The dough wizards at Papa John's hand toss circular masterpieces with original and thin crusts made from high-protein flour to support warm bouquets of toppings. Hand-cut produce crowns all of Papa John's pizzas, mingling with the sun-soaked sweetness of sauce made from fresh, California-grown tomatoes. By adhering to its brand promise of "better ingredients, better pizza," Papa John's grew from a back-tavern pizzeria into more than 3,500 restaurants within three decades' time, or the amount of time it takes to grow a single pizzeria from a small seed.
In 1977, Robert Benedict bought a red barn and quickly fashioned it into a local landmark that dishes out 100 gallons of seafood stew a day, alongside lobster rolls, steamed clams, chicken, and burgers. Robert included everyone in the family endeavor—even his 11-year-old sister, Laura, who had to stand on a milk crate to reach the counter and keep the half-and-half from escaping. She eventually took over the eatery in 1986, and the business has continued to grow in scope, size, and stature ever since. These days, the menu highlights Maine scallops, shrimp, and clams, all still dished out by Laura and her brothers Peter and Ronnie.
Bowlers descend upon 20 prepped and polished lanes to partake in the New England tradition of candlepin bowling at 1-7-10 Bowling & Entertainment Center or Good Times Lanes. Candlepin bowling ups the ante on normal alley games, arming competitors with three smaller balls sans holes and mercy to hurl at thinner pins standing in the place of their curvy counterparts. After the devious pins are toppled, they are left lying in the pin deck for additional pummeling until the end of each player's turn before being swept off and reset. As bowlers glide their way through multiple challenging rounds in slick-bottomed footwear, arcade games jingle and flash in the background to distract pins that have developed human intelligence. Free bumpers help tykes eliminate discouraging gutter balls, and groups of six refuel by slurping from an included pitcher or 2-liter bottle of soda. Five TVs glow on the walls of 1-7-10, reflecting the pizzas served at Splitters Sports Bar and Grille.
When Travis Dickey opened the first Dickey’s Barbecue Pit in 1941, the menu offered beef brisket, pit hams, barbecue beans, potato chips, drinks, and that’s all. By focusing on perfecting the flavors of a few dishes, Travis was able to increase quality, and, ultimately, customers. Patrons were so enamored of the food that the restaurant eventually expanded into a nationwide franchise, allowing Americans all over to wear badges made of barbecue sauce. Over the past 70 years, Dickey’s has been passed on to Travis’s sons, but not much else has changed—the quality meats are still seasoned and smoked onsite, and except for the addition of spicy cheddar sausage in 2011, the menu remains the same.
Regional meats ensure that the most succulent Texas-style chopped beef brisket, old-recipe polish sausage, and fall-off-the-bone pork ribs make it to tabletops. Sides such as mac 'n' cheese and green beans with bacon continue to enhance feasts with an extra punch of homestyle tastiness. Each meal comes complete with complimentary ice cream, soft rolls, and dill pickles.
As the tanning bed's lid closes, a cool breeze starts to blow, a gentle mist cools your skin, and the scents of aromatherapy transform a 12-minute tanning session into a miniature vacation. This S-Class bed is just one of the approximately 10 tanning options that fill each of City Sun Tanning's locations. Staffers help clients select the right bed, leading them down hallways to an iBed sunbed—which features rotating facial lights—or a X-2 High Pressure bronzing stand-up, which can bronze pallid skin in ten minutes. Alternatively, visitors step onto the AutoBronzer's open-air platform, which evenly sprays UV-free tanning solution and candy sprinkles. In June of 2009, this sunless system caught the eye of New York Magazine, which lauded City Sun Tanning for having one of the "top five spray tans." The tanning salon has also garnered accolades from Citysearchers, who for several years, named it "Best of Citysearch".
The dough-slinging doyens at Gerard’s Pizza have populated their expansive menu with homemade pies and sides since 1964. Eschewing the popular practice of using frozen or hand-me-down pizza crusts, Gerard’s makes its own dough from scratch before bringing it to floury fruition inside of a deck oven. Then it bedecks the large 16-inch sphere with sauce and cheese, customizing it with the customer's choice of two toppings, such as italian sausage, pineapple, chicken, and banana peppers. Gerard's also regales dine-in guests with a small side of wings, a two-liter bottle of soda, and a bottomless supply of oxygen molecules free for the breathing.
Hand-painted tables depicting colorful images of dogs, mustaches, and maps sit beneath lustrous, polished hubcaps in the dining room of Lisa's Legit Burritos, where founder Lisa Liberatore dishes up casual Mexican cuisine with finesse that earned her profiles in USA Today and the Morning Sentinel. Amid the eatery's diverse décor, the chef and her staff slow-roast chicken, beef, and pork with an eclectic potpourri of traditional Mexican spices such as chipotle peppers and chilies. The flavorful meats join salsa and cheese to mosey across tacos, burritos, quesadillas, and unadorned cowboy hats. A smattering of quarter-pound hot dogs topped with chili and fritos bolster the south-of-the-border selection, and sweets such as chocolate-covered jalapeños and a dessert burrito cradling cheesecake and berry preserves wrap up meals.
Lisa's Legit Burritos is also home to Book It, a bookstore of lightly used books whose proceeds benefit the Gardiner Public Library's renovation efforts. Guests can settle into a rocking chair to read the collection of tomes, which includes popular genres and flavors.