When he cofounded his first sandwich shop in 1965, 17-year-old Fred DeLuca planned to use his profits to pay his way through medical school. But the combination of quality ingredients and friendly service at the shop—then called Pete's Subway—proved so popular that nine years later, he and his partner found themselves in charge of 16 locations across Connecticut, and Fred left behind his doctoring plans for a career in business.
Today, Subway restaurants number over 34,000 around the world—almost as many shops as there are sightings of Elvis buying cold cuts. At each location, staffers pile sliced ham, marinara-slathered meatballs, and other fillings into halved loaves of bread before customizing handhelds with tomatoes, shredded lettuce, and other healthy toppings plucked from chilled containers behind the counter. Salads free crisp veggies from bread's overprotective embrace, and crunchy baked chips or apple slices accompany entrees to tables. Subway's website also facilitates health-conscious eating by listing each item's nutrition information and fastest mile time online.
“Laissez les bon temps rouler” is a favorite saying at Jazz, a Louisiana Kitchen; translated from French, it means, “let the good times roll.” With a blend of Cajun cuisine, cold drinks, and live music, the restaurant recreates the rollicking atmosphere of New Orleans' French Quarter. In the kitchen, chefs orchestrate multiple Gulf Coast flavors in classic louisiana catfish po' boys and blackened-shrimp platters, or let simple, properly prepared oysters and broiled crayfish stand on their own. Servers, meanwhile, draw frothy mugs of beer or mix specialty cocktails and frozen daiquiris. The lively atmosphere attracts local jazz musicians for open mics and accomplished players for special sets or scat-sung renditions of the menu.
The scene is a classic American diner: uniformed waitresses walk past rows of booths, pausing to refill coffee mugs and set down towering stacks of pancakes. Large, sunlit booths provide parents and kids with a venue to converse or sign a treaty that finally ends bitter remote-control battles. Behind the service window, cooks bustle about the kitchen, whipping up generous portions of biscuits and gravy, three-egg omelets, and Mexican-inspired specialties—including chilaquiles, eggs with chorizo, and giant breakfast burritos. Come lunchtime, kitchen staffers turn their attention toward hearty burgers, hot specialty sandwiches, and chicken-fried steaks.
An irresistible amalgamation of South American and Mediterranean flavors, chefs manifest the innovation of Angelicas Italian & Mexican Restaurant when ladling tomato sauces onto hearty pastas served alongside stuffed tacos and burritos made from scratch. The friendly staff pours glasses of wine, which you can waft as often as you’d like and complement the likes of lasagna and Mexican seafood soup. Additionally, you can introduce little ones to international fare through a kids' menu or enjoy meals within the comfort of your own panic room after ordering carryout.
Jolt-N-Java's baristas brew locally roasted coffee beverages and slice up lunch and breakfast sandwiches within the vibrant orange walls of a cozy cafe. Customers can sip on signature caffeinated mochas, flavored lattes, and teas to prep themselves for a day of work or an all-night knitting marathon. Pair a bagel and cream cheese with a large coffee ($4.50), or wed a breakfast sandwich with bacon, ham, or sausage with a medium chai-tea latte ($7.06). A medium latte can unite with a breakfast burrito—a large flour tortilla coddling scrambled eggs and bacon beneath a shower of salsa or the sinus-clearing El Patio hot sauce ($7.57). Guests can order through the drive-through window for speedier satiation or spend an afternoon perched on couch cushions and stools, rifling through or circling every dangling modifier in the shop's selection of books and magazines or shopping online via complimentary WiFi.
Funtime Theater’s Dinner Murder Mysteries transforms audience members into amateur detectives, tasking them with solving an interactive theatrical mystery while chowing down on café eats. Actors mingle among theatergoers throughout the show, chatting them up during an abbreviated cocktail hour (6:30 p.m.–7 p.m.) and comfort-fare-filled dinner from Hog Wild Café. The first two fatalities occur once meals are served, leaving patrons, a lone detective, and a wisecracking Great Dane puppy to unravel the thicket of green-chili-stained clues. A prize is awarded to the participant who deduces the solution of the mystery. Like department-store windows and freestyle-rapping telegrams, Funtime Theater’s performances may take on a holiday theme: the October 8 rendition will transport guests to a portentous Halloween party, the November 12 showing may feature Turkey Day-themed intrigue, and the December 10 edition plans to incorporate motifs and characters plucked from Charles Dickens’ Christmas tales. Though sinister wheelings and dealings abound throughout the show, the tone of Funtime Theater’s criminal cavalcades is lighthearted and intended for audiences of all ages.