Here's the thing about Famous Dave: he wasn't always famous. Dave Anderson inherited his passion for barbecue from his father, a humble construction worker who knew where to find the best barbecue on Chicago's street corners. In 1994, Dave opened his first barbecue shack in Hayward, Wisconsin, and before long, the shack was attracting 5,000 customers weekly?a momentous feat considering Hayward had a population of 1,800. Dave's lifelong pursuit of barbecue perfection had certainly paid off. It gave him a new life's work to be proud of. And, of course, a new first name to put on his passport.
With locations now spread across the U.S., Canada, and even Puerto Rico, Famous Dave's has become a revelation for barbecue fans. It has earned more than 700 awards, including first-place honors for its ribs, wings, and sauces. Most of these awards have Famous Dave's cooking process to thank. For every batch, pitmasters hand-rub high-quality cuts and cook them for hours at a time in live-wood smokers, taking care to not disturb the dragons napping between the logs. For Famous Dave's renowned ribs, the process has an extra step after the smoker, as each rack gets tossed on a grill to caramelize the sauces before serving.
Celebrated country artist Toby Keith circles the wagons, accompanied by a posse of melodic outlaws and dazzling pyrotechnics during Toby Keith’s Locked & Loaded Tour Presented by Ford F-Series. Toby’s three-fisted lyricism, irresistible hooks, and physics-defying aerodynamics have made him a human cannonball in the canon of country music, and the tour celebrates his new album, Bullets in the Gun, with ballistic flamboyance. Audiences will goggle as 1,000 square feet of video screens, a giant T-shaped ramp party pit, and a dazzling display of explosives form a proscenium framing Toby’s arsenal of straight-shooting hits. Riding sidesaddle on the tour, rowdy troubadour Eric Church deputizes audiences with hits from his No. 1 album Chief, and songsmith JT Hodges belts out ditties about sustaining romance when forced to bake soufflés in zero gravity.
Two of Christian music’s most iconic artists, Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith join forces to spread the good news, leading congregations in melodious worship on their 2 Friends Tour. Since 1982, this dynamic duo has engaged millions to flock to their catchy, ecclesiastical pop music, sharing a musical camaraderie as impenetrable as a fortress with abandonment issues. Amy Grant, author of No. 1 hits such as “El Shaddai” and “Baby Baby,” has shared her gift of song for more than 30 years, selling more than 30 million albums, garnering six Grammys, and earning a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Michael W. Smith has earned countless accolades with his tremendous songbook of head-bobbing hymns and choir-rousing hits. Sharing the stage for the first time in two decades, Amy and Michael thrill fans with new psalms and favorites from their sonic scroll, merging their sets with joyful duets and chemistry that crackles like Abbott and Costello after getting struck by lightning.
Kestrel Vintners' two 80-acre vineyard sites furnish wines culled from a collection of dark, rich reds and crisp, fruity whites—all created and housed within the 15,000-square-foot winery ziggurat. Inside the tasting rooms, guests can sip on an evolving selection of six samplings, with offerings that may include the Lady in Red 9th Edition blend, juxtaposing dark, fruity flavors with rich spice and cedar, or the bright and citrusy 2009 Falcon Series sauvignon blanc. Drinkables are paired with a charcuterie plate, featuring a selection of cheese and cured meats arranged to resemble Italy's boot kicking a giant meatball. Visitors will take home two souvenir glasses to commemorate their grape-fueled adventure, and will receive 20% off any wines available for purchase at the time of their visit.
Locati Cellars' 2009 sangiovese red infuses Rosebud Vineyard?s sangiovese?from Wahluke Slope?with fruit from Walla Walla?s Mission Hills Vineyards. The hybrid result earned silver medals in the 2012 San Francisco Chronicle wine competition and the 2012 Seattle Wine Awards, with its pomegranate and cranberry scents that complement blueberry, black tea, and chocolate flavors.
The sangiovese is just one of the vintages sommeliers pour for tasting at the Locati Cellars, helmed by the Locati family for the past century. The winery rounds out its selection with the bone-dry Estate ros? and whites, such as the 2012 pinot grigio, rather than the original white wine?fermented grapes mixed with paper. The winemaking team strives to blend Italian winemaking traditions with grapes from the winery?s vineyards, which occupy Walla Walla?s rolling, fertile hills. Locati Cellars has won a number of accolades for their wine, such as gold for their 2009 Locati Innovation from Seattle Wine Awards, and gold for their 2009 Estate Sangiovese from the Great Northwest Wine Competition.
Passed over by glaciers thousands of years ago, the soils where Patit Creek Cellars' grapes thrive are rich with minerals that imbue an unmistakable depth to the final product. Winemaker Joe Forest works with these locally-sourced grapes from crush to bottling, resulting in a finished product in styles from Riesling to Merlot. Over the years, Patit has expanded to offer a variety of places for curious oenophiles to sample their wines, including a 6,000-square-foot tasting room in Walla Walla.