The Factory bakes sizzling pizza pies and assembles an assortment of specialty ice-cream dishes in a classic checker-floored parlor atmosphere. Cooks paint Hunt Brothers pizza ($9.49/large) in selections from a palette of toppings, and Hunt Brothers wings ($2.79/5 pieces) play pranks on unsuspecting taste buds using buckets of zestily flavored heat-sauce. A specialty sundae puts out flavor fires with creamy scoops of Blue Bell ice cream slathered in syrups and more ($4.25). The Factory’s thick blended milkshakes cover a five-part flavor spectrum, from the familiar chocolate to the unsettled and constantly plotting conspiracy theories about melting that come with Mocha Madness ($3.45). To avoid overheating, hot dogs lazily recline on soft buns, appreciating the cool balm of relish and mustard ($1.50). Customers can also call in orders for pizza and wings and may request to speak to specific food items if they're available.
At The Tomato Cafe & Tea Room, servers fill cups with more than 25 varieties of loose-leaf tea—cozy, belly-warming blends that pair well with the cafe's homespun vibes. Amid decorative plates hanging from wood-panel walls, diners settle into dishes of freshly made comfort food such as creamy tomato soup and tomato-basil wraps filled with chicken, egg, or tuna salad. Beyond the homemade fare, the café serves the home front, too, uncorking bottles of Jarhead, a robust red wine made by and for members of the U.S. Marine Corps. Several dinner specials run throughout the week, and on the last Saturday of every month, visitors who've had a birthday that month drink their tea for free to celebrate escaping the Mad Hatter's insane clutches.
After Vernon Rudolph acquired a closely guarded yeast-raised Krispy Kreme doughnuts recipe from a New Orleans pastry chef, he shared his appreciation for delectable disks by opening shop in 1937 and selling the first Krispy Kremes to grocery stores. The wafting aroma of glazed Krispy Kreme doughnuts increased demand for the sweet treats and caused Rudolph to redesign his building's layout to include a walkup window. Rudolph was able to sell them directly to any passing customer who demanded a snack. Later, he joined forces with equipment engineers, creating baking equipment that guaranteed uniform shape and dough consistency. Rudolph's departure to a pastry-filled afterlife in 1973 did not stop Krispy Kreme from expanding into a global sensation and continuing to innovate. In recent years, the company enhanced the treat-retrieving experience by introducing a hot light that, when illuminated, indicates when Krispy Kreme doughnuts are fresh off the conveyor belt.
For more than two decades, Bud & Alley’s, winner of Florida Trend magazine's 2010 Golden Spoon Award, has sated appetites with steak and seafood fare and filled eyes with panoramic views of the Gulf of Mexico. After taking a seat in the relaxed yet elegant dining room, guests peruse the dinner menu's tempting entrees, such as steamed Prince Edward Island mussels flavored with thyme, feta, and a kick of chili flakes on grilled tuscan bread ($24). Southern-inspired sides enhance seafood plates, from a seared red snapper teamed up with sweet dill succotash and okra ($31) to seared diver scallops paired with creamy grits, fried capers, and an edible bust of William Faulkner ($32). A fillet steak served with portobello mushrooms and asparagus ($33) sets the stage for a classic romantic meal as couples clink and enemies hurl martinis or glasses of wine across the table ($8+). A visit to the rooftop bar infuses meals with a festive mood as revelers enjoy spectacular ocean views and sample a selection of top-shelf tequilas from Jose Cuervo, Patrón, and Sauza ($9).
Chef Quinlan draws upon his inspiration from coastal, Cajun, and Caribbean cuisines as he cooks at Poppy's Seafood Factory. His menu showcases entrees pulled from the Gulf Coast, such as lobster thermidor and fried shrimp, as well as boiled seafood feasts available by the pound—like British money or an absurd amount of American money. There are also plenty of steak and pasta dishes to go around, as well as an ample wine list.
Poppy, the owner, hails from New Orleans—a city known for both its good times and exquisite cooking. He came out of retirement to keep the good times rolling within the laidback, casual fine dining environment of his restaurant.