Drawing from more than two decades of culinary capability, the Breadbasket bakes a fanciful selection of glistening and flaky pastries and offers a lineup of three themed buffet meals. The all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet, served every day but Sunday, crams fussy bellies with cinnamon rolls, biscuits and gravy, fresh fruit, eggs, sausage, and more. On Sundays, the five-meat buffet traverses a mountain of fare including fried chicken, fantail shrimp, tilapia, roast turkey, and a fifth rotating meaty surprise ($12.49 for adults). Foreign-flavor seekers flood the dining room on Friday and Saturday evenings for the German buffet, featuring zwieback and homemade apple butter, german sausage with sauerkraut, and borscht ($11.49 for adults), providing a better tour of Germany than a zeppelin piloted by Johannes Gutenberg.
Vibrant hardwoods envelop the lush fairways of Fox Ridge Golf Club's nine-hole course as they stretch across 3,174 yards of scenic, secluded terrain. The horticultural haven encircles a central stream, which comes into play on four holes and houses a sophisticated underwater civilization that uses golf balls as currency. Rounds end in dramatic fashion at the ninth hole—a 498-yard par 5 that doglegs slightly left and contains the widest segment of the intervening river, forcing spiky-shoed adventurers to make cerebral course-management decisions. Head golf pro Mike Riffel guides greenhorns on their path to green jackets with a variety of golf lessons.
At Luigi's Italian Restaurant, candles decorate each table and Italian music drifts through the room. You can steer chunks of fresh bread through olive oil while reading over the menu, which offers plenty of opportunities for twirling a fork or designing a stylish pasta wig. An appetizer of fried mozzarella might lead to a meal of spaghetti carbonara with bacon, eggs, and a white cream sauce. For dessert, Luigi's chefs roll out strawberry cheesecake, tiramisu, and other delicacies.
Curtis Crawford has tackled Barry Sanders and thrown a strike past George Brett—accomplishments all the more impressive considering he was never a professional athlete. The tackle happened in a high-school football game against Sanders's Wichita Northwest (Curtis played for Manhattan), and the strike happened when, as an adult, he participated in a Royals fantasy camp (Brett got a hit off the next pitch). Curtis has had a passion for sports his whole life, and even though he never pursued it as a career, it's had a huge influence on his professional path.
Curtis studied hotel and restaurant management at Kansas State, and over the years honed his chops at national institutions such as Applebee's and Taco Bell. But when the Village Restaurant in Newton went up for sale in 1994, he bought it. One of the first things he did was decorate—using, of course, the loads of sports memorabilia he'd collected over the years, including an autographed Joe Montana Chiefs jersey and an entire corner of George Brett relics. And in that spirit of timeless Americana, his menu gathers together everything from hotcakes and biscuits with gravy to chicken-fried steaks and chili cheeseburgers. There's even a burger named after the Newton High School Railers, topped with shredded cheddar, onion rings, barbecue sauce, and notes from girls who think it's cute.
For more than 30 years, the cooks at Charlie's Restaurant have been whipping up delicious American-style sandwiches, salads, burgers, and pies for hungry truckers and truck-loads of hungry families, 24 hours a day. Diners can warm up tummy tanks with starters such as the house specialty cheese fries (large, $4.59) before curving mitts around sandwiches such as a swiss-and-bacon-topped charbroiled chicken melt ($7.99) or a ham-topped Chuck burger ($6.99), which introduces itself as "Charles." Entree-size appetites can find sizeable satisfaction in plates piled high with sugar-cured pit ham ($9.99) or mushroom-gravy-and-onion-smothered baked steak ($6.49), and breakfast and lunch buffets ($6.59–$7.59) proffer a bottomless bounty of sustenance on weekends and weekdays, respectively. For dessert, wedges of freshly baked fruit, cream, meringue, and pecan pie ($2.99–$3.49/slice) await to reward correct answers in tummy Trivial Pursuit, and old-fashioned milkshakes provide sweet, creamy sips in flavors such as mocha, Oreo, and peanut butter ($4.29).
Big Larry's Burgers proprietor, Larry, and his wife, Heather, serve up classic soda-shop snacks in an Americana-themed eatery with checkerboard floors and booths lined with red vinyl. Patrons can sink teeth into hefty 3/4-pound burgers, philly cheesesteaks, or hot links and round out meals with sides such as fried pickles and bacon-ranch cheese fries. A children's menu offers pint-size meals served with fruit and special surprises.
A wave of flavor washes over visitors to Tsunami Teriyaki, who can dig into charbroiled teriyaki, chicken wings, and Thai and Vietnamese dishes. Spring rolls stuffed with chicken and vegetables and garnished with a ginger-lime sauce can start off meals, or diners can sample salad rolls made with carrots, bean sprouts, and peanut sauce. The hearty selection of noodles ranges from pad thai, “Thailand’s official rice noodle,” to vermicelli, Vietnam’s “light and healthy rice noodle.” The luscious noodles arrive mixed with cilantro, toasted peanuts, lemongrass, bean sprouts, and proteins such as tofu, chicken, or steak. The house Tsunami Specials platters include chicken or tofu mixed with string beans, Thai herbs, or a crushed peppercorn sauce. Thai iced tea and Vietnamese iced coffee wash down spices, and boba drinks of avocado, mango, and sour-green-apple flavors provide refreshing sips that may come with pearls of tapioca freshly stolen from the elusive tapioca oyster.