In a festively decorated restaurant, sample traditional Mexican dishes such as chunks of lean pork in a red sauce and deep-fried burritos
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The Taproom Pub and Grub
21 beers on tap pair with wings, burgers, chicken and waffles, smoked-pork sliders, and mac ‘n’ cheese squares served with bacon jam
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Teeth whitening treatments use LED light to remove discolorations and stains from choppers and restore bright, porcelain smiles
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Village One Plaza
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The Summoning Halloween Street Party
Heavy metal, monster wrestling, and barbecue made with Texas chainsaws welcome Halloween alongside 15 haunted rooms
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"Men Are from Mars Women Are from Venus"
The State Theatre
Based on the hit book by John Gray, Peter Story’s live performance elicits knowing laughter from both sexes
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Dr. Richard Amstadter DDS
Show off your smile with Dr. Richard Amstadter DDS
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Heal Yourself Within Massage
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Pixels By Angela
60-minute engagement, maternity, or couples photo shoot. Includes all photo proofs from the session, plus eight edited photos.
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Don's Mobile Glass
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Angel at Stone Fox Salon
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Robert Taylor's Shudo-Kan Karate
Pupils learn muay thai kickboxing combat techniques or dance to Latin-based rhythms during Zumba fitness classes
At age 6, when most little boys are obsessed with their toy trucks and plastic dinosaurs, Ken Miller was interested in playthings with steel shafts and the ability to send a ball soaring over the grass. Young Miller?s passion for golf didn?t wane as he grew older: after making a splash on the junior golf scene, he attended Fresno State University on a golf scholarship and toured competitively before retiring to teach. But after 10 years of working for someone else, Miller was ready to realize his own dream: a family-friendly range that satisfied even the pickiest golfer. So, with his kids and wife in tow, Miller spent a year sculpting 19 acres of land into what is now McHenry Golf Center.
Today, the practice facility?which was named one of the Top 100 Ranges in America in 2009 by Golf Range?presents players with an all-grass driving range whose lighting makes it possible to play with balls that are afraid of the dark. After landing shots on the range?s seven target greens, which taunt them from 50 to 250 yards away, golfers can work on their short game at an 11,000-square-foot putting green, then head over to a practice green guarded by five circular and kidney-bean-shaped bunkers. If they want help with their chipping technique or sand play, they can take lessons with Miller and other PGA pros. Golfers can refuel with fare from the center?s snack bar after a lesson or independent practice.
While creating McHenry Golf Center, Ken Miller designed a pro shop to meet the needs of both casual and dedicated golfers, whether they carry a standard coin purse or suitcases filled with golden golf balls. Customers can get an expert fitting before picking their clubs, thanks to the center's TaylorMade SelectFit System and Ping Advanced Fitting System. For putters and woods that need attention, Golfsmith Clubmakers?trained Jim Tocco awaits at the repair center, where he fixes grips and shafts, working quickly enough to offer next-day service.
The cooks at Velvet Grill & Creamery understand the timelessness of classic diner fare and a cold scoop of ice cream. All day long, they make breakfast, lunch, and dinner dishes from scratch and churn out fresh batches of more than 20 ice-cream flavors. Breakfast seekers satisfy savory cravings with three-egg omelets stuffed with ingredients such as avocado, crab, linguiça, and feta cheese. Sweet teeth tear into Velvet's original pancakes, made with real oatmeal and buttermilk from a special house recipe. Later-day options include classic comfort fare such as chicken-fried steak and smoked pork chops doused with an apricot glaze. Among the sandwich selection, the house-special mega grilled cheese ($7.39) combines four kinds of melted, gooey cheese between three slices of bread to form a meal hefty enough to knock over Mechagodzilla should he return from his semester abroad in Prague.
Diners can also lap up the eatery's rotating selection of homemade ice creams, which were spotlighted in the Lodi News-Sentinel for their incorporation of such unconventional ingredients as wine and butternut squash. Customers can also suggest new flavors and request special batches, which in the past have included licorice, bacon, and the sweet, sweet taste of victory over chinese finger traps.
Paula Gauthier loved working at Yesterday’s Books through high school and college so much that she ended up there, years later, as a manager. When the owners retired, she and her husband, Phillip, decided to buy the store and continue its more than three-decade run as a repository of new, used, rare, candy-coated, and out-of-print books. Today, the Gauthiers continually update a collection of more than 100,000 titles, all categorized into sections such as general fiction, classics, theology, and children's books stacked on floor-to-ceiling bookcases. They also stock eight always-unlocked display cases with rare books, such as a first edition of Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin that would buckle the knees of any bibliophile, history buff, or person named Tom. Other collectibles range from a specially bound copy of Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six to a signed volume by Edgar Rice Burroughs, author of the Tarzan and John Carter series.
The Gauthiers have also brought modern updates to the shop, such as replacing the paper-based store-credit system with an electronic one, which even gives members an online account to track available funds. Phillip observes that some regulars swap out up to 50 books per visit. In addition to book collections, the Gauthiers maintain a catalog of CDs, DVDs, and sheet music.
Dream Dinners founders Stephanie Allen and Tina Kuna want to help families gather around the table for delicious meals. Like many parents throughout the country, the two women tried to coordinate a family dinner, but their efforts were often thwarted by hectic schedules. As a dinnertime strategy, Stephanie began to prepare meals with fresh, raw ingredients and then freeze them so they could be quickly thawed and cooked during the week. This tactic became popular with her family. Before long, friends, friends of friends, and chimpanzee families that mimicked their friends wanted to learn her secrets. With help from Tina Kuna, she established the first Dream Dinners location, and the successful food-prep business has led to the creation of more than 90 stores in less than three years.
At each Dream Dinners location, customers find all the culinary tools to prepare a nutritious meal—everything from fresh ingredients to meal-packing materials. Each week Dream Dinners features a new menu of fix-and-freeze dinners that can be made for up to six people, providing customers with numerous options for planning quiet meals at home or dinner parties with friends. All ingredients are precut and measured to ensure an error-free fixing.
When the trio of Jenna Harvey, Ryan Woods, and Steffen Haro graduated from UC Davis, they decided to create their own jobs. "It's not in our character to throw up our hands and say, 'Well, we tried,'" Harvey says as she remembers doggedly planning a 400-square-foot shaved-ice shack with Woods and Haro. Their dream quickly evolved into a shop nearly five times as large, complete with an espresso bar, a kettle-corn popper, and a drive-thru window. Named Pura Vida for the Costa Rican phrase that captivated Harvey during a charitable trip in 2007?"Though it translates as 'pure life,' locals said they use it as 'live pure,' and we liked what it stood for"?the affable staff douses fluffy curls of ice with sweet fruits, puckery sours, and an array of sugar-free flavors accented with marshmallow topping or ice cream in the middle. Hot and iced coffees, which Pura Vida hopes to someday source directly from Costa Rica, enliven palates in between bites of kettle corn, which pop from whole-grain kernels. As soft music floats through the red-walled storefront, free WiFi ricochets across the hand-built bamboo counter and onto patio tables perched beneath a shady pitched awning.
A wildly successful alternative to traditional day spas?its more than 250 locations blanket 36 states and eight countries?Planet Beach Spa is a futuristic relaxation station where state-of-the-art machines administer all the spa and tanning services. These friendly automatons sometimes replace familiar treatments, as in the Luminous facial, a light-based service that delivers blemish-busting results similar to those of a conventional facial. But other equipment maps out new spa territory entirely: the Hydro-Derma Fusion chamber moisturizes the whole body with nutrient-rich steam in order to offset the effects of a dry climate or a rear-end collision with a salt truck. The range of services include total skincare, wellness, weight management, relaxation and renewal treatments. Other machines whiten teeth, spray-tan skin, and massage muscles. Planet Beach operates on a gym-style membership system, meaning that members purchase packages or pay flat monthly rates. As members spend more time at the spa, they get to know the helpful assistants who are always on hand to demonstrate how to use the equipment without activating its ability to cry.
Though he has more than 25 years of dentistry experience in the city of Modesto, Dr. Wayne Yee isn't content to let these years stand alone when it comes to his expertise. In addition to his practical experience, it's the letters MAGD that point to something more impressive. MAGD stands for Master of the Academy of General Dentistry, a title whose requirements entail at least 1,200 hours of continuing education, the mastery of a sprawling, 16-discipline and 500-question exam, and the annual achievement of four times the amount of continuing education required for a state license.
As one of the few dentists to meet these rigorous standards?fewer than 2% of practicing dentists in the United States, Dr. Yee points out?Dr. Yee takes great pride in his practice. He strives to offer transparent dentistry to his patients, meaning he's invisible when he treats you. With a gentle touch, Dr. Yee uses the latest technology. He takes digital x-rays and imaging to capture accurate portraits of dental health, and operates intraoral cameras for close-ups of teeth and potential problems.
Amanda MacDougall, owner of Saving Grace Hair Studio and graduate of Avant Garde, helms a seasoned staff, which includes a retro-hairstyle enthusiast and a makeup artist trained at the prestigious Blanche MacDonald Centre. When she isn't tending to the needs of her clients, she educates on behalf of L’anza Healing Haircare and travels the world, bringing back knowledge and visage-enhancing tools for her fellow stylists. Amanda strives to keep her services up to date by using the latest products and tools, such as Brazilian Blowout and the Ultrasonic Beaute Infared Iron, which applies keratin treatments without heat damage, changes the molecular structure of the hair, and seals in moisture laundered from Poseidon’s oceanic account.
Stylist and Streaks Salon co-owner Daydre Eastwood believes in the confidence-boosting power of a great hairdo. She and her stylists stay up-to-date on the newest techniques, offering guests traditional and cutting-edge ways to update their look with haircuts, color, and styling services. They harness a wide range of professional products to help make hair look and feel great, including vegan Pureology shampoos and conditioners and non-comedogenic, allergy-sensitive Glo Minerals products, which are not tested on animals. Streaks Salon's aestheticians, meanwhile, pamper guests with nail services, facials, waxing, and VersaSpa spray tans.
And if a paraffin wax treatment isn't enough to leave a guest relaxed, they can indulge in a massage?the salon's massage therapists are proficient in deep-tissue, myofascial, and shiatsu techniques.
The upbeat exercise enthusiasts at Kid Time Fitness steer tykes into tip-top shape by leading an array of fun and active recreational classes. Through 40 weekly sessions, the CPR- and first-aid-certified staff helps pintsize patrons of all ages, backgrounds, and experience levels develop new skills and uncover dormant passions, such as dance, gymnastics, yoga, or competitive napping. During For The Boys, instructors teach boys hip hop, tumbling, and breakdancing to a fast-paced beat. Gym-Fit, yoga, hip-hop, cheer, ballet, music, and art round out the roster of classes, which is more jam-packed with activities than Leonardo da Vinci’s secret lab, where to this day he still writes software applications to teach children art lessons.
As the vibrant, swirling skirts of belly dancers entrance patrons' eyes, Skewers' chefs slice up lamb, filet mignon, chicken, and salmon for the restaurant’s namesake kebabs. To sate carnivorous cravings, their flavorful meats—which are marinated for 48 to 72 hours in tangy Mediterranean spices and oils—are roasted over the open flame of a stove or a snoring baby dragon. Bartenders craft potent martinis and pour international wines that complement both the punchy flavors of the kebabs and the plumes of sweet, aromatic smoke that dance through the hookah garden. On select nights, the kebab house brims with the catchy beats of live jazz bands, late-night DJs, and brave karaoke performers, and belly dancers take center stage with their sensuous dance moves on Saturday evenings.
Blond-hued brick walls serve as a minimalist backdrop inside Tomoko Shima’s eponymous hair salon and reverberate with the owner and stylist’s cutting-edge styling techniques. After studying cosmetology and makeup in Tokyo and Osaka for five years, Tomoko crossed the globe to establish salons in New York City. Each hair service harnesses products including Unite Eurotherapy, which eschews such hair-damaging ingredients as sulfates, parabens, and casting calls for bubblegum. The brimming shelves also parade hair color from Davines, and lemongrass shampoo unleashes the herb's complex citric bouquet. Along with traditional haircuts and coloring, Tomoko also calls upon the increasingly popular japanese straightening technique.
A golf ace at the club professional level of the PGA, Lance Johnson spruces up golf swings with morsels of advice culled from 17 years of teaching experience. Formerly head golf pro at two golf clubs, Lance possesses enough swing-honing savvy to adjust his teaching approach for each client, helping them conquer unique goals such as eliminating a chronic slice or revising the rules to allow for gunpowder-assisted drivers. Lance operates out of the lush expanse of Escalon Golf Course, where he conducts focused swing analysis at the driving range and imparts more strategic, mid-round advice at the golf course. Pupils without their own set of sticks can use a set of Lance’s during lessons, saving them the hassle of molding irons out of titanium-plated wax.
Since 1978, Brenda Athletic Clubs has stood out from other gyms for its staff?s focus on offering all the amenities of a modern fitness facility while still fostering an inviting atmosphere. Its founder, Al Brenda, believed in fitness programs for all age groups, a mantra that the club continues today with youth fitness programs, including basketball clinics and yoga lessons, as well as a SilverSneakers fitness program for seniors. In addition to tennis, swimming, and standard strength and cardio equipment, the fitness centers supply its members with an ample amount of group classes including cycling, Zumba, and kickboxing.