People wage wars at America’s Incredible Pizza Company—against other drivers on the go-kart track, golfers on the glow-in-the-dark mini-golf course, and the limits of their own stomachs at the buffet. The funporium’s buffet—featuring more than 100 items—centers on pizza, including original, thin, and deep-pan crust (gluten-free upon request) crowned with more than 30 toppings. Verdant greens and freshly made dressings await visitors at the popular salad bar, and the baked-potato station comes with every necessity for side-dish construction, from cheese to the bacon bits from which bacon is built. A variety of sauces enliven the buffet’s fettuccine and spaghetti noodles, and homestyle eats on offer include hot dogs and frito pie.
In the indoor adventure park, meanwhile, gamers zip around a track in two varieties of go-karts—the stock-car speed and the slower Busch speed—as announcers report each turn. Visitors also can instigate harmless car crashes in the bumper-car area or spend five frames toppling pins during mini bowling.
Anita, mÄmbu's owner, cast a wide net across Southeast Asian, French, and Cajun cultures to cull international influences and weave them together in inventive fusion fare. She has been a proud Nashville resident for more than two decades and has been immersed in the restaurant business since she was 17 years old. Although she spent many of those years in the kitchen, she now serves as the face of the restaurant, inviting guests into the quaint blue house that mÄmbu makes its home.
The restaurant's seasonal, imaginative entrees and small plates crafted from local produce and grain-fed beef are expertly paired with red and white varietals selected from an international wine list. The eclectic dining room includes accents such as upside-down lampshades, rich crimson curtains, and a wall decorated entirely with trinkets such as string lights and dolls that have busted out of musty curio cabinets. An expansive covered patio and the intimate Hideaway Bar also host international feasts. mÄmbu is a member of Nashville Originals, a troupe of local restaurateurs dedicated to maintaining Nashville's reputation as a creative culinary destination by increasing the visibility and viability of locally owned eateries.
Sunspot has been voted Best Vegetarian, Best Brunch, Best Wine List, and Best Lunch Spot by Metro Pulse readers for the menu’s gleeful collage of southwestern, Caribbean, and Latin American culinary traditions. Diners nosh on vegan, gluten-free, and omnivorous offerings including fried green tomatoes and sweet-potato tamales in low-key digs.
A large skylight casts warmth across walls the color of acorn squash, exposed brick, and a behemoth abstract mural of the sun. Servers pour from the kitchen, arms stacked with veggie burgers made in house and sandwiches stuffed with tofu and Jamaican-style jerk chicken. Behind the diner-style bar, bartenders sling 29 draft beers from brewers including SweetWater and Foothills and a substantial wine list of reds and whites by the glass or bottle. After polishing off a pan-seared tilapia in corn cream sauce, guests gaze at Sunspot's black-and-white wall photos. The restaurant is open until 2 a.m. on weekend evenings, serving food to night owls and people who trust the VCR clock.
Pizza ChaCha's menu of unique pies, served with a salad in the middle, sates hunger for leafy and cheesy eats simultaneously, and the attached coffee shop, Jitterz, percolates a wide variety of roasted beans. ChaCha’s crusty circlets arrive bejeweled with bacon, spicy diavolo pepperoni, tofu, pesto sauce, roasted corn and garlic, and more ($1.10 per topping on 12" pizza). Crusts are available in hand-tossed, thin, or gluten-free varieties, and signature central salads fill the delectable dough enclosure, mimicking the way the earth’s core is also a salad. Hoagies (from $6.50) sate more individualistic hungers, and a range of domestic and italian suds (from $2.75) salve cheese-singed tongues.
For more than four decades, the Salerno family has been catering to peckish Chicagoans' cravings for fresh, homemade Italian cuisine. Michael Salerno's Pizzeria in Glenview continues the family tradition, specializing in Southern Italian comfort fare, as well as customizable thin- and thick-crust pizzas. The menu showcases a lip-smacking litany of authentic dishes and saucy specialties, including the seafaring linguine with mussels ($13.95) and the sautéed veal scallopini, replete with garlic, mushrooms, and onions ($16.95). Ricotta-and-mozzarella-stuffed shells with marinara or meat sauce ($10.95) provide a cheesy counterpoint to baccala, baked fillets of codfish with black olives, capers, onions, and sliced potatoes ($13.95). Meat-free diners can feast on vegetarian paninis ($7.50), and meat-loving diners can stuff maws with meatball sandwiches ($6.50). Salerno's offers dough-disk aficionados a completely personalized pizza experience, allowing diners to choose between thin and thick crust, as well as a hodgepodge of fresh toppings. Create an aromatic and amorous atmosphere with a large cheese pizza ($16.50) piled with fresh garlic, hot giardiniera, anchovies, and onions ($0.75 per topping), and conclude your meal with a sweet bite of a homemade cannoli ($2.50 each) or gelato ($3.95 for a small) before carving your initials into your significant other’s smartphone.
When patrons step into Lanes, Trains, & Automobiles Entertainment Depot, playful noises jostle their senses: the crash of bowling pins, the decisive zaps of laser-tag guns, the thunder of colliding bumper cars. The center shelters a spectrum of friendly competition under one roof, but at the heart are 32 bowling lanes. During open-bowling hours and late-night cosmic bowling, touchscreens tally strikes and automatic bumpers shift up and down to accommodate different players in case they decide to somersault down the lane.
Nearby, up to 16 laser-tag soldiers duck behind barrels and walls splattered with neon paint in the 2,500-square-foot Lazer Station. In the Spinzone, black lights and colorful spotlights swivel around a central traffic signal, which dictates the stops, starts, and illegal U-turns of bumper cars.
In the arcade, patrons battle for champion status and pick of pizza toppings at air-hockey tables, skee-ball machines, and racing video games. Professional competitors face off on flat-screen TVs at Tailgaters, an on-site eatery slinging burgers and pizza. Eight VIP bowling lanes, a designated party zone, and a stage for live entertainment and karaoke act as peaceful dignitaries in the 4,500-square-foot restaurant as well.