The dough wizards at Papa John's hand toss circular masterpieces with original and thin crusts made from high-protein flour to support warm bouquets of toppings. Hand-cut produce crowns all of Papa John's pizzas, mingling with the sun-soaked sweetness of sauce made from fresh, California-grown tomatoes. By adhering to its brand promise of "better ingredients, better pizza," Papa John's grew from a back-tavern pizzeria into more than 3,500 restaurants within three decades' time.
Cooks at Back Yard Burgers grill third-pound Black Angus beef patties and crown them with an array of toppings including american cheese, bacon, and sautéed mushrooms. In addition to the beef patties, the cooks also grill turkey burgers and chicken breast sandwiches.
Connected by an asphalt web of highways, state roads, and thoroughfares, blocky yellow signs gleam nonstop, casting a dandelion glow from the words “Waffle House.” The booths at the eateries fill 24 hours each day with the aromas of sizzling pork chops, Jimmy Dean sausage, and endless mugs of coffee. Line cooks brown shredded potatoes on a grill as waiters shout back in a language all their own for hash browns “smothered,” “covered,” or “topped”—served with onions, cheese, or chili, respectively. Angus burgers and steak melts share space on the rippling-hot surface at all times of day, allowing tired drivers to stop for food when they are on a long journey or just listening to an 11-hour drum solo on the radio. The first Waffle House switched on its lights in 1955, and some menu items still bear the names of Waffle House staff of the past, including Bert's chili from Dallas and Alice's iced tea.
For more than 60 years, KingFish Restaurants have been grilling, broiling, and frying a bounty of sea-dwelling edibles. Lobster tails, tilapia fillets, and freshly shucked oysters punctuate a menu of more than 25 seafood selections that adorn plates breaded in a golden crust or blackened in Cajun seasonings. More terrestrial morsels arrive in the form of fried frog legs and 10-ounce rib-eye steaks, which are grilled to order and taught to swim before arriving to tables.
The flavors aren't the only things inspired by the majesty of the water, though; two of the restaurant's locations are perched directly on the banks of the Ohio River. Diners can gaze through expansive windows or breathe fresh air on a covered patio as they savor their meals amid sparkling waters framed by the Louisville skyline. The understated sound of rushing water is periodically interrupted on select nights, when live bands entertain dinner guests and provide a soundtrack for the underwater ecosystem's endless Disney auditions.
Named for the Roman goddess of banquets and overseer of feasts, Edesia Gardens lives up to its lofty moniker with continental lunch fare and an extensive Sunday brunch buffet. When they aren’t ferrying trays back and forth from special events, the restaurant’s wait staff lines noontime tables with sandwiches, burgers, and salads stacked with imported brie, sliced fruit, and homemade sauces and dressings. A chef-manned breakfast station serves as the centerpiece of the Sunday brunch buffet, where guests load their plates with eggs and waffles cooked to order. While indulging in a sweet or savory pastry, guests can question their hosts about the restaurant’s banquet facilities, which can handle parties of up to 170 for weddings, birthdays, and school-wide games of capture the flag.