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.
Independently owned Mojo’s lifts eyeshades daily with direct-trade, organic P.T.’s Coffee, winner of the 2009 Macro Roaster of the Year award from Roast magazine. Bean drinkers can slurp and sip an array of beverages concocted by highly trained espresso machinists. Cloak stiff upper lips with the froth of a regular or flavored mocha ($3–$3.46) or cappuccino ($2.54–$2.77), which use Monin syrups and Ghiradelli chocolate to enhance espresso canvases. Coffee imbibers can also roast the midnight oil with Mojo’s I.V. Stat ($3.69–$3.92), a four-shot flavored latte useful for judging Monopoly tournaments and rousing hibernating bears. Though not covered by this Groupon, Mojo’s also whips up paninis, wraps, and quiches from behind their cherry-wood-hue counter.
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.
Over the course of three generations, Fox Ridge Restaurant's owners, the Davis family, have brought decades of culinary experience to the upper floor of the Fox Ridge Clubhouse, building up a menu of sandwiches, salads, soups, pastas, and hearty entrees from the grill. The restaurant’s large wooden windows and its views of the tree-lined golf course create a pastoral backdrop to a snack of house-made hummus with fried pita chips ($5.25).
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.
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).