A few people and places that have exploded, and would not fit into the "purists" TRUE definition of RF criteria but at one point considered "local" RF...
Paula Deen's Lady & Sons, "The Neely's" , Emeril (outside of New Orleans is an extention of his "chains" like in Vegas)Brennan's, Commander's Palace,(outside New Orleans, again landing in Las Vegas casinos).
Places that "unjustly" get promotion and HUGE crowds of tourists like...Pat's & Geno's in Philadelphia. Corky's Ribs now on QVC (GASP), have been in RF books.
I will think of many more. These are just off the top of my head.
Oh...Pinkberry is a franchise of upscale frozen dessert restaurants headquartered in Los Angeles, California. There are currently 61 stores, mostly located in Southern California with thirteen in New York City.
Scratch it off the "look forward to going to when in California or NYC, list"
Oh...but it is ONLY 61 locations. They APPEAR in an American Express Plum Card commercial, BUT it is only 61 locations.
Doe's Eat Place. Page 247 of Roadfood (2002 edition)...
"Like some of America's better-known steak houses, Doe's of Greenville has expanded in recent years and now has branches in Little Rock and Fayetteville Arkansas. We've never met a Doe's we didn't love, but there is special magic about the one original one in the Mississippi Delta"
From Doe's website circa 2008...
"A Family Tradition since 1903"
Family owned locations...
Hot Springs, AR
Fort Smith, AR
Little Rock, AR
Baton Rouge, LA
To become part of the Doe's family (LOL) contact...
I will not list the name or number of the contact person, from Doe's website.
I am not dissin' Doe's. They have rave reviews from many sources. But, it is now a chain.
Corky's Page 159 Roadfood (2002 edition)
"In a city of at least a dozen truly great barbecue restaurants, Corky's is considered by many aficionados to be number one"
"If you eat as you should at Corky's, dessert will seem impossible"