No Weak Links Here: 6 chains that break the mold

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Blackened fish tacos - COURTESY
Courtesy
Blackened fish tacos

6. Bar Louie

Multiple locations, barlouieamerica.com

With more than 70 franchise locations—two of which are in San Antonio—Bar Louie brands itself as "a local success story" that "combines the consistency of a national brand with local appeal." While the messaging may be trying a little too hard, they make up for it with their grub. All of the salsas, sauces and dips are made from scratch daily and dishes like Bavarian pretzel sticks (Louie's signature app), beer-braised mussels and baked mac 'n' cheese elevate bar food. In preparation for the annual Rock the Tot eating competition, order the loaded tots with queso, spicy giardiniera, bacon and scallions. Wash it down with an Effen Good martini or Ultimate Bloody Louie. With patio seating, $5 burger nights on Tuesdays and a generous happy hour, it's almost enough to make you forget it's a chain.

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