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.
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.
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.
Steak & Eggs serves hearty breakfasts with protein-packed specialties including nine types of omelets and five cuts of steak. Pair a rib eye with grits and an english muffin or try a combo plate such as the western platter with diced ham, onions, peppers, and cheese, all piled over country potatoes and eggs.