Sweet Frog’s frozen-yogurt flavors go beyond the norm. In addition to cookies ‘n’ cream and greek yogurt with honey, the lineup of 75 varieties includes maple-bacon donut, cake batter, and dulce de leche. Patrons can sprinkle on toppings such as fresh fruit and candies, then savor their confetti’d confections in the lime-green-and-pink restaurant. Smiling frogs and funky white hanging lamps give the stores an air of fun, but founder Derek Cha is interested in giving more than that to the community; through Sweet Frog, he sponsors children in need and dispatches frog mascots to those who need encouragement.
"You get serious about it," Waco-native Joe Lopez, owner of Joe's Texas BBQ, told the Green Bay Gazette. "You put brisket or ribs on and it’s time consuming," he continued about the lengthy smoking process he uses to craft the menu at the eatery, which is tucked in a flame-hued cottage. The family pack unleashes a bouquet of dry-rub spices and smoke from a 1.5-pound pile of pork spare ribs, rib tips, or sliced beef brisket that delights whole clans of carnivores or showcases the shoddy workmanship of a rival table maker. The meats take a 13-hour trip into the smoker to lock in juiciness before diving between fluffy buns alongside Big Red sodas. The sandwich combos parade such bread-burdens as pulled pork with coleslaw, chopped brisket, or the Joe burger, which pairs brisket with plump hot-link sausages.
At Brickhouse BBQ, ranked among Madison Magazine's Best New Restaurants of 2010, executive chef Tim Heinze smokes free-range meats and slathers homemade sauces on their fire-licked exteriors. His menu lists southern-style staples and appetizers such as crispy golden hush puppies, pan-fried catfish, and smoked St. Louis–style ribs, and sides such as cheddar grits, collard greens, and mac 'n' cheese partner up with entrees to do-si-do across palates. Bites are punctuated with 1 of 40 tap beers—which highlight microbreweries of the Midwest—or cocktails such as the Old Fashioned, an in-house infusion of Kentucky bourbon with muddled orange. Inside the restaurant’s two-level dining room, low-lit brick walls, exposed ceiling beams, and a mirage of silk tumbleweeds lend the eatery a chic, rustic vibe that's also showcased through its rooftop patio.
The interior of Bigg's Roadhouse reminds drivers of the Mother Road—drawings of Route 66 and the countryside it wanders decorate the spot's walls. Twelve televisions broadcast sports games or the highlights from last-night's news. In the kitchen, cooks form fresh beef into hefty burgers, slice rotisserie chicken for enchiladas, and bake signature pizzas such as a pulled-pork pie with jalapeños, cream cheese, and barbecue sauce. And at Friday fish fries, they batter Icelandic cod to serve with housemade potato pancakes. Bartenders fill glasses with cold beer and stronger libations at a full bar.
Sweeping pond and fountain views set off The Cotton Patch Supper Club's upscale American fare, nestled in a wildlife-rich area near Shawano Lake. Fourteen-inch pizzas start with classic rounds of dough, sauce, and cheese, atop which circlevores pile three choices from a menu of 17 toppings including artichokes, chicken, and bacon. On the dinner menu, served after 4 p.m. daily, the macadamia-encrusted mahi-mahi marries the sea and the garden without requiring Ringo Starr as a dinner companion ($19.99). Steaks including a center-cut Choice rib eye deliver a hand-cut slap to the face of hunger ($16.99–$22.99).
The talented meat maestros at Bates City Bar-B-Que win over palates with a toothsome menu of smoked slabs and saucy fixings. Diners can wrap their mitts around a pulled-chicken sandwich for bites of slow-smoked poultry ($5) or match their mandibles against a full slab of Kansas City–style ribs before stacking the clean bones for a meat-inspired game of Jenga ($14). The sampler-platter mixed plate treats meat connoisseurs to a half pound of ribs and a choice of two meats ($10.50), and sides of garlic mashed potatoes ($1.75) and cornbread ($1) sop up reservoirs of tangy sauce. As guests feast on the fall-off-the-bone delights of Bates City's carnivorous spread, they can belly up to the full bar or take in the air on the outdoor patio, wistfully remembering the hickory-hazed memories of barbecues past.
All year round, Nelson Field Laser Tag's battle zones join forces to send warriors into simulated combat. A field peppered with camo forts and towers at the Green Bay location scintillates during winter months as groups of up to 16 players use the scopes on heavy-duty, military-grade laser guns to pick off opponents and point out mustard stains on a teammate's pants. Meanwhile, unfolding across outdoor combat arenas, paintball and airsoft squads dip, dash, and dive behind natural and manmade barriers. Seven woodball fields camouflage matches amid troves of trees, and on an urban combat field, shooters utilize 19 buildings and one rogue hot-dog cart as shelter. Upon striking a truce, friends can reconvene at Nelson Field's onsite sports bars.
Though Nelson Field Laser Tag sometimes features a discounted price online, this Groupon still offers the best deal available.