The night after John Chacko, a hardworking man about to realize his dream, purchased the Jimmy's Central Lanes bowling alley, a roiling flood ripped over the banks of the Susquehanna River and destroyed the site. As a solitary man standing amid the wreckage, it would have been easy to walk away, but that wasn't his style. Instead, he rolled up his sleeves, ripped down the walls, and pulled up the floors. Not even a nail could be salvaged, but his love for the alley was still fully intact.
Today, it's hard to believe Chacko's was once under water. New lanes run as far as the eye can see, marked by fluorescent purples and blues, and a Memory Lane Lounge offers respite with draft beer and flat-screen TVs. But Dan Chacko still remembers the deluge. Bowling-alley patrons can stop into his pro shop and pick his brain about that breathtaking flood, or they can seek his advice on bowling-related matters such as how to pick up a split or how to match your wardrobe to your bowling shoes.
There's no hurry at Uncle Buck's BBQ. The chefs slow-cook and smoke meats such as ribs, brisket, and chicken, imbuing each plate with a tenderness that can't be rushed. Even the Old World-style pizzas have to bake inside a traditional brick oven long enough for the cheese to melt over and around the assorted toppings, such as pulled pork, sweet peppers, and garlic. Sub sandwiches and hamburgers, wings tossed in one of four sauces, and hefty steaks round out the menu of neighborhood-style American cuisine.
With its wood-paneled wainscoting and robin's-egg blue walls, the restaurant's dining area embraces the same casual, down-home charm as the menu. Outside, a wooden patio seats diners beneath an aluminum roof that provides better sun protection than a parasol slathered with sunscreen.
The Brown Barn Café is homey inside and out, from its wooden walls and house-life façade to its open kitchen filled with family recipes. Owners Bryant Belknap and John Costello, friends for more than 35 years, make foods they know and love, including Jack's lemonade—a recipe John Costello's son Jack devised when he was 10 years old. The internationally influenced menu also includes samosa pies and Vietnamese-style coffee, as well as café favorites such as tuna salad and quiche. And for dessert, the café sources fresh-made treats from Ah! Some Chocolates, which tack a sweet ending onto meals.
• For $10, you get $20 worth of new American fare for lunch. • For $25, you get $50 worth of new American fare for dinner. The Albright Restaurant's flavor apothecaries sate packs of urbane eaters with eclectically elegant salads, sandwiches, and hearty entrees for lunch and dinner within a historic Civil War–era mansion. Warm up teeth for an evening noshing, smiling, and ceremoniously clacking the melody from the "Battle Hymn of the Republic" with a starter of mini crab cake frittes ($9.50) before sinking them into to a succulent centerpiece dish, such as the rack of lamb ($31) or orange-barbecue-glazed salmon ($23). The thick hand-cut new york strip steak, like most of the dinner entrees, comes equipped with a side of potato and the vegetable du jour ($26). Lunch patrons can cool down torrid tongues with a cold sandwich such as the BLT with avocado ($6.50), or bundle up taste buds in the warmer bread-swaddled selections, which include the spinach-and-onion-laced chicken breast sandwich ($7.99) and the American burger served on a kaiser roll ($7.99).
Through the Looking Glass’s culinary wizards deftly silence hunger pangs with meticulously prepared lunch and dinner menus of upscale fare, welcoming diners to bring along their favorite libations within an eatery emanating romantic vibes. Pairs of midday munchers can bridge the gap between breakfast and second lunch with a leisurely lunch that kicks off with sizzling spoonfuls of soup, such as a zing-infused crab soup with cayenne pepper. Then, mouth dive into a petite filet-mignon sandwich that snuggles grilled tenderloin, sautéed mushrooms, and grilled peppers into the embrace of homemade bread, or sate herbivorous cravings sans chlorophyll injections with a portobello-mushroom salad dappled with sun-dried tomatoes.
Recipients of the Meteor Ireland Music Award's 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award, the five-piece Irish rock band The Saw Doctors attack the stage with a musical vigor that turns concert-goers into concert-stayers and have created an international following of tapping toes and envious guitars. Amid lofted arena ceilings and rustic woodwork, raucously bob your head as the band plucks and toots their musical vessels to tracks from their latest album, The Further Adventures of The Saw Doctors, as well as their well-known hits, including "I Useta Lover" and "About You Now". From the premium reserved area, patrons can sing along with lead singer Davy Carton, shout in approval of epic guitar solos, and show off their shredding air-accordion chops.