questionsdo you have a favorite restaurant that isn't in…

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Taco Cabana comes to mind.

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Red, Hot and Blue (BBQ) and Steak and Ale (Great salad bar & Mud Pie dessert!). Both restaurants closed in my area. Miss them.

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My out of town favorites consist mainly of mom and pop shops.

San Antonio, TX
Josephine Street Cafe <--Get a steak
LuLu's <-- Chicken Fried Steak. Also a 3 pound cinnamon roll

Houston, TX
Lankford Grocery & Market <--Hamburger & Daily Specials
Star Pizza <--Best pizza I have ever had

Austin, TX
Threadgills <-- Home Cooking better than your momma makes

Las Vegas, NV
Stage Door Casino <--1/4 lb hot dog and a Bud Light for $2.50
Tacos El Gordo <-- Mexicans cooking real Mexican food

If more come to mind I will add to this.

I'M HUNGRY NOW.!

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I'd probably say Outback, especially since we frequently hangout there with our neighbors. However, plenty of good chain and ma-and-pa restaurants around our city.

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Jack in the Box. It's not the greatest place ever, but I grew up with it in CA and we don't have any here in VA, yet we still get commercials because there's one in whatever one of the Carolina's is nearby.

If pizza places count, Me N Ed's pizza. The best pizza I have personally ever had, but they're also from CA.

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For some reason, I've been thinking frequently about Lambert's Cafe, in Foley, AL. I see they still don't take credit cards.

I always miss In and Out from my days in SoCal. I always go when I visit my mother in Las Vegas.

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Well, we finally got Chipotle where I live (took way too long for that to happen!) but then we lost Dairy Queen (none within 50 miles). I would love to see a Culver's out here, too but I don't think that will ever happen.

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I love Mi Tierra in San Antonio. I haven't been down there in years, but I love that place.

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@lparsons42: We do you live, because we finally got a Chipotle also. I live in Albuquerque,

I visited some friends in CO Springs and I LOVED My Big Fat Greek Restaurant. It was amazing.

In and Out Burger is also a huge hit.

Krystal is another I miss.

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Steak 'n Shake. I loved it in Ohio and NC, but there isn't one close to me in VA. For small businesses, Austin Bridges in Shelby, NC, best BBQ ever.

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@gmwhit: If you're interested in traveling north I can get you some BBQ that will make you wish you didn't live so far away. The pulled pork is heavenly there. You still have my number, right?

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Freeport Restaurant in North East, PA. Their perch dinners are fantastic and I can never finish them.

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Dick's Last Resort. I go to the one in Dallas whenever I'm in out that way, but it's not often enough.

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@wilfbrim: And their food is as good as ever. Ate there the week before Christmas. Always a treat at Lambert's Cafe!

Better go hungry!

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I've ate at a lot of BBQ places in my life, but one of the top 5 or less has to be Rudy's Country Store and Bar-B-Que.

http://www.rudysbbq.com/page/home

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we love the boudin bakery cafe at fisherman's wharf in san fran. It's over 2 hours away, but if we can make an excuse to visit san fran, we stop by for chili in the sourdough bread bowl. We also used to LOVE going to Bobby Rubino's place for ribs in san fran, but they closed down a few years back.

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Gino's East of Chicago, along with several other pizza places in that area.

Also, Al's Beef in Chicago...man, do I ever miss the Italian Beef sandwiches in Chicago.

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@jsimsace: I was not impressed. Im known around my office as being kind of a fast food junkie so the sales guys were ALWAYS telling me I had to try In n Out. It was very... Average? At best? I guess it just isnt my kind of burger. The fries were very good though. Simple, but good.

I really like Max and Erma's, but our local one closed. The nearest is a three hour drive in just about any direction. My fiance and I have driven specifically to get it. It makes for a fun afternoon.

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For me it's Native Foods Cafe which has several locations. Watercourse foods in Denver, and Chicago Deli in Chicago.

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Whataburger and Steak & Shake.

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Chipotle - there are two about 10-15 miles away so they are close enough to get to but too far to justify frequent trips.

Sonic - they "harassed" me for years with their advertisements before I ever saw a store. They are slowly approaching my area now.

I find it interesting the OP said Chick-Fil-A because there are three of them within three miles of my house (and more a little farther) and it seems the only time I ever want their food, it is Sunday and they are closed so they have pretty much lost my business except for the free sandwich coupons I get regularly.

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In-N-Out and Wienerschnitzel would probably be at the top of the list, nearest locations are in Allen, TX about 100 mi away. Jack-in-the-Box is another one...nearest is about an hour away. Wouldn't mind having another Me and Ed's pizza before I croak, I grew up on their pizzas!

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None of my favorite restaurants are chains. I prefer unique quality, not sameness. Unfortunately, that doesn't seem to b the american way and most of the unique quality places are going out of business as people drift to the sameness of chains.
Best place I have eaten in the last few years is the Livingston in the Georgian Terrace Hotel in Atlanta. Millionaire Mondays are awesome!

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Any of the "hots" restaurants in and around Rochester, NY, beginning with Nick Tahou's Hots. Friggamazing.

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There's a stir-fry restaurant chain called Flat Top Grill. It's amazing, but the closest one is over 2 hours away.

There's also In 'n Out. @say592 But they're only good if you order off the secret menu. The regular food is just ordinary. But the animal style burger is VERY good.

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I was surprised to see Olga's Kitchen. I had no idea that they were a Michigan-based chain. But I just looked up the locations. The Alton, IL and Fairview Heights, IL locations are both within 30 miles of here and I thought they were spread further around! As I can now see, they're only located in Michigan otherwise. Not sure what makes my corner of IL so special.

Their food is very good but I have only been a couple times.

CORRECTION: There's one in Ohio, too. But in Toledo and practically in Michigan.

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Memphis: Rendezvous. hogsfly.com. The best.

Cincinnati: Skyline Chili; Montgomery Inn; LaRosa's.

Minneapolis/St Paul: Cossetta's; Red's Savoy Inn Pizza; St. Croix Broiler; Mickey's Dining Car; Leeann Chin; Green Mill; Granite City.

California: Marie Callender's. I know it's just casual dining, but I never had a bad meal there. There's something to be said for consistency.

Stevens Point, WI: Samoeun's Happy Wok; Rocky Rococo's Pizza.

Kansas City: Gates BBQ; Firehouse Subs; Peachtree.

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@bill7718: Star Pizza is the BOMB!! Plan on going there next weekend after grabbing some cupcakes at Sugarbaby's.

I want a Buffalo Wild Wings closer to me. Hate that the closest one is about 30-45 mins away.

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Cheesecake Factory, closest is prox 100 miles in Las Vegas.

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In-N-Out
California Tortilla (Philly-area & MD)

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Costa Vida or even Cafe Sabor!
Chipotle just isn't near as good as those two!

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Charlie Gitto's in St. Louis. I'm craving some toasted ravioli and potato gnocchi right now.

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@wlknlight: me too, I LOVE Steak 'n Shake. I used to go to one in my hometown with my friends pretty often.

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Since we weren't really restricted, I love seafood:

Trader Vic's --- love the Spaghetti Fisherman

Captain Pell's Fairfax Crabhouse (Fairfax, VA) -- http://www.captainpell.com/
for the crab, of course.

Cantler's Riverside Inn (Annapolis, MD) -- http://www.cantlers.com/
again, the fresh crab, brought straight to the dock.

Cattleman's Steakhouse at Indian Cliffs Ranch (Fabens, TX, 35 miles east of El Paso) -- http://www.cattlemanssteakhouse.com/
For the aged beef and sides and the ambiance, check out the ranch page

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As a Yankee living in Texas I miss Friendly's. We actually had a Carvel in my neighborhood for about a year, but it never got popular so I still get strange looks when I talk about Cookie Puss and Fudgie the Whale.

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I love Mexican restaurants, any and all. There is this little hole in the wall restaurant in Tucson AZ is one of my favorites. http://www.elmolinitos.com

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@pennienixx: I was there about four years ago when I was visiting my brother...that was one of his favorite Mexican places.