For more than 50 years, the sweet-treat crafters of The Baking Grounds Bakery Cafe have been churning out customized confectionaries in an old-fashioned, family-run boutique bakery. Dining duos can peruse the made-from-scratch lunch menu items before yodeling out orders, such as ham, turkey, or chicken-salad sandwiches. Bowls of homemade soup and sides of chips chime salty notes against epiglottises as a freshly baked cookie polishes off the meal with a sweet treat.
The bakers of The Baking Grounds whip together freshly crafted cakes for any special occasion, from weddings and anniversaries to graduations from light-pole-climbing school. After discussing designs with a friendly cake constructor, batter bases will be poured from chosen flavors, such as marble, lemon pound, or chocolate-almond pound, which can be encased around cake filling, such as apricot or cannoli. A fondant-free layer of buttercream icing crowns the confectionary masterpiece with delicious icing flavors and skillfully applied swirls and flower cake designs to fill cheek caves.
It's a good idea to arrive early at Movie Tavern, and not only if you hate missing the opening credits. Early birds can peruse the extensive menu of chef-crafted American cuisine, from kobe beef sliders to pizza and sandwiches. But even after the show begins, the snacks keep coming. Unobtrusive servers slip in during the show to deliver orders, and can be called on for more drinks or dessert with the push of a button. Guests can even sip margaritas or signature cocktails at the full bar before heading in to the theater. The family-friendly establishment also serves finger food for kiddies.
As for the entertainment, audiences get to enjoy all-digital presentations of first-run films any day of the week, plus Retro Cinema every Wednesday morning at 11:30 a.m. as well as Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 7:30 p.m. Audiences also benefit from Movie Tavern's membership program. Anyone can sign up for free online to receive one free bag of popcorn, plus a free ticket every year on their birthday, special offers, movie news, and invites to screenings and other special events.
Marco's Pizza founder Pasquale "Pat" Gianmarco began helping out at his family’s pizzeria when he was just a boy. The eatery provided a taste of home to the Gianmarco clan, who moved to the United States from Italy when Pat was 9 years old. Together with his father, young Pat learned the secrets to creating exceptional pizza sauce: three different types of vine-ripened tomatoes and spices that can only be imported from Italy or the moon.
The perfected sauce recipe continues to guide Pat’s kitchen operations, although these days he has considerably more help. Marco's Pizza has 350 locations in more than half the states as well as in the Bahamas, each store tossing fresh pizza dough daily before sprinkling on a trio of fresh, never-frozen cheeses.
Named for the historical hacienda in Mexico once owned by Don Miguel Hidalgo—the father of Mexican independence—and known for its artisanal tequila, Corralejo Mexican Flair proffers south-of-the-border eats and tequila-based libations. Chefs in the kitchens of all three locations whip up traditional dishes, hand-mashing fresh avocados for batches of rich guacamole and flash-frying sun-dried-tomato tortillas to serve as a base for chimichangas. Having perfected the science of mixology during rigorous training sessions, Corralejo’s expert bartenders sling tequila-based beverages down the bar along trajectories they've carefully diagrammed on cocktail napkins.
The instructors at Masterpiece Mixers Paint & Party Studio supply the canvases, paints, and brushes, requiring visitors to bring only their creativity. At studios located around Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, and Massachusetts, they lead all-level painting classes that last up to 1.5 to 3 hours and focus on subjects ranging from the natural, such as birds and flowers, to still-life guitars, vases, and wine bottles. In some themed sessions, instructors also teach groups to paint abstract pieces or create their own variations on famous landscape paintings that, unlike the originals, can include dinosaurs. Some sessions follow a special date-night structure. At every location, the staff members encourage visitors to bring their own wine, beer, and snacks if desired.
Boasting four consecutive Best Barbecue awards from Best of Gwinnett, the chefs at Dillards Barbecue take pride in their zesty Southern cuisine. As their ribs marinate in tangy barbecue sauce, they whip up the fried chicken, savory pork, and tender catfish sandwiches that have been winning over taste buds since 1998. If it’s too early for hushpuppies or mac 'n' cheese, they usher in the day with Southern breakfast staples such as homemade biscuits with sausage gravy and eggs. They also cater heaping helpings of Southern eats for large parties, such as family gatherings, corporate meetings, and jury-duty reunions.