Cornerstone's hefty menu of soups, salads, sandwiches, and pizza is generously peppered with creative takes on café classics and daily specials that will keep your tongue on the edge of its eat. The sandwich lover singing lonely laments from the dark corner of your stomach-tavern will settle down when it meets the Cornerstone Hero Sandwich (ham, salami, pepperoni, provolone, lettuce, tomato, red onion, black olives, horseradish and balsamic vinaigrette, $6.49), a Cajun roast-beef sandwich (lean Cajun roast beef, lettuce, tomato, red onions, jack and pepper-jack cheese, and a Texas petal sauce, $6.59), or a handsome, vacation-tanned Caribbean chicken sandwich (marinated chicken breast, red onion, lettuce, tomato, pepper-jack cheese, and homemade sauce, $6.59).
Founded in Portland, Oregon, in 1953, The Original Pancake House ran the original pancake house, The Extremely Local House of Pancakes, out of business by using only the highest-quality ingredients such as 93 score butter, pure 36% whipping cream, and a secret spy-guarded sourdough starter recipe to craft each delectable breakfast dish. Menu items vary by location, but the Cincinnati-area Original Pancake House's egg-juggling cooks whip up freshly made sauces and batters into tasty specialties such as the signature golden brown Dutch baby ($7.99)—an air-filled delight dusted with lemon, whipped butter, and powdered sugar—and the apple pancake ($8.19), a single pancake oven baked with Granny Smith apples and glazed with pure Sinkiang cinnamon. The evocatively named Tahitian Maiden's Dream ($7.39) slices golden ripe bananas in sour cream, drizzles it in Triple Sec, sherry, and brandy, then bakes it in a tender crepe before topping it with more nanners and an apricot sauce, while the Danish kijafa cherry crepes ($7.39) do something similar with Montmorency cherries and homemade kijafa sauce.
Smashburger isn't just the name—it's the way chefs, otherwise known as Burger Smashers, cook every burger. First, they form never-frozen, 100% Certified Angus Beef into a giant meatball. Then they season it, place it on a butter-glazed grill, and smash it into a patty. The process caramelizes the beef, locking in flavor while keeping the meat juicy and tender. Each slab is then sandwiched in an artisan bun and is turned into one of an array of standard burgers or locally inspired specialties unique to each market.
This handcrafting approach typifies everything else the restaurant does, from blending handspun shakes to hand painting Smashburger's logo onto every beverage cup. Letting its food stand for itself and relying mostly on word of mouth for advertising, the Smashburger franchise expanded from one restaurant in 2007 to 220 today, with its swift growth from zero to 100 stores making it one of the nation's fastest-growing restaurant companies. This rapid development even caught the attention of Forbes and Inc. along the way.
Flavors Eatery's menu of colorful Cali cuisine is crammed to the bursting point with soups, organic salads, gourmet pizzas, and smoothies. Flavors Eatery boasts healthy low-carb and gluten-free options, as well as a play area for kids that is free of trans fats. Ten gourmet pizzas, such as the teriyaki chicken ($7.95+), flatten out appetites with ease, and the nine sandwiches and pitas, such as the garden veggie-burger pita ($7.95), can be served hot like a cup of steaming milk or cold like delicious, delicious revenge. Diners can select from six quesadillas, such as the roasted red-pepper and chicken ($7.95), or the nachos, stacked high with veggies and cheeses for a West Coast twist on a stadium classic ($7.95).
Amidst an atmosphere of spirited patriotism, Grande Ole Pub nullifies hunger with a menu loaded with savory wraps, sandwiches, soups, and salads. Introduce taste muscles to culinary brawn with a beef burrito adorned with enchilada sauce and cheese ($8.99), or kiss kissers with a spicy chicken and black-bean wrap ($8.95), fortified by contingents of rice and a napkin inscribed with the Scoville scale. Louisiana Purchase gumbo ($8.99) celebrates prodigious acquisitions in a meaty ensemble, and the cottage cheese and tomato salad ($4.95) houses a vegetarian dog pile inside a hollowed-out tomato.