Connected by an asphalt web of highways, state roads, and thoroughfares, blocky yellow signs gleam nonstop, casting a dandelion glow from the words “Waffle House.” The booths at the eateries fill 24 hours each day with the aromas of sizzling pork chops, Jimmy Dean sausage, and endless mugs of coffee. Line cooks brown shredded potatoes on a grill as waiters shout back in a language all their own for hash browns “smothered,” “covered,” or “topped”—served with onions, cheese, or chili, respectively. Angus burgers and steak melts share space on the rippling-hot surface at all times of day, allowing tired drivers to stop for food when they are on a long journey or just listening to an 11-hour drum solo on the radio. The first Waffle House switched on its lights in 1955, and some menu items still bear the names of Waffle House staff of the past, including Bert's chili from Dallas and Alice's iced tea.
Every day at all of El Nopal’s locations, cooks whip up fresh batches of salsa, chips, and beans. The sauces and sides accent chicken or beef chimichangas, handmade tamales, and nachos smothered in cheese. All El Nopal locations offer complimentary chips and salsa with every meal, and some locations have outdoor seating areas. Performances by live bands at select locations serve as a pleasant distraction from meals, unlike a judge with highfalutin ideas about not eating in court.
Situated across from Indiana's former state capitol building, within walking distance of many unique shops, antique malls, and historic sites, Magdalena's is the perfect spot to relax and unwind while sampling savory café fare and sipping delicious java drinks. Comprised of both a full-service eatery and coffeehouse, Magdalena's boasts an extensive lunch, dinner, and drink menu. Warm up taste engines with grilled portabella mushrooms, marinated in pesto, olive oil, and garlic and topped with caramelized onions, sun-dried tomatoes, and melted swiss ($8.99). Once primed, try one of Magdalena's signature sandwiches and burgers, such as the cranberry walnut chicken salad croissant ($8.99) or the Minnesota melt, a grilled burger buried in a sautéed avalanche of onion, monterey-jack cheese, and sliced jalapenos ($7.99). Dig incisor shovels into the prime-rib pasta with asparagus ($16.99), or get stuck in the greenatational pull of an herbivore-friendly dish, such as the creamy vegetable lasagna ($12.99). Arid maws can find aqueous reprive at Magdalena's Café on the Square, a coffeehouse serving up freshly brewed coffee, espresso, and specialty drinks made from 100% locally roasted Arabica coffee beans. Grab a hot, iced, or frozen brew and settle in at one of the café's cozy leather sofas, or pod-people watch on the outdoor patio, which overlooks the town square.
Though ghosts may or may not still haunt the halls of the old Meade County Jail, the ambrosial scent of pizza certainly fills the air, drawing living visitors to the ancient hoosegow. Housed in a weathered brick early 20th-century building that once famously locked up Hank Williams Sr., Jailhouse Pizza surrounds its guests with rich history. Its rickety metal cell doors and old-school vintage advertisements mingle with the wanted posters, faded photographs, and antique appliances such as 2009 cell phones found throughout the restaurant. Toppings such as classic pepperoni, olives, or sausage dot the landscapes of pizzas, as well as inventive flourishes such as spicy buffalo sauce, baked spaghetti, or sliced fried chicken. Tangy marinara and creamy cheese meld in oven-baked calzones and Stromboli, examples of the eatery's many Italian options.
A playfully spooky atmosphere permeates space, whether there's a birthday party with a private sleepover amid the century-old jail cells or a hunt for clues of the mysterious resident ghost, Bigsby. The Prisoner's Pardon Pizza Challenge dares truly courageous visitors to participate in a 60-minute two-person race to finish a 30-inch pizza, with winners earning a free meal and their picture on the coveted Hall of Fame.
Built at the turn of the 19th century with stone bought from Abraham Lincoln’s father and situated on 650 acres of pristine woodland, this antique-filled former mill charms diners with a quaint atmosphere and a menu of comforting cuisine. For lunch, feast on the famously fulfilling fried chicken, double breaded and served with a cream gravy ($6.99), or partake in the popular Kentucky Hot Brown, an open-faced turkey-and-ham sandwich smothered in rich mornay sauce, topped with tomato and bacon and broiled to a scrumptious sizzle ($8.99).
Kids at Blazer's Fun Zone scramble over 22,000 square feet of indoor attractions, including an inflatable playground and a rock-climbing wall. After donning socks, pocket-sized climbers can bounce down air-filled blue slides, scale pillowy castle turrets, or bound around a jungle gym softer than a marshmallow-stuffed teddy bear. Alternately, mend strained hand-eye relationships as you deftly conquer the rock-climbing cliff, or inspire fellow putters with practiced strokes on the mini golf course. Twinkle-toed rollers can also opt to enjoy unlimited skating. While parents peruse free WiFi, tykes can refuel for all-day amusement and cutthroat tiddlywinks negotiations by slurping down a slice of sauce-slathered pizza and a small drink.