When John Ritter thinks back to 1948, he can almost taste the frozen treats he churned out during his after-school job at the local ice-cream parlor. Now, after a 35-year career as a film animator, he helps others to enjoy similarly sweet memories at Ritter's Frozen Custard. Here, friendly staffers handcraft each batch of frozen custard, an ultrapremium ice cream as smooth as a jazz record dipped in chocolate. At the counter, guests can sample the flavors of the day, which range from tart blueberry to gooey, crunchy mocha-almond fudge. Scoops of classic vanilla—along with more than 25 toppings—fill specialty creations such as brownie sundaes, hand-dipped malts, and freezer-ready ice-cream sandwiches.
Sand Bash showcases the shaggy sculptures of eighteen master sand sculptors from across the globe competing for sun-drenched glory. Enjoy good eats and drinks while surveying towering sand sculptures ranging from traditional castles to entire fiefdoms erupting from the flat surrounding beach. Sculptors, working in teams of two, will dig, dust, pat, and smooth sandy creations throughout the festival, with a final judging on Sunday afternoon by a celebrity panel. While not making scale replicas of the entire Andromeda galaxy, sculptors can participate in Friday and Saturday night "Quick Sand" competitions, in which beach covering works of art are whipped up in a mere 10 minutes.
For more than a decade, Pelican Larry’s has sizzled and slurped freshly caught fare amid lively music and entertainment. Pelican Larry’s menu makes a salivary splash with savory salads, sandwiches, and stomach quenchers served fresh from the sea. Salty scents and crunchy breading inundate the tongue in every bite of raw, steamed, still swimming, or flaky fried fish. Steer jaw jets into a platter of a dozen steamed clams ($10.95) or a half-pound of steamed shrimp ($8.95), or immerse incisors in a jerk chicken salad ($9.95) or pineapple salsa-topped mahi tacos ($11.95). DJs provide entertainment on weekend evenings starting at 10 p.m., while live music resonates through the Davis Boulevard location after 6 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays, shining a bright beam into the ear tunnels of auditory adventurers.
Blue Water Bistro ensnares an entire underwater ecosystem in its sprawling menu of recently netted seafood and steak, doled out in a bustling eatery fit for couples or entire crews. Embark on a hunger-fueled treasure hunt for Mahi Mac ($22.70), a culinary crown jewel embedded with macadamia-nut and panko gems shimmering in grilled pineapple-togarashi sauce. Mango-infused california rolls ($9.50) put a tropical spin on a sushi staple, and chipotle-barbecue baby back ribs ($22.50) can be used to build a flaming xylophone. Guide conquering chompers through the Chicken Shanghai's ($16.90) open noodle gates, guarding thai basil and broccoli stir-fry infused with a peanut soy sauce fiery enough to melt chocolate-sculpted cabanas. The bar's cascade of fruity libations paints a breathtaking Caribbean Sunrise ($10.50) across palates amid the eatery's wooden floors and illustrious swordfish sculptures.
Chef Jay Gillmore has years of restaurant-experience at restaurants such as Cru, Bistro 41, and Bacchus and knows that sometimes it's best to focus on doing just a few simple things really well. So, as the captain of the kitchen at Restoratives Cafe, he specializes in transforming raw, fresh ingredients into sandwiches that range from classic reubens to pork tacos and tortas stuffed with slow-braised beef brisket. A handful of refreshing salads and hearty soups fill out the rest of the menu. Thanks to a recent renovation, the eatery's atmosphere complements the playful quality of the food: the walls are covered with local art, and both the caf?'s name and menu are scrawled carefully across large chalkboards.