Wielding knives and sword-like skewers, the servers at Texas de Brazil seem prepared for impromptu duels. However, they only brandish the blades to replenish dinner plates, slicing meat from their spears at the behest of each table. The cuts of steak, lamb, and brazilian sausage are all slow roasted over an open flame in traditional churrascaria fashion—a technique that stems from the campfire meals of Brazilian gauchos, and one that fed the family behind Texas de Brazil during their life in Porto Alegre. In an effort to bring the South American style to the States, they established their first restaurant in Texas, thereby merging down-home charm with Brazilian spice.
Today, Texas de Brazil has expanded to several award-winning locations across the country. Despite the lofty ceilings and chandeliers that characterize their venues, the staff remains rooted in ranchers' habits. They conscientiously grill and season their meat, bake brazilian cheese bread in-house, and pass classic cocktails and loaner saddles over the bar for cowboys who consider chairs unnatural. To complement savory bites, guests can browse more than 50 gourmet sides at the salad bar—a compendium of soups, vegetables, and appetizers such as imported cheeses. They can also ask the resident wine specialist for recommendations on suitable pairings from the cellar.
Home of the $1,000,000 Florida Derby and the six-race Sunshine Millions series, the Gulfstream Park's track has hosted live thoroughbred races since 1939. Steeds charge around corners on the main track or the turf course as onlookers track the race from the comfort of the stands, a luxury suite, or a cloud rented from overlooking deities. Beyond concession-stand offerings, the facility invites visitors to grab more substantial fare from one of its onsite restaurants. In addition to the Asian-inspired menu at Christine Lee's, diners can visit Ten Palms at Gulfstream Park and sample the contemporary American fare of celebrity chef Ralph Pagano, a former competitor on Iron Chef America and host of Pressure Cook on the National Geographic Channel.
Outside of the racing facility, Gulfstream Park includes a casino with more than 850 slot machines, electric table games, and high-stakes poker tables spread across two floors. At the nearby The Village at Gulfstream Park, visitors can wander through boutique fashion and home-decor stores, including Next and Williams-Sonoma, while searching for the park's fabled hide-and-seek world champion.
With a name that combines words meaning wholeness, life, and joy, OM'echaye welcomes clients searching for ways to look and feel their best through fitness classes and alternative health treatments. Classes range from Zumba to cycling. Yoga sessions derived from traditions including Iyengar, Kundalini, and Vinyasa soothe minds while building flexibility, and Pilates workouts build the core strength needed for holding up the earth while Atlas is on vacation.
The center also delves into the internal aspects of health and wellness with integrative living programs that run the gamut from dieting and detox to acupuncture and vibrational therapy. Spa services help clients look as good as they feel, aiding relaxation with massages or enhancing exteriors with facials and manicures. The center’s restaurant even helps guests stay on track by dishing up healthy fare made with fresh, natural ingredients, rather than serving preprocessed foods or meats from extinct animals.
Upon entering Robar Beauty Salon & Spa, a visitor might first notice the recently remodeled interior, splashes of canary yellow or vibrant fuchsia, or the smell of organic hair products wafting through the air. But owner William Robar—an industry veteran of almost 40 years—remembers his salad days in less prosperous locations. His first salon "was so busy I didn't know where to put the people!" he laughs, recalling its cramped layout. His clientele ranged from street criminals to drug dealers. "In those days it was wild. Every walk of life came into my salon."
Now a sought-after celebrity stylist, William has clipped and styled famous hair for Frank Sinatra, Barbara Walters, and President Bill Clinton, who needed a trim before delivering a presidential speech. Inside his upscale salon, William and his team of certified stylists use their fashion instincts and mastery of the sibilant scissor language to team up with shears and craft elegant coifs for men, women, and children.
Coming from a family tree that had been sprouting medical practitioners for three centuries, Dr. Lev Sudakov has other people’s well-being in his blood. He founded Ocean Drive Chiropractic and Wellness Center in 2008 with the goal of helping his clients "get their lives back" through chiropractic care's potential to soothe chronic pain and other maladies. Drawing inspiration from his ancestors' tradition for patient-focused care, Dr. Sudakov harnesses the newest of technologies, such as Class IV K-Laser therapy, ultrasounds, and electrical muscle stimulation to treat his clients.
Dr. Sudakov uses massage therapy to banish stress, amplify the effects of chiropractic treatments, or soothe muscles sore from giving piggyback rides to Abraham Lincoln’s statue. His bilingual staff also offers nutritional counseling, helping everyone supplement the office's wellness-boosting treatments.
Aqua Shop is in the business of defying physics; inside, water flows uphill. The FlowRider wave machine—an attraction usually reserved for theme parks or cruise ships—projects a frothy current blasted up a slanted ramp, emulating a wave for surfers, wakeboarders, and ambitious belly floppers to catch anytime, regardless of tide conditions. Before visiting, guests can check out the fun from the company’s live camera view, which shows off sweet rides and spectacular wipeouts during all business hours.
Water isn’t the only element Aqua Shop harnesses. The emporium of all things extreme hosts shred sessions on its Big Wave mechanical surfboard and encourages visitors to fire foam balls back and forth in the Cannon Ball Blaster arena. The in-house Thrill Zone features a padded obstacle course with a climbing wall, a slide, and a secret portal that grants one wish from Kelly Slater’s magic bald head.