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Whether on the gridiron, hardwood, diamond, or ice, athletes raise our expectations, and in crucial moments, dash our hopes or fulfill our dreams. Some of them cement fame and glory by following through on guarantees. Others fall, get backpage bullied, and live accepting that they never won a ring. Whatever their success in the record books, many gridiron heroes and ballpark messiahs have splashed their names on dining establishments that also serve as a shrine to their athletic glory. But there's not necessarily any correlation between winning and the ability to open a great restaurant.

For the last two years, The Daily Meal has evaluated the best athlete owned restaurants in America, looking at restaurants owned or invested in by boxers, golfers, skateboarders, hockey players, quarterbacks, and basketball legends. For most, the formula is pretty standard: generic pub food, lots of TVs, even more memorabilia covering the walls, and always, always, spinach artichoke dip. The only thing usually missing is the athlete himself.

Don't expect to spot Brett Favre greeting Julius Peppers Super Bowl XLIX Jersey guests at his steakhouse in Green Bay.

But the reality is that whether or not the athlete is there, or even regularly involved, there are athlete owned restaurants that put out popular food http://www.packersauthenticofficialshop.com/RANDALL_COBB_SUPER_BOWL_JERSEY.html and some of it's even good. On the West Coast, skateboarder Tony Hawk has invested in a restaurant that's kitchen is run by a James Beard Foundation "California Chef of the Year." Meanwhile, NFL quarterback Vince Young not only has a steakhouse in Austin, but also supplies his own brand of smoked meat to area grocery stores.

To determine this year's champs we investigated reader suggestions, evaluated local reviews, tallied popular rating sites, and scoured menus for more than 35 athlete owned restaurants across the country to narrow the list. This year's list includes steakhouses, Southern Davante Adams Super Bowl 49 Jersey specialists, barbecue joints, sports grills, high end dining, and Chinese restaurants that are owned, or partially owned, by athletes.

18 Twelve MVP Bar Grill Aaron Rodgers and Ryan Braun (Brookfield, Julius Peppers Super Bowl 49 Jersey Wis.)

After a brief but sparkling professional career as running back for the Detroit Lions, Sims turned his attention to his other passion: barbecue. There are currently a whopping 30 locations of Billy Sims Barbecue throughout Oklahoma, Missouri, and Michigan (with a 31st opening soon), 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."

4Vince Young Davante Adams Super Bowl XLIX Jersey Steakhouse Vince Young (Austin, Texas)

After retiring from professional football, defensive lineman packersauthenticofficialshop.com/JOHN_KUHN_SUPER_BOWL_JERSEY.html Al "Bubba" Baker and his wife Sabrina opened a catering business featuring "Southern style barbecue cuisine." Bubba's Q has since done pretty well, at least according to the accolades they list (among them Cleveland Magazine and Silver Spoon Awards for "Best Ribs" and "Best Barbecue Restaurant" from 2009 to 2011). 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.

7Yao Restaurant Bar Yao Ming (Houston)

In Denver, John Elway is God. 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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