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.
The grill at Sogo Japanese Steakhouse is not just a grill. With tables surrounding it, the flattop hibachi doubles as a stage, where chefs Tony and Matt juggle spatulas while searing lobster, steak, and scallops. While their customers grill their own portions of Kobe beef as an appetizer, the sushi chefs in the kitchen prepare both cooked and raw signature rolls with ingredients such as eel, deep-fried crab, and spicy tuna with a tempura crunch. The chefs also craft orders of live scallops, sea urchin, and lobster. All the while, customers enjoy the view of a modernly designed space, with bright pink walls by the grill and funky light fixtures throughout.
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.
The dough wizards at Papa John's hand-toss circular masterpieces with original and thin crusts made from high-protein flour to support warm bouquets of toppings. Hand-cut produce crowns all of Papa John's pizzas, mingling with the sun-soaked sweetness of sauce made from fresh, California–grown tomatoes. By adhering to its brand promise of "better ingredients, better pizza," Papa John's grew from a back-tavern pizzeria into more than 3,500 restaurants in three decades' time, or the amount of time it takes to grow a single pizzeria from a small seed.