Barista Blues West styles itself after an Italian café, creating a place where guests can sip and dine as they catch up with old friends. From the early hours of the morning onward, the staff creates the fresh-baked goods, soup du jour, and deli sandwiches that come stocked with more layers of meat than a linebacker on an all-kebab football team. As guests savor their meals with a hot tea or a bubbly italian soda, they can socialize at a sunny table or watch musician Michael Angelo strum and sing on select evenings.
Tucked between the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Rivers, Battle Creek's natural landscape sprawls with more than 7,000 acres of parklands and glacial moraines. The Linear Park Pathway sets the stage for scenic jogging and rollerblading, as its course swings past the Battle Creek River as well as wooded areas, romantic gazebos, and fishing docks. Aside from its natural appeal, Battle Creek became a thriving milling town once Kellogg's and Post established the city as a cereal-empire headquarters and began hiring the world's most outspoken cartoon animals. Several sites pay homage to the city's history, including classic-car museums, historical churches, and monuments that honor Battle Creek's role as a stop on the Underground Railroad.
Housed in one of downtown Baltimore's oldest brick buildings, the Waterfront Hotel Restaurant offers a weekend brunch menu splashed with traditional southern flavors and deep-sea delights. Fatigued longshoremen can break their fast with a crab hash skillet ($17.95), while languid landlubbers can hunker down with a traditional 8-ounce steak-and-eggs platter ($13.95). Lunch or dinner at the Waterfront may begin with undersea treats such as ginger calamari ($9.95) or buttery mussels ($9.95). Slay a grumbling gut-Grendel with a fried oyster po' boy ($11.95), or contemplate the mystic duality of lunch over a sweet-and-savory turkey-brie quesadilla ($9.95). Evening entrees, served from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m, include the scampi (blackened shrimp, scallops, and crab over linguini, $16.95) and the honey chipotle pork chop with mac 'n' cheese ($14.95).
Mr. Don's, in business for nearly six decades, slings time-honored diner favorites, all cooked to order and augmented with homemade sauces and sides. Breakfast barons can lord over a respectable army of egg and pancake minions with one of Mr. Don's combos, which include coffee and a combination of fresh-from-the-griddle pancakes, eggs, toast, corned-beef hash, and more (starting at $2.59). Treat teeth to signature homemade biscuits and gravy that, unlike sitcom laughter, never comes from a can. The all-for-one breakfast sandwich piles a bounty of breakfast options onto a bready arc in a futile effort to escape early-morning salivary floods ($3.39).