Raised in a family that often gathered for social meals, Amanda J. Smith picked up an interest in cooking at an early age. Later, she cultivated her talents at Le Cordon Bleu in Orlando and studied under chefs such as CulinAero's Doug Kieley, who she names as a mentor. After deciding to launch her own business, Amanda outfitted a mobile catering trailer with a gourmet kitchen capable of food preparation onsite at parties or during highway drag races.
"I have everything I need at my fingertips to create all kinds of fresh, flavorful meals," she told Southern Family magazine this year. Those meals range from bacon-wrapped beef tenderloins and ornate spreads of sliced ham to petite cheesecake bites topped with berries. Amanda also sets up culinary stations at events so guests can select their own hors d'oeuvres or sample sweets arranged around a chocolate fountain.
The expert staff at Phoenix Paintball Division oversees multiple fields sprawling across 30 acres of paintball action. A woods field cloaks artistic assassins with trees and bunkers, and a tire-and-hay field conceals teams as they rally together toward victory. As in marital disputes between pro athletes, trained referees strictly enforce all rules, making safety the top priority at Phoenix. The pro shop rents and sells all necessary equipment, accessories, and apparel, as well as food and drinks to keep players fueled during friendly outings, group events, or special occasions, such as birthday parties.
At Trim-A-Tree Farms, patrons choose their Christmas tree from a plot of still-planted leyland pine trees and chop it down themselves or have an able-bodied staff member cut, net, and load their catch. Guests stroll through rows of lush green trees ($7.50/ft.) in search of the right plant to fill lonely living-room corners as the aroma of pine needles induces memories of a past infatuation with an air freshener. Between passes through the farm, warm up with steaming mugs of hot chocolate or melt fingers over a bonfire's licking flames as little ones trot through fields atop Star, Trim-A-Tree's trusty chestnut pony, during complimentary pony rides. Though additional items are not included in this Groupon, ornaments from the gift shop revamp trees, and adventurous souls can indulge in free temporary tattoos that take the shape of holiday icons or Scrooge's evening gruel.
Knuckleheads fuels sports fans' pumping fists with burgers and grill fare and lubricates their cheering tubes with more than 15 draft beers and more than 25 bottles of suds. The handcrafted, mellow Shiner bock and the crisp and spicy Olde Towne hefe swirl happily in the boozy hot tubs of Knuckleheads' microbrew vats. Activate beef teeth for combat against the Knucklehead Biker burger, a half pound of ground chuck painted in shades of barbecue and topped with an onion ring nestled in mushrooms and pepper jack ($8.99). The Knuckle sandwich ($11.99) strikes the mouth with a deep-fried chicken breast dipped in Knucklehead sauce and draped in jalapeño and bacon. Put the plant world on warning with a veggie wrap, stuffed with steamed spinach, avocado, and caramelized onions ($7.99). For a heartier helping of beef, head to the grill for a Cajun-blackened rib eye ($14.99).
More than 50 flat screen TVs spill their soft glow over Chips & Salsa Sports Bar, with NFL battles and UFC brawls scoring hearty cheers from sports fans who steal glances at a menu of casual bar fare. Traditional American favorites, including catfish and New York strip steak, headline the menu alongside succulent carne asada and red sauce-smothered burritos, facilitating a seamless fusion of American and Southwestern fare with a marked lack of deep-fried bolo ties. Soaring darts sail over spiraling pool balls as they clack across 10 billiards tables, neighboring a full-service bar where goggle-wearing mixologists concoct more than 1,000 specialty drinks while levitating limes with their mind.Chips & Salsa Sports Bar is an all-smoking establishment.