A science lab calls to mind test tubes, bubbling flasks of chemicals, maniacally laughing men in white coats—but rarely ice cream. But that's exactly where Curt Jones, chairman and founder of Dippin' Dots, came upon the inspiration for the tiny flash-frozen beads of ice cream. A microbiologist, Jones spearheaded the flash-freezing process of cryogenic encapsulation, a method capable of trapping flavor and freshness.
Beginning as a retail shop in Lexington, Kentucky, the ice cream quickly began to quell the tantrums of Fortune 500 CEOs all over the country. Having won numerous awards since he created a new way to enjoy an old treat, Jones stays true to Dippin' Dots’ roots, making the ice cream at the company headquarters in Paducah, Kentucky. New additions to the Dippin' Dots family include Dots ‘n Cream, a treat similar to traditional ice cream.
Brick columns topped with ivory triangles ascend over the Greensboro Scoop Shop's sprawling outdoor patio, a spread the eponymous Ben and Jerry could never have imagined when they slung their first scoop from a ramshackle gas station in 1978. Although renowned for flagship flavors such as Chunky Monkey and chocolate fudge brownie, Ben & Jerry's vaulted itself into the upper echelon of ice cream with playful, candy-studded concoctions named after celebrities, such as Jimmy Fallon, Stephen Colbert, and Jerry Garcia. Velvety scoops can be reimagined as ice-cream cakes or drizzled in fudge and nuts to forge towering sundaes that patrons can chase with strawberry-cheesecake milkshakes, an ideal treat for those born with a straw proboscis.
Beer. Bacon. Banana pudding. Buffalo wing. These are just a handful of the more than 200 flavors available at The Popcorn Fanatic, though the staff is always adding new varieties to their repertoire and can create custom flavors based on customers’ requests. They sell popcorn by the bag or tin, and they also press hot kernels into snack-ready popcorn balls.
With an on-site bakery and a bountiful menu of traditional German fare, Old Europe Restaurant & Bakery satisfies lederhosen-loving appetites in a welcoming ambience. Learn about authentic soups and starters by getting a degree in culinary anthropology or by plunging bakery-fresh farmer's rye bread into handmade hungarian goulash ($4) or sampling from a platter of assorted cheeses and European cold cuts ($8.95). Acquire a taste for traditional entrees and Old World specialties, such as the veal bratwurst with sautéed onions, sauerkraut, and german potato salad ($12.95) and the schweinebraten, a traditional pork roast paired with potato dumplings and red cabbage ($16.95), which is prepared by deeply embarrassing a head of green cabbage. Finish your feast with sweet treats from the bakery, including bavarian cream napoleons with strawberry sauce.
Red Hot & Blue draws from many corners of the Southern map to bring together a mix of classic barbecue and traditional southern fare served amid an array of handpicked blues memorabilia. Red Hot & Blue cooks top-quality meats atop a smoky bed of hickory logs where relatively low temperatures and long cooking times infuse eats with succulence. The meaty mélange encompasses three ways to order ribs ($22.99 for a full slab, $15.99 for a half-slab): wet, slathered with mojo mild barbecue sauce; dry, rubbed with a blend of Memphis-style spices; or sweet, dripping with a more-sugary sauce and a never-ending stream of compliments.
The historic Old Salem Tavern serves a menu of traditional Moravian fare alongside contemporary and Southern comfort dishes. Before digging into dinner, guests can start with cider-braised pork belly with collard greens ($7.50) or a grilled-peach salad with candied pecans, blue cheese, and key-lime vinaigrette over mixed greens ($7.75). The cioppino serves fresh sea scallops, shrimp, cod and mussels in a spicy tomato-fennel broth alongside anchovy toast ($21), and the porcini-crusted filet of beef lounges atop a ragout of fingerling potatoes and asparagus with a port-wine reduction and gorgonzola glaze ($23.75).