More than 60 frothy craft suds cascade across 3 Brothers Deli and Brewhouse's menu, which is replete with deli sandwiches and comfort cuisine served alongside a nightly lineup of live music, competitive trivia, and art shows. Dining companions can divvy up the deli sampler platter’s array of signature fresh-cut chips and dip, pretzels, pickles, cheese, and Shortstop wings slathered in one of six spicy sauces. Perfect for melting the spice-depraved hearts of taste buds and advancing armies of abominable snowmen, the Fireball fritters encase italian sausage, cream cheese, and a top-secret blend of Old World ingredients, preluding palates for one of five piping-hot pasta plates. Hulking hoagies tag team taste buds in the form of classic deli sandwiches such as the hot buttered philly cheese, whose clean-cut onions and mushrooms make it the ideal suitor for those bottles of Left Hand Milk Stout too often charmed by salty bowls of peanuts who only leave them feeling empty inside. Imbibers can cycle through more than 60 beers on a menu laden with lagers, amber ales, and wheats, as well as such seasonal suds as Foster’s Oil Can and Dogfish Head Chicory.
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.
Barbecue is about balance, about finding the right suspension of smoky and sweet flavors even if it requires hours of labor and patience. At Slick Pig BBQ, chefs achieve flavor harmony by slow cooking and saucing up meats—which range from classic ribs to honey-barbecue wings—and then plate them with requisite sides such as corn bread, turnip greens, and mac ‘n’ cheese. They also tantalize visitors with an array of Southern staples, frying up catfish, baking chess pie, and sweetening tea by telling it how special it is.
At Otter’s Chicken Tenders, patrons can chow down on chicken that's hand-breaded and never frozen. The family-friendly restaurant boasts 101 ways to eat chicken—43 more than the ways to eat pudding and 100 more than the ways to munch on highbrow caviar. Try these myriad variations with menu items such as Otter's chicken boxes, which are served with fries and a choice of sauce: Otter's sauce, barbecue sauce, spicy buffalo sauce, ranch, or honey mustard. The homemade chicken salad box meal ($5.99) can be served on wheat bread or in a wrap, while the chicken sandwich box ($6.79) bookends departed cluckers with a seeded bun. Other items include a seven-piece tenders basket with Texas toast ($9.99), a chicken wrap ($5.79), and a Caesar salad with chicken tenders ($7.49). Dive into an appetizer basket of fried pickles ($5.29 for the full order) without taking a dip in the neighbor’s backyard dill-pickle pool, or streak by on a buzz-inducing Slip 'n Slide with domestic ($3) and import ($3.50) beers.
Back Yard Burgers serves up North American Black Angus burgers hash-marked to order on genuine flame-licked grills. Third-pound patties dress for dinner with lettuce, vine-ripened tomatoes, red onions, dill pickles, and a condimental trio of ketchup, mustard, and mayo ($3.59). Or gussy up for patty prom with premium add-ons such as coleslaw, chili, sautéed mushrooms, bacon, and more ($0.35–$0.60 per topping). The grill masters also flip the first white meat, prepping Hawaiian chicken sandwiches with grilled pineapple, mustard, mayo, and lettuce ($4.09). Away from the flames, feel free to enjoy a loaded baked potato ($2.79) and a wide range of pairable plates such as chili cheese fries ($2.59 for regular size), garden salads ($2.19), and sweetly baked fruit cobblers ($1.99).
In 1991, tired of sating their late-night delivery cravings with pizza, University of Florida pals Matt Friedman and Adam Scott concocted an alternative snack in their frat house's kitchen. Many hours and tweaked sauce recipes later, the duo dispensed their brand of buffalo wings to the university’s students, selling out their stock in the first two nights. Since relocating from the frat house to its two original Gainesville storefronts, Wing Zone has opened nearly 100 locations nationwide, supplying wing lovers with boneless bites slathered in 15 award-winning flavors, including nuclear habanero, garlic parm, and blue buffalo. Three of the pair’s sauces have garnered awards at the National Buffalo Wing Festival, which recently inducted Adam and Scott into the Buffalo Wing "Hall of Flame," where they share reigniting duty every time a strong breeze extinguishes its symbolic eternal flame.