Hot Dog on a Stick Founder Dave Barham opened his first Hot Dog on a Stick in Santa Monica in 1946, and the company has since burgeoned into an employee-owned franchise that's more than 100 eateries strong and spans 11 states. Best known for a 100% turkey hot dog dunked in corn-bread batter made from Dave's mother's recipe and cooked in soy oil, Hot Dog on a Stick also pioneered the dipping and be-sticking of mild american and spicy jalapeño jack cheese. Smiling employees in red-, white-, and blue-striped uniforms with, as Dave put it, "a splash of lemonade," hand over cherry, lime, sugar-free, or original lemonade that they make fresh every two hours by squeezing Ventura County lemons until they cry.
When Shyam Khanal opened Aasna, Melange of India, he didn't throw a publicized grand opening. As he explained to the San Jose Mercury News, he was more concerned with the quality of his food and service than the quantity of guests. And his attention to both food and service hasn't let up since, an effort that wasn't lost on the Mercury News. As the paper said, "Khanal knows what makes a good restaurant great."
For starters, the categorized menu is a breeze to navigate. Meat eaters will easily find the restaurant's specialty bone-in goat curry, vegetarians the malai kofta, and vegans the tofu masala. Even the buffet has separate tables for vegetarian and meat-based entrees. And instead of waiting for food to appear, guests can watch chefs prepare it in the glass-enclosed kitchen. If patrons' eyes wander, they can also take in the lovely, colorful collection of Indian artwork displayed throughout the sunny dining room. Unless it's raining, then the room probably won't be sunny.
When he cofounded his first sandwich shop in 1965, 17-year-old Fred DeLuca planned to use his profits to pay his way through medical school. But the combination of quality ingredients and friendly service at the shop—then called Pete's Subway—proved so popular that nine years later, he and his partner found themselves in charge of 16 locations across Connecticut, and Fred left behind his doctoring plans for a career in business.
Today, Subway serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner and boasts more than 38,000 locations around the world—almost as many shops as there are sightings of Elvis buying cold cuts. At each location, staffers pile sliced ham, marinara-slathered meatballs, and other fillings into halved loaves of bread before customizing handhelds with tomatoes, shredded lettuce, and other healthy toppings plucked from chilled containers behind the counter. Subway’s website also facilitates health-conscious eating by listing each item's nutritional information online.
True to its name, Texas Style Bbq offers food inspired by the Lone Star State, including sauce-slathered ribs, tender brisket, and meaty hot links. Traditional sides can make or break a barbecue meal, so the shop offers a wealth of options, such as mac 'n' cheese, corn bread, and potato salad, a Texas barbecue staple. Save room for one of the restaurant’s special desserts, cassava cake or sweet-potato pie. If you’re throwing a large party or hosting a backyard barbecue for the United Nations, consider Texas Style Bbq’s catering packages, which include large portions of chicken, shrimp, ribs, and brisket.
"Gobi aloo" probably isn't a familiar term to most. But a quick glance at the dish's ingredient list showcases the masterful way Indian chefs assemble common ingredients: potatoes and cauliflower saut?ed with ginger, tomatoes, and other herbs. The dish embodies the type of Indian cuisine served at Mirch Masala: simple in preparation but complex in flavor. Chefs strike this balance in every menu item, from vegetarian and meat entrees to kebabs and sizzling plates.
Breakfast isn't just for morning people at My Cafe—the restaurant serves its omelets, crepes, and skillets all day long. More traditional entrees join in the fun for lunch and dinner, including new york strip steaks, fried Gulf shrimp, and baby back ribs. For dessert, try a sweet crepe with banana, strawberry, and Nutella.