Though Dannyboys Smokehouse chefs whip up an impressive array of more than two dozen varieties of barbecue sauces, they are most proud of their signature, slow-smoked barbecue meats. The smokehouse masters dry rub all of their beef, pork, and poultry before smoking meats for up to 14 hours to procure their tangy flavor. They assemble meats into a variety of platters, sandwiches, and specialties, pairing plates with sides of baked beans, potatoes, and salads. Out in the dining room, guests deliberate over options at the lengthy sauce bar or linger over final bites of fruit cobblers. The restaurant’s lengthy family-style tables, cheerful Western decor, and absence of piranha-filled fish tanks create a friendly, welcoming atmosphere.
Since 1939, the Fraese Drug Soda Fountain & Grill has been associated with healing pharmaceuticals and tasty old-time fare. Now under the direction of Janet Ellis and Don Kaufman, Fraese Drug deals prescription and over-the-counter medications, as well as odds and ends such as glasses, sunglasses, vitamins, and diabetic supplies. At the soda fountain, decorations harken back to a simpler time while a menu teases nostalgic palates with classic sandwiches, burgers, desserts, and ice cream treats.
Drawing from more than two decades of culinary capability, the Breadbasket bakes a fanciful selection of glistening and flaky pastries and offers a lineup of three themed buffet meals. The all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet, served every day but Sunday, crams fussy bellies with cinnamon rolls, biscuits and gravy, fresh fruit, eggs, sausage, and more. On Sundays, the five-meat buffet traverses a mountain of fare including fried chicken, fantail shrimp, tilapia, roast turkey, and a fifth rotating meaty surprise ($12.49 for adults). Foreign-flavor seekers flood the dining room on Friday and Saturday evenings for the German buffet, featuring zwieback and homemade apple butter, german sausage with sauerkraut, and borscht ($11.49 for adults), providing a better tour of Germany than a zeppelin piloted by Johannes Gutenberg.
Vibrant hardwoods envelop the lush fairways of Fox Ridge Golf Club's nine-hole course as they stretch across 3,174 yards of scenic, secluded terrain. The horticultural haven encircles a central stream, which comes into play on four holes and houses a sophisticated underwater civilization that uses golf balls as currency. Rounds end in dramatic fashion at the ninth hole—a 498-yard par 5 that doglegs slightly left and contains the widest segment of the intervening river, forcing spiky-shoed adventurers to make cerebral course-management decisions. Head golf pro Mike Riffel guides greenhorns on their path to green jackets with a variety of golf lessons.
At Luigi's Italian Restaurant, candles decorate each table and Italian music drifts through the room. You can steer chunks of fresh bread through olive oil while reading over the menu, which offers plenty of opportunities for twirling a fork or designing a stylish pasta wig. An appetizer of fried mozzarella might lead to a meal of spaghetti carbonara with bacon, eggs, and a white cream sauce. For dessert, Luigi's chefs roll out strawberry cheesecake, tiramisu, and other delicacies.
Curtis Crawford has tackled Barry Sanders and thrown a strike past George Brett—accomplishments all the more impressive considering he was never a professional athlete. The tackle happened in a high-school football game against Sanders's Wichita Northwest (Curtis played for Manhattan), and the strike happened when, as an adult, he participated in a Royals fantasy camp (Brett got a hit off the next pitch). Curtis has had a passion for sports his whole life, and even though he never pursued it as a career, it's had a huge influence on his professional path.
Curtis studied hotel and restaurant management at Kansas State, and over the years honed his chops at national institutions such as Applebee's and Taco Bell. But when the Village Restaurant in Newton went up for sale in 1994, he bought it. One of the first things he did was decorate—using, of course, the loads of sports memorabilia he'd collected over the years, including an autographed Joe Montana Chiefs jersey and an entire corner of George Brett relics. And in that spirit of timeless Americana, his menu gathers together everything from hotcakes and biscuits with gravy to chicken-fried steaks and chili cheeseburgers. There's even a burger named after the Newton High School Railers, topped with shredded cheddar, onion rings, barbecue sauce, and notes from girls who think it's cute.