In 1996, the Pro Billiards Tour declared Jimmy Wetch to be the fifth-best billiards player in the world. Now, the pro circulates among the 20 emerald felt plots at Jimmy's Pro Billiards, chatting with fellow billiards enthusiasts. At 9-foot and 7-foot Diamond and Gold Crown tables, players sink colorful spheres, and snooker tables encourage them to yell “snooker” as loud as they can. The staccato snap of the cue against a ball rhythmically fills the 10,000 feet of airy, high-ceilinged space. In the kitchen, the staff slices deli meats and pairs hand-pattied burgers with hand-cut french fries and beers with manually placed bubbles.
Meet meatless merrymaking with today's Groupon: $35 worth of vegetarian and vegan Indian cuisine for $15 at Nalapak Indian Restaurant in Columbia Heights. Nalapak used to be Udupi, the consistently delicious chutney and curry favorite. It reopened in 2006 under new management, and Mpls.St.Paul Magazine says Nalapak's authentic Indian fare is on par with Udupi's, that is, "as good as these traditional [foods] get."
Jalsa Indian Fast Food transports diners on an aromatic journey through many regions of India with an authentic menu of traditional street fare. Diners collect several snack-sized dishes, or chaat, to construct an eclectic meal. Use your teeth or a matchbox-sized oil rig to drill into the warm potato core beneath an aloo vada morsel's chickpea-batter crust ($1.35), or free lentils and spicy scents from the interior of a deep-fried kachori ($1.35). Eaters can also opt for a single large entree such as classic chicken tikka masala ($7.99), a creamy curry with rice escorted to tables by brooding paratha bread or a corsage-bearing piece of roti.
Originally opened as the Top Hat Drive-In in 1953, Sonic has grown into a burger-franchise mecca that today operates out of 3,500 locations across the country, making it the nation’s largest chain of drive-in restaurants. Sonic specializes in made-to-order American classics—including burgers, hot dogs, milk shakes, and marshmallow Ford Thunderbolts—which customers order and receive without ever having to leave their cars. Unique menu items include toaster sandwiches stacked on thick slices of texas toast, as well as the brand’s signature tots and fresh limeades.
Sonic’s numerous awards include a 2011 Zagat survey ranking it among the top five fast-food restaurants in three categories: Best Value Menu, Best Milk Shake, and Best Drive-Thru. The benevolent eatery has also donated more than $2 million to public schools throughout the country through their program Limeades for Learning, which helps to fund educational projects and retirement plans for classroom guinea pigs.
More than 50 years go, Mike Ilitch was poised for major-league glory. An up-and-coming shortstop for the Detroit Tigers, his baseball finesse was blossoming when an injury derailed his sports career. But although the wound stunted his athletic aspirations, it steered him toward a new path, and on May 8, 1959, he and his wife opened the first Little Caesars location, a then-unheard-of carry-out-only joint. The career shift and novel technique eventually proved triumphant. Today, the pizzeria's iconic, toga-clad mascot adorns storefronts on five continents. In each shop, staffers forge the signature Hot-N-Ready pizza, a freshly baked pizza designed for instant pickup, and warm, garlicky Crazy bread. With a storied half-century under their belt, Mike Ilitch and his family strive to give back, supporting local organizations and creating their own charitable programs.
Although horses are the star athletes of Running Aces Harness Park, summer sulky races and simulcast wagering are only two parts of the park's business. The park's warm Vegas-style card room evokes the high-rolling excitement of the Strip with live rounds of blackjack, pai gow, and Texas Hold 'Em held 24/7. The card room also hosts daily poker tournaments with numerous buy-in levels, letting players show off their best card know-how without requiring a big investment.
After trying their luck, many players eat celebratory meals at The Winner's Circle, taking advantage of daily specials including Friday's all-you-can-eat fish fry, Saturday's all-you-can-eat prime rib, and Sunday's brunch. In addition to gaming, Running Aces hosts family-friendly entertainment with monthly comedy shows, hypnotist demonstrations, and seasonal events.