Dan’l Boone Inn, first firing up its griddles more than 50 years ago, caters to connoisseurs of comfort fare with a fixed menu of Southern staples served up family style. Soup or salad kicks off each all-you-can-eat dinner, paving the way for hearty heapings of fried chicken and country-style steak (up to $15.95 depending on age, free for children younger than 3). Between bites, tongue dive into a slew of flavorsome sidekicks that include coleslaw, country-ham biscuits, and fresh stewed apples. A delectable dessert then acts as the coda to a homestyle spread fit for the patron saint of the South, Elvis Faulkner himself.
The zipline at Vance Toe River Lodge zigzags through Plumtree's lush canopies, sending tour-goers on three-hour airborne adventures. After masking their appearance with helmets, harnesses, and gloves to ease ziplines' innate fear of humans, zippers travel across the 11 cables and four sky bridges that run through the forest's tallest topiaries. Along the way, guides enlighten patrons to the ecosystem that surrounds them, the underground mining system that sits beneath them, and the 5,500-foot height that separates danglers from the distant sea. Complimentary lunch at the Lodge Cafe after the trip awaits morning zip-liners unwilling to barter with squirrels for their acorn stockpiles and afternoon groups to fill up on food to give them energy prior to taking off.
The Gamekeeper Restaurant offers modern mountain cuisine in an elegantly rustic setting featuring in-house smoked meats, wild game, fish and vegetables prepared over a wood-fired grill. Most food is indigenous to the area and only the freshest offerings from local farmers, cheese makers and mushroom growers are used.
Pepper’s Restaurant keeps locals and visitors satisfied with a hearty dinner menu of fish, meats, and pasta. At the sound of the dinnertime didgeridoo, the rainbow trout ($18.95) provides hearty satisfaction and the parmesan crusted meatloaf ($12.95) insulates stomachs against stray cannonballs. All entrees can be sided with a caesar salad, a cup of soup, or a little culinary creativity at the salad bar. A dessert of sour-cream apple pie ($4.50) or Oreo Supreme brownie ($5.50) ends the meal on a happy note no matter how often your first date loses track of his or her pet tarantula.
Louisiana Purchase Food and Spirits' Creole and Cajun twists on upscale, seasonal steakhouse offerings garnered a Three Diamond rating from AAA. Open a menu to begin a meal-journey with baked oysters, which make room in their half shells for pancetta and spinach before being topped with a gruyere canopy ($12). The mumbo gumbo a embellishes a traditional mix of chicken, okra, and andouille sausage with seasoned rice and a topping of gumbo ﬁlé powder ($8), and the salad of exotic greens supports house-made boursin cheese encapsulated in crispy kataifi dough, roasted mixed nuts, and walnut vinaigrette ($10). For a meaty entree, avail taste buds of the New York strip ($28), complementing sizzling Angus beef with strategically plated garlic mashed potatoes, haricot verts, and green peppercorn sauce. The blackened fish Bourbon Street brings the lively atmosphere of its namesake to the menu, topped with sautéed crawfish tail meat, shallots, and green onions in étouffée sauce and finished with a choice of béarnaise, capers, or a rollicking tale of the capers of the ‘85 Bears ($23).
When The Town Tavern's 14 flatscreen TVs all broadcast the same football game, its patrons are immersed in the sounds of the stadium—so much so that they might feel as if they were at the game themselves. Of course, the laid-back sports bar ensures guests can kick back and relax in one of their booths even when sports events aren’t playing. Live bands belt out popular tunes on select nights, and on other evenings, patrons can try their hand at playing rockstar with karaoke. Every day of the week, guests can kick off arcade games and trivia contests at their table by requesting a Buzztime gaming device by asking a server or shouting out the 22nd president's secret middle name.
Like any respectable bar, the Town Tavern pours out brews from Miller and Yuengling to Rolling Rock. The menu features classic pub fare, from loaded nachos to meatball subs. Chefs dress half-pound burgers with ladles of chili and slaw, and flavor wings with more than a dozen sauces or rubs, including smokey honey mustard and thai red chili.