In his first design for 5 Wits, Mathew DuPlessie channeled the fedora-wearing, whip-cracking swagger of Indiana Jones. Called Tomb, this interactive entertainment experience threw its participants into ancient Egypt to solve riddles and clues from a supernatural pharaoh. Since then, DuPlessie, a graduate of MIT and Harvard Business School, has opened up two new adventures that combine the immersive special effects of a Hollywood movie with the interactive role-play of a video game. "It's hands-on entertainment," the former designer for Disney World and Universal Studios told the Patriot Ledger, "that forces people to get off their rear end."
Thus far, all of his adventures have worked to immerse the mind and the senses?the Shakespearean origins of the company's name. Taken from Much Ado About Nothing, "five wits" refers to the Bard's nod to memory, imagination, fantasy, common sense, and estimation. Though the scenarios are meant to thrill and challenge players, none are meant to frighten, nor are they designed to be beyond the reach of those with average physical ability and psychic powers.
Jump Trax's menagerie of inflatables plays host to kids of all ages for parties and open-play sessions. Sock-footed youngsters can explore two climate-controlled arenas filled with bounceable attractions, such as Spongebob’s pineapple house and a prehistoric obstacle course overseen by a tyrannosaurus rex. Other activities abound, such as tyke-sized push cars, a slide shaped like the Batmobile, or an inflatable Scooby Doo Mystery Machine. To prevent the inflatables from becoming vitamin D deficient, Jump Trax's location is used for block parties, barbecues, and birthday parties. Their menu consists of pizza and sodas, as well as goodie bags. Check out their FAQ for more info.
Lively chatter resounds off of brick walls at Cole's Tavern, where wafts of sizzling meats and fresh seafood emerge from the kitchen. As draft beer, wine, and spirits gush into glasses, fresh-ground Angus beef piles onto freshly baked buns and seafood and chicken burrow into nests of pasta. Chefs craft house-made dough for pizzas before arranging toppings, such as mushrooms, shrimp, and calamari, into a likeness of each customer's favorite Impressionist painting. Large plasma TVs and live music infuse the pub with a sense of revelry as bean bags careen across the court of an expansive outdoor courtyard and deck. A private-function room equips up to 100 guests with a full bar and buffet-style catering.
At Twelve Fine Food & Spirits, guests enjoy each other's company over plates of elegant, upscale casual fare, live music, and delicious wine and drinks. The menu blends European and American influences, serving up margherita pizzas and bowls of seafood chowder alongside Maine lobster rolls and hearty pulled-pork sandwiches. Acoustic and electric sets entertain crowds on Fridays and Saturdays, while a brunch menu greets the new day with feasts of Belgian waffles, cinnamon french toast, and biscuits 'n' gravy.
The chefs at Acapulcos Mexican Family Restaurant & Cantina aim to cook authentic Mexican dishes unaltered by any Tex-Mex influence. Their recipes reach back generations within the owners' family and several miles into their underground tortilla vaults. Spanish-speaking servers deliver simple combinations of protein or veggies, topped with vibrant sauces: carne asada steak dressed in green pepper and guacamole, tender pork loin in tomatillo sauce, chicken in chocolate mole. The chefs' adherence to tradition doesn't preclude experimentation. Case in point: the dessert burrito, a lightly fried tortilla wrapped around apple-cinnamon or creamy cheesecake filling.
Both the menu and the decor change slightly from location to location—a painting of Mexico here, a tiled mosaic there. Each one, however, has a full bar where bartenders mix margaritas and flat-screen TVs broadcasting sports overhead.
Guadalajara, nestled in the state of Jalisco, was the birthplace of many of the flavors used in Mexican food. Those influences shine through in the recipes at Taqueria Mexico, where the chefs draw on family recipes brought by over from the inventive city. The dishes have helped earn the eatery very good to excellent ratings on Zagat.
As at any good taqueria, the gorditas, tacos, tortas, and burritos can be stuffed with a wide range of meats and veggies. Carnitas, pork traditionally slow cooked with green chilies, is nearly as tender as steamed beef al vapor. Lengua, or beef tongue, is also a time-tested taqueria meat. And like the dependents section of a scarecrow’s taxes, the eatery’s quesadillas brim with squash.