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.
Big Apple Bagels' menu warms bellies with sandwiches crafted from homemade bagels and bread. The extensive selection of sandwiches includes the gourmet Mediterranean Veg-Out, which pairs a choice of hummus or cream cheese with a heap of veggies worthy of a farmer's safety deposit box ($5.25–$5.29). The three tiers of the clubhouse, a sky-high piling of roast turkey, baked ham, and swiss cheese, are latticed with lettuce, tomato, and mayo ($7.49). The breakfast B.L.T. explodes with its namesake fillings and a corona of cream cheese ($3.49–$4.49). Surprise coworkers with a dozen bagels ($8.39) or use the flour circles for your Barbies' annual hula-hoop tournament.
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).
Evencio Sanchez grew up on a coffee farm in Colombia and opened Mexicali Restaurant in 1983, fulfilling his lifelong dream of owning a business. To prepare the restaurant's traditional Colombian and Mexican fare, Sanchez's cooks follow family recipes that have been passed down through generations and certified as delicious by a committee of petulant children. Appetizers, such as creamy guacamole, are served with house-made tortilla chips. Mexicali's chefs draw from fresh ingredients and can add a fiery zest to most entrees with jalapeño and poblano peppers.