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 its internationally known 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.
Chick-fil-A's chicken sandwiches became an instant classic one fateful day in 1967, when an anonymous Georgia chicken wandered into a hot, buttered bun and made history. Forty-some-odd years later, or 267 million chicken years, Chick-fil-A sandwiches are still made the same way, with boneless cuts of breast meat hand-breaded by mystic chicken ascetics, dill-pickle chips pickled from the freshest of cucumbers, and an optional golden wheat bun that is both golden and made of wheat ($3.35 including tax). Like gambling on horse racing, the original chicken sandwich is so dangerously delicious that you'll devour two without thinking twice, but unlike gambling, Chick-fil-A's sandwiches never contain dice, poker chips, or knee-breaking goons in track suits.
Since 1971, Trupiano’s Italian Restaurant has served diners a slice of Italy made of delectable pasta and superb pizza; the pizza won second place at the 2007 West Coast Pizza Championships. The dinner and lunch menus are stuffed with classic Italian pasta, chicken, fish, and veal dishes. Try the tongue-massaging vitello Milanese with breaded veal cutlet, lemon, and white wine ($16.95) or the scampi Livornese with jumbo shrimp, capers, Kalamata olives, and freshly chopped tomatoes ($18.95). Prepare for a marathon or a lazy afternoon of marathon watching with pasta dishes such as the fettucine Alfredo ($12.50), ravioli di carne ($12.95), and spaghetti vecchio mondo with eggplant, mushrooms, basil, and tomato sauce ($12.75).
Super Juice Smoothies pairs 100%, all-natural smoothies with piping-hot panini sandwiches. Marvel at the superhero moxie of the menu, where blends of soymilk, yogurts, and organic fruit assume a distinctive muscular moniker. Thor bolsters bodies with a mixture of berries, bananas, nonfat yogurt, creatine, and a winged helmet made entirely of condensed soymilk ($4.25+). Invisible Woman slims visual vantage points of waistlines through a mix of mangos, bananas, nonfat yogurt, and soymilk ($3.95+). Add-ins, such as ginseng and vitamin C, promote workout recoveries, treat colds, and energize bodies for upcoming battery-commercial casting calls (first one free, $0.50 each additional). With several drinks fewer than 200 calories, bellies may crave additional made-to-order attention of superhero-savvy paninis. Sandwiches include the Cyclops, which keeps hunger in plain sight through smears of light tuna salad served with cheese, pickles, and an x-ray monocle ($5.99).
In homage to Philadelphia, The CheeseSteak Grill transplants the City of Brotherly Love's authentic recipes, hearth-baked Amoroso's rolls, and liberating meats tenderized by Rocky's justice-laden fists. The menu tips its tri-cornered hat to taste with signature items such as the 12" steak or chicken cheesesteak, dripping in melted cheese and caramelized onions ($8.59), or its cousin, the foot-long cheesesteak hoagie, loaded with steak, mayo, lettuce, tomato, and your choice of cheesy topping—provolone cheese, white american cheese, or cheese whiz ($8.99). Making a layover in the Midwest, the chefs also serve up Italian beef dips with roast beef and Chicago-style sauce ($8.45 for a foot-long), as well as kid-friendly fare served with fries and a drink, such as home-style chicken tenders ($4.99) and classic corndogs made with real, all-beef Nathan's dogs ($3.99). Philly fanatics can pair any edible with a fine selection from a list of microbrews, draft beers, and wines, all of which pair nicely with the eatery's sporty satellite TVs and attentive, human-friendly staff.
The athletic mixologists at Rookies Sports Bar serve up a full roster of burgers, sandwiches, and wings alongside frosty glasses of beer and spirits. From their perches on the burgers and dawgs menu, the Chicago-style dog offers cylindrical satiation ($6.95) while the Pounder, a stack of two half-pound patties hoisted upon the back of a titanic bun, runs hunger interference ($10.95). Wings come adorned in a choice of 16 saucy ensembles, such as Jack Daniel's barbecue, hawaiian, feather boa, and lemon pepper ($8.95 for 10, house flavors $1 extra per order). The array of flat-screen TVs competes desperately for eye-time with an enormous assembly of draft and bottled beers, featuring favorites such as Fat Tire, Killian's Irish Red, and Newcastle Brown Ale. A minty mojito ($7.50) off the lineup of specialty drinks freshens the chilled air brought in by the Hypnotic Breeze ($8.50), a concoction of Hpnotiq liqueur, coconut and vanilla rum, blue curacao, and fruit juices that brings back repressed memories of parties attended in past lives.