Best Athlete Owned Restaurants


8-Twelve is the combined efforts of MVPs Aaron Rodgers, of the Green Bay Packers and Ryan Braun, of the Milwaukee Brewers, with their hopes of giving back to Wisconsin and its cherished fan base. 8-Twelve features a wood-fired grill imparting unique flavors to the chef’s creations. Prime cuts from Allen Brothers have never tempted your taste buds like this. Wine enthusiasts will appreciate a well-rounded wine list and beer drinkers will enjoy a large selection of Wisconsin-crafted brews. Practically all the ingrdiants come from Wisconsin, so all the food is fresh and great tasting.
Many dishes at Joe Theismann’s sound pretty run-of-the-mill: wedge salad and seared ahi tuna for example. But you have to be doing something right to have the staying power this former Redskins’ quarterback’s restaurant does, since it opened more than 35 years ago. Of greatest interest perhaps is the steakhouse-cut pork chop with a “secret rub,” a longtime customer favorite.
After a brief but amazing professional career as a running back for the Detroit Lions, Sims turned his attention to his other passion: barbecue. There are currently 30 locations of Billy Sims Barbecue throughout Oklahoma, Missouri, and Michigan with traditional barbecue favorites like pulled pork, brisket, and smoked chicken joined by regional specialties including Frito Chili Pie and smoked bologna. He also, of course, offers tailgate-friendly “super packs.”
Even though he’s now trying to play in the NFL, quarterback Vince Young remains king in Austin for leading the University of Texas football team to the NCAA national championship in 2005. A few years ago he returned to his college stomping grounds to open his first restaurant downtown. The menu specializes in beef, from short rib chili to locally sourced Texas prime grade steaks and a rich Wagyu brisket burger balanced out by briny house-made pickles.
An Australian grille in South Carolina? It might not be the first thing that comes to mind for the Southern states cuisine. I know it’s not what I think of. Set along the Intracoastal Waterway in the golfers paradise of North Myrtle Beach. From the open kitchen comes tuna sashimi crusted with sesame seeds served over a cucumber seaweed salad tossed in a plum vinaigrette, oven-roasted half duckling served with black pepper fettuccine and garnished with asparagus tips and a cherry ginger sauce, and slow-roasted 28 day-aged prime rib. The links legends signature chardonnays, rieslings, and cabernets round out the Wine Spectator Award for Excellence-recognized list of spirits.
Yao Restaurant & Bar was good enough to be featured at number 19 on The Daily Meal’s list of 25 Best Celebrity-Owned Restaurants. Former Houston Rockets center Yao Ming and his wife joined with friends and local restaurant owners to create a large space serving Chinese and Chinese-American food. Lettuce wraps, Peking dumplings, Kung Pao beef, they have it all.
In Denver, John Elway is a hero. The former Broncos quarterback did what few legends have done: won his second Super Bowl in 1999, retired on top, and then stayed retired, unlike Brett Favre whose restaurant is awful. His foray into fine dininghas been equally successful. He co-owns three eponymous restaurants, one in the Ritz-Carlton in downtown Denver, one in Denver’s Cherry Creek neighborhood, and a third in Vail, Colo. The steakhouse menu will please carnivores with a cavemans appetite, but skirt the standards to find the creative apps and sides, like lamb chops dipped in green chile fondue, crunchy calamari tossed with stuffed olives and cherry peppers, and truffled beet and mozzarella salad.

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