Housed under the culinary umbrella of McClain Restaurant Group, four of Independence Square's brightest culinary stars amuse diners with a range of flavors and funky dining spaces. For a historic meal overlooking the Square, choose a sit-down lunch at Ophelia's Restaurant & Inn, where plates include the twisted quesadillas, which meld together cranberries, onions, peppers, and asiago cheese ($8). Ophelia's dinner menu, which can be sung aloud over live jazz, features the peppered K.C. strip jerky, a classic composition of soft pretzel bread, hot cracklins, and Boulevard Wheat mustard ($6), and the 16-ounce horseradish crusted rib eye, grilled to order and drizzled with port-wine reduction ($24).
Corn tortillas filled with meat, lettuce, tomatoes, and cheese rest peacefully on a plate, unsuspecting of the fate that awaits them, when suddenly they find themselves in the hot embrace of a deep-fryer. What emerges is not merely a taco, but Lucia’s Famous Taco, a crunchy confection and, like many of Lucia’s dishes, a twist on a classic Mexican dish.
While Butterfly Kisses Baking's staff avidly serves its local customers by decorating cakes, cupcakes, and cookies, the people they most proudly cater to are military troops. The shop allocates 20% of its profits to providing care packages for servicemen and women abroad. They build those funds by enticing customers with the sweetness packed into their various treats, which include peppermint-bark cupcakes, lemon sugar cookies, and cake pops themed after the flavors of cereal, cookies, and candy bars. Bakers are on hand to help clients create custom desserts including themed cakes that might light up a child’s face on his birthday or fondant scenes so real you’d consider buying a time share there.
Fun House Pizza’s cooks have been tossing craving-satisfying pizzas since 1964, catering to families with their shareable fare and friendly staff. Gooey pizzas arrive topped with Fun House Pizza’s secret sauce recipe, sprinkled with toppings that include kraut, mushrooms, and Italian or Polish sausage. The kitchen crew gets creative with their specialty pizzas, which play dress up to create pies of the taco, bacon cheeseburger, and mexican variety. The restaurants cater to kids with a slew of entertainment options, from Thomas the Tank Engine rides to game rooms with air hockey and video games to the cheerful servers who are ready and willing to eat homework assignments.
With lube and service centers spread across America, Valvoline Instant Oil Change ensures that roads from coast to coast teem with automotive vigor. Certified technicians perform a roster of services, including quick in-and-out oil changes that allow motorists to arrive without an appointment and remain in their car while Valvoline oils forge a truce between metal parts. Facilities also encourage odometers to reach up to 300,000 miles with an engine-guarantee program that helps motors live long enough to see tow trucks go extinct. Valvoline extends its care to cars of all makes and models as well as charitable organizations such as Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.
Since 1995, the chefs at Palomino’s Restaurant have furnished empty stomach space with a menu of Tex-Mex favorites frequently featuring specials and happy hours. Cheesy enchiladas and chiles rellenos conquer brawny appetites every day of the week, while Sundays add extra ammo to the conquest with an all-you-can-eat Mexican buffet that can spark all-you-can-throw food fights. While relaxing on an outdoor patio, guests guzzle frosty Mexican beers and icy margaritas from the bar, and dig into crispy tacos and homemade tamales.