At It’s a Better Burger, staff focus on one thing: how to make the tastiest creations ever to fill slices of bread. Their entire menu can be broken into three distinct sandwich categories, featuring their gourmet burgers, chicken sandwiches, and specialty sandwiches, all of which showcase their love of this gastronomic genre. Burgers come in three sizes or with two patties, and can be topped with everything from barbeque sauce, pulled pork, and haystack onions to garlic mushrooms and sweet peppers. Their chicken sandwiches transfer the flavors of the burgers to a grilled or crispy chicken breast, while the rest of the menu is dedicated to classics such as the BLT and unique versions such as the chipotle salmon burger. They offer a select menu of diner fare with their burgers, pairing dishes with fresh fries, fried corn on the cob, hand-dipped milkshakes, and their famous cheesecake.
Founded in 1954 by James McLamore and David Edgerton, Burger King rapidly expanded from humble beginnings as a lone burger joint to more than 12,400 locations across 79 countries today, making it the second-largest fast-food-hamburger chain in the world. Its signature burger—the Whopper sandwich—consists of flame-broiled, quarter-pound beef patties crowned with a miniature fedora and a fully customizable array of toppings such as tomatoes, onions, and dill pickles. Focused on continual improvement, the chain recently reinvented the fries that accompany each value meal, outfitting the spud slices with a thicker cut of potato for a fluffier texture on the inside and crispier golden-brown exterior. A spread of decadent desserts including dutch apple pie and Hershey pie keeps sweet teeth from elongating into fangs, and made-to-order breakfast sandwiches clasp eggs, american cheese, and bacon, sausage, or ham between two halves of a flaky croissant to round out the speedy menu.
Though Sushi Ai has recently opened its sixth location, it still shows the same dedication to classic Japanese cuisine. Sushi remains the star of the menu, ranging from single pieces of pepper tuna and spicy scallop sushi and sashimi, to delicate hand rolls that mingle crispy salmon skin and cucumber. Standout special rolls include the World Series roll—packed with soft-shell crab tempura, tuna, eel, avocado, tobiko, and tempura chips—whose original recipe was pitched from Japan in 1919. Rich soups with udon noodles and medleys of seafood or vegetables join Sushi Ai's other cooked entrees, such as chicken fried rice or beef and shrimp sautéed on a hibachi grill.
For homestyle deliciousness in generous, fresh-cooked portions, look no further than Kluckin' Chicken & Fish, a restaurant with a casual vibe but whose approach to food is anything but. Mixed buckets of fried light and dark meat dominate the chicken menu, the meat juicy beneath a golden crust of original or hot and spicy breading. Catfish, grouper, and whitefish fillets fortify sandwiches or decorate plates alone, while jalapeño poppers, buttermilk popcorn shrimp, frog legs, and cheddar broccoli bites invite appetizer seekers to try something new from the deep fryer.
Regardless of which Dave & Buster's location you visit, you can count on being fed and entertained. The sprawling entertainment complexes feature full bars with specialty cocktails and dining areas that serve burgers, steaks, sandwiches, and other dishes that have been voted onto American food menus by congress representatives past and present. Most locations have a billiards area, and all have a Million Dollar Midway, the franchise's uber game room that consists of rows of blinking and ticket-spewing arcade games.
Relaxation comes easy at Mark's Place, a Maryland Heights pub where bartenders serve cold drinks beneath the glow of eight 50-inch television screens. Each of those screens broadcasts sports games, keeping customers current on their favorite team's scores or their favorite announcer's tie. Pair beverages with classic bar snacks and T.J.'s Pizza or head to the pub's game area to shoot pool balls and send darts sailing into wall-mounted targets.