In 1999, Jimbo Sinovic opened the first Big Daddy's in the historic Soulard district, less than a half-mile from the iconic Anheuser-Busch Brewery. The eatery's drink specials and tasty pub staples?served for lunch, dinner, and late-night owl watching?established the bar as a neighborhood favorite and inspired its owner to declare it "The Best Bar in the Whole Wide World."
For Brandy Hitch, being a licensed massage therapist is a dream come true. She sees attending The Body Therapy School of Massage as a turning point in her life and the start of a career focused on helping and healing others. Armed with kneading know-how and inspiration from her teachers and colleagues, Brandy creates a serene environment for her clients where they can completely unwind like a yo-yo in the hands of an amateur. She treats them with a wide range of healing modalities ranging from foot scrubs and deep-tissue massages to trigger-point therapy. Appointments are available Monday and Wednesday from 8 a.m.?9 p.m.; Tuesday from 8 a.m.?3 p.m.; Thursday and Friday from 8 a.m.?1:30 p.m.; Saturday from 6 p.m.?8 p.m.; and Sunday from 11 a.m.?8 p.m.
If you want a steak dinner at Valentine's Restaurant, you had better bring a hearty appetite. The large filet rises several inches above the plate and the sirloin strips practically cover the entire plate?and both of them come with two sides. Those who find the giant steaks a bit daunting can always opt for a smaller steak or one of the lighter dinner entrees, including catfish, grilled chicken, or tilapia. And the dinner menu is served all day, which means you don't even have to set everyone's watch to 5 o'clock whenever you're craving a hearty meal.
The meals unfold in Valentine's cozy dining room, which caters to a casual crowd, including families, despite its white-clothed tables and soft lighting.
Myriad coffee and tea options pair with breakfast, lunch, and dinner options galore inside Miscellanea House. In this relaxing cafe, guests can satisfy sweet teeth with gourmet chocolates, scones, and waffles piled high with fruit. But not everything here is sweet, the cooks also whip up gourmet sandwiches and thin-crust pizzas. In the evening, guests can soak in local music as they grab a bite to eat, read while sipping a cup of tea, or just relax in a place that isn't home, where the mail man knows where to find you.
In 1910, fourth-generation German immigrant Alvin O. Eckert set up a small produce stand on a roadside in Belleville, Illinois. More than 100 years later, that roadside stand has flourished into the expansive Belleville plot of Eckert's Farm: a pastoral acreage where orchards surround a country-style restaurant, bakery, and handmade-custard shop. The Eckert family's sixth and seventh generations ensure this farm remains a true family affair. Sixth-generation member Jim Eckert is the chief horticulturist, and his cousin-once-removed, Chris, oversees retail operations and the sale of the farm's homegrown produce and spare scarecrow parts. Chris's sister Jill helms the food program, and his wife Angie oversees the Country Store and colorful Garden Center.
Throughout the year, visitors arrive on the Belleville farm's grounds for a range of seasonal activities, including peach-, apple-, and pumpkin-picking. During the summer, a concert series features live outdoor music on Friday and Saturday nights, and in the fall, staff lead bonfires and evening hayrides through the orchards. Inside the farm building, instructors teach cooking classes for adults and children, as well as a wine-pairing class.
Family-friendly activities also abound at the Eckert family's other two farms. The Grafton farm, where public apple-picking began in 1964, offers daily animal feeding and miniature golf. The seasonal Millstadt farm is home to a workshop, haunted hayrides, and an array of warm-weather children's attractions—including a 70-foot underground slide.
Founded in 1954 by James McLamore and David Edgerton, Burger King rapidly expanded from humble beginnings as a lone burger joint to more than 12,400 locations across 79 countries today, making it the second-largest fast-food-hamburger chain in the world. Its signature burger?the Whopper sandwich?consists of flame-broiled, quarter-pound beef patties crowned with a miniature fedora and a fully customizable array of toppings such as tomatoes, onions, and dill pickles. Focused on continual improvement, the chain recently reinvented the fries that accompany each value meal, outfitting the spud slices with a thicker cut of potato for a fluffier texture on the inside and crispier golden-brown exterior. A spread of decadent desserts including dutch apple pie and Hershey pie keeps sweet teeth from elongating into fangs, and made-to-order breakfast sandwiches clasp eggs, american cheese, and bacon, sausage, or ham between two halves of a flaky croissant to round out the speedy menu.