Not much has changed since Lovie Yancey opened the first Fatburger in 1952. Since then, the chain has expanded, but the food has stayed the same: 100% USDA lean beef burgers grilled to order and hand-scooped ice-cream shakes. Each restaurant stays true to Yancey's vision, even down to retro-influenced digs with jukeboxes blasting old school favorites designed to make listeners flash enthusiastic thumbs-up signs. Inside the kitchen, cooks stack burgers from 2.5-ounce burgers to 24-ounce triple burgers on toasted regular or gluten-free buns as fresh onions crisp inside fryers filled with cholesterol-free oil. Diners can also enjoy Fatburger’s signature chili made with a secret blend of herbs and spices or milkshakes topped with dollops of whipped cream that resemble fluffy, white clouds shaped like marshmallows.
With more than 700 locations, Jamba Juice proves to the masses that nutrition can be speedy and delicious. Since the beginning, the company’s product philosophy has revolved around choosing whole fruits and other natural ingredients over artificial flavorings, sweeteners, and preservatives. The menu is completely free of high-fructose corn syrup and trans fats, and it offers additional accommodations for vegan and gluten-free diets.
This naturalistic approach is fully realized in Jamba Juice's selection of smoothies. Made with 100% fruit juice, sherbet, and frozen yogurt, the frosty delights range from all-fruit smoothies such as peach perfection and strawberry whirl to more indulgent creamy treats, including peanut butter moo'd, an enticing blend of peanut butter, bananas, nonfat vanilla frozen yogurt, and milk chocolate.
For those with heartier appetites, steel-cut oats steep in soymilk before being enhanced with toppings such as apples, cinnamon, and brown-sugar crumble. The lunch hour presents protein-packed mini wraps, toasted bistro sandwiches and California Flatbreads that pack only about 320–420 calories each.
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 1,150 locations worldwide, the pretzel makers still hand roll the original recipe but have added to the menu with inventive options, such as the pepperoni pretzel and eight signature dipping sauces. The team constantly explores new uses for the pretzel dough, such as wrapping it around hot dogs, slicing it into bite-size nuggets, or using it to build historically accurate Austrian villages. 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.
Alpac Market & Pizza treats guests to hearty meals of pizzeria cuisine, serving up savory pies forged from fresh dough, cheese, and homemade sauce. Chefs roll out tasty pizzas topped with pepperoni and ham, ground beef and jalapeño peppers, and mushrooms and olives. In addition to chowing down on delicious pizzas, guests can devour toasty calzones and spicy chicken wings. Oven-toasted french-roll Subcontractor sandwiches are filled with bubbly mozzarella and savory meats and are named for construction-industry terms, such as Framing, Demolition, and Who Dropped the Wrecking Ball on My Car?
Every day, the staff at Boba Smoothie blend fresh fruits and other ingredients to create smoothies, teas, and non-dairy milk teas. But the sweet flavors of fruit and tea aren't the drinks' only feature—the cups fill with chewy boba pearls, which add a burst of texture to every taste like a lego made of candy. Staff members also serve up fresh scoops of gelato in such flavors as mango, coconut, and cupcake.
After attending culinary school, Lebanon-born Moussa Elmoussa decided to open a restaurant using Mediterranean recipes borrowed from the mother of his half-Grecian wife. More than 17 years later, he continues to prepare a menu made with nutritious, healthy ingredients such as lemon juice, chopped cucumbers, and low-fat yogurt from dieting cows. Chefs at both locations carve kosher and halal lamb, chicken, and beef for gyros, stuff grape leaves with rice, and ladle out housemade tzatziki sauce.
With an extensive menu of island-inspired eats, the eatery blissfully deserts feasters on an island of inspired cuisine. Start with an order of Spam musubi and enjoy the canned delicacy swaddled in a nori wrap with egg and rice ($4.95) or go for an order of Shanghai-style lumpia, a Pac Island family recipe of pork, shrimp, and vegetables in an eggroll-esque package ($5.50). Dinner at the eatery offers an abundant bounty of nourishment, with everything from noodles, rice, and burgers to their 13 barbecue combination platters. The loli chicken and Kalua pork, whose delectable pairing of barbecue chicken and slow-smoked pulled pork sautéed with cabbage ($10.49) was crowned best entree in the 2007 Taste of Tacoma festival, while the teriyaki-marinated kalbi short ribs ($10.95) was top entree in 2006. Most platters are served with two scoops of rice and either macaroni salad or island slaw. Salute sweet teeth with a tropical-fruit smoothie ($4.50), slice of pineapple upside-down cake ($3.75), or slice of molten-chocolate "luv-a-lava" cake ($5.95).