Plates piled high with Emerald Isle favorites such as corned beef and shepherd’s pie grace Kavanaugh's tables, which open their mahogany arms to families as well as those looking for a casual pint. The rustic, clover-laden interior is the setting for limerick recitations and scrumptious meals such as the corned beef and cabbage—thickly sliced slabs of meat paired with seasoned cabbage and buttery boiled potatoes ($14.99). The ground-beef shepherd’s pie bakes up lean beef, peas, carrots, and mashed potatoes culled from Mr. Potato Head's personal entourage into a golden-brown crust ($12.99). A flavorful host of American-style pub fare complements the Irish cuisine, with Sean Patrick’s burger charting in at a robust half-pound ($5.99), and appetizers such as nachos ($4.99) and chicken wings ($7.99) courting frothy pints of Guinness. A Little Leprechauns lunch menu ($3.99) allows parents to inundate youthful lads and lassies with old-country culture in a friendly atmosphere, without the threat of ferocious Celtic tigers.
Peppered with a fleet of entertaining games, the jovial bar atmosphere at Beer Bellies serves as a textbook example of the ideal environment for patrons to throw back libations and snack on classic grill fare. Like a fish's dining room, the watering hole boasts limited table seating, but customers can perch along the ample bar to imbibe beers and cocktails mixed by a staff of friendly bartenders. Fried appetizers, including mozzarella sticks and cream-cheese-stuffed jalapeño poppers, precede burgers swathed in american or pepper jack cheese. Between bites, diners can test their luck and elbow strength on penny, nickel, and dime slot machines. A fleet of Keno varieties, including Caveman Keno and Lightning Keno, neighbor digital poker and black jack, and budding opera stars can take the stage for karaoke on Friday and Saturday evenings.
Inspired by Prohibition-era vigilante Richard Williams Jr.'s illicit liquor deliveries, Whiskey Dick’s boasts a menu of savory burgers, sandwiches, and more, as well as 16 draft beers. Goad chompers into taking on the Big Dick’s burger challenge, a beef binge that bombards mouth caverns with nine 1/3-pound patties slathered in cheese ($26.11). Those who complete consumption in 15 minutes are rewarded with a T-shirt, not having to pay for the burger, and a set of false teeth once worn by champion eater George Washington. Vacant belly hovels can also be furnished with the fried mac 'n' cheese ($8.79) and a slab of Don’t Let Your meatloaf ($10.14, available 5–11 p.m.)
The Franklin Institute brings hands-on science fun at Pennsylvania's most visited museum. Spanning three floors, the Institute gives a voice to human ingenuity—past and future—with hundreds of interactive exhibits such as The Giant Heart, Changing Earth, and Sports Challenge, as well as explosive live science shows, an indoor SkyBike ride, and the city's tallest IMAX theater,which is 5 stories high. Though now filled with a range of space-age attractions, the Institute began with single purpose.
Samuel Vaughan Merrick and William H. Keating established The Franklin Institute in 1824, to honor the life and achievements of Benjamin Franklin. In the following decades, the Institute hosted forward thinkers such as Nikola Tesla, who gave a demonstration on wireless telegraphy in 1893. In 1930, the board decided to expand the space into a new science museum—and raised the funds in 12 days. The museum opened to the public in 1934—and in the same year hosted the first public demonstration of an all-electronic TV system.
A visit to The Franklin Institute’s includes access to three floors of permanent interactive exhibits including the iconic, two story tall Giant Heart. Other exhibits include Space Command, which invites visitors to recover an unmanned space probe and examine real astronaut equipment. At Changing Earth, visitors create their own weather patterns, play with steams of water, and build structures that can stand up to earthquakes or all-elephant 5Ks.
At various daily showtimes, the Franklin Theater’s high-contrast screen displays 3D films on animals, earth ecosystems, and human history. In the recently renovated Fels Planetarium, the second oldest in the nation complete with a rooftop observatory, audiences witness projections of weather and space spread across a 60-foot seamless aluminum dome. Daily live science shows draw an enthusiastic crowd, and interactive science carts invite visitors to observe a live heart dissection or try their hand at paper-making.
Burrowed inside Treasure Island Hotel and Casino is Kahunaville Island Restaurant & Party Bar—a triple-threat dining, drinking, and party venue boasting big-island flair-style bartending and an epic selection of rums. The flashy mixologists "transcend the typical role of a bartender and become a source of entertainment," writes Justin Lawson for Vegas.com. Bedazzled bartenders such as Essie from Stockholm and Nicola from Milan turn ordering a tropical cocktail into an acrobatic exhibition of flipping bottles, throwing flames, and convincing pimento olives to jump rope. Meanwhile, seasoned chefs whip up eclectic eats that feature Mediterranean, Caribbean, and Asian flavors sprinkled over steaks, seafood, and burgers.
The restaurant sports a tiki-hut motif, its faux palm leaves shading diners as they nosh at vibrant tables of blue, green, yellow, and orange patterns. A stone water wall glows phosphorescent, while stone pillars accept the snug embrace of flowery vines and confused tree-huggers. Outside, patrons enjoy mixed drinks on the patio under huge palm trees or beside a sapphire pool. On Wednesday–Sunday, DJs add an upbeat soundtrack while patrons dine and view sporting events on one of three projection screens or 22 HD flat-screen TVs.
When chef John McKibben first opened Grape Street Cafe in 1997, his small restaurant took a back seat to a large front-of-the-house retail area where customers could purchase house-made sauces, salads, and high-quality wines. Though the concept quickly transitioned to focus on the fresh, house-made dishes flying out of his kitchen, McKibben has held on to his retail license and continues to encourage his diners to finish their meal by picking up a bottle of wine to go or commissioning a self-portrait painted with balsamic vinegar.
With the exception of a handful of rotating nightly specials, the menu has stayed largely the same, and Chef McKibben credits the cuisine as the eatery's 14-year secret to success. Dinner finds the shop's signature hot sandwiches, creamy pastas, and pizzas sharing top billing alongside nationally inspired entrees such as a baked Alaskan halibut topped with lemon beurre-blanc and Colorado lamb in a sweet-and-sour mint glaze. However, the diverse menu is designed to complement the restaurant’s real draw: its extensive wine selection. Up to 90 vinos are available by the glass each day, with selections that hail from as near as Napa and as far away as Mosel, Bordeaux, Rioja, and Mos Eisley.