother, who made traditional Belgium cookies only once a year that were cherished by the whole family, Kathleen worked with fragmented recipes to develop her own version of the crispy treats. After a year of hard work, she started Kathleen's Kookies with her signature Malvinas, named after her grandmother. Aiming to keep the family's traditions alive, she crafts the cherished cookies year-round to share with others, packaged inside pretty baskets, boxes, and foreclosed doll houses.
Having baked, fried, and grilled American favorites for nearly half a century, the Fogelsong family behind Grindstone Charley’s Restaurant & Pub continues to honor their Hoosier roots with a menu of scrumptious burgers, steaks, and sandwiches. Diners armor themselves with absorbent napkins before charging headfirst into half-slabs of baby back ribs ($12.99), which greet them with a torrent of tangy house barbecue sauce. A trove of sherried mushrooms rests beside two 5-ounce filet medallions ($18.99) that serve as meaty replicas of the useless, inedible prizes bestowed at nearby stock-car races. Doused in Jack Daniel’s honey-bourbon sauce, the drunken chicken ($7.99) totters on its toasted sesame bun alongside an onion-straw garnish, pepper jack cheese, and strips of crispy bacon. Chefs cast their nets into the kitchen’s flash fryer to pull up breaded shrimp ($12.99), which return to their natural element when dipped into a spicy sea of cocktail sauce.