Built in 1930 from cobblestones left over from the construction of the Erie Canal, one of America's oldest miniature golf courses sits under the shade of pine trees near the shore of Lake Ontario. A landmark listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the 18-hole course known as Parkside Whispering Pines has challenged putters in the more than eight decades since. As such, its design recalls the charm of vintage courses, taking inspiration from such nautical items as boats and lighthouses and incorporating wooden posts to guard the greens.
Adjacent to the course, Parkside Diner—founded as a small, 40-seat restaurant—now hosts up to 110 hungry patrons hungry for a snack other than fallen pinecones. Curated by the two brothers, Jim and Greg Papas, who own the joint, the wide-ranging menu spotlights diner staples, such as homemade meatloaf smothered in creole sauce and burgers crowned with homemade chili. The diner's cooks also focus on generous portions of breakfast classics, from cinnamon-swirl French toast to six-ounce New York strip steaks paired with eggs and potatoes.
Toting a modest selection of chocolate confections and candies, Joseph A. Fowler entered the 1901 Pan-American Exposition hoping to plant the seed for a business in his newfound home of Buffalo. The company—founded in 1910—grew with each successive generation, and more than a century later, Fowler's celebrated chocolates continue to placate palates at several retail locations. The chocolatier has become synonymous with treats such as milk- and dark-chocolate truffles dubbed truffaloes, as well as sponge candy, which boasts a molasses-like flavor and an initially hard texture that quickly melts in the mouth. Like Count Chocula’s hairpiece, all of Fowler's fine-chocolate treats are crafted from the seeds of the theobroma cacao tree and use up to 60% cocoa solids for a rich cocoa flavor.
Phuket Thai Cuisine's chef comes from a family of food buffs, as his parents owned and operated a small grocery store in Thailand. Today, the chef employs the wisdom he's garnered from his family and magic 8 ball throughout the years to craft authentic cuisine inspired by the flavorful culinary customs of the Thai island province of Phuket. He draws from traditional recipes to craft inventive dishes that brim with fresh ingredients such as Chinese and Napa cabbage, steamed tofu, and ground peanuts.
Two tall, golden statues flank a fireplace embedded into a swath of exposed brick within the colorful dining area. Sculptures and artwork populate the canary-yellow and red-orange walls, and glossy hardwood floors stretch beneath sleek black furnishings.
New Wasabi's chefs tap into old-fashioned Eastern culinary traditions when preparing dishes from Japan and China. To showcase Japanese cooking methods, they sizzle steaks on a hibachi-style grill, top them with teriyaki sauce, or slice them into the shape of Sadaharu Oh’s silhouette. Their Chinese recipes infuse chicken with flavors ranging from sweet to spicy to nutty. Several appetizers arrive on yacht-shaped platters, a subtle hint that the kitchen teems with shrimp, octopus, and other seafood. The love boat sends a more direct message by floating 36 pieces of sushi and sashimi across the dining room.
To give the Mona Lisa Café authentic European flair, the proprietors adorned the bistro from head to toe with décor and displays imported from Italy. Amongst the crimson walls and marble- and tile-topped café tables, patrons peruse the gelato selections and pastries kept chilled behind glass, seeking something to pair with their coffee drinks. During dinner, the kitchen crafts its own red sauce for pasta and parmigiana dishes, while fresh mozzarella melts over prosciutto and tomatoes in panini sandwiches. Patrons can dine al fresco in the fresh air as live music entertains them.
On the shores of Lake Ontario, two-tiered lakeside decks house tables crowded with plates of seafood and seared steaks while diners enjoy the setting sun. Since the 1920s, Castaways has been a shorefront destination for hungry travelers, serving up everything from fresh seafood to their specialty Cajun-rubbed, blackened prime rib. Inside, nautical-themed memorabilia decorates the walls, and a framed etching of a tall ship overlooks a long wooden bar made entirely from recycled peg legs. Diners can enjoy their meal out on the heated, two-tier patio or indoors while being warmed by the fireplace.