The cooks at Sammy’s reinvent American diner classics by piling 1/3-pound beef patties with unusual ingredients and blending numerous varieties of pie into gourmet milk shakes. Burger behemoths include Ben's Big Belly Burger, with a meaty base that hides beneath swiss cheese, grilled onions, grilled pineapple, guacamole, teriyaki sauce, and mayonnaise. Other treats include the Hey Nikki You're So Fine grilled-chicken sandwich and the Something About Mary, a black-bean patty caught in a farcical love hexagon of sautéed onions, pepper jack, pico de gallo, avocado, lettuce, and tomato.
In addition to concocting signature pie shakes in flavors such as mint Oreo and four different types of cheesecake, the team at Sammy's blends smoothies, regular shakes and malts, and cupcake shakes in flavors such as spiced carrot cake with cream-cheese frosting. Alongside the reformed diner fare, Sammy's regularly serves up live music events and a hip, relaxed atmosphere.
Hot Dog on a Stick Founder Dave Barham opened his first Hot Dog on a Stick in Santa Monica in 1946, and the company has since burgeoned into an employee-owned franchise that's more than 100 eateries strong and spans 11 states. Best known for a 100% turkey hot dog dunked in corn-bread batter made from Dave's mother's recipe and cooked in soy oil, Hot Dog on a Stick also pioneered the dipping and be-sticking of mild american and spicy jalapeño jack cheese. Smiling employees in red-, white-, and blue-striped uniforms with, as Dave put it, "a splash of lemonade," hand over cherry, lime, sugar-free, or original lemonade that they make fresh every two hours by squeezing Ventura County lemons until they cry.
With its traditional Hawaiian plate lunches, sandwiches, and salads, Hawaiian-owned Pounder's brings a delicious whiff of the Pacific to mostly landlocked north-central Utah. Its simple menu features a carnivorous cornucopia of grilled meaty treats made fresh daily. Pundits of porcine and poultry products can savor the kalua pork, a pile of pulled pork slow-cooked to luau-worthy perfection, and four different chickeny preparations, including chicken katsu, a chicken breast lightly breaded with Japanese panko and served with delectable katsu sauce for dipping. Beefy fare includes the kalbi marinated beef short ribs and the protein-packing Loco Moco, a seasoned hamburger patty smothered in a bedlam of eggs and brown gravy, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.
Long before their doors open, chefs at The Awful Waffle start preparing another day’s worth of fresh batter and dough to fry in the kitchen’s hot griddles. They pile their waffles with fresh, not frozen, toppings, including fresh fruit, ice cream, and elegant puffs of handmade vanilla whipped cream. They can also craft crepe bases from circles of warm, flaky dough, and sprinkle specialty waffles in crushed graham crackers and Oreos. A savory menu of waffles and fries accommodates clients who never got their sweet teeth back from the tooth fairy, despite all their calls and letters.
After selling his Brazilian import store, Brazilian-born J.R. Lopez opened Braza Grill, a rodizio-style steak house reminiscent of the barbecue restaurants in his home country. Servers tote skewers loaded with pork sausage, garlic-infused tenderloin, and other meats from table to table, offering unlimited portions and variety to hungry diners. An open fire pit cooks the bacon-wrapped chicken and pork loins along with pineapples for a sweet sidekick. Patrons can stretch their legs and nonchalantly loosen their belts during trips to the hot and cold buffet stocked with pastas, salads, and a brazilian black-bean stew called feijoada, according to CityWeekly.
Spark's lunch menu offers an inspired selection of modern culinary treats to enjoy among the eatery's modern décor and soaring ceilings. Commence the meal by revisiting the meaty candy shops of yore with fried pork lollipops—juicy pork cuts coated with jalapeño tartar and orange sweet chili and served with lemon soy vinegar dipping sauces ($8). For a main bite, grab a gourmet grilled white-cheddar-cheese sandwich served on sourdough bread, lightly smothered in onion-sherry marmalade, and begging to be dipped into its side of tomato-parmesan soup. For dessert, climb up to the rafters and swan dive into a mound of refreshing sorbet ($5).