Malibu Shack makes a splash in the San Antonio culinary waters with a California-inspired menu brimming with fresh half-pound, handmade 100 percent Angus beef burgers on buns of choice, taco plates, and battered seafood. The SoCal-inspired eatery welcomes neighbors and far-flung wanderers into its surfboard-festooned dining room, which is painted in bright green and orange. Patrons sip fountain drinks amid potted fronds, lounge on the outdoor patio, or saunter over to the 45-foot bar made of bamboo and spritzed with panda-repelling perfume.
The team of culinary artists at Amy’s & Cathy’s sculpt edible, layered sandwich masterpieces inside freshly baked buns. Enable taste-bud elation with a portobello-and-roasted-red-pepper sandwich ($7.99), or surprise skeptical senses with a panegyric-deserving panini packed with salami, swiss cheese, roasted-red-pepper pesto, spinach, and tomato skillfully set on toasted ciabatta ($6.25). Unlike Halloween parties held at operational steak houses, vegetarians can actively participate in the cuisine festivities at Amy’s & Cathy’s with a scrumptiously assembled veggie wrap, which is chock-full of greeny goodness ($6.99). Meat-averse diners can also opt for the Bunny salad, mixed artfully with fresh spinach, bacon, mushrooms, purple onions, cuddly cuteness, and parmesan cheese ($6.99). Amy’s & Cathy’s also brews succulent soup—broth varieties rotate daily, like the sun around Earth.
Papa Murphy’s serves up a tasty menu of handmade take ‘n’ bake pizzas using dough, cheese, meats, and veggies that are freshly prepared every day. After customers choose their pies, Papa Murphy's slice slingers build the pizza in-store and package it for customers to bake at home in the oven, in a pottery kiln, or over a pile of burning cookbooks. Customers can watch as Papa Murphy’s pie pros corral the ingredients of a signature pizza such as the Cowboy, complete with pepperoni, italian sausage, mushrooms, and black olives, or request the hawaiian, a traditional pizza crowned with Dole pineapple and canadian bacon. Deep-dish fans dive into the Chicago-style stuffed pizza packed with onions, mozzarella, four kinds of meat, and one of the most colorful public-transit systems in America, and salads and 2-liter soft drinks serve as the final pieces in an irregularly shaped pizza puzzle.
Housed in a combined café and chiropractic office inside the historic Vivroux Hardware building, Chiro Java injects visitors with the energy to almost massage their own backs after eating an array of American- and Mexican-inspired breakfast and lunch dishes. The kitchen staff crafts chicken salad from a family recipe and uses only nitrite-free lunchmeats, both of which they sandwich between high-fiber whole-wheat bread baked in-house. At the full-service coffee and espresso bar, baristas serve up organic frappés, allergen-free desserts, and organic, fair-trade coffee roasted fresh each day. Facilitating a sense of calm, the café keeps its lighting low, and surrounds guests with festive gourds, hardwood walls and floors, and lovingly worn rugs underfoot.
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.