Neon beer signs cast blue, green, and red light across the black ceiling, and tables populate with okra, mushrooms, and cauliflower starters—all deep fried to a golden crunch. An enormous projection TV broadcasts the latest game amid the pulse of a jukebox, and several flat screens promote revelry at the weathered wooden bar.
For more than 20 years, this casual sports bar has unleashed its signature third-pound burgers on Derby, topping them with everything from whole grilled-cheese sandwiches to chili and nacho cheese. After two-handing hot dogs or brisket sandwiches, guests can test their motor skills with the bar's free Xbox 360 with Kinect game base, or improve their coolness quotient by ordering the trendiest new summer drink: water on the rocks.
At Sirens & Sailors Salon, master stylist Maria Mistretta crafts edgy and retro 'dos with the help of products from MoroccanOil and L'Oréal. In addition to traditional haircuts, coloring, and highlights, Maria slices strands with razors and sculpts fauxhawks out of real imitation hawks. Ever the versatile stylist, she also installs feather extensions, flattens tresses with keratin treatments, and sets the stage for shotgun weddings with anytime updos. When not revamping coifs, she extracts unwanted facial fuzz with warm wax and keeps the salon's shelves stocked with jewelry and chic Lux De Ville handbags.
Upon walking into Riverside Café, one online reviewer remarked, “It truly was like one of those diners you see on TV, but never thought you'd find in real life." And while each of the 50s-style eatery's three locations boast touches such as checkerboard floors, vinyl booths, and table-side jukeboxes that call to mind the fictional hangouts––Arnold's, Mel's––that once set up shop in every American living room, it's the welcoming, family-like atmosphere and hearty cuisine that really make patrons feel at home. Fans of chicken-fried steak with biscuits and sausage gravy or thick, Texas-size French toast can relax knowing that breakfast is served all day, assuming they can pass up black angus burgers topped with guacamole and Swiss or served open-faced with chili and cheese. The homemade pies may be the biggest draw, however, baked fresh each day in a rotating selection of flavors, and available whole, by the slice, or folded into a crane.
A mural of a wheat field is frozen on the wall of Wheat State Pizza, where chefs hand-toss pizza crusts made with whole wheat as well as white and gluten-free pizza disks. With 35 different toppings to choose from, diners may customize pies like a bejeweled jean jacket, or opt for signature combinations such as the pad thai with peanut sauce, sesame oil, siracha sauce, and crushed peanuts. Barbecued-beef sandwiches and custom calzones round out the menu, and dessert pizzas with blueberry-pie filling, cream cheese, and streusel topping cap off meals. Wheat State Pizza also offers an outdoor patio with umbrella-topped tables for alfresco dining.
Make & Take Meals provides a space for busy cooks to assemble and customize simple, pre-prepared meals chosen from a menu stocked with hearty freezable entrees that feed about six. Select the entrees you would like and schedule a time to come in and prepare your meals. A staff member will show you to your first prep station, where all the necessary ingredients, already chopped and prepped, are laid out, waiting for assembly like a tastier, less sassy version of Mr. Potato Head. The menu rotates monthly, but recent items include a chicken almond bake ($25, $13 for half), a casserole of tender chicken chunks in a velvety alfredo-white-wine sauce mingled with rice, celery, and onion and crowned by parmesan cheese and almonds. House favorites include calzones ($24, $12 for half) and chicken enchiladas ($24, $12 for half). After assembling the meal and customizing it to your tongue papillae preferences, make like a housecat and leave the cleanup to the in-house staff.
Kumeo Komazaki, known to friends as "Koma", relocated to New York City from Japan 30 years ago, bringing with him the culinary skills he learned as a chef for Japan's Imperial Palace Hotel. While working as a chef in New York, Komazaki happened to read the address on a box of beef shipped from Wichita, then seized the opportunity to establish his own restaurant there. At the Wichita location and its sister restaurants in St. Louis and Omaha, chefs entertain diners as they prepare steaks, seafood, and chicken at teppanyaki tables, flipping sizzling victuals through the air and searing meat to perfection. Sushi chefs roll and slice fresh seafood into bite-size pieces, which can be brought to mouths with chopsticks or hunger-induced telekinesis.
Since 1926, Cox Fun Farm has infused the local community with a blossoming harvest of fresh fruits, vegetables, pumpkins, and educational opportunities. In 2006, the family farm began carving the fields for its seasonal corn maze, enhancing the organic labyrinth with a new theme each year. As guests wander through this year's Down on the Farm–themed maze, they'll encounter farming symbols and trivia questions that hint toward the finish line. The meandering quest takes about one to three hours and guests are free to enter and re-enter the maze as long as they know the password or own machetes.