In 2002, Mike Southard took a leap of faith worthy of The Dukes of Hazzard. He left a career in the elevator industry and decided to pursue his true passion: stock-car driving. Southard launched Try It Racing and On Track Racing Experience, determined to share with others the thrill he had felt many times in the victory lane of late-model stock-car races. His business has grown from a few humble events and clients each year to a fully packed schedule at some of the country's longest running and most renowned racetracks. Some things haven't changed, however—you can still find Southard behind the wheel of the two-seat ride-along car, taking patrons around curves and straightaways at top speed.
Adrenaline fiends satisfy their cravings while driving or riding around tracks such as Orange County Speedway, where industry legends Jeff Gordon and Scott Riggs have burned their share of rubber. A professional photographer and in-car video cameras can capture the excitement at each event, memorializing guests' wide-open eyes, exhilarated smiles, and high-intensity games of I Spy.
Jac’s Grill serves up a dinner menu packed with gourmet seafood, steak, salads, and pasta. Field greens take on a new persona when disguised in spiced walnuts, gorgonzola cheese, roasted-black-peppered apples, a blond wig, and a sweet maple vinaigrette ($5–$7). Parmesan fried oysters served over cheese grits ($10) leave diners eager to move onto main-meal events, such as pecan-crusted grouper, which is baked, dressed in a red-pepper coulis, and served with parmesan risotto and asparagus ($24). Jac’s à la carte meat market gives diners a choice of various cuts of steak, chicken, or pork chops, all served with sides, inventive sauces, and an affirmation of free will. A 12-ounce New York strip steak may pair with a roasted sweet potato, wilted spinach, and a smoked-gouda cream sauce ($24), and a loaded potato cake, broccolini, and Jac’s own barbeque sauce can accompany tender chicken to the plate ($13).
For over thirty years, Great American Cookies has been sharing a generations-old family chocolate chip cookie recipe with the crumb-hungry masses. Each 16" round cookie cake serves 8–16 people and is baked fresh before being hand decorated by a talented cookie artist to match any holiday or special occasion, with a design made of rich, creamy frosting. Garner inspiration from the more than 30 categories of cookie cake designs posted on the company's website, or have an original designer dessert crafted to your specifications, ready to make a dessert-table appearance at a themed event, or to be framed and admired alongside your cherished Jacques-Louis David portrait of a napoleon crossing the alps.
Every dish at Showside Grill & Bakery passes through the gaping mouth of a four-eyed beast. The playfully painted service window is one of the many quirky design elements of the eatery's lime-green 75-seat dining room, a fitting backdrop for its eclectic cuisine and variety of live shows. Chefs Michael and Art Ward whip up burgers and hot dogs, seafood, and classic comfort-food favorites such as the open-face hot turkey on texas toast with gravy. The Monday-night Breakfast at Dinner event flip-flops the usual routine with a spread of eggs, hash browns, and pancakes. The prodigious dessert menu, like a slow-loris telethon, seems to stretch on interminably, running the toothsome gamut from truffles to mousse to classic cobblers and cakes as well as a long list of pies both traditional and inventive. Weekends add live entertainment to the mix, kicking off with Thursday-night karaoke followed by the beats of live local bands on Friday and Saturday.
Throughout the week, Bounce-N-Around buzzes with activity as kids scramble and jump over the springy landscapes of inflatable bouncers. Arcade games test hand-eye coordination and aptitude at space invading, and electric kiddie rides—such as horses, cars, and helicopters—bob back and forth in their own area. A mini movie theater provides a scaled-down, all-ages cinema experience, complete with tiered seating.
On the first page of Four Seasons Restaurant & Conference Center's menu are two recommendations from the chef: chicken breast grilled in chardonnay, and a bacon cheeseburger. This balance of upscale and comfort foods is, in fact, a theme of the menu. For an appetizer, diners can enjoy calamari, quesadillas, or onion rings with a fancy touch?they're hand-cut, hand-breaded, and acceptable as engagement rings when lightly sprinkled with diamonds. Entrees, meanwhile, range from beef lasagna to flame-grilled filet mignon. Complementing the food selection is a succinct yet diverse wine list, with varietals from California, Chile, and Australia. And their full bar also serves a Raspberry Margarita which has been making waves.