More than 15 microbrews pour from the taps at Old Town Pizzeria, where pints sidle up to pizzas topped with gourmet ingredients ranging from truffle oil and artichoke hearts to linguica and grilled chicken. The flavors of Rubicon IPA and Scrimshaw Pilsner play well with the nuances found within the Garlic Blues’ blue cheese, roasted garlic, onions, walnuts, and sun-dried tomatoes. The pizzeria also stocks a brawny selection of meats for use in pizzas such as the No Sleep 'Till Brooklyn, whose combination of mozzarella, ricotta, house-made meatballs, and basil is palatable to both beasts and boys. Hearty salads, hot wings, and breadsticks help round out the menu.
Some people define comfort food as a favorite dish that Mom or Grandma used to make. Others associate comfort with foods that are traditionally eaten during happy times—such as Thanksgiving or John Philip Sousa's birthday. Savory Fried Chicken invites diners to explore comfort food of the Filipino persuasion. The eatery's cooks prepare Filipino-style chicken, which is either grilled or unbattered, fried, and served with gravy. Sides of pork lumpia rolls and pancit noodles complete plates.
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.
Ranked the No. 1 Submarine Sandwich Franchise in the 2011 Franchise 500 issue of Entrepreneur magazine, Subway has graced the globe with nutritious stacks of meat, crisp veggies, flavorful cheeses, and freshly baked breads since 1965. Three friends, relatives, or members of an understaffed barbershop quartet can wrap their paws around thick sandwiches such as the barbecue pulled pork, 12 inches of fresh-baked bread plumped to meaty perfection with 8 ounces of smoked tender pulled pork swathed in Sweet Baby Ray's Barbecue Sauce. Italian-style meatballs bob in a bath of tangy marinara sauce, bringing a soft, meaty balance to the crunch of crisp veggies in a hot meatball-marinara sandwich, and comforting melted cheese wraps its gooey arms around juicy steak and tucks it into a hot philly cheesesteak. Lettuce, tomatoes, green bell peppers, and onions reminisce about the old days back in the garden, playing kick-the-cantaloupe in the foot-long, yeasty reunion hall of a veggie-delite sub, and white-meat turkey surrounded by its roughneck trio of ham, salami, and bologna picks flavorful fistfights with ornery vegetables, tackling them to the soft, bready floor of a cold-cut combo.
The grill masters at Cheese Steak Shop build culinary care packages of tri-tip sirloin and tender chicken breast, bedecked with classic and creative Philly-style toppings. The classic Philly nestles a bevy of steak or chicken alongside grilled onion and hot or sweet peppers, while the deluxe upgrades the sandwich mainstay with pizza sauce, mushrooms, and provolone. Customize carbo-delivery systems with bacon, barbecue sauce, onion rings, lettuce, salsa, and flame decals, all served on a soft italian roll. Customers can use their Groupon in one visit or get a punch card good for the remainder of their Phillies and drinks for future sandwich sojourns.