"If you succeed, it will change your lives." Accountant Afram Nimeh uttered those words to his two sons in 1993 after investing the last of his savings into a failing restaurant. Though he passed away the following year, his sons—Joseph and Steven—carried on his legacy, Chicken Dijon Rotisserie & Grill. Today, they have expanded the family franchise to five locations, where customers gather to sample casual, healthy Mediterranean cuisine without having to build their own private jets. The kitchen staff efficiently assembles gyro and chicken platters flanked by sides such as rice pilaf, mediterranean potato salad, and stuffed grape leaves, as well as sandwiches topped with chicken, sliced gyro meat, or falafel.
Amid a shopping center adorned in rustic white plaster and wood accents, Alpine Village Restaurant welcomes visitors to lively banquets of hearty German fare, frosty brews, and umlaut-heavy revelry. Guests gather under the restaurant's timbered eaves to sip samples of 15 frothy European beers on draft and munch on tasty brats, salads, and schnitzels while soaking up live music or matches of UEAF soccer. In addition to its festive eatery, the village draws in huge crowds for Southern California's largest Oktoberfest, a traditional Bavarian celebration replete with imported oom-pah bands, a 32,000-square-foot beer tent, and kitting circles churning out traditional beer cozies for the Oktoberfest fairy.
USDA Choice–rated, Zabiha Halal meat sizzles on spits at La Zeez Pita Grill, keeping hormones, preservatives, and other artificial additives off its menu of healthy Mediterranean fare. Staff members stuff warm pita wraps with morsels of vegetable-fed lamb, beef, and chicken or cater get-togethers with helpings of shawarma, gyros, and other entrees by the pound. Falafel balls or aquaphobic cliff divers can take a dip in chickpea- and eggplant-based side sauces such as hummus and baba gannouj, whereas layered cakes and pastries submerge forks in seas of sweet.
Though they spent their childhoods on opposite coasts, husband and wife Pat and Kristin Roskowick both grew up loving frozen treats. Pat discovered his affinity for shave ice at the many raspados carts that kept the San Fernando Valley cool during the summertime, and Kristin begged her mother to traipse through three feet of snow during the harsh winters of Massachusetts to fetch her her beloved ice cream. Years later, those sweet-toothed kids were delighted when they found a dessert that combined both their favorite treats. A blend of fine shave ice, ice cream, and sweetened condensed milk, Hawaiian-style shave ice quickly became the Roskowick's new favorite dessert, and in 2008, the couple opened their own shop.
At Get Shaved, customers can select from a range of ice creams, flavored syrups, and toppings such as marshmallows and caramel to create their own shave ice treat. Monkey Brains––a blend of strawberry and banana shave ice and sweetened condensed milk––ranks as a “tried & true combo.” The staff also doles out scoops of ice cream in flavors such as macadamia nut and kona coffee to concoct ice cream cookie sandwiches and shakes. In addition to their storefronts, the Get Shaved traveling truck churns out icy desserts at different spots throughout the city based on a schedule that is updated online throughout the day.
When The Melting Pot originally opened in 1975 just outside Orlando, the location was cozy and quaint, but diners had only three options: swiss-cheese fondue, beef fondue, or chocolate fondue. However, as the restaurant grew in popularity, so did its menu selection and atmosphere. The restaurant first expanded four years later under the leadership of a Melting Pot waiter and enterprising college student named Mark Johnston, who teamed up with his brothers Mike and Bob to open a new outpost in Tallahassee. This location grew in reputation to pave the way for future franchise expansion. Today, the company?now owned by the trio of siblings?reigns as the premier fondue, wine, and drink restaurant, stretching across North America with more than 140 restaurants linked by underground tunnels. The restaurant's menu has also ballooned, and patrons can now expect six varieties of hot dipping cheese paired with salads, meats, and molten chocolate.
On a given night, groups of foodies gather around tables to nosh on signature four-course meals, from cheese-fondue appetizers and various salads to steaks and seafood cooked in a choice of healthy broth or oil. Birthday revelers and couples can share decadent evenings at private tables, capping off meals with chocolate desserts that have defined The Melting Pot for decades.
When Lois Margolet first opened Capriotti’s in Wilmington, Delaware, 36 years ago, she and her brother, Alan, worked from the second story of a boarded-up building, roasting 10–12 whole turkeys every night and churning out a “real turkey lover’s” sandwich each day. Today, Capriotti’s has expanded across 12 states, each location stacking the same award-winning hot and cold sandwiches, racking up such accolades as The Best of Las Vegas 2012, Best of Culver City 2012, and Best of Delaware 2012 prizes from the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Culver City News, and Delaware Today, respectively. Though the shop is still known for its slow-roasted-turkey creations—such as the Thanksgiving-inspired Bobbie, named America's best sandwich by AOL's Lemondrop.com, piled with cranberry sauce and stuffing—its menu now ventures into the realm of roast beef, italian deli meats with such sandwiches as the capastrami, cheesesteaks, and vegetarian treats, such as meatless chicken and turkey.