Located in a building that originally housed a mercantile store for settlers heading west, Gilbert, Whitney & Co. outfits kitchen commandos with high-quality cookware, premium ingredients, and gourmet groceries. Imprison criminally delicious foodstuffs in a two-piece set of oval Rachel Ray casseroles ($48), or peruse a wide range of knives, peelers, blenders, and other instruments as fit for cooking as they are for juggling. Choosy cheese-lovers can pick from a panoply of winsome wedges, including havarti ($10.44/lb.), parmesan ($8.64/lb.), and gruyere ($11.45/lb.), while bean fiends can get their caffeinated kick from the coffees of Oklahoma-based Neighbor's Coffee ($12.95/lb.). The store’s friendly staff is always on hand to help provide information about an exotic spice, give advice on a recipe, or explain what type of butter is best for carving into the shape of former governors.
Diamond Bowl, a refreshing fusion of bowling alley and robust restaurant, serves as a hangout for pin-battering rollers hungry for lane-thundering action and thirsty for food. Games ($5) on Diamond’s eight lanes keep hook-happy fingers limber, and shoes ($3) safeguard feet from toe-stomping sore losers. Follow up your fourth turkey with tangible foodstuffs from Diamond's full menu, such as the blackened-salmon sandwich on a kaiser roll ($7.99), the well-rounded bowling burger ($7.49), or the crispy chicken-tender salad ($8.99). Serious contenders can take a break from finger calisthenics to enroll in one of Diamond Bowl's leagues, and casual players can pair their match play with drinks from Diamond’s fully stocked bar, or they can watch a less phalange-intensive sport on one of nine crystalline HD TVs. Hourly games are also available.
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.
The resident butchers at Curt's Famous Meats serve up award-winning steaks, burgers, and homemade sausage in a 64-year-old, full-service butcher shop and deli. Meat mavens skillfully slice up choice rib-eye steaks ($13.99/lb.), Kansas City strips ($13.99/lb.), and T-bones ($12.99/lb.) that are juicier than water-cooler gossip about fresh peaches. Groupon holders can also sample sliced slab back bacon ($5.99/lb.) or stack sesame buns with 8-ounce filet burgers ($5 each). Curt's Famous Meats' enthusiastic, predominantly female staff welcomes customers' questions about how to choose the best cut, how to achieve a perfect medium rare, or how to gently demote baked potatoes to side dishes.
The first IHOP—the dream of founders Al and Jerry Lapin—opened in 1958 in Toluca Lake, California, and was originally dubbed the International House of Pancakes. Since then, rapid expansion has led to myriad milestones across the company's colorful history, from introducing its modern IHOP acronym in 1973 to its 1,000th restaurant opening in Layton, Utah, in 2001.
Today, the company stands strong with around 1,500 locations across North and Central America, each one an enthusiastic dispenser of pancakes, french toast, and tables constructed entirely out of bacon. Though IHOP is known as a bastion of breakfast, it also stays open during the day and into the evening, delivering lunch and dinner as well.
Smokehouse Bar-B-Que’s dinner and lunch menus satisfy cravings across the protein spectrum with a selection of hickory-smoked beef, pork, chicken, and seafood. High-quality cuts mingle between the Junior Smokehouse’s sesame-seed buns ($8.45), which grant diners a choice of two savories such as beef brisket, polish sausage, or time-traveling triceratops shank. The Monterey chicken's 8-ounce grilled breast nestles in a corn-dust bun alongside its eponymous cheese, ham, bacon, and dijon-mustard bedmates ($9.25), and chefs catapult a 16-ounce whole catfish through a Cajun-sauce and lemon-butter waterfall before bringing it in to land gently next to a house salad and choice of side ($14.95). Also flanked by a patron-preferred side dish, the Kansas City Strip rolls a 12-ounce certified Angus beef steak down sizzling hickory logs and into eagerly awaiting mouths ($23.95).