It was 1978. A college dropout and a failed medical-school applicant had just brought together their combined life savings to rent an old gas station. Their plan was to resurrect the empty station and open their own restaurant. Their specialty: ice cream. So begins the story of legendary entrepreneurs Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, who are better known across the globe as Ben & Jerry. Their small, old-fashioned ice-cream parlor eventually became a Burlington, Vermont favorite, and before long, shops popped up all over the U.S. and in 25 other countries. Their brand easily attracted customers––homemade ice cream churned from wholesome, natural ingredients and blended into creative flavors. Some of their popular scoops include Cherry Garcia, Chunky Monkey, and Coffee Caramel Buzz.
Since infusing their first rich and creamy batches of ice cream with natural chunks of fruit, nuts, candies, and cookies, Ben and Jerry have also operated with a commitment to improve the quality of life locally, nationally, and internationally. They practice sustainable food production and business practices that respect the earth and environment. Ben & Jerry’s cartons are made from FSC-certified paper, which comes from forests that are managed for the protection of wildlife, and waste from Ben & Jerry’s plants generates energy to power farms. The company works tirelessly to reduce its carbon emissions; it strongly encourages customers to eat their ice cream in the darkest dark.
Chef/owner Ronald LeBaron whips up classic down-home breakfasts in a family friendly atmosphere at LeBaron's Honker Cafe. Omelets, chicken-fried steak and eggs, and other homestyle breakfasts are served all day, but in the mornings, it's the jumbo homemade cinnamon rolls that entice early risers first. Sweet smells of swirled dough and glassy icing mingle through the air while Ron stacks plates with fluffy pancakes, Texas-size French toast, and three-egg omelets stuffed with choice ingredients. Later in the day, chef Natasha steps in the kitchen where she creates mouth-watering dinner specials, such as her slow-roasted root-beer barbecue tri-tip served with twice-baked mashed potatoes, corn, and scallion fritters. Guests may top off any meal with a wedge of homemade-baked pie.
The master pizza slingers at Pier 49 craft each of their circular San Francisco–style comestibles using a secret, scratch-made sourdough crust, before slathering them with sauce, sprinkling then with uniquely delicious toppings, and baking them to a perky, blissful brown. The menu showcases specialty pizzas in four sizes ranging from personal for mealtime parties of one ($5.99–$6.99) to jumbo for the inevitable sumo smorgasbord ($19.99–$21.99). Taste test the un-waters of the Fisherman's Wharf, which furnishes a briny bounty of baby bay shrimp, surimi crab, melted mozzarella, and alfredo, with a choice of cooked, fresh, or sundried tomatoes. Or, saunter saucily down a slice of the Lombard Street, which pairs hickory-flavored barbecue chicken, six varieties of imported gourmet cheese, and red bermuda onions for a yucca-less taste of the southwest. A build-your-own option is also readily available with toppings as diverse as cashews, artichoke hearts, and hamburger, and nine sauces including alfredo, taco, and pesto. Feasters who take a literal approach to square meals can opt to savor sandwiches such as the Alcatraz, a happy stack of ham, pepperoni, sausage, and veggies on a homemade bun ($6.99), or brush up on their culinary creativity by creating their own pasta ($8.99+).
Mulligan’s Bar & Grille comforts bellies with hearty, home-style fare. Nestled inside the Best Western Coeur d’Alene Inn, the restaurant’s blond-wood booths host groups of hungry hotel guests, and a fireplace warms sippers under the beige fabric awning of the full bar. The breakfast menu awakens erstwhile dreamers with the scents of jumbo cinnamon rolls, huckleberry pancakes, and six types of omelets. Meaty viands such as burgers and chicken-fried steaks pal around with lighter fare such as chicken-spinach wraps and candied-walnut salads on the lunch and dinner menus, and the prime-rib buffet on Friday and Saturday nights challenges the traditional notion that prime rib should only be eaten on Sundays from a Stetson hat.
While most kids now bond over headsets during Call of Duty rather than during bouts at Ms. Pac-Man, the lazy Saturdays of growing up in the 1980s and '90s still live on inside Grinkers Grand Palace. The staff has brought together more than 100 arcade games released between 1975 and 1992, allowing Gen-Xers to relive the joys of their childhood as they plop quarters into arcade games in a family-friendly setting. While they aim for the high score on Super Mario Bros., BurgerTime, or Space Invaders, guests can sip on wine and beer or refuel with a range of subs and root-beer floats. A playlist of classic rock hums through the speakers, creating an atmosphere conducive to transporting players back in time so they can remember where they left their lost retainer.
Retro Shot Espresso stocks its caffeine-filling station with creative coffee and drinks served amid 1950s-themed décor. A salty-caramel macchiato ($3 for 16 oz.) can perk up groggy office workers when sipped or splashed into hair, whereas a double buttercup ups the espresso ante by fusing white mocha and peanut butter ($3.25 for 16 oz.). Signature coffee drinks with nostalgia-evoking names include Americano Graffiti and Jitterbug and are made exclusively with organic and fair-trade Avion coffees. Customers nosh on croissant breakfast sandwiches ($2), bagels with cream cheese, and muffins ($1.50) amid the cozy coffee stand setting and vintage wall hangings, depicting a pouty Marilyn Monroe and a triumphant President Eisenhower posing with his beloved whoopee cushion. Each month, the staff holds a nonprofit Sunday to support a different charitable cause.