Smokin' Jim's House of Barbecue smokes ribs, pork, beef, and chicken and dishes out its menu alongside breads and comfort food side dishes. Juicy ribs celebrate elongated barbecue arts ($11.50 for four ribs), and all-you-can-eat pork ($12.55) tests the limits of human stomachs and the world's supply of cumin. Beef brisket plates ($12.55) and half-chicken plates ($10.45) arrive with a fleet of bread and two sides, such as potato salad, lima beans, or mac 'n' cheese. Partner a tangy entree with sips of a soft drink ($2.25) or beer ($2.75 per glass or $14 for a five-person bucket), which liquidly counterpoint the savory cuisine onslaught. Diners may carry their barbecue bounties away with them, nibble fresh air on the outdoor patio, or park posteriors in the wood-paneled dining room.
Winners of Polk County News Chief's 2007 People's Choice award, Auburndale Pizza Company’s pie flingers toss together eclectic specialty-pizza combinations from a choice of four sauce bases and more than 20 meat and vegetable toppings. Sweet barbecue sauce swathes beef and bacon, welded by mozzarella and cheddar cheese in the BBQ Pizza Feast ($5.75 per slice for all specialty pizzas). Annette's Favorite Veggie binds garden denizens including green pepper, spinach, and tomato with enough ricotta and mozzarella to ensure the veggies don't grow up, run away, and join the salad. Customers tap into alchemical aspirations with a personally designed make-your-own pizza ($10.55+, $1.50 per topping), or boycott bread with Annette's No-Crust Pizza ($5.75 for up to 5 toppings), a 7-inch tin-baked amalgamation that forgoes dough for sauce and toppings lashed together with mozzarella latticework.
Inside its quaint converted home with a shady, trellis-topped patio overlooking a yard of lush flowers, Sweet Magnolias Tea Bistro meticulously prepares tea services, light entrees, and desserts in a serene atmosphere. An expertly curated menu includes seasonal scones with devonshire cream ($4.95 for six), which complement gourmet coffees and teas ($2.99/pot). Dainty, tiered trays ($16.95/person) teem with afternoon-tea spreads of fruit, miniature croissant sandwiches, scones, and desserts. The Coach's chicken salad sandwich ($9.95) dashes across a bed of greens to punt grapes through almond salad goalposts for an extra point. Smoked turkey and walnuts join a medley of strawberries, dried cherries, and other fruits in the house salad ($9.95), and the Windsor's black-forest ham and cheese comes baked within a pinwheel pastry and served with a glistening crown of blackberry preserves ($9.95).
Pure Magic dazzles palates and bulbus oculi alike with flash-frozen ice cream created fresh in front of its customers. Cream cravers commence their culinary quest by selecting one of five base flavors, including vanilla and honey cinnamon. Next, dessert sculptors can draft either three or unlimited toss-ins, such as butterscotch, cookie dough, and coconut ($5/three, $6/unlimited). The ice cream is then flash frozen with the fifth major food group—liquid nitrogen—to create a smooth and creamy texture that tantalizes taste-happy tongues. Like epicurean compasses and pocket-size Ouija boards, Pure Magic's popular-combinations list helps steer choice-smothered consumers toward a smile-inducing synergy of flavors, sporting treat titles such as cinnamon and pecans, Almond Joy, and raspberry fudge.
BubbaChuck's specializes in Southern barbecue, stuffing growling gullets with slow-smoked meats and sides prepared using homemade rubs and sauces. The menu fires up taste buds with the signature barbecue eggrolls, a mix of pork and slaw shrouded in an eggroll wrapper and deep-fried ($4.95). A bevy of sandwiches served on texas toast, including pulled pork ($5.55) and sliced brisket ($6.55), busy chompers as eyes ogle the green walls of the cozy casual dining room.