Dianne Crowley has many reasons to be excited about the success of Wild Wing Café, the casual dining franchise she and her husband, Cecil, launched on Hilton Head Island, S.C., 20 years ago. First, she takes pride in staying in business two decades despite having no prior restaurant experience. Then, there are the numerous awards for the signature recipes and laid-back atmosphere that her franchisees have earned throughout the southeastern United States.

While Louisiana is known worldwide for its unique cuisine that blends a number of cultures into one rich melting pot of flavor, Dana Deutsch never intended to open another restaurant that served that fare. A New Orleans native, Deutsch studied in San Francisco and backpacked throughout Europe and Asia, and he knew he could offer a sampling of the international tastes he enjoyed throughout his travels back in his home state.

The Grand Central Oyster Bar in New York City’s Grand Central Station is probably one of the most famous seafood restaurants in the world. The historic eatery has been featured in the opening credits for “Saturday Night Live” and was used as base of operations for the “Oysters” video category on “Jeopardy!” But it’s the restaurant’s fresh fish that really makes the place famous.

Established in San Marcos, Texas, under the name Golden Fried Chicken, Golden Chick set itself apart from competitors such as KFC, Church’s Chicken and Popeyes Chicken with its original recipe for all-tenderloin chicken tenders. After more than 40 years in business, the company has gained a loyal following of diners looking for a family-style eating experience, an affordable menu and a classic recipe for fried chicken.

In the 1731 song “The Roast Beef of Old England,” roast beef is described as a “mighty” dish that “ennobled our brains and en­rich­ed our blood.” At this time, it was considered a signature meal in Eng­land. As some of the British moved to America, however, tastes changed, and by 1900, a writer with the Washington Post described roast beef as “a tired ark in gravy flood.”

Legend has it that in the late 1700s, King Ferdinand I disguised himself as a commoner and secretly visited a place in Naples to taste pizza, which was something Queen Maria Carolina had banned from the royal court. When Dominick Pulieri launched Grotto Pizza in 1960, he also went out into the community – not in secret like King Ferdinand, but to promote pizza to the residents of Delaware. Realizing success with this tactic, Grotto Pizza continues to be a big part of many Delaware communities today.

In the current economy, it can be difficult for families to find restaurants that are appropriate for children and allow them to stretch a dollar. But Fricker’s fits that bill, according to Fricker’s Marketing Manager Jim Manley. Based in Miamisburg, Ohio, the company has 18 locations in Ohio, Michigan and Indiana that serve a menu featuring what it lovingly calls “Frickin’ Chicken wings and chunks,” pizza, ribs, salads, soups, shrimp and steak. Owner Ray Frick founded the restaurant in 1985, in West Carrollton, Ohio.

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