Grilling within the walls of a historic firehouse, the culinary artists at Two Steps utilize an assorted palette of fresh ingredients to create an imaginative menu of American cuisine with colorful splashes of Southwestern, Caribbean, and Cajun influences. A pitcher of Coors Light ($12) quells the fires of the sweet and spicy Jamaican jerk chicken ($13.95) served with rice pilaf and fresh vegetables, while the grilled filet mignon ($18.95) provides elegance to an empty stomach like a Victorian armoire in a college dorm room. See the full menu online for more details and prices.
The Mad Hatter Restaurant and Tap Room piles plates with hat-themed burgers and ample entrees of bistro cuisine. The Stetson burger slathers onion rings and cheddar cheese with barbecue sauce ($8.95), whereas the Top Hat burger outfits its 6-ounce patty with layers of candied bacon, cheddar, and veggies ($8.95) before scooting up to a side of hand-cut fries. Guests can launch meals with a trebuchet in the parking lot or opt to order starters such as deep-fried cheese ravioli ($5.95). Bread and a small house salad herald the arrival of every entree, including the pan-seared market-fresh whitefish with mango salsa ($14.95) and the double-stuffed pork chops ($14.95), which stow a blend of bread crumbs, sausage, and herbs in their savory clasp.
In 1983 Nord Brue and Mike Dressell decided that it didn't matter how far Burlington, Vermont was from New York City; no distance was too great to limit their access to New York-style bagels. So they spent 2.5 years apprenticing with a professional bagel baker from the city until they mastered the technique. Once they were comfortable with their skills and had accepted that it doesn't actually hurt the bagel to bite it, they opened their first Bruegger's Bagels, a casual bakery and café. Today, they have more than 300 eateries across the United States and Canada, each hawking freshly baked bagels, cream cheeses, sandwiches, coffee, and desserts.
You know you have a popular menu item when more than 20,000 of it gets ordered every week. At T.K.'s American Cafe, that menu item is its wings. The restaurant's specialty is offered in 52 different sauces, which range from no spice to so hot the devil himself can't stomach it. The wings pair well with the 40 beers on hand and the sports events flickering on 30 HDTVs.
Founded back in 1977 by the progenitor of Atari and Pong, Chuck E. Cheese continues to entertain families with prize arcades, rides, and animatronic musical performances while lining bellies with signature pizzas. Large pizzas crafted with 100% real cheese and signature sauce shell out 12 slices topped in a choice of meat such as pepperoni or sausage, or classic veggies such as green pepper or mushrooms. Meanwhile, health-conscious parents or rabbit chaperones can tuck into a bountiful harvest at the salad bar. While engaged in chow-down, guests glue their eyes to the stage for an animatronic variety show featuring Chuck himself as well as vocalist Helen Henny and the string-slapping strums of hound dog Jasper T. Jowls. Refueled kiddies jog into the arcade for ticket-spurting video games and simulator rides as tinier tots climb through Skytubes in the Toddler Zone. After a day of gaming, guests redeem their mounds of tickets at the prize counter for plush animals and retired game tokens featuring our nation's favorite former cartoon presidents.
Owners Aura Showah and Douglas Waterbury attribute the success of Widow Brown's Cafe, which has been in business for more than 35 years, to culinary consistency, a family-friendly ambiance, and an eclectic menu that has earned the eatery a feature in the News-Times. While two-handing a burger or steaming sandwich, patrons can peruse the chalkboard around the fully stocked bar for a list of weekly events, such as trivia, karaoke, and raucous tax-preparation luaus. Wooden wall panels glow in the light of wall-mounted TVs as forks venture south for American comfort fare or globetrot with Asian-, Irish-, and Italian-inspired dishes. As frozen drinks or draft beers chill boothside, diners can bust billiards at one of the café's pool tables or surf the café's free WiFi for instructional videos on how to correctly execute robot dance moves.