Like a metamorph in the Witness Protection Program, Ice Restaurant & Bar has undergone several name changes and taken a number of forms. It began as a coffee shop and later grew into a restaurant called Eddy B's before settling on its current incarnation--a nightclub where the furniture is clean and angular and the cool gray walls are peppered with modern art. Guests dig their forks and teeth into towering club sandwiches, lightly breaded lake perch, and hearty grilled steaks and pork chops.
Blossoming from the original Pennywise, established in 1969, Expresso Car Wash now shoos dirt form begrimed automobiles at six convenient lube-and-detail facilities. Upholding a focus on swift service, mechanics perform quick 10-minute oil changes, towel off 12-minute full details, and scrub cloths on their eight-minute abs. As environmental stewards, the detailing staff carts off all used water to a water-treatment facility and uses fewer chemicals than home washings tend to.
Each vehicle's aesthetic and under-the-hood beauty gets continual boosts with additional services, including air-conditioner and timing-belt repair and transmission flushes. When they are not pampering autos, the Expresso staff lends philanthropic support to nonprofits, including local schools, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and teenage cars saving up for a new driver.
Pastry chef Olivia Howard knew she had found her calling the moment she learned to decorate her first cake. Now Howard custom-decorates cakes in her home for Southern Belle Cakes, a baking operation named after her Texas roots. Each confection is topped with a light dollop or rich layer of buttercream frosting, and can be filled with a variety of luscious creams and berry mixtures. The business name isn't the only way that her Lone Star heritage peeks through the traditional marble, chocolate, and strawberry cakes and cupcakes. Howard also bakes a massive "Texas-sized" cupcake that feeds about 15 people or one sentient oven. Howard also caters to children with cupcake parties, during which she teaches kids how to decorate cupcakes that they can take home.
Though the chefs at Hot Spot Cafe & Pizzeria may craft an array of classic Italian dishes, they don't limit themselves to the flavors traditionally used in Italy. Instead, they load their deli sandwiches and pizzas with a diverse range of ingredients. Chefs layer together hot sandwiches filled with beef tongue and a sprinkling of onions and parsley alongside staples such as club sandwiches. For their pizzas, they get even more creative. The Armenian pizza features garlic sauce and feta cheese, and the spicy Hawaiian pairs ham with pineapple, jalapeno, bacon, roasted red pepper, and a drizzling of hot sauce. They still offer a limited menu of classic Italian dishes, such as bowls of pasta and appetizers shaped like boots.
In 1906, Joseph Fleitz purchased a tract of land along Seaman Road. Though he immediately started to farm, it would be another 85 years before his great-grandson, Paul, planted the first pumpkin patch, officially christening Fleitz Pumpkin Farm. Since then, the family has built other attractions, and the wind raises a thrumming whisper from the stalks of a 5-acre corn maze capable of stumping even Ivy League–educated scarecrows. Tractors pull hay carts full of chattering riders, and other amenities include a free tricycle zone and an area to feed goats and chickens. During the fall, when the air grows crisp and cornucopias hang heavy on the trees, row upon row of sunset-hued pumpkins line the periphery of the farm. The scents of cinnamon drifts from a snack shack serving freshly made doughnuts and hot cider.
Celebrating 10 years of service this year, Molly’s Diner serves up comfort-fare classics such as juicy burgers and country-fried steak in a sunlit dining room with a checkered floor. Breakfast, served all day, plates stacks of pancakes and griddles of eggs, hash browns, and bacon. Health-conscious diners can round out meals with fresh side salads or munch hearty chef’s salads topped with smoked ham, swiss cheese, and turkey.