The highly trained technicians at Jiffy Lube tend to about 24 million customers each year with services such as the Jiffy Lube Signature Service Oil-Change package, which helps promote the longevity of each vehicle. Staffers acknowledge that oil plays a crucial role in maximizing the lifespan of each car?it cools the motor and helps prevent moving parts from deteriorating. More than 20,000 technicians?all of which have completed an extensive training program certified by the National Institute Automotive Service Excellence (ASE)?service vehicles at Jiffy Lube. In addition to performing oil changes, technicians offer preventative services such as air-filtration and electrical-system maintenance, among others. Jiffy Lube?s quality pledge includes a commitment to transparency, which stipulates that they will inform car owners of any necessary services, complete a service only after it has been approved, and refuse to replace windshields with saran wrap.
Drawing on 25 years working in prominent Thai restaurants, owners Oddy and sister, Kanchana, have lined Thai Cafe's menu with recipes from their home digs of Bangpoo––a village southeast of Bangkok on the Gulf of Thailand. Striving always to balance the four basic Thai tastes of salty, sweet, sour/bitter, and hot, the duo also instills a precise flavor profile through meticulous knife work. Finely cutting ingredients into smaller pieces ensures seasoning coverage, stir-fry crispness, and an ego boost for the self-conscious baby corns.
Butter-hued walls prepare senses for yellow-, red-, and green-curry dishes insulated with tender morsels of chicken and beef. Skilled sushi artists slice sashimi and form hand rolls from yellowtail and tempura shrimp, and chef specialties dispatch from the kitchen with Thai barbecue, crispy catfish, and roasted duck––many of which have been left to marinate or cook overnight. Thai Cafe also conveniently represents each dish's spice level by placing two red peppers beside hot dishes, three beside Thai hot dishes, and an invisible pepper beside secret-recipe dishes for the eatery's magician clientele.
Subject to the whims of the Tar River, The River Golf and Country Club's 18-hole course guides players down a winding path with few straightaway holes within its 6,391-yard length. Ten of the holes feature a dogleg turn of some degree, from the slight bend to the left in the fairway of the 1st hole to the violent rightward turn at the 15th hole. These, coupled with the four par 3s, challenge players to swing powerfully without overshooting their targets or accidentally landing their balls in a stork's nest. Additionally, the river itself comes prominently into play on several holes, calling for fairway hops on the 1st and 10th holes and a dramatic tee shot over water on the par 3 11th.
Course at a Glance:
The team at Nails 111 believes in "good, clean fun," combining a health-conscious philosophy with a charming, shabby-chic ambiance. Antique-style tables and chairs, chandeliers, and lilac walls create an 18th-century-parlor vibe as nail techs wash and sanitize hands and set aside an individual spa kit for each guest. They wear latex gloves upon request and eschew spa chairs and whirlpool-type footbaths in favor of disposable pedicure tub liners. The crew decorates nails with Essie, OPI, or Shellac polish and also performs sleek blowouts and straightening treatments at the Blow and Go hair bar.
The salon was created by internationally trained beauty expert and Lima, Peru, native Marizza Contreras and Miami native Jonathan Nussbaum, who was inspired by a girlfriend's frustration the lack of nail salons open after 7 p.m. Nails 111 staffers refine digits until 9 p.m. Monday–Saturday, making late-night manicures possible for owls wishing to impress their prey.
Though Carolina Smokehouse Grill is relatively new to the triangle culinary scene, the eatery has wasted no time making its mark. Under the direction of restaurateur Matt Naugle and executive chef Caroline Pudova, grillmasters smoke up tasty southern favorites that have earned spots on WRAL’s Five Favorites lists for Best Ribs and Best Mac and Cheese. Braised short ribs simmer slowly in beef broth, or pork ribs smoke slowly before dressing in sauce or keeping it casual by arriving to the table dry-rubbed and singing Journey songs. Pudova also prepares eastern North Carolina–style chopped pork barbecue with vinegar-based sauce, or beef brisket that grills for nine hours before sliding onto plates underneath a tomato-based sauce. Carolina Smokehouse Grill pairs these entrees with sides such as fried okra or cheesy bacon grits, as well as specialty peach and berry cobblers topped with vanilla ice cream.
Flakes of ice float through the frosty air, twinkling in the light. Rosy-cheeked children skate across the glittery ice, clutching their parents' gloved hands and shrieking gleefully. Though it seems as though it belongs in the pages of a winter fairy tale, this is the scene of a typical August afternoon at Polar Ice House. The hot summer sun burns brightly outside, but the temperature inside the vast indoor ice rink remains a brisk 45 degrees.
Although the wintry conditions make the rink a less than ideal venue for a bikini fashion show, the cold environment is perfect for the skating lessons, hockey games, and public-skating and hockey sessions that the rink hosts year-round. The center's attentive instructors lead students of all ages and experience levels through fundamental skating skills, progressing to advanced techniques, such as jumping, spinning, and karate chopping aggressive abominable snowmen, once students have mastered the basics.