Harley, the founder of Strawberry Hill Povitica Company, began baking povitica bread in 1984 using his mother's traditional Slavic recipe. He passed away in 1999, but his children and dedicated bakers continue to prepare the dense, sweet bread following his mother's technique. They roll dough into paper-thin layers, pile on ingredients such as nuts and honey, and roll the layers into loaves that weigh 2.5 pounds each after they're baked. Patrons can choose from Kosher-certified flavors such as english walnut, cokolada, or chocolate-chip cream cheese. The bread can be enjoyed in a variety of ways: toasted and buttered, crowned with a scoop of ice cream, or sandwiched around a whole roasted turkey.
Ray Lamar hasn't spent decades perfecting his donuts. In fact, his namesake shops still use the same recipes that Ray developed in 1933—at the age of 17—when he got his first job working a donut fryer. World War II and a postwar career as a stockbroker interrupted Ray's donut-making pursuits, although he returned to his roots in 1960 when he founded the first LaMar's Donuts.
The shop went on to become a Kansas City icon, with crowds arriving well before 6 a.m. to line up outside the doors and taunt the roosters for sleeping in. Ray and his wife, Shannon, eventually decided to expand their business into a regional empire, and LaMar's Donuts currently boasts 27 franchised stores spread across six states.
Even with all of this growth, decades-old traditions still dictate how things are done. The workers prepare more than 75 different kinds of donuts, hand-making fresh batches of perennial favorites as well as recent inventions each and every morning. In addition to the original glazed creation that dates back to 1933, the menus can feature a variety of cake donuts with flavors such as red velvet, apple spice, and maple.
Since donuts and coffee go together as naturally as paper shredders and subpar report cards, the stores also prepare cappuccinos, mochas, and other coffee drinks. These are all made with handpicked beans that slowly roast inside Italian brick ovens.
At Tables With Taste, a mother-daughter duo combines their vivid imagination with more than 100 years of family tradition to bake up fresh cupcakes daily. Many of the custom-made treats emulate the appearance and tastes of beloved desserts, from the creamy zing of a root-beer float cake adorned with a straw to popcorn-flavored mini-cupcakes arranged in paper bags and served in a quiet, pitch-black room. The chefs also whip up pretzel challah bread, flour-free tortes, and chewy cookies for serving alongside their whimsical cupcakes.
When he sets out to transform chicken, seafood, and certified Angus steaks into full meals, Dodge City Distillery's chef Jim Whiskey first marinates the cuts in house-made spirits before cooking them over the smoke that waltzes slowly from a slow-burning mesquite-hickory grill. Owners Derek Betz and Joe Effertz set out to celebrate Dodge City's frontier history with a nod to its origins as a whiskey depot, melding a full distillery with a restaurant serving Western and Southwest-inspired recipes. Tight-knit teams of servers, sometimes clad in cowboy hats and boots and riding invisible horses, bear dishes made daily from scratch as they navigate wood tables between the warm, brick walls of the main dining room. A map marking the Santa Fe Trail through Dodge City spreads across one wall, and an antique safe from the 1840s dominates the center of the dining space. The surprisingly sweet smell of the smoky spirit drifts from the stacked whiskey barrels that form a wall arching over the bar's 16 flat-screen TVs, which display college and professional football and basketball games. In keeping with the outdoorsy frontier mindset, Dodge City pursues several environmentally friendly initiatives and uses recycled glassware, cardboard, and water, some of which is collected through a runoff system on the roof or left out in saucers for thirsty tumbleweeds.
Even if the savory flavors and vibrant colors of Mediterranean cuisine weren't enough to entice eaters, its health benefits might very well suffice. At The Basha, dishes highlight the nutrient-rich foods found along Mediterranean shores, including extra virgin olive oil, nuts, legumes, and fish. Rice, hummus, and green salad—a healthy appetizer in itself—comes with each dinner plate, from grilled salmon and shrimp to kefta kabobs. Like any restaurant that prioritizes variety, The Basha also presents options for those who don't eat meat or paper menus. Veggie plates come with stuffed grape leaves, falafel, baba ganouj, and pita.
The first IHOP—the dream of founders Al and Jerry Lapin—opened in 1958 in Toluca Lake, California, and was originally dubbed the International House of Pancakes. Since then, rapid expansion has led to myriad milestones across the company's colorful history, from introducing its modern IHOP acronym in 1973 to its 1,000th restaurant opening in Layton, Utah, in 2001.
Today, the company stands strong with around 1,500 locations across North and Central America, each one an enthusiastic dispenser of pancakes, french toast, and tables constructed entirely out of bacon. Though IHOP is known as a bastion of breakfast, it also stays open during the day and into the evening, delivering lunch and dinner as well.