The clatter of pins ripples through Cloverleaf Lanes, which proudly plays host to the longest-running American bowling tournament. But one need not be a pro to fling a ball down these lanes. Ample open bowling times mean that even newbie bowlers get a chance to experiment with bowling grips, whether using three fingers, four fingers, or their feet. Between games, guests can perch on one of the chrome stools at the snack bar or quaff a tasty brew chosen from the lounge's beer menu.
Plates piled high with Emerald Isle favorites share real estate on Murphy's Ale House's tables with burgers, sandwiches, pizzas, and hearty bowls of beer-cheese soup. Irish staples such as hand-breaded fish and chips and housemade shepherd's pie warm up bellies for upcoming bagpiping marathons. Frothy pints of Guinness pour freely into pint glasses or barbecue sauces, which chefs then use to smother baby back ribs and jumbo chicken wings. Pitas and pretzel buns keep slices of corned beef and ham warm on the coldest of nights, and American-style hoagies and burger sliders supplement the cavalcade of Irish fare. The pub's doors, located just over a mile from Cinemark Valley View, stay open until 2 a.m. daily, keeping patrons up past their bedtimes to take part in nightly events and boisterous football chants.
A firehouse-themed sports bar, Memphis Station offers tasty bar eats and a lengthy list of bottled and draft beer in a friendly neighborhood setting. A cast of signature homemade burgers, the undisputed stars of the menu, includes several options that arrive at the table slathered with cheese, layered with bacon, and loaded with Jack-in-the-box-puppets that spring down amused esophagi on first bite. The Hook and Ladder is treated with crumbled bleu cheese, bacon, pickles, an onion ring, and barbecue sauce ($8.50), and the Five Alarm melds pepper jack, jalapeño, spicy mayo, salsa, and hot sauce with cool ranch for dipping ($8.50). Patrons with daintier appetites can nibble basket appetizers while they play Picture Hunter or watch NFL Sunday Ticket on one of four flat-screen TVs. Adrift in a starchy potato-skin boat laden with cheddar, bacon, and sour cream ($7), eager eaters can sail to Asia with panko-breaded shrimp ($7), down to Baja with cheddar jalapeño quesadillas ($6.50), or off to the Emerald City by simply following the yellow brick road.
Peppermill Pub and Grill combines fabulous fare, delicious drinks, and wonderful WiFi to create an all-around accommodating and alliterative experience for diners. The restaurant's executive chef, John Wright, brings his 10 years of experience at the fine-dining restaurant Chez François in Vermilion to tempt your taste buds, serving up a full menu of soups, salads, sandwiches, daily entree specials, and lunch-buffet bites for those on the go. Start with a savory order of sausage-stuffed banana peppers coated with homemade tomato sauce and cheese ($8.99), or a serving of fresh spinach and artichoke dip with hand-cut tortilla chips ($8.99), before letting your teeth traverse the table to a main dish. Peppermill chicken primavera is a house specialty, with grilled chicken, spinach, roasted red peppers, artichokes, and kalamata olives tossed with herbed olive oil ($15.99). People who like to disguise their protein as a bun will enjoy the inside-out burger, sneaking American cheese, lettuce, and tomato between two quarter-pound beef patties ($8.29).
Voted 2010's 2nd Best Trendy Bar by the Fox 8 Hot List, The South Side dishes out a succulent menu of gourmet tavern fare overflowing with fresh takes on traditional pub mainstays. Quack for a small plate of chipotle barbecue duck pizza, featuring roasted tomatoes, scallions, provolone, mozzarella, and cilantro-lime vinaigrette ($9.50), or study a sandwich's delicious cheekbone muscles with the open-faced chorizo meatloaf topped onto sourdough and drizzled with rosemary cabernet gravy ($10). Grilled german bologna on a pretzel roll comes dressed with caramelized onions, spicy mustard, and horseradish havarti ($10), while hazelnut coffee-crusted sockeye salmon is served with seasonal squash purée and chocolate buerre blanc ($10) . Every Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., diners just waking up after a long night of unsuccessfully building an egg-juggling robot can dine on a brunch menu heaped with zesty midmorning fare such as chicken and waffles, which layers tempura, airline breast, belgian waffles, cinnamon butter, Ohio maple syrup, and a side of hot sauce ($7).
Babe's Sports Grille offers a rollicking combination of sports-bar charm and nightlife options, with live music on the weekends, a breezy outdoor patio, and hearty eats. Eyes hustle across the menu and into the defensive line of hefty appetizers, including sautéed Cajun shrimp salad ($8) and Babe's famous wings, accompanied by one of seven sauce options such as garlic-parmesan or barbecue ($7.50 for a dozen). Guests can sink baying canine teeth into a 14-ounce strip steak, served with garlic bread ($14), or pop breaded shrimp, fries, and coleslaw into gaping maws ($8). Specialty pizzas harbor time-tested culinary combinations such as the barbecue chicken ($10) and the four-meat Italian Feast ($14), and Babe’s make-your-own pies ($9+) challenge patrons to elect their own toppings, like bite-sized state senators. Fridays and Saturdays showcase the stylings of DJs and die-hard dancers, proving that, when performed correctly, modern dance can be considered a sport.
Across nearly three-fourths of the United States, AMF Bowling Centers reverberate year-round as families, friends, and competitors send bowling balls in search of upright pins careening down slick lanes. The company first established itself as an industry leader in 1946, the same year the sport introduced automated pinspotters, which allowed the teens who had previously been hand-setting the pins to focus on perfecting their jazz hands for upcoming street rumbles.
Today, more than 20 million bowlers annually make AMF their battleground for wars against pins. They attempt to knock them down during leagues, club play, and events such as birthday parties and fundraisers.
Between frames, AMF keeps players energized at onsite food zones stocked with wings, pizzas, burgers, and beer.