As a marble-top creamery and classic diner, Ferch’s Malt Shoppe & Grille satisfies hunger pains, ice-cream desires, and nostalgic longings with traditional American fare and fresh frozen custard within a throwback soda-shop setting. With 48 custard flavors and 40 toppings to choose from, Ferch’s treat specialists can create more than 1 million varieties of customized creamy concoctions. The malt shop’s black-and-white checkerboard floors, vinyl booths, and soda-fountain counters hark back to a simpler time when men wore hats and robot servants hadn’t yet begun their grisly uprising.
Paciugo specializes in sub-zero refreshment that contains 70% less fat than ice cream, thus making it 130% more justified to eat consecutive pints of the frigid stuff. A dessert that meets the FDA's standards for healthful foods, Paciugo's Turin recipes employ fresh and all-natural ingredients to craft the perfect scoops of sweet sustenance. The gelaterie's menu ushers taste buds toward small picollo cups ($3.99) with three scoops and up to three different flavors, such as black raspberry, amaretto chocolate chip, chocolate black-cherry swirl, black-pepper olive oil, Mediterranean sea-salt caramel, chocolate orange saffron, and many more. The medio size includes four scoops and up to four different flavors ($4.71). Each of Paciugo's rich, creamy delights is made from whole milk, soy, or water so that a suitable flavor can match with any dietary need, unless you're allergic to joy.
All of Badgerland Bowling Centers' six locations have a lot in common. At each location, groups hurtle colorful balls down slick, glossy lanes, refueling at an onsite restaurant between matches. All of the alleys host birthday, work, and fundraising parties and tournaments such as the Badgerland Bowling 300 Club—which has doled out more than $35,000 in cash prizes since 2002—and the Badgerland Open, which welcomed 113 competitors in 2011, one of whom snagged a grand prize of $500 and 1,000 bragging rights.
But like sextuplets working undercover for the CIA, each center also maintains a unique identity. At Badger Bowl in Madison, live musicfloods the lanes on weekends, and dancers jump and jive on West Coast Swing nights on Wednesday. Nearby at Dream Lanes, laser and disco lights slice through fog amid thundering music during Ultra Bowling every Friday and Saturday evening.
North Avenue Grill may be a diner, but it’s hardly a greasy spoon. Cooks build sandwiches, soups, and omelets from scratch, using local ingredients and a creative New American approach. Many dishes—including stacks of steaming pancakes—are gluten-free, and most that aren’t can be tailored to the needs of guests with wheat, barley, and rye sensitivities. Breadsmith, Rocket Baby, and Molly’s loaves form the foundation of many sandwiches, from the meaty Tosa cheesesteak to the vegetarian Portabella Baby.
Coffee comes from Sven’s in Bay View, whereas ice cream hails from Madison’s famous Chocolate Shoppe. Burgers are crafted by hand with fresh ground chuck and sirloin, rather than an 8-ounce can of hot-pink Play-Doh. Diners can relax in burnt-orange leather seats as they eat, or take part in Wednesday night movie trivia and Throw You Out Thursdays, when lucky diners are tossed to the curb after dining but before paying their tabs.
Located on the rolling greens of Brown County Golf Course, Safari Steak House offers diners a scenic destination for steakhouse cuisine and drinks. Chefs smother baby back ribs in barbecue sauce and sear USDA Choice cuts of juicy rib eye, porterhouse, or New York strip steak to order. Patrons can also opt for surf and turf entrees that pear tenderloin with haddock or broiled scallops.