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.
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.
The chefs at Pietro's Famiglia Ristorante Italiano simmer a bevy of homemade sauces to complement their menu of pasta, meat, and seafood dishes. From their location on the second floor, chefs plate classic lasagna and spaghetti along with veal parmigiana, lamb chops, and an ever-changing fish of the day. Beverages from the full bar, melodies from the weekend entertainment, and leis made of linguine complement the meals served in the pink-walled dining room.:m]]
The cantina's colorful emblem displays its namesake, "three hombres," who all sport different facial hair but seem to share a single, spacious sombrero. This same blending of whimsy and tradition inspires Cantina Los Tres Hombres's signature margaritas and expansive menu of authentic Mexican dishes.
Natural light plunges through large picture windows, as tables populate with sizzling fajitas, massive burritos, and hearty combination platters overflowing with mesquite-grilled steak or chicken, fresh seafood, and crispy pork carnitas. Chefs add zip to their culinary creations with a variety of specialty sauces ranging from the smoky chipotle chili adobo to the rich and herbaceous butter, white-wine, and fresh-cilantro sauce. Salt-rimmed margaritas complement south-of-the-border morsels, and live acoustic tunes on Tuesday through Friday complement south-of-the-ankle foot twitches.
Just as Thomas Edison stumbled through useless prototypes of light bulbs and movie cameras before perfecting the phonograph, the alchemists at Qdoba Mexican Grill took 47 attempts before landing on the franchise's signature blend of three cheeses, known simply as queso. That attention to detail still pervades every aspect of the menu, as employees spend hours each day chopping, dicing, and simmering the fresh ingredients that find their way into burritos, taco salads, and grilled quesadillas. Beyond the marinated bites of chicken, beef, and pork and hand-crafted tortillas, cooks protect their ripe, fragile avocados from harm by smashing them into batches of fluffy guacamole.