Red and green racing stripes cut across the dining room walls of Mazarella, as if prophesying the uncanny speed of the pizzeria’s skilled chefs. Overseeing the action are owner Craig Padgett and his wife Michelle, who have owned Mazerella’s for more than 12 years, populating Southern Indiana with handmade pizzas available for dine-in, carryout, or delivery. As patrons slide into the marinara-red chairs, wooden fan blades waft aromas of hearty pastas and signature butter breadsticks into noses. Gooey pies erupt from the kitchen in several signature varieties, crowned by the legendary Big Z, with 15 toppings in all. During lunch, the restaurant’s popular buffet gives customers the chance to mix together dissimilar tastes, such as cinnamon sticks, salad, and napkin shreds.
"We don't want to be your dental office—we want to develop a lifelong friendship," says the staff at Skees Family Dentistry, where Dr. Dawn Skees leads a team in caring for patients during all stages of life. Her practice's mission statement prizes patient comfort, fostering anxiety-free dentistry through an unhurried pace and step-by-step communication—whether cleaning chompers, straightening smiles with ClearCorrect aligners, or performing oral surgery. Dr. Skees believes in educating patients to take better care of their teeth, even sharing her expertise over the airwaves as the exclusive dentist on the Body Talk radio show on 970 AM WGTK.
Black and red patio umbrellas flutter in the wind in Down River Bar & Grill’s enclosed beer garden as staffers ferry foam-topped brews, burgers, pizzas, and other classic American pub fare to each table. Inside, bartenders shake cocktails and pour brews behind the mirror-paneled bar, which reflects patrons as they dance, toast, and practice épée with cocktail swords beneath strings of twinkling lights every day of the week. Live music performances, occasionally with accompanying light shows, join pool tournaments, Wednesday-night karaoke, and special events such as the Down River Bar & Grill Idol singing competition on the eatery’s entertainment roster. The grill also hosts benefits for veterans’ groups, relief funds, and other local causes.
Situated amidst 80 acres of rolling countryside, Chateau de Pique Winery hosts wine tastings inside a fully restored, 19th-century horse barn. Glasses swirl handcrafted wines such as bold, dry reds, Late Harvest Riesling, buttery Chardonel, and juicy Peach Bum. In warmer months, a 6,500-square-foot tent accommodates up to 350 guests during special events, and two satellite tasting rooms provide sips in Indianapolis and Clarksville year-round.
Old-World street lamps light a path towards Cricket's Café, a red-brick eatery brimming with Tuscan-inspired decor and the aromas of gourmet café fare. The design for the restaurant started at the owner's table, where she and her husband sketched a layout with indoor and outdoor seating, including three meeting rooms with high-def projectors. Throughout each of these areas, waiters carry plates loaded with breakfast items, sandwiches, and specialty drinks. The café pros can also transport their comestibles to casual office parties or formal debutante balls held in bouncy castles with catering service.
Connected by an asphalt web of highways, state roads, and thoroughfares, blocky yellow signs gleam nonstop, casting a dandelion glow from the words “Waffle House.” The booths at the eateries fill 24 hours each day with the aromas of sizzling pork chops, Jimmy Dean sausage, and endless mugs of coffee. Line cooks brown shredded potatoes on a grill as waiters shout back in a language all their own for hash browns “smothered,” “covered,” or “topped”—served with onions, cheese, or chili, respectively. Angus burgers and steak melts share space on the rippling-hot surface at all times of day, allowing tired drivers to stop for food when they are on a long journey or just listening to an 11-hour drum solo on the radio. The first Waffle House switched on its lights in 1955, and some menu items still bear the names of Waffle House staff of the past, including Bert's chili from Dallas and Alice's iced tea.