Although the staff of Park Place Catering happily travels to homes and businesses to help host events, they also open the doors of their own venue to up to 300 guests at a time. When renting this spacious, brick banquet hall, planners can choose a variety of spreads from the menu, which includes everything from breakfast to barbecue and Italian food. But they also get to enjoy more than just lovingly prepared cuisine. The space sits directly across from Kinnick-Feller Riverside Park, a forested sanctuary with a quaint white gazebo at its center. Walk off your meal during a leisurely stroll to the pavilion, or have a friendly game of meatball bocce on one of the park's athletic fields.
In the summer of 2000, Bob Young took over Italian Villages, and made the restaurant a family affair by running it along with his children Brenna and Perry. Thirteen years later, the chefs are still crafting a menu of familiar Italian staples alongside American dinner entrees such as steak, seafood, and chicken breast draped in American flag sauce. And in keeping with the restaurant's family-friendly vibe, the menu also offers a kids menu featuring classic childhood favorites such as grilled cheese and spaghetti.
Ocean Beach Fries' grill experts tend, flip, and serve sizzling burgers, sandwiches, and fries from the food court of the Valley West Mall. All of Ocean Beach's baskets arrive tableside sporting a dapper fez and accompanied by a medium soft drink and a sparkling chalice of hand-cut fries. Trimmed beef, onions, and melted cheese round out the philly-cheesesteak basket ($9.99), and a hand-cut beef patty, delivered fresh from a flattop grill, snuggles into the mushroom-swiss-burger basket, named for its delectable ingredients and history of neutrality ($7.99). Eight types of seasonings can crown Ocean Beach's eponymous fries, such as Old Bay, garlic, onion, or Cajun, which anoint potatoes thrice-cooked in varying temperatures of cholesterol-free oil.
BangBang Mongolian Grill's guests are in charge. At the all-you-can-eat ingredient buffet, guests fill bowls with whatever vegetables, meats, sauces, and spices they want, assembling tailored meals from a colorful selection of ingredients. Once their bowls are filled with favorites—none of which contain MSG—guests hand them off to the chefs.
These culinary practitioners man an enormous, circular grill. And they invite guests to watch from the curved countertop that encircles this cooking station, as the grill's 650-degree surface sears their custom dishes. Flames billow from the circle's center, adding bombast to the already interactive culinary experience. When the last morsel of the meal has been savored, diners—if they have any room left in their bellies—can continue their hands-on dining adventure at the probiotic frozen yogurt buffet.
Since 1926, the line cooks and soda jerks at Maid-Rite have slung a menu of American diner classics, including their signature loose-meat sandwiches, malts, shakes, and root-beer floats. Customers can silence grumbling stomachs with myriad variations of the free-spirited hamburger sandwich, a kind of sloppy joe, including the classic Maid-Rite ($3.19 for sandwich; $6.59 for basket of fries and large drink), the shirt-staining BBQ Texas-Rite ($3.89 sandwich; $7.29 basket), or the belief-begging Mega Philly Cheese-Rite ($6.69 sandwich; $9.98 basket). The corn dog ($2.39; $5.79 basket) carries on the century-old tradition started by corn of eating food off a stick, and the Smokin' turkey-breast dinner ($7.99) shows up to palate parties slathered with hot or mild barbecue sauce and accompanied by an entourage of two sides and a biscuit or bun.
The hamburger helmsmen at Fuddruckers compile a menu of handcrafted burgers from 100% American beef and homemade buns. Carnivorous connoisseurs choose a burger made from one-third of a pound ($4.79) to a full pound ($8.29) of free-range beef. Seduce experimental taste buds or the ghost of William Cody with a buffalo burger ($7.99), ostrich burger ($7.99), or veggie burger ($5.59). Once grilled and set on a freshly baked bun, the patty buckles under a selection from the market-fresh produce bar, replete with the usual burger accouterments as well as warm cheese sauce, gold-flecked pickles, grilled onions ($0.75), and guacamole ($1.00). Those who prefer to leave the gustatory designing to the professionals can order a specialty burger (additional $1) such as the bacon- and mushroom-bestrewn Works burger or a Black & Bleu burger, sprinkled with blue cheese, layered with bacon, and roughed up with sucker punches.