Smashburger isn't just the name?it's the way chefs, otherwise known as Burger Smashers, cook every burger. First, they form never-frozen, 100% Certified Angus Beef into a giant meatball. Then they season it, place it on a butter-glazed grill, and smash it into a patty. The process caramelizes the beef, locking in flavor while keeping the meat juicy and tender. Each slab is then sandwiched in an artisan bun and is turned into one of an array of standard burgers or locally inspired specialties unique to each market.
This handcrafting approach typifies everything else the restaurant does, from blending handspun shakes to hand painting Smashburger's logo onto every beverage cup. Letting its food stand for itself and relying mostly on word of mouth for advertising, the Smashburger franchise expanded from one restaurant in 2007 to 220 today, with its swift growth from zero to 100 stores making it one of the nation's fastest-growing restaurant companies. This rapid development even caught the attention of Forbes and Inc. along the way.
The first time Dan Pool bit into the freshly baked bread of a Gandolfo's New York Delicatessen sandwich, he loved it. In fact, he loved it so much that he bought the small New York City eatery and immediately began expanding it into a string of shops across the country. Today, these locations stay true to Gandolfo's original spirit with a menu of Big Apple classics, including Reuben sandwiches, Nathan's Famous all-beef hot dogs, and the dense, chewy bagels New Yorkers traditionally lob at passing cabs. The staff also stacks chicken-breast sandwiches on hero rolls and assembles nine different types of roast-beef sandwiches.
The chefs at Okinawa Sushi Grill elegantly compose plates with an eye for diverse color and minimalist design. They arrange triangular slices of raw tuna like upright dominoes down the middle of the plate and flank them with a verdant vegetable garnish. Traditional sushi and sashimi rolls share space on the menu with exotic hand rolls, classic Chinese entrees, and tempura appetizers. Diners can cleanse their palates with a specialty martini, boba milk tea, or Kirin sake bomb, which packs more punch than Mike Tyson before an extended road trip.
VIP Cleaners’ first location opened in 1992. Since then the operation has expanded to a handful of locations, where staff members clean everything from police, firefighter, and military uniforms to suits, dresses, and wedding gowns. The shops also offer leather dying, suede cleaning, and alteration services.
Legacy Gyros' kings of the kitchen sling a sizzling selection of hearty Hellenic comestibles. Diners can ease into appetite appeasement with flame-nuzzled saganaki and pita chips ($6.99) or a plate of spanakopita with creamy tzatziki sauce ($3.49). Graze on a Greek salad, a bustling agora of lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, olives, and feta cheese, or ostracize the lettuce while retaining the rest with the Athenian version (both $4.99/small, $6.49/large). The signature gyro piles succulent lamb ($5.99) or chicken ($6.99) atop a choice of rice, pita, or lavash flatbread wrap, and the Gyros Supreme magnifies munchability with a slew of grilled onions, mushrooms, cheese, and peppers ($6.99/lamb, $7.99/chicken). Achieve entree eudemonia with a chef’s specialty such as moussaka, a layered blend of eggplant, potatoes, and ground beef, or dolmades, a garden of grape leaves stuffed with ground beef, rice, and herbs ($8.99 each). Even wholly sated stomachs should leave room for honey-infused baklava, the traditional Greek dessert that sealed victory for the Spartans at the legendary Bake Sale of Thermopylae ($2.49).
The extensive menu at Clancy’s offers filling pub fare for lunch and dinner. Start with an order of chicken wings ($7.99 for 10), available in five levels of spiciness, or opt for a basket of breaded cauliflower ($5.99) and dunk the crispy-fried treat into a creamy cheese sauce. Entrees at the eatery include a bountiful selection of hearty hand-held burgers ($7.49 and up), pizzas (starting at $4.50 for a six-inch individual pizza), and specialty sandwiches. Try the jumbo tenderloin sandwich ($7.99), with a deep-fried pork loin slumbering in a bun bed, or Clancy’s classic corned-beef sandwich ($6.99), sure to evoke memories of long days in the kiting fields of Kilkenny. Plated portions of the beer-battered fish and chips ($9.49) or the classic chicken-fried steak ($7.99) promise to please even the most discerning diner, while a meal-concluding slice of Clancy’s Bailey’s Irish Cream cheesecake ($4.99) offers a stomach-warming conclusion to the meal.