The Cove's rock 'n' roll-infused menu fends off grumbling belly drum solos with a wealth of musically dubbed pub plates. Kick off mealtime medleys with an order of Onion Ringz of Fire ($5.95) before moving on to mouthwatering main courses. Satiation-seeking diners can delve into the Nat King Cove burger basket, a double-stacked burger appetizingly accessorized with all the trimmings ($9.95), or tastily toboggan on the saucy slopes of the Dixie chicken alfredo pizza, replete with garlic chicken and alfredo sauce on a thin, crispy crust (12", $13). Sups may be paired with sips of beer, such as Summit pale ale ($4 for 16 oz.) or a globally sourced selection of wine, such as the Italian Gionelli pinot grigio ($4 a glass, $15 a bottle). The Cove accommodates petite prodigies with a kids’ menu, sure to satisfy those who still play Wipeout on pots and pans and rock out with pet rocks.
When Travis Dickey opened the first Dickey’s Barbecue Pit in 1941, the menu offered beef brisket, pit hams, barbecue beans, potato chips, drinks, and that’s all. By focusing on perfecting the flavors of a few dishes, Travis was able to increase quality, and, ultimately, customers. Patrons were so enamored of the food that the restaurant eventually expanded into a nationwide franchise, allowing Americans all over to wear badges made of barbecue sauce. Over the past 70 years, Dickey’s has been passed on to Travis’s sons, but not much else has changed—the quality meats are still seasoned and smoked on site, and except for the addition of spicy cheddar sausage in 2011, the menu remains the same. Regional meats ensure that the most succulent Texas-style chopped beef brisket, old-recipe polish sausage, and fall-off-the-bone pork ribs make it to tabletops. Sides such as mac 'n' cheese and green beans with bacon continue to enhance feasts with an extra punch of homestyle tastiness. Each meal comes complete with complimentary ice cream, soft rolls, and dill pickles.
The Wilds Pub's all-you-can-eat Sunday brunch of more than 40 foodstuffs will challenge even the most triple-tummied bovine-Americans. Traditional breakfast items such as gooey cinnamon rolls, pillowy Belgian waffles, and omelettes made to order can sit pretty atop a bed of steaming hash browns or seasonal fresh fruit. First-course options include an assortment of salads, smoked salmon, and peel-and-eat shrimp. If you’re of a midday meal mindset, consider more sophisticated entrees such as the chicken amaretto, seafood pasta, or honey-glazed ham, roast turkey, and prime rib fresh from the carving station. And be sure to keep your leg hollow and your sweet-tooth sharpened for homemade pastries and soft-serve ice cream.
Cal Chadwick opened up Cal's Market & Garden Center in 1961, just down the road from his family home and corn farm. Like a 99-year-old earthworm, Cal felt a deep connection with the land, building a greenhouse and tree and shrub nursery before passing down his business to his daughter, Carina, and her husband, Bryan. Today, avid gardeners, farmers, and amateur horticulturalists work hand-in-hand with the friendly, knowledgeable staff at Cal’s to pick out evergreens, plot vegetable gardens, and plan landscaping projects. With the help of personal shoppers, clients can stock up on hanging baskets, bulbs, and soils for creating a fragrant flowerbed, or hire out a trusty mechanical hedge trimmer or tiller for extensive lawn maintenance.
Tokyo Sushi & Grill's expansive menu combines hot appetizers and entrees with cool and contemporary sushi rolls that please both traditional and daring palates. Those embarking on a new journey into raw fish can begin with simple slices of assorted sashimi ($18.95) or warm up to the idea with a cooked roll such as the toasted salmon skin with cucumber ($5.95). Tokyo’s specialty rolls balance sweetness and spice as deftly as a love letter written in hot sauce, and include the Happy Roll (spicy tuna, smoked eel, and banana tempura; $12.95) and the Fire Island (Alaska crabmeat and chili sauce; $13.95). Dinner entrees such as beef teriyaki ($15.95) and shrimp tempura ($16.95) are accompanied by soup, spring rolls, shumai, rice, salad, and a california roll.
Originally opened as the Top Hat Drive-In in 1953, Sonic has grown into a burger-franchise mecca that today operates out of 3,500 locations across the country, making it the nation’s largest chain of drive-in restaurants. Sonic specializes in made-to-order American classics—including burgers, hot dogs, milk shakes, and marshmallow Ford Thunderbolts—which customers order and receive without ever having to leave their cars. Unique menu items include toaster sandwiches stacked on thick slices of texas toast, as well as the brand’s signature tots and fresh limeades.
Sonic’s numerous awards include a 2011 Zagat survey ranking it among the top five fast-food restaurants in three categories: Best Value Menu, Best Milk Shake, and Best Drive-Thru. The benevolent eatery has also donated more than $2 million to public schools throughout the country through their program Limeades for Learning, which helps to fund educational projects and retirement plans for classroom guinea pigs.
Sever’s Corn Maze isn’t just a cornfield with some paths cut into it. It’s a full-scale celebration of the autumn season, combining traditional harvest activities and treats with bounce pillows, petting zoos, and magic shows. The farm welcomes in guests from mid-September through the end of October, inviting them to share in the fun of picking their own pumpkin, biting into a crisp caramel apple, or finding all of the checkpoints in a themed maze without running into the centaur scarecrow. The Severs offer enough activities to keep families busy all day, including seeing which little piglet will win the derby race. Knowing that guests can work up an appetite between all their activities, the Severs offer a range of autumn goodies including brats, kettle corn, cheese curds, and steaming mugs of hot cocoa and cider.