A historic marker may be all that's left of the original Alexander's Distillery, which washed away in a flood in 1865, but that's not to say that the current reincarnation doesn't aim to recreate its predecessor's ambiance. Amid traditional decor elements such as dark, rich woods and scrolled silver platters, guests dine on elegant dishes from a seasonally rotating menu. Entrees have included everything from coq au vin to Black Angus tenderloin filet, which pair perfectly with desserts such as crème brûlée. Alexander's also offers prix-fixe chef's choice menus that include an appetizer, salad, entree, and dessert for each guest, with optional wine pairings available for those who know the proper way to pull out a wine cork using their teeth.
Real Time Sports & Entertainment, recently under new ownership and management, knows that it takes more than just their delicious burgers and hand-cut fries to keep their customers coming back night after night. They host live bands and DJs seven days a week to keep dance floors filled with partiers well into the night, while 22 high-def screens broadcast sports for excited fans. Meanwhile, bartenders whip up cocktails and pour beers that wash down dishes such as Cajun catfish poboys, turkey burgers, or chicken wings, as guests enjoy conversation and a convivial atmosphere. And no matter the day, the dedicated owners promise real people, a basket of fish with your name on it, and a bottle of ketchup with some guy named Heinz’s name on it.
Oma's Jiffy Burger has hosted more than 40 years of peckish families and couples who relish the classic burgers, bottled Coke products, and nostalgic, '50s-style diner setting. Start the day with a made-to-order breakfast burrito, a flour tortilla stuffed with egg, cheese, and choice of sausage, bacon, potato, or ham ($2.29). Dinner diners can feast on a large double cheeseburger ($2.59) for twice the meat, cheese, and belly satisfaction. Individual burgers ($2.09) sate smaller appetites, while bags of chips and bottled Coke products accent the meal. Oma's Jiffy Burger specializes in swift service, ensuring that diners always eat warm food and never sprout full-length beards before dessert.
Sugar Ridge Winery's rolling acres once held everything from white-speckled fields of cotton to waving meadows of hay. Then owners Don and Michele Andrews planted their first rows of varietal and transformed the land into a verdant, nectar-giving paradise. Michele inherited the acreage from her grandparents and honors their legacy through a red heritage wine that fills the tasting room's antique wooden shelves alongside chardonnays, tempranillos, and cabernets. This pride in the vineyards' history shines through in the decor as well: Outside the tasting room, a wood-sided well stands flanked by giant urns. Shaded by trees, a tranquil fountain babbles on a stone patio and a resident cat and kittens prowl the grounds, guarding the grapes and playing cat games such as Parcheesi. In addition to public and private wine tastings, Don and Michele also host tasting afternoons paired with an outdoor massage and encourage winery visitors to pack their own picnics.
Gene Estes suspects that growing up in the 'dry' precinct of Abilene, Texas may have inspired his alcohol-based ingenuity; he crafted his first batch of wine from Concord grape juice when he was just 23. Years later, after holding various pharmaceutical jobs and putting to use his Masters in Microbiology, Estes' interest in wine re-emerged with a full and passionate force. Today, as the president and vintner of Lost Oak Winery, Gene works alongside resident winemaker Jim Evans to craft a host of award-winning wines. Among them is the 2012 Viognier, which scored a double gold in the renowned San Francisco Chronicle International Wine competition—meaning all five judges awarded the varietal with top scores before gilding the bottle twice in molten gold.
The winery itself offers both guided and self-guided tours, offering visitors a glimpse into the wine-making process complete with samples straight from oak barrels. Additionally, special events draw guests to the lush grounds for live music, wine club events, and the pre-Christmas holiday open house, where they can place preemptive wine orders with Santa.