Near the tracks of Auburn's train terminal, The Station Bistro feeds the soul and appetite with hearty, homey meals that capture the brawny spirit of bygone conductors and brakemen. Four-egg omelets, piled-high burgers, lemon-kissed Alaskan cod, and juicy steaks alongside scoops of garlic mashed potatoes stand ready to sate hunger no matter the time of day. Leafy palms and potted trees shade diners at red-clad tables, and a mural depicting an 18th-century locomotive harks back to a time when engineers kept trains humming by feeding engines shovelfuls of Reubens.
Chicago Willy’s dishes up crowd favorites such as Chicago-style hot dogs, fries, shakes, salads, and specialty burgers. Chow down on the blue cheese burger caped in bacon, red onion mayo, and blue cheese crumbles ($5.69). Handmade onion rings ($2.99) buffer burgers and make elegant last-minute jewelry when a business lunch turns out to be a date. Diners can fork up a green salad crowned with grilled chicken ($5.29) or sink teeth into a classic Chicago dog, rendered windy with toppings such as mustard, onion, celery salt, hot peppers, and sweet relish ($3.39). Saccharine straw-fodder such as a peanut butter malt ($3.59) provides a vital post-meal cool-down, as does the Ice Storm ($2.19+), a frosty mix of soft-serve ice cream and pieces of candy or cookie. As they sip and munch, patrons bask in Chicago Willy’s laid-back atmosphere encompassed by murals of tropical cartoons, big-screen TVs, and a strict observance of the afternoon nap.
A backlit sign inside Trotters Family Restaurant depicts glowing images of ice cream scooped into ornamental glass dishes and decorated with chocolate syrup and cherries. Although the sign and the eatery's 1950s-style decor suggest an old-fashioned ice-cream parlor, not everything that comes from the kitchen is a dessert.
In the mornings, cooks griddle omelets with ingredients such as bay shrimp or italian sausage. Later in the day, they simmer made-from-scratch soups, charbroil new york strip steaks, and grill burgers made from beef, salmon, or veggies. With a spacious and welcoming ambiance, Trotters Family Restaurant is well suited for large groups such as sports teams or rogue conga lines wandering through town.
At Iron Horse Casino, chips clack down on the green felt tables as joyful tension builds over big poker hands and the adrenaline-infused table games unfolding throughout the casino. The onsite restaurant keeps bellies fed with a hearty menu of American fare, serving up breakfast meals all day long. Patrons can cure parched throats hoarse from cheering over a big win with cocktails, beer, and wine, and live entertainers may or may not infuse their routines with subliminal messages on how to always win at roulette.
Papa John's has been popping out perfectly personalized pies 'round the clock for more than 25 years—fleshing out its lineup of specialty pizzas with a munificent menu featuring an array of classic and complex versions. Traditionalists of Italian fare can indulge in the spicy italian with pepperoni, sausage, and invisible Da Vinci-shaped meat (a $16.99 value for a large), and more progressive pie enthusiasts may select the hawaiian barbecue-chicken pizza––a vacation-inducing amalgamation of grilled chicken, barbecue sauce, hickory-smoked bacon, onions, and pineapple (a $16.99 value). Choose to indulge a creative culinary streak by designing a large Create Your Own pizza, selecting up to five toppings from an arsenal of dough accessories, including ham, banana peppers, and artichoke hearts (up to a $20.94 value). Like a bangin’ club or especially bangin’ fireplace store, Papa John's stays open late, making it an opportune eatery for impromptu pajama jams and uncontrollable sleep-feasting.
In 1988, Auntie Anne's founders Anne and Jonas Beiler purchased a Pennsylvania farmers'-market stand, where they experimented with dough until they created a pretzel that seemed to strike the perfect chord with their customers. Today, at their more than 1,150 locations worldwide, the pretzel makers still hand roll the original recipe but have added to the menu with inventive options, such as the pepperoni pretzel and eight signature dipping sauces. The team constantly explores new uses for the pretzel dough, such as wrapping it around hot dogs, slicing it into bite-size nuggets, or using it to build historically accurate Austrian villages. To transform the snack into a meal, they accompany it with specialty drinks, including frozen-lemonade desserts.
When not twisting dough, Auntie Anne's team partners with the national charitable organization Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, which raises funds to fight childhood cancer. Auntie Anne's also reaches out to the community through fundraising opportunities.
Attached to the expansive sunny greens and rustic slate buildings of the Auburn Golf Course, Copper Falls Restaurant offers glimpses of woods and water hazards with meals of seared salmon, grilled sirloin burgers, and fettuccine primavera. Guests soak in the sun on the open-air patio, taking in breathtaking views of fairways, ponds, and wild herds of golf carts as they sample beef stroganoff and club sandwiches. Inside, glass chandeliers and huge windowpanes cast warm light over cozy, semicircular booths and colorful flower arrangements. Wedding guests celebrate in Copper Falls' comfortable banquet space with two private dining rooms, an outdoor reception area, and a private deck overlooking the 18th hole.