Though the entrees at The Dixie Cafe make the biggest splash across its menu marquee, they're threatened with gastronomical upstaging by the southern-style eatery's 19 sides and scratch-made gravies. The chicken-fried steak, for example, is a tender, hand-breaded fillet that fully blossoms with flavor only after chefs smother it with cream gravy and cheddar cheese. And the Cajun grilled catfish's down-home taste isn't fully developed until it is paired up with bites of turnip greens, fried okra, or a homemade roll. The classic platter meals take advantage of this by pairing an entree with two sides, rolls, and jalapeño cornbread and can be ordered "light" for a portion that's smaller than the regular size and easier to toss in the air and catch in your mouth.
Legends at Back Achers Ranch calls itself a western-themed restaurant—and that's not just lip service. Diners can slide into booths and chairs situated next to floor-to-ceiling windows that offer an unimpeded glimpse into Back Achers Ranch's arena, which plays host to horseback riding and rodeo events. Riders taming bucking bulls and galloping on their steeds provide an entertaining accompaniment to American food delivered to tables surrounded by walls of rough-hewn wood and corrugated metal. Guests snack on fried squash or pickle slices while browsing the menu's entrees, including fried lemon-pepper catfish, barbecue bacon cheeseburgers, and chicken-fried steak. An array of hearty sides like mac 'n' cheese and mashed potatoes with gravy, meanwhile, ensure that cowboy-sized appetites are satisfied before a day full of lassoin' and boot-scootin'.
For new guests unfamiliar with their restaurant, Darrell and Jan Wiley of Smitty's Bar-B-Que have one piece of advice: relax. They cannot rush the process of building dinners from hickory-smoked meats and hearty sides; thus, they implore impatient diners looking for fast food to seek it in New York City. As guests shoot the breeze in the saloon-style dining room—decorated with wood-paneled walls and vintage signs—they can rest assured that their sandwiches, ribs, and half chickens are receiving the individual care needed for them to shine.
It's not just cars that get refueled at Road Runner's convenience stores and gas stations. Road Runner's in-house Rudy's Grill serves juicy hamburgers, ice-cold drinks, and desserts that sate the hunger of humans and anthropomorphic cars alike. The shops can be found all across Texas and Arkansas. After guests fill their bellies and gas tanks, they can take their car through the high-tech car wash for a sparkling new shine.
Cody’s Café’s menu touts hearty American fare that runs the gamut from made-to-order breakfasts to a host of thick sandwiches and juicy burgers for lunch. A stack of one, two, or three golden pancakes makes for an elegant hat ($2.29–$4.79), and Logan’s big breakfast ($5.99) suits up two eggs any style to impress fresh hash-brown debutantes with warm complements of biscuits and steaming country gravy. For lunch, patrons can confirm the length of a footlong shih tzu with super footlong hot dogs ($4.79) slathered with rich chili, cheese, mustard, and onions, then sample Cody’s old-fashioned cheeseburgers, available in regular ($4.59) or double ($5.99). To sustain vegetable fueled go-karts, customers can also partake in dinner salads ($2.99) or veggie plates, available in combinations of three ($4.59) or four garden residents ($5.59).
Marco's Pizza founder Pasquale "Pat" Gianmarco began helping out at his family’s pizzeria when he was just a boy. The eatery provided a taste of home to the Gianmarco clan, who moved to the United States from Italy when Pat was 9 years old. Together with his father, young Pat learned the secrets to creating exceptional pizza sauce: three different types of vine-ripened tomatoes and spices that can only be imported from Italy or the moon.
The perfected sauce recipe continues to guide Pat’s kitchen operations, although these days he has considerably more help. His company has franchise locations in more than half the states as well as in the Bahamas, each store tossing fresh pizza dough daily before sprinkling on a trio of fresh, never-frozen cheeses.