Freezing Missouri winter winds howl outside Tropical Liqueurs' fogged-up windows, but inside, the atmosphere is decidedly beach-like. Palm trees and nautical knickknacks decorate the lively interior, but the true stars of this tropically themed watering hole are the frozen-drink dispensers, which churn with colorful, fruity potations. Bartenders load large styrofoam cups with potent slushies made from creative combinations of juices, liqueurs, and fruit purées. They rotate drink selections regularly, spotlighting a toasted-almond concoction one week—packed with coffee liquor, amaretto, and vanilla ice cream—and a daiquiri with fresh strawberries the next. Icy potations in hand, visitors turn their attention to games of pool or flat-screen televisions, which broadcast local sports games or horror movies where local sports games come to a temporary halt when the mascot turns out to be an actual tiger. During warmer months, visitors loll in the sun out on the wooden patio and enjoy the beverages that Inside Columbia hailed as a "Columbia staple" when it dubbed Tropical Liqueurs the Best Place for a Girls' Night Out in 2012.
Once a dining party slides into a smoky-blue booth under hanging green lights, it's not long before the group is joined by the stars of the evening??stuffed dishes of tandoori chicken and fish cured in the heat of a charcoal clay oven. Black-and-white portraits of historical figures look on with jealousy as patrons kiss scoops of vegetarian and lamb curry dishes, sopped up with warm naan or whole-wheat roti. Meals move from savory to sweet with fruity yogurt drinks and traditional Indian desserts such as the delicate dumplings of gulab jamun?spongy milky balls soaked in a rose-scented syrup with the same sugar content as a baby's giggle.
More than 36 pounds of honey go into each batch of Broadway Brewery's Organic Honey Wheat ale. Sure, the brewers take pride in their hoppy pale ales on tap, but they also enjoy playing with the full gamut of flavors from intense to sweet. For instance, the Jam Session IPA contains hints of mango and the medium-bodied copper APA features citrusy notes, while the Cherry Saison goes full-on fruity with a truckload of tart red cherries plopped into each batch. Dark beers are a specialty, too, the crown jewel perhaps being an Imperial Stout marked by notes of chocolate, toffee, and raisins, the diet of history's best-loved emperors.
Growing since 2009, the brewery's collection of more than 20 craft beers includes a wide range of flavor profiles friendly to both expert and novice, most of which are on tap at any given time in the restaurant. In line with their mission to provide accessible beer alongside high-quality food, the dining room at Broadway Brewery offers food pairings that mirror the brewers' ingenuity and love of local produce. ("?We produce much of what we sell,? co-owner and farmer Kenny Duzan told the Columbia Daily Tribune in 2009.) Entrees such as rabbit and dumplings, bison-steak pizza, and Wagyu-beef meatloaf locate the overlap between the homey and the exotic. Naturally, the beer finds its way into some of the dishes even when it's not indoor-softball night: for instance, beer butter melts into hominy cakes, and porter adds tang to a cheese sauce.
Broadway Brewery regularly hosts events including live bluegrass and jazz. Of course, the complex beer itself can be entertainment enough: Thursday Cask Nights open up a special cask-conditioned ale for drinking and discussion each week.
In a spacious dining room with large windows and trees growing in giant vases, visitors to Bangkok Gardens dine on Thai cuisine. Chefs prepare dishes such as Phat Thai, drunken noodles, and fried rice fresh each day, stir-frying vegetables and grains with a choice of beef, tofu, shrimp, and other proteins. They also prepare specialties like Moo Taud, slicing tenderized pork into thin layers to be deep-fried and served with spiced sweet and sour sauce. At a full bar, servers mix cocktails and pour wine to compliment meals.
Named by Inside Columbia magazine as the best place for yoga in 2011 and 2012, alleyCat Yoga's serene yoga sanctuary hosts daily classes for students of all ages. One of the studio's teachers, Susan Mathis, draws on the teachings of Swami Kripalu, a celebrated yogi often associated with the insightful practice known as "meditation in motion." To apply the practice, students progress through stages of relaxation, physical postures, and meditation to establish connections between the mind, body, and spirit.
The well-rounded team of certified instructors also leads classes rooted in their respective specialties, including Hatha yoga, the more intense Vinyasa tradition, and gentler yoga classes for students who've only interacted with downward-facing dogs while pet-sitting. Susan's branch of kid-friendly yoga, called Yoga to Grow, helps children as young as 20 months stretch their rapidly growing bodies and sparks imaginations with stories, games, and songs.
Cuisine Type: Modern global; American cuisine
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Number of Tables: 11?25
Parking: Parking garage
Most popular offering: Lobster mac 'n' cheese
Alcohol: Full bar
Delivery / Take-out Available: Yes
Outdoor Seating: Yes
Pro Tip: Please make your reservations ahead of time, we'll be happy to have your table reserved and ready.
Are there any dishes on the menu you consider to be a hidden gem?not necessarily the most popular, but surprisingly delicious?
Our scallops are amazing. Can't go wrong with the diablo shrimp and grits either.
D?cor can say a lot about the type of food a restaurant serves. How does your d?cor inform or reflect your culinary practice?
We have a comfortable, quaint, contemporary lounge setting, offering an upscale feel with a casual approach. We like to focus on the social dining aspect of eating out. Not stuffy, just well-executed.
In your own words, how would you describe your menu?
It's a global approach to modern American dining. Very eclectic, offering vegetarian and gluten free options, along with your traditional offerings in a not-so-traditional way. There's honestly a little bit of something for any palate.
Is there anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?
Large group and private parties are our specialty, we pack the house on a regular basis for birthdays and celebrations.