Hot Dog on a Stick Founder Dave Barham opened his first Hot Dog on a Stick in Santa Monica in 1946, and the company has since burgeoned into an employee-owned franchise that's more than 100 eateries strong and spans 11 states. Best known for a 100% turkey hot dog dunked in corn-bread batter made from Dave's mother's recipe and cooked in soy oil, Hot Dog on a Stick also pioneered the dipping and be-sticking of mild american and spicy jalapeño jack cheese. Smiling employees in red-, white-, and blue-striped uniforms with, as Dave put it, "a splash of lemonade," hand over cherry, lime, sugar-free, or original lemonade that they make fresh every two hours by squeezing Ventura County lemons until they cry.
The sight of foam balls raining from the sky would be unusual at any place but Jungle Jaks’ Foam Factory, where they’re part of a brightly decorated playground that kids aged 3 to 12 can roam to their hearts’ content. Young ones of all dispositions can find something entertaining among Jungle Jaks’ range of athletic and artistic attractions, such as a mini soccer field for pickup games and a well-stocked arts and craft studio where masterpieces can be created. Excess energy burns away in the disco area as danceable pop hits play, while the Wii room, equipped with numerous Nintendo games and a flat-screen television, keeps arms and legs engaged as players search for Princess Peach’s lost contact lens. Elsewhere, a toddler play area engages tots with age-appropriate slides and toys, and a snack bar reenergizes guests before they collide with fellow riders on indoor bumper boat and bumper car rinks. All this excitement led to Jungle Jaks' nabbing El Paso's Best of the Best award, "Where to Take the Kiddos," in 2012 and 2013.
Sri Lankan culture incorporates distinctive southern Asian roots along with influences from the various European nations that have ruled it. As a result, the cuisine typically features a m?lange of Indian, Portuguese, Dutch, Chinese, and Malaysian flavors. At Sri Lanka Curry Leaf Restaurant, Lana Hillstrom remains true to the flavors of her native Sri Lanka, filling the menu with her country's eclectic cuisine. Pork and sliced mango simmer in aromatic curry, distinguished from familiar Thai or Indian versions by a signature powder that uses 21 fragrant ingredients, according to the Colorado Springs Independent. The rest of the menu includes Sri Lankan interpretations of Asian standards such as chicken tikka, fried rice, and mulligatawny soup.
Channeling the same vivaciousness as the menu, the dining room bursts with color from its sunshine-yellow walls, draped with leafy foliage and imported Sri Lankan rainbows. Framed pictures and woodwork also adorn the walls and add to the room's homey ambiance.
Guided by illuminated handholds equipped with sensors that respond to climber movement, youngsters scale FuntastiCo. Pizza & Games's DigiWall, which combines rock-climbing panels with computer-game technology for interactive versions of Pong and Follow the Leader. A nearby rock-climbing wall accommodates three participants with a more traditional ascent, and whippersnappers clad in a Velcro suit can leap off a trampoline-like inflatable and stick onto a Velcro wall. Elsewhere, wiggle cars, powered by drivers twisting their steering wheels from side to side, reunite guests with the ground's tight turns, and the Tot Tree enthralls tykes aged 2 and younger with blooming flowers and squeaking ladybugs. Along with games, a full-service restaurant reenergizes guests with an extensive menu of treats, and the Performance Playhouse plays home to kids who can rest, socialize, or discuss the latest stock-market trends.
The chefs at Salma Farah's Mediterranean Restaurant stick to the culinary traditions of the sun-steeped Lebanese and Syrian shores. Kebabs sizzle as they pour tzatziki across gyros and rolled grape leaves. Garlic and eggplant roast aromatically, bound for bowls of hummus or baba ghanouj. Steam rises from earthy, dark Arabic coffee near fatayers?baked pastries consisting of dough rolled around spinach or meat. The BYOB policy lets guests bring in their favorite vintage without having to pay a corkage fee or watch a clumsy waiter try to impress everybody with his unicycling skills when delivering bottles.
Alex Alqadi, who is from Jerusalem by way of Kuwait, recreates the city of his birth with the scents of frying falafel and warm pita. Colorful paintings of the Dome of the Rock further capture the feeling of visiting the eatery’s sun-steeped namesake city. In the restaurant, waiters carry plates laden with lamb shawarma and spanakopita to tables cloaked in carmine linens, and cooks roast eggplant in the oven to forge baba ghanoush or destroy evidence after breaking into a farmer’s vault.