Ono Hawaiian BBQ brings the island to the mainland with tender meats soaked in made-from-scratch marinades. Chefs hand roll chicken katsu in panko bread crumbs to give it a fresh, crispy texture, and assemble generous portions of crispy shrimp, island whitefish, and barbecue chicken in the seafood mix.
Bonafede-family matriarch Anita started JoJo's Pizza Kitchen more than four decades ago, and her discerning taste for ingredients is still identifiable in the menu. Though her son Joe, who napped on flour sacks in the back of the restaurant as a child, now runs the eatery, fresh basil and plum tomatoes grown in Stanislaus County still release aromas that hint at sun-soaked furrows. Through a dining room window, guests catch glimpses of chefs tossing freshly risen dough for pizzas or smaller chefs for their adorable giggles. They grate fresh parmesan cheese as wine cooks slowly down with mushrooms on the stovetop and chicken marinates in lemon and garlic. Servers bustle past, filling glasses with house wines or draft beers.
On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina shares its menu of Mexican comestibles in nearly every U.S. state and more than four countries, acquainting diners worldwide with the classic recipes and innovative ingredients of the Tex-Mex tradition. Chefs bundle enchiladas, burritos, and chimichangas with surprising flavors such as beef brisket and chile pesto while sizzling platters reinvent traditional fajitas with the addition of ranch, bacon, and cold-fusion technology.
On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina has partnered with Susan G. Komen For The Cure, pledging to donate a minimum of $100,000 annually to the charity to help bring attention to the importance of breast-cancer screenings, support important research, and supplement medical costs for breast-cancer sufferers.
Cobblestone Bakery & Deli serves up delicious pies and pastries to local lovers of baked goods and sweets. Their ovens churn out fresh trays of cinnamon rolls ($2), sheets of croissants ($1.50–$2.50), and pans of pies ($9.99–$14.99) daily. Pick from a variety of fruit-filled dough-disks, including traditional favorites such as apple, blueberry, pumpkin, and cherry, as well as key lime, lemon meringue, and anti-matter cream. Cobblestone Bakery & Deli's expert culinary craftsmen also make a selection of cakes, including cheesecake, lemon cake, and custom creations (call ahead for cake and pie orders) ($12.99+).
GameWorks fosters friendly competition between kids and adults by surrounding pizza, draft beer, and half-pound burgers with a mosaic of interactive pursuits. Each location holds more than 150 arcade-style games, which include racing and shooting challenges from Sega as well as lower-tech classics such as pinball.
Although it now has more than 430 locations in 28 countries, Hooters wasn’t always welcomed by the public. In fact, when it opened in October 1983 in Clearwater, Florida, the founders of the restaurant were “quickly detained for impersonating restaurateurs,” according to the company's website. But the restaurant was able to prove it was more than just a pretty face—that it was serious about serving tasty American food and frosty brews—and its popularity exploded in the decades to follow.
Amid its beach-themed vibe and flat-screen TVs, Hooters still fuels appetites with original chicken wings, burgers, sandwiches, and fresh salads. Of course, nobody carries those casual eats and icy pitchers better than the Hooters girls. To complement their friendly smiles, their uniforms harken back to the ones the original waitresses wore in 1983: orange hot shorts and white tank tops with the emblematic owl on the front—though that owl has lost its Lionel Richie perm.
High ceilings, stone columns, and place settings accented by crimson napkins lend Chaffey's Restaurant an ambiance that's upscale yet leisurely and relaxed. Chef Martin prepares American cuisine in the bistro's kitchen, starting groups off with plates of crisp calamari or pan-seared salmon cakes and commencing dinners with tarragon-soy-glazed salmon or tender filet mignon stuffed with blue cheese and wrapped in bacon. Nearby, a bartender fills wineglasses and mixes cocktails.