CiCi’s Pizza combines the variety of a family-friendly buffet with the thrill of bottomless pizza. Each pie is crafted with dough made from scratch daily and then slathered with homemade marinara and showered with toppings ranging from traditional pepperoni and Italian-style sausage to creative combinations including buffalo chicken and mac 'n' cheese, resulting in more than 28 signature pizzas. The buffet is stocked with a plethora of fresh pastas, such as cavatappi noodles with classic marinara or alfredo sauce, as well as fully customizable signature salads. After they've feasted on savory options, diners can revisit the buffet for dessert including freshly baked brownies, slices of apple pizza, and cinnamon rolls drizzled with icing—or they can eat dessert first, thereby tearing an irreparable hole in the space-time continuum.
Originally opened as the Top Hat Drive-In in 1953, Sonic has grown into a burger-franchise mecca that today operates out of 3,500 locations across the country, making it the nation’s largest chain of drive-in restaurants. Sonic specializes in made-to-order American classics—including burgers, hot dogs, milk shakes, and marshmallow Ford Thunderbolts—which customers pick up from the drive through or receive from skating car hops without ever having to leave their cars. Unique menu items include toaster sandwiches stacked on thick slices of texas toast, as well as the brand’s signature tots and fresh limeades.
Sonic’s numerous awards include a 2011 Zagat survey ranking it among the top five fast-food restaurants in three categories: Best Value Menu, Best Milk Shake, and Best Drive-Thru. The benevolent eatery has also donated more than $2 million to public schools throughout the country through their program Limeades for Learning, which helps to fund educational projects and retirement plans for classroom guinea pigs.
In 1981, Luchita Galindo and her son Jorge began Luchita's, a humble family endeavor that focuses on fresh, authentic dishes. Over the course of 30 years, the Galindo family has continued to grow along with their restaurant, which began as a 24-seat eatery and currently occupies three locations throughout the Cleveland area.
Luchita's chefs work to maintain the family's vision while constantly seeking out new flavors to add to the menu. Their specialties include authentically prepared meats and seafood, such as shredded chicken simmered in a smoky sauce (tinga de pollo), tender strips of marinated steak (carne asada), and shrimp sautéed with potatoes, cactus, and poblano peppers (camarones borrachos). Chef Galindo also concocts vegetarian-friendly entrees, such as cheesy chiles rellenos, and tinkers with new recipes until—like a klutz unleashed on the stage of an awards show—he stumbles on a winner.
Behind Bluekiwi's sunny blue door, servers sprinkle dollops of nonfat frozen yogurt with fresh fruit and candy toppings. The owner draws from a degree in hospitality with an emphasis on nutrition to craft wholesome icy treats and answer customer questions and concerns, while counseling them against common nutritional errors such as trying to eat plastic fruit. The rotating selection of fresh yogurt flavors, such as classic California tart, cupcake, and cherry amaretto, teem with calcium, potassium, and live active cultures. Containers of freshly hewed fruit line countertops alongside dry cereal and candy toppings, while a stock of miniature cupcakes can deluge taste buds with mouthfuls of peanut-butter cup, cinnamon, and red-velvet flavors. Blue tabletops and Frank Gehry–style stools allow customers to linger over treats and chitchat, while whiteboard walls allow them to draw out detailed map reminders of where they parked their cars.
Maui Wowi Hawaiian's aloha spirit pervades every corner of its menu of island-inspired fare. Thirst-slaking smoothies perform a mash-up of up to 90% pure fruit and hip-hop beats, and they travel up straws in flavors such as mango orange, black raspberry-strawberry banana, and passion papaya. Energize afternoons with cups of authentic Kona coffee or specialty espresso drinks including the Pele's Cup, a simmering volcano of espresso, chocolate, cinnamon, and milk. Garlic herb, white, or wheat tortillas corral chicken or steak in Maui Wowi's wraps, and baja-chicken-enchilada soup and tomato bisque warm up jaws for crunching into salads without performing 15 minutes of hamstring stretches.
Crowned the Best Irish Pub of 2010 by CityVoters, Brubaker's serves up an extensive menu of pub edibles alongside a lively atmosphere and TVs sporting the latest in athletic endeavors. Quiet nagging hunger mufflers with appetizers such as barbecue-chicken potato skins ($5.75) and the super pretzel with mustard, salsa, or nacho cheese ($2), or tongue-dive into a specialty dish, such as the chicken cordon "bru" ($6.75), the buffalo-chicken wrap ($5.50), or the mega dog ($4). Brubaker's burritos wrap various fillings in the fresh-baked arms of nine-inch tortillas and come in varietals such as the Popeye ($5.50), a hulkifying combination of spinach-artichoke dip, tomatoes, onions, shredded cheddar, and ranch dressing. Brubaker's also offers a wide-ranging beer selection to indulge the fermented fantasies of Prohibition-era taste buds.