The first Cool River Pizza opened more than 10 years ago with a mission to serve handcrafted pies made from fresh ingredients and California cheese in a family-friendly environment. All of the dough is made fresh daily and each pizza sports Cool River's homemade sauce accented with more than seven herbs, spices, and umlauts. Over the years, Cool River Pizza has grown from a solo outfit to a family of restaurants in California and Indiana. Inside each location, televisions illuminate dining rooms packed with long wooden tables and board games for families to play while waiting for their orders.
As a high-school student working at a local pizzeria, John Schnatter often pondered how he would do things differently if he owned such a business himself. After graduating from college in 1983, he got his chance, knocking down the broom closet in his father’s tavern to create his own pizza-delivery business. Since then Papa John’s Pizza has grown to 3,500 restaurants in 50 states and 29 countries. At each location, cooks cover the signature hand-tossed crusts, made with high-protein flour and clear, filtered water, with tomato sauce from vine-ripened California tomatoes, then pile on locally sourced ingredients such as green peppers and onions. The emphasis on fresh ingredients extends to the 100% mozzarella cheese, beef, and pork, which are never artificially inflated with fillers or undeserved compliments.
In addition to delivering pizzas, Papa John’s reaches out to the community with charity involvement, including partnering with the Boy Scouts of America and Junior Achievement to teach US students about entrepreneurship and the best method of capturing a wild roma tomato.
Kolbeh Kabob treats guests to a smorgasbord of Persian and Mediterranean delicacies, including zesty cucumber salads, eggplant mezzes, savory lamb stews, and tender kabob skewers. Chefs enliven these tasty offerings with authentic Persian spices, such as dried limes, saffron, and cinnamon. Warm-hued salmon walls complement a canopy of glowing chandeliers and clinging ivy branches, creating a cozy ambience for diners as they feast on hummus, lamb ribeye, or chicken and basmati rice. On special occasions, belly dancers twist and turn between tables, transporting diners to another place and time as efficiently as a misplaced portkey.
Annie's Breakfast & Steaks has all the makings of a quintessential American diner—knickknacks and family photos on the walls, stacks of tiny jam packets on every table, and hearty steaks on the menu. Waitresses bustle about the cozy space, refilling mugs of coffee, greeting regulars, and organizing games of "the floor is lava" using the chairs and tabletops. In the kitchen, cooks whip up a variety of classic American breakfasts, from syrup-soaked stacks of buttermilk pancakes to tender pork chops and eggs. As the day wears on, the staff turns their attention to juicy cheeseburgers, crispy fried cod, and new york steak dinners.