Best Chain Restaurant

Lion's Choice

When the inner beast rattles its cage for a feeding, hungry St. Louisans have a choice: Either fork over a month's salary for a high-end steak dinner or cruise through the local Lion's Choice drive-through for a meal fit for Simba. Granted, a foil-wrapped fast-food sandwich isn't exactly what comes to mind when a serious red-meat craving hits, but then again, this is no ordinary quick-serve joint. The St. Louis-based chain shaves real, seasoned roast beef to order, piles it high on a buttery sesame bun and the employees will even take a temperature request of the meat (as if there's any other option but medium rare). Extra seasoning? No problem. Piping-hot au jus? It's on the condiment bar, along with burn-your-nose horseradish, peppers, relish and onions. Its skin-on fries are a classic, but those in search of a fancier experience can opt for a baked potato with all the trimmings. Lion's Choice is fastidious in the smallest details, offering thirsty patrons both crushed and cubed ice for their soft drinks. Prince or pauper, Lion's Choice satisfies even the most discerning carnivores.

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