At The Cajun Experience, chefs bring a taste of southern Louisiana to Virginia. They take a thoughtful approach to the region's cuisine, making their own duck sausage in-house and importing fresh oysters from Pine Isle before shucking them and serving them on the half shell. And it wouldn't be a true Cajun experience without crawfish boils, which feature live crawfish harvested from Louisiana's waters.
The chefs whip up classics such as fried catfish, beignets, and po-boys, as well, but they also show a creative flair with signature dishes such as blackened shrimp tossed in lemon-champagne vinaigrette. These Cajun eats pair with tasty libations, which patrons sip while enjoying traditional Louisiana pastimes, including listening to live music and riding on a bucking 'gator.
The Coach and Horses Tea Room is to the restaurant, as a bed and breakfast is to the hotel. They present over 52 high quality teas from around the globe and dishes that are prepared by hand freshly on a daily basis. The tea room's decor provides an authentic colonial experience, with ornate rugs, patterned china, and hand-stenciled walls. Its colonial-style exterior has barely changed from its original construction in the 1790s. The original log walls and plank flooring have stood the test of time, contributing to the building's placement on the National Registry of Historic Places by the US Department of the Interior.
In production since 1988, Mackintosh Fruit Farm introduces city slickers to country life with seasonal crops available for handpicking and a meandering corn maze. Harvesting hands can make their way through rows of ginger gold, gala, golden delicious, york, and fuji apples, filling containers with up to eight pounds of potential pie-fillers or impressing dates by playing catch with squirrels. Couples may alternatively opt to adopt a newborn pumpkin from Mackintosh's patch to serve as protective porch guardians during late-October monster invasions, then find their way through a maze of corn, where seven game and activity stations entertain along the way. The corn maze takes most people an hour to navigate, though delays can result from sightings of a translucent James Earl Jones.
In 1993, the basement of a Minneapolis apartment building was transformed into an Italian restaurant, becoming the first Buca di Beppo. The owners soon found themselves riding a wave of popularity and marinara sauce as they opened new restaurants across the nation. Today, the eatery occupies 97 locations nationwide, from San Francisco to Times Square.
At each location, chefs maintain the northern and southern Italian flavors that made the original so popular, with a few American twists. Then they serve it up in massive, family-style portions, making Buca di Beppo a favorite place for hungry families and groups of friends.
For starters, the chefs bake up batches of Cheesy Bread Florentine, a colorful combo of spinach, roma tomatoes, and garlic sprinkled over Italian bread and sealed in place with fresh, melted cheeses. Entr?es are prepared with an eye toward quality and quantity, both of size and selection, complete with Veal Parmigiana, Baked Ziti, and classic Italian-American staples like Ravioli and Lasagna. And in keeping with the convivial atmosphere, they also serve truly decadent desserts. The Mt. Vesuvius Dark Chocolate Cake erupts with melted chocolate, and the Colossal Brownie Sundae towers above other sweets with six scoops of ice cream and tiers of sundae trimmings.