Even if pizza isn't your thing—which is unthinkable—the menu at St. Louis Pizza & Wings has something tasty and satisfying to please palates. The kitchen staff prepares 14 signature sandwiches, including an open-faced ham and cheese on garlic bread, and seven traditional pasta dishes for in-house dining or takeout. Double-decker burgers and boneless wings sate cravings for classic pub cuisine, and nine specialty pizzas come with hand-tossed thick crusts or St. Louis–style thin crusts.
Under the watchful eyes and green thumbs of owners Jim and Ami Zumalt, the fertile, chemical-free soils at Red Ridge Farms sprout up to 60 varieties of vegetables and more than 475 varieties of fruits, herbs, and flowers each season. The Zumalts share the wealth of their harvest?which can include chard, heirloom tomatoes, cucumbers, and blackberries? through locally distributed CSAs, or Community Supported Agriculture crop-shares. Each week, Red Ridge's freshest bounty travels to local farmers' markets, where CSA members pick up their prepacked bags or customize market-style baskets to take home. Staffers can also provide tips and recipes relevant to that week's harvest or attempt to prognosticate next week's crop by reading lines on a rutabaga.
The doughsmiths at Doughboys Pizza load Chicago-style rounds with gobs of cheese and toppings before firing them in a brick oven and pouring more than 25 types of brews to accompany slices. The menu’s double-decker pies flaunt blankets of mozzarella piled with more than 20 add-ons including fresh mushrooms, roasted chicken, and Chicago imports such as italian beef and pepperoni shipped straight from the Windy City via hang-glider ($16+). Diners can also request thin-crust pies ($12.50+) or dig into specialty ‘zas bedecked with combos such as bacon cheeseburger, which cooks strew with bacon, ground beef, cheddar, mozzarella, onion, and tomato ($14–$17.50). Sandwiches ($4.75–$5.50) bookend Chicago tastes between a bun, and the steamed Vienna links of Wrigley dogs come buried, like a peckish pirate's treasure, beneath mustard, relish, onion, tomato, celery salt, and a pickle spear ($2.65).
"A computer can't understand a handshake," says Jack Schwindler, explaining why he retired after 32 years as a food broker. He missed the face-to-face aspect of the business, which diminished as technology swiftly advanced. So when he and his wife found a defunct marina on Lake Lotawana, where Jack spent his childhood, he found his calling. In 1993, Jack and his wife opened Marina Grog & Galley, and now, Jack says, "I'm shaking hands again."
Marina Grog and Galley is run by a tight-knit crew of longtime employees, including servers who have worked there since 1996. Their menu boasts dry-aged steaks from a local purveyor and fresh fish flown in from Hawaii three times a week. The smell of steaks searing over mesquite charcoal drifts out to the front driveway, creating an aroma that attracts passersby and envious traveling steak peddlers. Other specialties include baby-back ribs crafted from a recipe Jack penned when he was 21 years old, and a range of fried, boiled, and stuffed shrimp.
Every night, Jack visits with guests at the tables arranged around the dining room, which look out at the lake or a 1,500-gallon saltwater tank that houses a 48-foot living reef. Leather seats in cobalt blue comfort backs, and stone fireplaces warm the stone walls and light wood around the restaurant. Outdoor tables along the water seat up to 150 people, and on-deck fireplaces keep diners comfortable. "Something happens every night in the restaurant business," says Jack, and he doesn't want to miss a minute of it.
Lunar Bowl casts a nebular net across rounds of pin punishment, which unravel daily across 32 bowling lanes. The non-smoking, the 38,000-square-foot facility has played host to the PBA National Tour twice, including the tour's nationally televised finals and nontelevised slip 'n' slide experiments in the 11th frame. The center's celestial theme soars over into The Blue Moon Lounge, where bowlers can take a break from strikes and spares to watch big games or create deep-space shadow puppets on a 150-inch HD projector screen. Lunar Bowl drifts further into intergalactic realms with laser-lit cosmic bowling and a newly built arcade buzzing with the chimes of new high scores.
Fun House Pizza’s cooks have been tossing craving-satisfying pizzas since 1964, catering to families with their shareable fare and friendly staff. Gooey pizzas arrive topped with Fun House Pizza’s secret sauce recipe, sprinkled with toppings that include kraut, mushrooms, and Italian or Polish sausage. The kitchen crew gets creative with their specialty pizzas, which play dress up to create pies of the taco, bacon cheeseburger, and mexican variety. The restaurants cater to kids with a slew of entertainment options, from Thomas the Tank Engine rides to game rooms with air hockey and video games to the cheerful servers who are ready and willing to eat homework assignments.