Special Report

Regional Restaurant Chains We Wish Were Nationwide

Bertucci’s Brick Oven Pizza & Pasta
> Headquarters: Northboro, MA
> Number of units (approximate): 52
> Region served: Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia

Bertucci’s opened its first location in 1981 in the Davis Square neighborhood of Somerville, Massachusetts, and today they’re firing up their custom-made brick pizza ovens in nine states along the Eastern Seaboard. Those ovens, which reach temperatures of 675º F, are the centerpiece of each warm and welcoming restaurant, with a wide lineup of pizzas emerging from them along with roasted vegetables and dishes including lasagna, calzones, and wings. As for the pizza, the dough is made from scratch every morning, and guests can customize their own pie or choose from more than 10 signature offerings.

> Headquarters: Greensboro, NC
> Number of units (approximate): 62
> Region served: North Carolina, Virginia

If a place is going to be called Biscuitville, it better be turning out some great biscuits, and since 1966 Biscuitville has been doing just that. Their timeless recipe includes only locally-milled flour, shortening, and buttermilk, and they biscuits are made from scratch, by hand, in full view of guests, emerging hot from the oven every 15 minutes. The biscuits are sold as-is or sandwiching everything from country ham to fried chicken, steak, or pork chops. Bacon, egg, and cheese biscuits are especially popular, as are ones smothered in country gravy.

Braum’s Ice Cream & Dairy Store
> Headquarters: Tuttle, OK
> Number of units (approximate): 300
> Region served: Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas

Founded by Bill and Mary Braum in 1968, Braum’s stands out from the pack in a handful of ways: It’s almost completely vertically integrated, meaning that it owns its own feed mill, dairy herd, dairy processing plant, bakery, stores, and delivery trucks, as well as eight farms and ranches and a flagship dairy farm. Also, in order to guarantee freshness, they won’t open any locations outside of a 300-mile radius around their Tuttle dairy farm. Should you find yourself within that radius, however, you can drop in and sample their legendary ice cream and milkshakes, as well as hearty breakfast dishes, burgers, salads, and sandwiches.

Del’s Lemonade
> Headquarters: Cranston, RI
> Number of units (approximate): 29
> Region served: Rhode Island, Massachusetts

Del’s specializes in a beloved summertime treat called frozen lemonade, which is a type of slush made by spinning water, sugar, and lemon juice in an ice cream machine. A Rhode Island destination since 1948, today Del’s has nearly 30 locations in the region, serving classic frozen lemonade as well as flavors including watermelon, cherry, and peach-mango. If you can’t make it to Del’s, they sell mixes online that allow you to make their classic frozen lemonade at home.

Din Tai Fung
> Headquarters: Taipei City, Taiwan
> Number of units (approximate): 13 (U.S.)
> Region served: California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington (and worldwide)

Din Tai Fung is a beloved Taiwanese chain that specializes in Chinese Huaiyang dishes, and it’s most famous for its wide array of noodles, steamed buns, dumplings, wontons, and xiao long bao (soup dumplings). Sweet & sour baby back ribs and Wagyu black pepper tenderloin are also popular dishes. The majority of their Stateside locations are in California and Washington State, with additional locations in Las Vegas and Tigard, Oregon.

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