In production since 1988, Mackintosh Fruit Farm introduces city slickers to country life with seasonal crops available for handpicking and a meandering corn maze. Harvesting hands can make their way through rows of ginger gold, gala, golden delicious, york, and fuji apples, filling containers with up to eight pounds of potential pie-fillers or impressing dates by playing catch with squirrels. Couples may alternatively opt to adopt a newborn pumpkin from Mackintosh's patch to serve as protective porch guardians during late-October monster invasions, then find their way through a maze of corn, where seven game and activity stations entertain along the way. The corn maze takes most people an hour to navigate, though delays can result from sightings of a translucent James Earl Jones.
In 1993, a few entrepreneurs transformed the basement of a Minneapolis apartment building into an Italian restaurant. It became the first Buca di Beppo. The owners of that inaugural location soon found themselves riding a wave of popularity and marinara sauce as they opened new restaurants across the nation. Today, the eatery occupies 99 locations nationwide, from downtown San Francisco to Times Square, New York.
At each location, chefs maintain the northern and southern Italian flavors that made the original so popular, adding only a few American twists. They also supply family-style servings, which help make Buca di Beppo a favorite place for families and friends to gather in large, hungry groups. The chefs bake up batches of Cheesy Bread Florentine, a colorful combo of spinach, roma tomatoes, and garlic sprinkled over Italian bread and sealed in place with fresh, melted cheeses. For entr?es, they prepare dishes with an eye toward quantity, both of portion and choice; they whip up Veal Parmigiana, Baked Ziti, and classic Italian-American staples like Ravioli and Lasagna. And in keeping with the convivial atmosphere, they also serve truly decadent desserts. Their Mt. Vesuvius Dark Chocolate Cake erupts with melted chocolate, and their Colossal Brownie Sundae towers with six scoops of ice cream and tiers of sundae trimmings.
At The Cajun Experience, chefs bring a taste of southern Louisiana to Virginia. They take a thoughtful approach to the region's cuisine, making their own duck sausage in-house and importing fresh oysters from Pine Isle before shucking them and serving them on the half shell. And it wouldn't be a true Cajun experience without crawfish boils, which feature live crawfish harvested from Louisiana's waters.
The chefs whip up classics such as fried catfish, beignets, and po-boys, as well, but they also show a creative flair with signature dishes such as blackened shrimp tossed in lemon-champagne vinaigrette. These Cajun eats pair with tasty libations, which patrons sip while enjoying traditional Louisiana pastimes, including listening to live music and riding on a bucking 'gator.
The Coach and Horses Tea Room is to the restaurant, as a bed and breakfast is to the hotel. They present over 52 high quality teas from around the globe and dishes that are prepared by hand freshly on a daily basis. The tea room's decor provides an authentic colonial experience, with ornate rugs, patterned china, and hand-stenciled walls. Its colonial-style exterior has barely changed from its original construction in the 1790s. The original log walls and plank flooring have stood the test of time, contributing to the building's placement on the National Registry of Historic Places by the US Department of the Interior.
In 1988, Auntie Anne's founders Anne and Jonas Beiler purchased a Pennsylvania farmers' market stand, where they experimented with dough until they created a pretzel that seemed to strike the perfect chord with their customers. Today, at their more than 1,500 locations worldwide, the pretzel makers still hand roll the original recipe but have added to the menu with inventive options, such as the Pepperoni Pretzel and eight signature dipping sauces. The team constantly explores new uses for the pretzel dough, such as wrapping it around hot dogs or slicing it into bite-size nuggets. To transform the snack into a meal, they accompany it with specialty drinks, including Frozen Lemonade Mixers.
When not twisting dough, Auntie Anne's team partners with the national charitable organization Alex?s Lemonade Stand Foundation, which raises funds to fight childhood cancer. They also reach out to local communities through fundraising opportunities.
Chefs infuse robust flavors into hand-tossed pizza, piquant pasta, and other traditional Italian entrees on The Grotto Restaurant’s extensive lunch and dinner menus. In the pomodoro pasta fini pasta splashes in a sea of freshly diced tomatoes, feta cheese, and fragrant basil alongside freshly baked bread ($13.99). The Sonny's signature, gourmet crab-cakes dish soaks jumbo lumps of white crab meat in a lagoon of cream sherry sauce ($24.99). The culinary crew also hand-tosses 12-inch pizzas ($11.99–$12.99) topped with sausage, feta cheese, mushrooms, and other savories to round off the menu's savory selection and incite envy in neglected baseballs.