Sweet River Grill & Bar's eye-catching interior beckons a second glance with its treasure trove of framed mirrors, sepia portraits, vintage advertisements, and a large sled mounted on the wall. Inside the central dining room, burgundy banquettes shine beneath Tiffany-style stained-glass lamps and vaulted ceilings marked with divots where Paul Bunyan famously bumped his head. To pair with these old-fashioned trappings, Sweet River's chefs take a modern slant on classic diner fare with sandwiches stuffed with ahi tuna and thin-sliced turkey and half-pound burgers bearing alfalfa sprouts and fresh avocado. A separate Mexican menu vies for palate popularity with sauce-slathered enchiladas, giant stuffed burritos, and sizzling fajitas with 8 ounces of steak or chicken. After polishing off the last morsel of new york strip, diners can peek into Sweet River's banquet room, where they'll discover a collection of antiques including fire-stoking equipment, vintage neon signs, and Louis Pasteur's very first milk mustache.
Dollops of homemade pico de gallo, guacamole, and red or green salsa crown many of the dishes served at Restaurante Los Gallos, showcasing the vibrant colors that hint at the bursting, bold flavors of authentic Mexican cuisine. Homemade chicken mole is a specialty of the restaurant—it’s made with chocolate, traditional spices, and lots of dried chilies—as are tacos and burritos, served “taco truck” style.
As a high-school student working at a local pizzeria, John Schnatter often pondered how he would do things differently if he owned such a business himself. After graduating from college in 1983, he got his chance, knocking down the broom closet in his father’s tavern to create his own pizza-delivery business. Since then Papa John’s Pizza has grown to 3,500 restaurants in 50 states and 29 countries. At each location, cooks cover the signature hand-tossed crusts, made with high-protein flour and clear, filtered water, with tomato sauce from vine-ripened California tomatoes, then pile on locally sourced ingredients such as green peppers and onions. The emphasis on fresh ingredients extends to the 100% mozzarella cheese, beef, and pork, which are never artificially inflated with fillers or undeserved compliments.
In addition to delivering pizzas, Papa John’s reaches out to the community with charity involvement, including partnering with the Boy Scouts of America and Junior Achievement to teach US students about entrepreneurship and the best method of capturing a wild roma tomato.
So successful were the three original Lamppost Pizza establishments that the eatery has grown to 37 locations since its inception in 1976. Friendliness and fun unite with the pizzeria's penchant for sports to make visits memorable. But as nice as big-screen TVs can be, the real magnetism of this haven for sauce and cheese lays in the pies spun in the kitchen. Beer and wine complement the menu, which also includes calzones, pastas, sandwiches, and grill fare such as burgers.
In the natural glow of large picture windows, Chinese and Thai rice and noodle dishes clatter on Chong's Cuisine tables. Curlicues of steam rise from shrimp, vegetables, and chicken, generously slathered in ginger and zesty szechuan sauce. Guests can quickly judge spiciness by spotting a tiny printed pepper beside hot menu items and an invisible picture of Harry Houdini beside mild ones.