Brentwood Country Club is a case study in effective land reclamation. A spot that was once fallow fields and rice paddies now houses a stunning golf course ringed with palm trees and native plants, where players of all skill levels master the challenges of the landscape’s shifting winds and winding creeks. PGA professionals help visitors select perfectly matched clubs and gear in the pro shop, outfitting golfers with footwear, bags, and casual attire from brands such as Callaway, Polo, Titleist, and Ping. The clubhouse also welcomes players for postround unwinding, inviting them to share stories of their exploits or select from shelves of leatherbound Arnold Palmer fan fiction in a lounge lit by a crackling fireplace. In addition to spotless fairways, the 140-acre facility boasts an extensive tennis and pool complex and a rustic, wood-raftered restaurant ready for weddings and banquets.
Tasty Italian cuisine weighs down the tables at Russo's, where diners can sprinkle items such as hamburger, goat cheese, and bell peppers ($1.95–$2.25/topping) on an original New York–style pizza ($12.95–$14.95). Crispy Italian Pizzotto bread crowns flatbread sandwiches including the meatball parmesan with house-made Italian meatballs ($8.95) or the chicken-portobello Pizzotto, filled with grilled chicken, sautéed spinach, and portobello mushrooms ($8.95). Fresh, trans-fat-free pastas provide padding for house specialties including the shrimp fra diavolo ($15.95), which sits in spicy, hot marinara sauce atop a bed of spaghetti and shredded dreams, or the chicken picatta pasta, prepared with sun-dried tomatoes, portobello mushrooms, and capers tossed in fettuccini pasta ($10.95).
Although some franchised eateries lose sight of tradition, the cooks at each Godfather’s Pizza locale stick to a 30-year-old practice of slathering thick, original-recipe crusts with vine-ripened-tomato sauce and quality cheese. Not all pizzas begin on robust foundations, however. The cooks also prep golden, buttery, pan-style crusts as well as thin and crispy crusts that allow toppings—such as such as green peppers, artichoke hearts, and seasoned chicken—to take the spotlight. Many Godfather's Pizza locations even offer gluten-free crusts, and a few locations serve pizzas in boxes that are weatherproofed so that they can be reused as sleds.
The Marble Slab Creamery sensory experience begins by just walking past the storefront, where the buttery scent of fresh-baked waffle cones drifts out into the air. Gourmet ice creams are freshly crafted on site from Marble Slab?s original recipe, enticing customer's eyes with a rainbow of colors. Once clients have made a flavor selection, they choose from a smorgasbord of mix-ins, from fresh fruit to nuts to candy and crumbled cookies, which an ice cream chef then hand-folds in atop a frosty marble slab before packing the finished custom-designed flavor masterpiece into a house-made waffle cone.
In addition to procuring hand-held treats, Marble Slab Creamery can send creations home in a variety of other formats, such as ice cream cakes, cupcakes, and hand-packed quarts, or in the capable hands of a catering team for sprucing up special events such a corporate get-togethers or school functions with sundae bars in tow.
In a brightly colored, inviting storefront, Orange Leaf's self-serve machines flow with swirls of frozen yogurt mixed daily and made with fat-free milk. Like the furniture in a mansion, the flavors chosen from the extensive menu rotate daily, and they include such concoctions as cheesecake, gingerbread, brownie batter, and peppermint. At least 30 varieties of topping await ascension to their cupped resting place, including seasonal fruits, favorite sweets such as M&M's and Butterfingers, and hearty nuts.
Hailing from humble beginnings in a renovated Mississippian gas station, McAlister's Deli has revolutionized the concept of fast food with healthy fare recognized by Parents in 2009. Premium ingredients, such as Black Angus roast beef and black forest ham, pile upon stuffed potatoes or artisan bread, sating hungers and silencing stomachs before they recite bank-account numbers. As patrons wait for servers to deliver meals, they sip signature sweet tea, swirled together onsite daily from pure cane sugar and a rainforest-certified black-tea blend as dictated by a closely guarded recipe.
In 1998, the clack of billiards balls met the clink of cold beers at the first Fast Eddie’s Sports Tavern and Social Clubs in Amarillo. Since then, 17 more Fast Eddie's locations have sprung up across Texas and Louisiana, each letting guests sink corner shots at 8- and 9-foot Olhausen pool tables while sharing a few drinks and snacks such as deep-fried hot dogs. Beyond the felt, home runs and touchdowns play out on multiple big-screen TVs as darts fly into targets and foosball tables re-create the exciting theatrics of gymnasts struggling to play soccer.