Back Yard Burgers serves up North American Black Angus burgers hash-marked to order on genuine flame-licked grills. Third-pound patties dress for dinner with lettuce, vine-ripened tomatoes, red onions, dill pickles, and a condimental trio of ketchup, mustard, and mayo ($3.59). Or gussy up for patty prom with premium add-ons such as coleslaw, chili, sautéed mushrooms, bacon, and more ($0.35–$0.60 per topping). The grill masters also flip the first white meat, prepping Hawaiian chicken sandwiches with grilled pineapple, mustard, mayo, and lettuce ($4.09). Away from the flames, feel free to enjoy a loaded baked potato ($2.79) and a wide range of pairable plates such as chili cheese fries ($2.59 for regular size), garden salads ($2.19), and sweetly baked fruit cobblers ($1.99).
Chef Jonathan Mah is out to prove that it doesn’t take an army to run a restaurant. Mah, who started working in the food industry before he was old enough to drive a car, runs SideStreet Burgers all by himself as the head chef, dishwasher, waiter, and cashier. He does have a little help, though—his dad, who also runs his own one-man restaurant, is often on hand to give advice.
There are a few simple steps to ordering the perfect SideStreet burger. First, place orders with Mah at the counter and then wait a few minutes while he sizzles up beef or turkey patties and tops them with a cheddar-, mozzarella-, and parmesan-cheese blend, sautéed onions, or a fried egg. Next, head to the toppings bar to dress burgers to the nines with veggies, housemade sauces, and sesame-seed cufflinks. Finally, enjoy your creation—and sides such as garlic potato wedges or cincinnati chili—at a pair of wooden picnic tables inside the dining room.
At El Mezcal, nachos are so much more than chips covered in cheese. There are 10 types of nachos, from beef- and bean-smothered ones to ones sporting zesty grilled shrimp. The large selection is indicative of the menu as a whole, which compiles several kinds of enchiladas, quesadillas, burritos, and tacos. Thankfully, 20 different combination platters allow diners to sample across these categories. There are also signature dishes, such as the El Mezcal Special: grilled rib-eye steak and shrimp mixed with veggies, served with rice, beans, and tortillas. At the bar, servers mix margaritas and pour homemade sangria, in addition to opening bottles of imported beers.
Hailing from humble beginnings in a renovated Mississippian gas station, McAlister's Deli has revolutionized the concept of fast food with healthy fare recognized by Parents in 2009. Premium ingredients, such as Black Angus roast beef and black forest ham, pile upon stuffed potatoes or artisan bread, sating hungers and silencing stomachs before they recite bank-account numbers. As patrons wait for servers to deliver meals, they sip signature sweet tea, swirled together onsite daily from pure cane sugar and a rainforest-certified black-tea blend as dictated by a closely guarded recipe.
The Neighborhood Grill’s kitchen team expertly prepares home-cooked breakfasts and lunches; flipping stacks of pancakes onto plates with city or country ham and carefully attending to hot plate lunches. For breakfast, the cooks transform eggs into fluffy omelets and pile them onto a Poor Man’s Plate that serves them on a split biscuit with gravy, sausage, and cheese. At lunch, slices of texas toast clasp fried bologna, club sandwiches, and patty melts. Other stacked fare includes chicken with honey mustard or spicy sauce and half-pound burgers with barbecue sauce and homemade slaw. The staff takes particular pride in its coffee and tea, so patrons can either perk up with java or be British by imbibing tea—because all British people drink tea at all times, even when they’re drinking coffee.
Aromas of marinated T-bone steaks hitting the grill alongside caramelizing onions, bell peppers, and tomatoes waft from the kitchen of El Amigo toward guests sipping margaritas in the dining room. In the kitchen, cooks prepare their full menu of Mexican dishes including burrito, fajita, and enchilada mainstays alongside inventive house specialties such as pork ribs deep fried to a golden brown and cooked with red hot sauce. As meals progress and patrons continue to take bites of nachos or secret notes, they sip imported or domestic beers, wines, and specialty margaritas in raspberry and peach.