In the dark of night, the brightly lit façades of The Fat Cactus locations glow like a beacon, beckoning diners to come and sample their classic Mexican and Tex-Mex foods. The restaurants' interiors are no less eye-catching. House-specialty fazzizzles—short for sizzling fajitas—top tables in dining rooms filled with vibrant reds and yellows. Rows of hubcaps glisten on walls next to strings of lights. And hundreds of emptied tequila bottles dangle from the ceiling, testament to the popularity of the menu's dozen specialty margaritas. For extra entertainment, musicians fill ears with their tuneful crooning every night, and a room with classic arcade games lets kids play at adult tasks, such as driving a car or helping zombies file their tax returns.
For more than 30 years, Countryside Deli, Pizzeria & Caterers has mastered a vast menu of comfort dishes from America and Italy. Diners stroll up to the counter in Countryside's simple dining room to order hot or cold sandwiches, cheesy pizzas, or plates of gnocchi with eggplant and mushrooms. Its catering selection is equally diverse, featuring trays full of tortellini alfredo, chicken marsala, and eggplant rollatini, as well as sandwich platters and giant subs perfect for serving a bunch of fans watching a football game or one football player after a football game.
At Jeanne's Bakeshop, every dessert is made from scratch. This gives the bakers complete control over the treats' ingredients and flavors, and allows them to specialize in nut-free candies and baked goods. To keep allergies at bay, they buy ingredients from Vermont Nut-Free Chocolate and flip past all the spring months in the office calendar.
The bakery's selection is huge?cake options range from frosting-free bundts to novelty sculpture cakes, including sweet 16 tiaras and electric guitars. If you're planning a party, frosted cookies come in every shape to match your party theme, from baby bottles to roller skates, and the shop's elaborate cake-pop bouquets make great centerpieces. Brownies, cupcakes, and chocolate-covered strawberries round out the selection, though the pastry case's offerings change each day.
In The Big Lebowski, "The Dude" will always take a break from his life of not-very-organized crime to go bowling. That's why, at Kings Lynnfield, a poster of The Dude presides over the 16 bowling lanes, all bathed in festive, neon purple light. Other games pepper the fun center, too, from a regulation-size bocce court and shuffleboard table to two pool tables, ideal for honing your game or pulling up a chair and eating an eight ball for dinner. As patrons sip drinks from the two bars, or refuel with at the onsite eatery, they can also watch professionals games thanks to the more than 50 HDTVs scattered throughout the establishment.
Owner and chef Arthur Pereira refuses to choose between Italian and Portuguese cuisine, so he fills his menu with iconic dishes from both countries instead. He and his chefs make pesto in-house, hand-roll every batch of gnocchi, and stuff each ravioli with ricotta cheese or lobster. They also replicate Portugal's signature seafood stew, mariscada, by filling a pot with a bountiful catch of clams, mussels, shrimp, calamari, and scallops, then poaching the tender morsels in a Portuguese-style sauce with peppers, onions, and diced tomatoes.
Vine-laced trellises cover the dining room's ceiling, creating the ambiance of a rustic patio overlooking the Mediterranean's world-famous icebergs. Orange tablecloths and Tuscan-yellow walls fit into this intimate theme with their romantic, sunset-like colors.
At Cravings, soda jerks do things the old-fashioned way. They hand-make every batch inside their restored 1920s soda-fountain shop. The menu features a rotating lineup of 36 hard ice-cream flavors such as dutch chocolate and coffee. Diversifying the selection, the offer more than 100 custom-blended soft serve frozen yogurt and soft serve ice creams and frozen yogurts, including 40 varieties with no added sugar. In addition to crafting mainstay menu items, staff prepare fruit smoothies, frappes, floats, ice cream sodas, and ice-cream cakes.