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Life in Chains

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The Curious History of Ivar’s, Washington’s Beloved Chowder Chain

Bread bowls, folk songs, and acres of clams — one writer’s deep dive into the seafood chain that anchored her childhood

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Buffalo Wild Wings Was My One-Man Gay Bar

In the home base of beer-swilling straight men, nobody could tell I was only playing at being a bro

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The Cheese-Smothered Comfort of My Hometown Mexican Chain

In Georgia, a combo-plate Mexican restaurant named La Parrilla felt like a sanctuary

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In the Food Swamps of LA, McDonald’s Was Our Lifeboat

Fast food helped our family adjust to life in the United States and became our Sunday ritual, until it began taking its toll

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Texas’s Favorite Grocery Store Is a Way of Life

Nobody in America loves anything as much as Texans love H-E-B

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‘Can We Honor Your Service with a Steak, a Malibu Chicken, or the Jumbo Crispy Shrimp?’

Over a free Veterans Day lunch at Sizzler, a father and daughter come to terms with the residual trauma of his tours of duty in Vietnam

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Sobbing in Starbucks

I took a seat by the old man reading the paper, held my grande mocha, and cried

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American Pie

How sharing a Hawaiian pizza from Pizza Hut became a Beijing family tradition

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Cloudy With a Chance of Ikea Meatballs 

Köttbullar promise a cozy taste of Swedish domesticity, but also make for great sustenance in the midst of seasonal depression

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A Thai Chicken Pizza, Just for Us

Finding what it means to be American at California Pizza Kitchen

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The True Meaning of KFC Christmas

How a bucket of fried chicken came to symbolize a magical sense of no-questions-asked familial harmony in Japan

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Why We Always Ended Up at Friendly's

Remembering a dad, a divorce, and weeknights filled with fried cheese and ice cream

Christmas on a Slider

Carl's Jr., and the Thing That Happened There

The Outback Special