The sun melts into the horizon, leaving a bright-orange band of sky in its wake that gives way to a deep-blue Texas night. Twinkling lights wrapped around the windmill flicker on as ebullient music fills Fish Camp's outdoor patio, to the delight of diners savoring their desserts in the open air. Such evenings are hardly a rarity at the restaurant, which beckons guests to its quiet countryside location with a menu of seafood and traditional Southern comfort food.
Inside the buzzing kitchen, chefs whip up mouthwatering dishes featuring aquatic ingredients such as clear-water, farm-raised catfish and gulf prawns. The chefs also assemble platefuls of comfort food using traditional recipes from across the South, ranging from Texas toothpicks and Cajun-style blackened tilapia to Kentucky-bourbon pecan pie. Young diners can frolic on the deck and partake in casual fishing to retrieve lost contact lenses, and local musicians assemble on Friday and Saturday nights to delight patrons with live performances.
Serving fresh and speedy pies across America for more than 50 years, Little Caesars now sates appetites worldwide. Select from 12 toppings to design a sumptuous, made-to-order 14-inch original crust ($5.99 with one topping; $1.30 for each additional topping), or plumb the savory strata of a large cheese deep-dish ($7). Little Caesars' large Hot-N-Ready pizzas ($5) are available to drop-in patrons posthaste, eliminating stress caused by unexpected and hungry houseguests. And, after tasting italian cheese bread ($3.99) and Caesar wings with barbecue or buffalo sauce ($4.99), tone-deaf taste buds find themselves serenading incisors with John Fogerty lyrics.
The food at Miyako Sushi & Grill is artfully prepared, and the atmosphere is laid-back. At the BYOB friendly eatery, diners can sip their favorite beer, wine, or vintage prison hooch while savoring generous portions of Japanese cuisine. In the background, cooks fry soft-shell crab in tempura batter, slice ocean-fresh fish for sashimi and sushi, and sear juicy steaks and seafood on a hibachi grill. And for dessert, guests can try a scoop of green tea or red bean ice cream to cool their palate if they happened to mistake a ball of wasabi for a complimentary dessert.
At BoomerJack's Grill & Bar, diners feast on spicy and savory dishes, complemented by refreshing drinks and the frequent shouts of cheering sports fans. Appetizers include hand-battered and fried mushrooms, pickles, and the restaurant?s eponymous Boomer chips, freshly sliced jalape?os served with a homemade sauce. Chefs also sculpt a half pound of ground beef into a behemoth of a burger, adorned with aged cheddar or blue cheese crumbles. Lemon pepper or Cajun seasoning spices up a fillet of farm-raised catfish, while grilled peppers and onions top Ray?s sizzling sausage sandwich made from ground filet mignon and pork.
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.