In 1975, after lending his expertise to the owners of a sub shop in Sparks, Nevada, public accountant John Larsen realized that his true calling was right beneath his nose—and it smelled delicious. Larsen wanted to make sandwiches, and it wasn’t long before locals eagerly supported his dream.
A community-wide contest helped to name Larsen’s enterprise Port of Subs, a name that now, after nearly four decades, graces approximately 140 locales. Each shop has a crew of sandwich makers that prepares subs to order in front of customers, piling freshly sliced meats between toasted bread with hand-painted grill marks. Cold subs feature filling combinations such as roast beef and provolone or peppered pastrami and swiss, available on wheat, white, or sourdough bread. Oven-baked grillers enclose barbecue pulled pork, new york steak and cheese, and other savory meats.
In addition to feeding the locals, Port of Subs partners with community organizations for fundraisers and other events.
Within the historic Cottage Grove Hotel--where Buster Keaton once stayed while filming "The General"--Buster's Main Street Cafe is serving up fresh-made breakfast, lunch, and dinner using local ingredients. Burgers crowned in such accouterments as bacon, cheese, and avocado are made from locally-raised, grass-fed beef sourced from Knee Deep Cattle Company. In the morning, omelets and several styles of eggs benedict reward early-risers. Later in the day, guests make way for a huge selections of drinks--the menu features hundreds of craft brews and ciders, as well as more than 200 craft sodas, including 50 varieties of root beer.
Like the world around it, a person's skin changes from season to season. Seasons of Skin’s spa treatments, including massages, facials, and waxing, help treat a variety of recurring ailments, whether they're skin dried out by winter winds or unwanted leg hairs that bud alongside springtime blossoms. The spa tailors its treatments and products to meet any person's epidermal needs. Its own custom product line is designed with the most sensitive skin in mind, aiming to repair damaged complexions while also maintaining a smooth and healthy skin tone.
This upscale eatery incorporates fresh, local ingredients from local suppliers into an impressive menu packed with modern American dishes. Brannan's uses beef from Marin Sun Farms, oysters from Hog Island Oyster Co., and oxygen piped in directly through windows. Diners may initiate meal sequences with Thai curry mussels ($12) steamed in coconut milk and flanked by herb-buttered toasts. Main course entrants such as Idaho trout picatta with wilted spinach ($18) and hanger steak with wild mushrooms and chimichurri sauce ($25) vie for blue ribbons from opinionated taste-bud judges. A smooth glass of regional wine and a side of sweet corn risotto ($6) provide belly-pleasing backup to any meal, rendering patrons defenseless against Brannan's signature chocolate lava tort, a warm dessert that cloaks sweet teeth in robes of saccharine silk. The rich wood fixtures, stone fireplace, countryside murals, and soft lighting lend this wine country restaurant a refined and relaxed air conducive to good eats and friendly debates over the artistic merits of the painting Dogs Playing Poker.
Nestled in Napa Valley, FlatIron Grill soothes trembling tummies with a menu of succulent, hearty fare vitalized by artful culinary flourishes. Wake drowsy taste buds with a surf-meets-turf appetizer of dungeness crab cakes, accompanied with mixed field greens and citrus vinaigrette ($12.95), or sample slow-roasted pork tacos with pepper-jack cheese ($9.95) to provide the palate porcine pleasure. Entrees offer elegant spins on comfort fare with the buttermilk-fried chicken wing manned by italian-sausage gravy ($17.95) and the signature FlatIron steak, beefily robed with chimichurri sauce ($19.95). Should envious sweet teeth begin wailing from mouth-caves, swaddle them with one of FlatIron's whimsical desserts. Partake of an of-age sip of dessert wine ($8–$10) for a smooth finish at a peaceful meal or tasteful spit take at a surprising one.
When Claire Weinkauf approached five St. Helena wineries with her idea for a wine-tasting passport, she was greeted with unflinching cooperation. Instead of bristling at their competition, the winemakers at each site decided to join forces to entice patrons with their aromatic, sippable wares. Because the Napa Valley area is so rich with vineyards and natural attractions, Passport St. Helena condenses the wine-tasting experience into an easy jaunt along five blocks of downtown St. Helena.
The five wineries along the passport route each offer something a little different. The Clif Family Winery crafts special climber blends sourced from local mountain vineyards, while the St. Helena Wine Center cultivates rare flavors from regional and international vineyards. Long Meadow Ranch Winery combines quality flavors with an eco-friendly outlookthe winery’s solar panels supply its electric needs and biodiesel fuels power its farm equipment and robot grape pickers. Merryvale was the first winery built in the Valley following the repeal of Prohibition, enchanting guests with landscaped gardens and a historical cask room with giant barrels stacked from floor to ceiling. Tamber Bey Vineyards brews cabernet sauvignon, merlot, and chardonnay with grapes all plucked from its pair of estate vineyards. As enophiles move through the wineries, they’re equally enticed by wine samples as they are by the product and activity discounts the passport also provides.