One Flight Up's name refers to its shaded, dog-friendly balcony location, which overlooks the charming storefronts of Donnelly Street while cultivating relaxation with wind chimes and hanging plants. From 8:30 a.m. into the night, the café serves sandwiches, salads, desserts, and drinks suitable for each hour of the day. Breakfast begins with quiches, coffee, and espresso, and then lunchgoers can dig into tomato-basil bisque or a Harvest chicken-salad sandwich. At night, in addition to the food menu, the café's team cracks open beer bottles and pours wines that include Milton Park shiraz and Cortenova pinot grigio.
On weekend nights, live music wafts through the interior and out onto the balcony, twinkling with string lights. Mondays host open-mic performers, who demonstrate their abilities to take a microphone apart.
On a warm August day in 1938, a father and son unveiled the first sample of what was to become Dairy Queen, selling 1,600 samples on the first day, a feat as unheard of as a dragon that breathes ice. Its ensuing prolific expansion was fueled by its frozen treats, which propelled the dessert shop from 100 stores in 1947 to 1,446 in 1950. Today, their dessert recipes remain largely unchanged, and Dairy Queen has added hearty grilled hamburgers, hot dogs, and fried chicken to its menu. Dairy Queen's enormous dessert menu boasts treats ranging from soft-serve cones and blizzards filled with cookies to takeaway ice-cream sandwiches and cakes.
The creative culinarians at Fountain Café rely on fresh, locally sourced ingredients when possible to put a healthy spin on American home-style fare. Early rising diners can fuel up for a day of paper filing and minesweeping with a hearty full order of biscuits and gravy ($3.95) or a parfait of yogurt, granola, and fruit ($5.50). The cinnamon-infused french toast ($4.95) offers a sweet early morning surprise, like a litter of puppies sharing your bed. Silence the afternoon outcries of grumbling tummies with a Reuben sandwich ($6.95), grilled tomato and cheese ($3.25), or very veggie wrap ($4.95). Rotating daily lunch specials ($8.25), such as baked ziti, beef brisket, and stuffed peppers, celebrate the distinctiveness of individual weekdays often overlooked outside of calendar factories. Guests can also opt to swap in gluten-free bread (add $1) with most breakfast and lunch entrees.
Originally branded as the Top Hat Drive-In, Sonic Drive In didn’t acquire its nationally recognized name until 1959—six years after its inception in 1953. Today, the franchise operates out of 3,500 locations across the country, making it the nation’s largest chain of drive-in restaurants. Sonic Drive In specializes in made-to-order American classics, including burgers, hot dogs, milk shakes, and Ford Thunderbolts—which customers order and receive without ever having to leave their cars. Unique menu items include toaster sandwiches stacked on thick slices of texas toast as well as the brand’s signature tots and fresh limeades.
Sonic Drive In’s numerous awards include a 2011 Zagat survey ranking it among the top five fast-food restaurants in three categories: best value menu, best milk shake, and best drive-thru. The benevolent eatery has also donated more than $2 million to public schools throughout the country through Limeades for Learning, which helps to fund educational projects and retirement plans for classroom guinea pigs.
Wine Cellars of Mount Dora's rustic lounge brims with grown-up grape juice in white and red varieties from around the globe. Patrons can sip a sampling of crisp libations from Wine Cellars of Mount Dora's collection of worldly wines with a pairing of five 2-ounce wine servings that, when combined, equate to two full glasses. Groupon holders can savor the taste of Wente chardonnay alongside a Buehler chardonnay or coat taste buds in full-bodied flavors with a smidgen of Star Lane Astral and other bold reds. Exposed-brick walls, a 19th-century wooden bar, wine-barrel tables, and an abundance of time-traveling ex-presidents lend an Old World ambiance to the location’s rustic feel. Though not included in today's Groupon, the lounge also boasts a small-plate menu of roast beef, salads, and sweets.
The chefs at Al’s Top Shelf, which was voted Best Restaurant View in Lake County by Orlando Sentinel, whip up a menu of upscale steak and seafood. As eyes feast on breathtaking views of Lake Dora, incisors nosh on an 8-ounce filet mignon ($27) or the 20-ounce porterhouse ($30) blanketed in your choice of fixings including béarnaise sauce, blue-cheese crumbles, spinach, or goat cheese ($3 each). The stuffed flounder, which is packed with shrimp and crab, lazily backstrokes in a light lemon-cream sauce ($17). On Friday nights, live jazz music hypnotizes tightly clenched jaw muscles with a swell of soothing rhythms, tricking maws into opening wide for a relaxation elixir such as the Blue Razz-Berry Bliss martini, Bonterra cabernet sauvignon ($10/glass), or a pint of cough syrup.