At Tapioca & Tea, customers order up cups of bubble tea with tapioca pearls stirred into the tropical fruit smoothies. These drinks excite the senses with aromatic smells, sweet tastes, and glistening tapioca pearls with fun textures. But bubble teas aren't the only thing exciting senses in the shop. Staff also cook up a menu of Asian treats, from crispy squid balls to crispy chicken rice, which add a savory element to meals.
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.
Seated under banners displaying the colors of Mexico's flag, diners at Pepe's Taqueria dig into authentic dishes such as homemade tamales, lengua tacos, and carnitas tostadas. A salsa bar with three different offerings allows guests to decide the spice level of their dish, such as mild or Donny Osmond hot. Sombreros and colorful wall hangings surround guests as they sip on bottled beers, Mexican sodas, and horchata.
• For $20, you get $40 worth of Japanese cuisine and drinks during dinner Sunday–Thursday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday–Saturday from 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. • For $10, you get $20 worth of Japanese cuisine and drinks during lunch Monday–Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Saturday–Sunday from noon to 2:30 p.m.
Every day since “Daddy Dave” Leatherby Sr. and his wife, Sally, opened the first Leatherby’s Family Creamery 30 years ago, the shop has been churning out fresh ice cream layered in sweet sauces straight from the candy kettle. Milk, cream, and sugar form the base of Leatherby’s more than 45 flavors, which range from staples such as chocolate and strawberry to more exotic varieties including mocha almond fudge and spumoni. Inspired by family recipes that date back a half-century, these frosty treats come in cones, shakes, malts, and sodas, as well as in heaping sundaes and banana splits, the largest of which tips the scales at 54 ounces. Leatherby’s menu has expanded over time, and includes savory options such as sandwiches, burgers, soups, and salads.