Beyond Artisan Bakeworks and Cafe’s crimson awning, chefs sizzle inventive breakfast offerings, while sandwich experts construct savory bread stacks around deli meats and zesty vegetables. Bowls welcome cascading soups, which change daily in accordance with the alignment of the cosmos or glow-in-the dark stars on the ceiling. While oven-warm paninis nourish bodies and hot Seattle's Best coffee heats up chilly palates, free WiFi allows diners to fuel their minds with highbrow literary criticism and higher-brow videos of cats reading the New Yorker. The café serves specials each weekday and promotes salutary dining habits with a roster of healthy choices.
The oven admirals at Straw Hat Pizza bake an extensive fleet of California-style pizza and conjure up an impressive menu of other handheld edibles. The kitchen team prepares each crust to pack a flaky, crispy, crunch-causing texture, creating a sturdy foundation capable of supporting cheese, sauce, toppings, and hardbound copies of Mark McGwire's autobiography. A chicken-bacon-ranch pizza saturates taste-sensory apparatuses with a dual-meat format and a vegetable cast of tomatoes and red onions, and the aloha chicken merges chicken, ham, pineapple, and bacon on a highway of barbecue and red sauce (each $12.99 for a 10"). Vegetarians can imbibe the windfall of grown ingredients that fill out the large California veggie pie—a conference of zucchini, broccoli, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, spices, and white sauce ($12.99 for a 10"). Straw Hat Pizza also puts together an impressive roster of hot sandwiches, such as the sauce-packed meatball version ($5.49).
Majestic views of the Eastern Sierra Nevada and local rolling foothills greet tee-tackers from the get-go at the scenic Eagle Valley, where their winding spread of two 18-hole courses present various challenges for all skill sets. Their 50 Mile Club pass affords linksters a bevy of benefits including a round of golf with a cart on their picturesque West Course or East Course, ideal places to reenact the east vs. west golf battles seen on MTV in the 1990s. An additional bonanza of four drink tokens, four driving range tokens, advanced tee times, and discounts on lessons, future rounds, merchandise, are all available, as are discounts at the range (see full description and pricing here and daily golf rates here.
Just as Thomas Edison stumbled through useless prototypes of light bulbs and movie cameras before perfecting the phonograph, the alchemists at Qdoba Mexican Grill took 47 attempts before landing on the franchise's signature blend of three cheeses, known simply as queso. That attention to detail still pervades every aspect of the menu, as employees spend hours each day chopping, dicing, and simmering the fresh ingredients that find their way into burritos, taco salads, and grilled quesadillas. Beyond the marinated bites of chicken, beef, and pork and hand-crafted tortillas, cooks protect their ripe, fragile avocados from harm by smashing them into batches of fluffy guacamole.
Veteran restaurateur Randy Schoch began his career as a part-time busboy and frequent surfer in Hawaii, rising through the ranks to become the owner of Desert Island Restaurants. In 2006, he added Ling & Louie's Asian Bar and Grill to his portfolio of original creations and franchises, creating a menu that imaginatively fuses Asian and American cuisine and penning a fictional story of epic romance featuring the eatery's titular characters.
The legend of Ling and Louie's continent-spanning romance is reflected in the flavors of the restaurants dishes such as seared Ahi tuna tacos or Beijing duck sliders. These fusion eats top tables within a funky dining room, where exposed brick walls and raw wooden rafters meld with bright paint. Along the tops of the walls run funny and inspiring quotes attributed to the restaurant's fictional founders, where they declare things such as, "Cooking is 90% physical, and the other half is mental."
In 2009, the first Sweet Frog shop opened in Richmond. Owner Derek Cha’s mission was simple: to brighten his customers’ days with healthy desserts served in a lively shop that featured not one, but two cartoon mascots. That first shop has since grown into an international business with more than 100 locations—including an outpost in South Korea. Though much larger today, Sweet Frog has stayed true to its original mission. 14 flavors of frozen yogurt swirl from each shop’s pumps, and a toppings bar with freshly cut berries, hot fudge, and tiny cups filled with even more yogurt gives customers all the options they could ask for.
Sequestered in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, David Walley’s 1862 Restaurant and Saloon centers around its seven natural, hot mineral springs and pools. During winter months, guests lounge in the bubbling pools and take in panoramic views of snowcapped peaks. David Walley’s is also home to its eponymous restaurant, with menu of casual fine-dining dishes that complement a wine list noted for earning Wine Spectator's Award of Excellence in 2012. Entrees include grilled swordfish on horseradish mashed potatoes, and braised lamb shank on saffron-orzo pasta. Around the resort, world-class skiing routes host dozens of snowboarders and skiers, with hundreds of miles of snowmobiling, hiking and mountain bike trails. In summer, hot-air ballooning, wakeboarding, and water skiing are favorite pastimes while guides lead horseback sojourns through the many nearby trails.