Fresh milk, fruit purées, and healthy probiotics swim about in the swirls of yogurt that pump from The Great Yogurt Factory’s row of self-serve machines. As soon as guests peel their eyes away from the towering canisters of fruit, nuts, and candy bits—which range from chocolate bars to cheesecake bites—they can choose their preferred flavors from an extensive list of low-fat, nonfat, or sugarless yogurts and sorbets. Among the dozens of rotating flavors, triple chocolate and Italian-style tart join eclectic creations such as eggnog, watermelon sorbet, and peanut butter made the old-fashioned way—with freshly churned peanuts. Yogurt isn’t just a quick snack at the whimsical shop’s two locations, which also host children’s birthday parties and fundraisers.
During spring at Jones Orchard, families gather to bound through the territory’s rows of fruit, peeling back leaves to get at the ripest morsels hidden deep within the thicket. Since growing their first peaches more than seven decades ago, the Jones family continues to ripen juicy varieties of peaches, strawberries, and other fruit on their 600-acre farm, eschewing long-distance produce shipping for local distribution, mostly available at farmer’s markets and during the orchard’s pick-your-own fruit season. Inviting families to pick fruit together is one of many ways the Jones family lures visitors to their orchard seasonally—come autumn, the farmers transform the fields into a vast corn maze. Visitors not content to wander the idyllic grounds can enjoy the orchard’s bounty at the Country Café, where matriarch Juanita Jones flavors her fresh pies and preserves with fresh-plucked fruits.
Amidst burnished gold walls and soft lighting, Thai Bistro & Sushi's chefs use a palette of ginger, Thai basil, lemongrass, and chilies, painting a bouquet of aromas across the restaurant. Thin or wide rice noodles twine around chicken or shrimp in various sauces, and bamboo shoots and bell peppers float in coconut-milk curries, all perfumed with the range of spices. The spiciness of each dish can be adjusted to suit a palate sensitive to heat or a need to pretend to be crying at a third-grade production of Of Mice and Men. Inside the dining room, pieces of modern art, suspended statues, and images of Buddha punctuate the walls.
A rotating menu of comfort-food favorites, including chicken-fried steak and roast beef with gravy, bolsters the hearty bar fare at The Spot Restaurant & Entertainment Complex, helping to fuel evenings of live entertainment. Attendees 21 and older gather to catch live bands, DJs spinning tunes, and comedians making wry observations or facing their fear of microphones. During DJ sets, patrons can take a break from dancing in a private VIP room with bottle service or by starting a games of darts or pool.
A steady stream of servers constantly moves from the kitchen of Grand Pacific Buffet kitchen to the buffet serving station, where they replenish trays of sesame chicken, pepper steak, crispy egg rolls, and other Chinese cuisine classics. Diners can also load plates with assorted sushi rolls or, on certain occasions, unlimited helpings of succulent snow crab legs. Giant koi fish swim in an indoor pond, adding to the restaurant's Asian-inspired decor.
The cheerful family that birthed Guacamaya's prides itself on flavorful south-of-the-border fare that comes cooked to order. A favorite is the gargantuan El Zarape platter ($9.95), which sports a savory heap of broiled fajita meat, onions, and bell peppers draped with melted white cheese, rice, charro beans, and corn or flour tortillas. The tilapia fish tacos ($9.95) please the sea-slanted, and patrons harried by rigid taco and burrito algorithms may wish to try the pupusas ($7.99 for three), plump pancakes stuffed with a tasty cheese or pork center and served with smoky charro beans and any of the warm, zesty homemade salsas. Guacamaya’s gastronomic engineers prepare each item with tender care, and if they have the ingredients, they’ll whip up any plate your customizable heart desires. Thanks to a BYOB policy, you’re spared both the expense of drinks and the worry about a menu lacking bottled armadillo tears.