Hearty recipes perfected at CheeZies Pizza's Tulsa headquarters bake into golden crusts across more than 15 locations in Texas, Kansas, Missouri, and throughout its home state. A simple menu of signature dishes fills plates with hot and barbecued wings, jumbo calzones glistening with garlic butter, and breadsticks dappled with savory cheese or sweet sprinkles of cinnamon. Spangles of meat and vegetables emulate the flavors of savory tacos and tropical treats atop specialty pizzas, and customizable pies arrange patron-chosen ingredients to satisfy every palate and pepperoni feng shui principle.
Since 1982, the pie architects at Simple Simon's Pizza have assembled casual Italian and American fare at 240 locations scattered across 10 states. Fresh veggies, quality meats, and blankets of cheese spread atop pizzas and fortify the golden-brown walls of Calizones. Breadsticks sheathed in even more cheese accessorize meals, and a smattering of mild-to-spicy wings helps to separate the men from the boys, the women from the girls, and the girls from the boys if they get too rowdy at coed canoe camp.
At Chisum Trail BBQ, smokers churn out delicious barbecue fare and Cajun cuisine ranging from pulled pork and sliced brisket to boudin sausage and jambalaya. Specialty platters populate the menu, available in combinations of choice meats such as bologna, smoked sausage, and ribs. Pit chefs also pile proteins together to craft signature sandwiches such as the hulking Widow Maker, which mixes hot links, bologna, beef, and pork with Chisum Trail’s uniquely seasoned barbecue sauce.
The cooks at Dugan Jack’s Smokehouse eschew sauces when smoking their Memphis-style pork, brisket, and ribs. Instead, they smoke their rubbed meats over pecans or a pecan-and-apple mix to draw out a sweet, smoky flavor. Though it flies in the face of their philosophy, they also stock tomato-based Kansas City–style barbecue sauce just in case a food fight breaks out.
At Cafe USA, chefs pay homage to the hearty, fried fare of America, but not the heavy grease of some of the country's signature grub. In oils free of unhealthy trans-fats, the cooks sear pure ground beef into burgers before packing them between toasted buns or the crispy ends of a Davy Crockett patty melt. Their USA specials actually hail from beyond domestic borders, including stir-fry and spaghetti with meatballs. At breakfast, they flip fluffy pancakes and press tasty waffles or load plates with Country Debris, a mélange of biscuits, home fries with gravy, bacon bits, sausage, eggs, and silver-dollar pancakes. A party room and banquet room accommodate private festivities, such as celebrating the number of rooms that exist with a cake that hilariously displays a square with five toes protruding from one side.
It’s been a long time since Jack Kerouac or Ken Kesey’s band of merry pranksters made their way down Route 66, but at small, cozy points along the way, driver’s can get a glimpse into the past. Fat Charlie’s Grill is one of those spots. Old-fashioned diner fare and friendly service welcome visitors each morning as line cooks scramble up three-egg omelets and assemble their signature crashes—hash browns topped with eggs, veggies, meats, and AAA cards. Their artful arranging of toppings continues into the lunch and dinner hours, with a host of quarter- and third-pound burgers hoisting traditional bacon, mushrooms, and homemade chili or unconventional fried eggs, peanut butter, and country gravy. For the young at heart, or the sweet at tooth, they blend handmade ice-cream shakes with any ingredient you choose.