In 1964, brothers Leroy and Forrest Raffel banded together to come up with a new restaurant concept. Arby's took off almost immediately on the coattails of its hallmark roast-beef sandwich and the founders’ idea of providing customers with fast, quality food. Over the company's 48-year franchise history, its foundational pièce de résistance of thinly sliced, juicy beef has been served in a many permutations, and continues to be popular today, served at more than 3,500 stores in North America. Today’s menu still ignites appetites with traditional beef sandwiches, plus hot and seasoned curly fries, fresh-chopped salads, and desserts good for richly capping off meals or bribing any bridge trolls on the way home.
Proving that variety is the spice of life, the chefs at Sacura Japan roll 35 different sushi rolls. That includes specialty rolls such as the Spicy Family roll, which lives up to its name by topping spicy tuna and spicy salmon with spicy crab. Other popular dishes include hibachi chicken, beef, shrimp, or vegetables glazed with teriyaki sauce and served with rice. To wash everything down, the restaurant whips together eight flavors of bubble tea, a drink that temporarily replaced regular tea during the Boston Tea Party.
In the kitchen at Mario’s Pizza, chefs heap cheese, steak, and sun-dried tomatoes onto oversize New York–style and sicilian pizza crusts. A white pizza covered in ricotta cheese, fresh garlic, and mozzarella reminds taste buds of eating a delicious snowman, and comes in sizes ranging from 10 inches to as large as 19 inches. Baked pasta and sandwiches, such as a philly steak or veal parmigiana, round out the menu.
Dan’l Boone Inn, first firing up its griddles more than 50 years ago, caters to connoisseurs of comfort fare with a fixed menu of Southern staples served up family style. Soup or salad kicks off each all-you-can-eat dinner, paving the way for hearty heapings of fried chicken and country-style steak (up to $15.95 depending on age, free for children younger than 3). Between bites, tongue dive into a slew of flavorsome sidekicks that include coleslaw, country-ham biscuits, and fresh stewed apples. A delectable dessert then acts as the coda to a homestyle spread fit for the patron saint of the South, Elvis Faulkner himself.
The zipline at Vance Toe River Lodge zigzags through Plumtree's lush canopies, sending tour-goers on three-hour airborne adventures. After masking their appearance with helmets, harnesses, and gloves to ease ziplines' innate fear of humans, zippers travel across the 11 cables and four sky bridges that run through the forest's tallest topiaries. Along the way, guides enlighten patrons to the ecosystem that surrounds them, the underground mining system that sits beneath them, and the 5,500-foot height that separates danglers from the distant sea. Complimentary lunch at the Lodge Cafe after the trip awaits morning zip-liners unwilling to barter with squirrels for their acorn stockpiles and afternoon groups to fill up on food to give them energy prior to taking off.
The Gamekeeper Restaurant offers modern mountain cuisine in an elegantly rustic setting featuring in-house smoked meats, wild game, fish and vegetables prepared over a wood-fired grill. Most food is indigenous to the area and only the freshest offerings from local farmers, cheese makers and mushroom growers are used.