In more than one way, Steve and Debbye Greer’s marriage brought about a new chapter in their lives. Not long after the wedding bells had ceased to ring—within a day, actually—the newly minted couple opened up The Concord Grill. More than 24 years after that fateful day, they continue to flip 40 varieties of burgers and stack up meaty sandwiches on a menu of hearty American staples—only now, they do so with two children by their side.
Taking cues from the jet with which the restaurant shares its name, half-pound burgers fly fresh off the grill, donning creative toppings that range from hash browns to port-wine cheddar. French bread, sourdough, or kaiser rolls come loaded with savory fillings such as breaded pork tenderloin and catfish, joined by hearty, country-style sides, including pickled cucumbers, house-made potato salad, and baked beans. A lineup of Pepsi products, pink lemonade, and iced tea washes down beefy bites and yields an unlimited number of refills for an unlimited number of spit takes.
After walking through a tomato-red foyer ornamented with framed photos and restaurant reviews, diners at Roberto's Trattoria enter an elegant dining room segmented by columned archways and enclosed by gold-stippled walls. Owner Roberto Zanti chats up guests as he walks around the restaurant, checking the quality of his hearty pastas and herb-encrusted steaks. Guests can pair these Italian entrees with selections from an expansive wine list, which supplies more than 15 wines by the glass and more than 65 by the bottle. While noshing on a tasty bruschetta crostini, guests can treat themselves to a glass of sparkling wine or impress a date by pushing a spoon all the way inside a bottle of sparkling wine.
Pizza isn't the only attraction at America's Incredible Pizza Company—families are drawn to its go-kart track, laser tag, and glow-in-the-dark mini-golf course. But the entertainment center's expansive buffet is quite the draw in and of itself, featuring more than 100 items and centering on pizza, including original, thin, and deep-pan crust (gluten-free upon request) crowned with more than 30 types of toppings. Verdant greens and freshly made dressings await visitors at the popular salad bar, and the baked-potato station comes with every necessity for side-dish construction, from cheese to the bacon bits from which bacon is built. A variety of sauces enliven the buffet’s fettuccine and spaghetti noodles, and other homestyle include hot dogs and frito pie.
In the indoor adventure park, meanwhile, gamers zip around a track in two varieties of go-karts—the stock-car speed and the slower Busch speed—as announcers report each turn. Visitors also can instigate harmless car crashes in the bumper-car area or spend five frames toppling pins during mini bowling.
The team at JitterSwing Dance Clubs constantly assures their clients that “JitterSwing is our name ... it is not a Dance.” Thanks to film and music videos, swing dance conjures images of acrobatics and leaping bodies, but JitterSwing’s instructors are popular for their approachable St. Louis Imperial style, which is slower-paced and accessible to students of any age. They lead couples and singles through group and private sessions that cover many other types of swing dance as well as country two-step, the cha-cha, and the river waltz. Partners preparing for a wedding dance can take advantage of private lessons, and youths aged 10–16 are invited to the juniors program. In addition to the multiple locations where instructors conduct their sessions, JitterSwing staff members also come out to private events to instruct guests of all ages.
When founders J. Kim Tucci, Joseph A. Fresta, and John P. Ferrara first opened The Pasta House Co. in 1974, they wanted to elevate pasta to an art form. “Some artists sculpt, some paint, and some sketch,” they write on the restaurant’s website. “But, at The Pasta House Co., we create authentic Italian culinary delights.” A few of the locations even have giant, exhibition kitchens so you can watch as pizzas, pastas, and entrees come to life.
Naturally, The Pasta House Co.’s menu revolves around the Italian staple from which it gets its name. There are more than 25 varieties of pasta to choose from, including linguine with chicken livers and the signature lasagna, plus weekday specials such as stuffed manicotti. Meanwhile, the mangia bene menu—which translates to “eat well” in Italian—showcases the more wholesome side of Italian eating, with dishes low in fat and calories that won’t peer pressure you to break curfew.
Upper Deck Sports Bar expertly entertains thirsty sports-cravers with daily drink specials, 35 HDTV’s, pool tables, and darts. Brimming with intoxicating liquids, the sports bar dishes out bottled and bucketed beer augmented by a kaleidoscope of cocktails. Juicy chicken wings ($5.99) satiate famished taste buds with hot, mild, teriyaki, hot mustard, and traditional BBQ flavors. The spicy Italian combo sandwich is packed with Genoa salami, smoked ham, pepperoni, and cheese ($5.99). Ward off lactose-intolerant zombies with the deluxe pizza ($12.99), a thin crust concealed by mozzarella, then topped with Italian sausage, fresh mushrooms, onions, green peppers, and strips of bacon. Sip a brew on the sports sanctuary’s cozy leather couches and catch the worm charming championships on the wall-to-wall flat screen televisions.