Weather, sports, and the adorable antics of children. Too frequently these topics dominate dinner-table discussions. Seldom do diners dig into the important topics of the day, such as who is sending threatening letters to a famous country music family? How did someone end up dead on the set of an '80s trivia game show? And who could have possibly wanted a Roaring Twenties gangster dead?
These kinds of riveting questions swirl around the dinner tables at the Casbah Theater, where Two Pence Productions inspires intrigue with a lineup of dinner shows, many of which are murder mysteries penned by playwright Eileen Moushy. Her original whodunits follow the classic sleuth framework that begins with a prelude to a murder, progresses to the dastardly deed, and culminates in an epic revelatory scene.
As the actors circulate throughout the theater and among the tables, guests listen in on dialogue to pick out clues and root out motives. Each plot line unfolds in a rich, evocative setting––such as the glamorous '80s or the dapper '20s––and the theater encourages guests to dress in costume, often awarding prizes to those who stay in character and use their cell phones as lie detector devices.
Amid red-and-white checkered tablecloths, a canopy of team pennants, and TVs playing episodes of The Andy Griffith Show, Dixie Barbeque owner Alan Howell serves up a wide-ranging menu of succulent southern barbecue. The pulled-pork sandwich ($5.19 for a regular; $6.35 for a large) bundles up with a side of rolls, slaw upon request, and E.T. Red barbecue sauce, mesmerizing mouths both human and Martian. Or order a sandwich plain and douse it with a choice of sauces, such as Alabama White, South Carolina Gold, and the understated Sauce from Hell.
The bakers at Cakes in a Cup are never tempted by premixed cupcake mixes at the grocery store. That's because they make fresh cupcakes from scratch each morning. Seven everyday flavors offer classic cake and icing pairings, such as vanilla cake with chocolate frosting and red velvet cake with cream-cheese icing. Daily specials offer more inventive bites with flavors such as s'mores, cappuccino, and pina colada. And in addition to traditional cupcakes, the bakers also whip up tasty gluten-free and sugar-free options. While picking up their treats, customers can grab a cup of Keurig coffee, tap into the free wireless Internet, or pick out balloons and ribbons to go with their party orders.
Atlanta Bread bakes more than a dozen varieties of fresh breads to frame a menu of hearty sandwiches and savory soup dippers served within its casual, WiFi-enabled café. The ABC Special signature sandwich places a bounty on the heads of four notorious lunchmeats—roast beef, turkey, pepperoni, and honey-maple ham—which can only be collected by the wrangling prowess of provolone and french baguette ($6.99). With applewood-smoked bacon strip-mined across a ciabatta bun, the Bistro Chicken Press detonates a palatable explosion of taste ($6.89). The Chopstick chicken salad appeases greens-craving taste buds with an incongruously appetizing pairing of leafy romaine lettuce and crispy chow-mein noodles ($6.99). Book meals a play date with one of five freshly brewed flavors from Italian coffee titan Lavazza ($1.79 for a grande), or save space for a cup or bowl of soup du jour, which varies depending on which jour is in season.
Since the first Fuddruckers opened its doors in 1980, the eatery has unabashedly proclaimed its signature sandwich to be the world's greatest hamburger. Thirty years and 140 franchised stores later lend some real weight to that claim. Using 100% USDA all-American premium cut beef, freshly baked buns, and a garden's worth of crispy vegetables on each burger, Fuddruckers has revolutionized the hamburger in North, Central, and South America. Their menu also includes a slew of specialty burgers that have undeniably shunned the beaten path, with beef substitutes that include buffalo burgers.
Waiting in the wings stands a supporting cast of American mainstays, including their hand-blended milkshake and the hot dogzilla, and families tuck into the classic drive-in delights alongside a host of arcade games and sports memorabilia as classic tunes play over loudspeakers.
The grillmasters at Dixie Outpost slow-cook slabs of pork on-site to star on their menu of reinvented southern classics. Carnivores can tear into the original Dixie Pig sandwich, which comes in three sizes and tests jaw flexibility with heaping mounds of hickory-smoked pulled pork piled with coleslaw and mild barbecue sauce ($4.59–$6.99). Chefs wrangle chicken-breast strips into breading and one of nine sauces, including teriyaki or hot buffalo, to create chicken feathers ($3.99+) that, like deep-fried love letters, are tender on the inside and crispy on the outside. Guests can devour customized smoked or deep-fried hot dogs crowned with more than 30 toppings including honey, chopped garlic, and pulled pork, or they can try one of 17 pre-designed dogs ($1.39–$3.59) on the patio or in the Swine Diner BBQ Bus with a refreshing glass of sweet tea ($1.49–$3.99).