Black bears love strawberries. The bears of Northern California could often be seen wandering through the berry patches surrounding Mt. Shasta, an area favored by travelers since the 19th century because of the charmingly hospitable inns and restaurants found there. Bob and Laurie Manley were inspired to recreate the area’s post–Gold Rush hospitality, and they opened their first restaurant, Black Bear Diner, near those same strawberry patches. Nearly 20 years later, their brand has grown to encompass 50 different locations, each of which retains the founders’ principles of small-town charm and generosity. The menus also preserve the mom-and-pop vibe, with dishes such as secret-recipe sweet-cream pancakes, old-fashioned burgers wrapped in wax paper, and, of course, homemade bear claws. Each location is adorned with a trademark bear sculpture that has been hand-carved by Washington chainsaw artist Ray Schulz, who often grants his works with regional characteristics such as cowboy hats or taxi-hailing skills.
Named Best Brewpub of 2010 by LocalEats, Boulder Dam Brewing Company surrenders up flights, pints, and growlers of its delicious brews to awaiting mouths. The brewery magic begins with six samples of the pub's dam-inspired brews, such as the High Scaler IPA, a bold beverage packed with cascade hops, and the Aggregate Amber, a smooth, copper-colored ale whose bubbles contain immaculately preserved prehistoric fossils. The Powder Monkey Pilsner, named after the dam's explosive-packers, boasts a refreshing, malty flavor. Once the sampling is completed, choose your favorites for two more pint-size preparations. This cavalcade of brews can be enjoyed with selections from the pub's tasty menu (not included in today’s Groupon).
Milo’s Cellar is a Southern Nevadan’s Favorite. Milo’s is located in the center of the historic downtown of Boulder City. Milo’s Cellar consists of an indoor bar and restaurant and a comfortable sidewalk café. The Cellar has 65 craft beers and 300 kinds of wine. The menu consists of specialty sandwiches, platters & more.
Just weeks before his wedding in 2006, Vaughan Lazar sat down with his college friend Michael Gordon. They weren’t fine-tuning toasts or planning the bachelor party, but rather intently discussing what they could do to make a difference in the lives of others. After a round of brainstorming, they realized that there was a lack of organic restaurants with quick dine-in, pickup, or delivery options, and thus, Pizza Fusion was born. Their menu features pizzas with regular, multigrain, and gluten-free crusts made from scratch and crowned with local produce, free-range chicken, and vegan toppings. Wine, gluten-free beer, and all-natural soft drinks from Honest Tea and Boylan accompany salads tossed with pear and gorgonzola or sandwiches stacked with portobello mushrooms and pesto. In addition to their organic pantry, the restaurant franchise keeps the environment clean, taking measures such as supplying a fleet of hybrid delivery cars for each store, constructing LEED-certified buildings, and purchasing renewable energy certificates to offset 100% of its power consumption. The pizza place is also home to the Organic Kids Club, which teaches children lessons in basic organics and rewards them with Pizza Fusion diplomas and early registration privleges for future semesters.
In the kitchens at Kyklos Greek Cafe, Sophocles, Constantine, and Ioannis Frangakis devise tasty dishes that draw on their Greek heritage and family recipes. Diners can select entrees from the eatery's medley of gyros, including the chicken gyros supreme, topped with feta cheese, and the philly gyros, replete with hot sauce and a Liberty Bell-esque crack in its pita bread. The menu further quells belly rumblings with an eclectic mix of homemade hunger-fixers, including greek salad, lamb-stuffed grape leaves, and the mediterranean sampler plate, a medley of falafel, tahini, hummus, tabbouleh, kalamata olives, and pita bread used to sop up every last morsel. Complete the transition from an innie to an outie with a bellybutton-bursting dessert, such as homemade baklava or melomakarona, traditional Greek–style cookies dipped in honey and topped with crunchy walnuts.
In 1959, Joe Aurelio Jr. opened a four-table restaurant in a suburb of Chicago to sell his home-cooked italian beef and pizzas. Slowly, the business grew, until it had taken over four storefronts—but it was still too small for the lines that stretched down the block. In 1977, Aurelio’s moved into a new, 12,000-square-foot space to become world's largest pizzeria. But demand continued to grow.
Today, cooks knead out the Aurelio family's secret pizza recipe and rehearse the Aurelio family's secret handshake at more than 40 locations across the country. They pile classic ingredients atop thin-crust pies, or bake up thick-crust renditions, stuffed pizzas, and Calabreses filled with spinach and cheese. Though the spotlight shines brightest on the pizza these days, the italian beef is still around, anchoring a menu of toasted sandwiches and pasta dishes.