Warm sugar fills the air at Derby Donut, where freshly baked donuts, iced sugar, cookies, and decorated cupcakes draw in customers from miles around. Pair a melty, sweet cinnamon roll with one of 100 varieties of cane-sugar soda in glass bottles, or engage a frosted snowman cookie in a conversation about the dreadful weather.
Neon beer signs cast blue, green, and red light across the black ceiling, and tables populate with okra, mushrooms, and cauliflower starters—all deep fried to a golden crunch. An enormous projection TV broadcasts the latest game amid the pulse of a jukebox, and several flat screens promote revelry at the weathered wooden bar.
For more than 20 years, this casual sports bar has unleashed its signature third-pound burgers on Derby, topping them with everything from whole grilled-cheese sandwiches to chili and nacho cheese. After two-handing hot dogs or brisket sandwiches, guests can test their motor skills with the bar's free Xbox 360 with Kinect game base, or improve their coolness quotient by ordering the trendiest new summer drink: water on the rocks.
At Derby Family Entertainment Center, bowlers coast toward high scores atop 24 lanes outfitted with automatic scoring and bumpers for younger guests. On the weekends, cosmic bowling casts a celestial glow across frames. And during karaoke Fridays, competitors exchange balls for a microphone to serenade nearby pins until they fall over or at least pick up the bar tab. Away from the synthetic playing field, a 1,100-square-foot arcade jingles and jangles with games for all ages, and cheers leak out from inside Kegler's Sports Bar and Grill, which often broadcasts WSU or Kansas City Chiefs games on a massive, 60-inch screen.
Make & Take Meals provides a space for busy cooks to assemble and customize simple, pre-prepared meals chosen from a menu stocked with hearty freezable entrees that feed about six. Select the entrees you would like and schedule a time to come in and prepare your meals. A staff member will show you to your first prep station, where all the necessary ingredients, already chopped and prepped, are laid out, waiting for assembly like a tastier, less sassy version of Mr. Potato Head. The menu rotates monthly, but recent items include a chicken almond bake ($25, $13 for half), a casserole of tender chicken chunks in a velvety alfredo-white-wine sauce mingled with rice, celery, and onion and crowned by parmesan cheese and almonds. House favorites include calzones ($24, $12 for half) and chicken enchiladas ($24, $12 for half). After assembling the meal and customizing it to your tongue papillae preferences, make like a housecat and leave the cleanup to the in-house staff.
The chile craftsmen at Fabiola's Restaurant LLC launch taste buds across the Rio Grande with a menu of authentic south-of-the-border dishes. Before dashing off on digestion races, diners can warm up mouth-muscles by yodeling the contents of a phone book or noshing on a piquant platter of fajita nachos ($7.45–$8.45). Main culinary events include the chile relleno, a deep-fried poblano pepper stuffed with cheese before passing out on a bed of corn or flour tortillas ($9.45). A half-pound burger ($6.95) fuses Latin and gringo flavors with a harmonious union of beef, jalapeños, and guacamole, and Maria's especial ($11.95) showcases carne asada, grilled onions, and bell peppers flanked by an entourage of rice, beans, and guacamole. For indulgent finales, dessert-smiths demonstrate culinary prowess by frying up ice cream, which is the second most challenging item to introduce to hot oil after socially awkward snowmen ($4.49).
A mural of a wheat field is frozen on the wall of Wheat State Pizza, where chefs hand-toss pizza crusts made with whole wheat as well as white and gluten-free pizza disks. With 35 different toppings to choose from, diners may customize pies like a bejeweled jean jacket, or opt for signature combinations such as the pad thai with peanut sauce, sesame oil, siracha sauce, and crushed peanuts. Barbecued-beef sandwiches and custom calzones round out the menu, and dessert pizzas with blueberry-pie filling, cream cheese, and streusel topping cap off meals. Wheat State Pizza also offers an outdoor patio with umbrella-topped tables for alfresco dining.