When Travis Dickey opened the first Dickey’s Barbecue Pit in 1941, the menu offered beef brisket, pit hams, barbecue beans, potato chips, drinks, and that’s all. By focusing on perfecting the flavors of a few dishes, Travis was able to increase quality, and, ultimately, customers. Patrons were so enamored of the food that the restaurant eventually expanded into a nationwide franchise, allowing Americans all over to wear badges made of barbecue sauce. Over the past 70 years, Dickey’s has been passed on to Travis’s sons, but not much else has changed—the quality meats are still seasoned and smoked on site, and except for the addition of spicy cheddar sausage in 2011, the menu remains the same. Regional meats ensure that the most succulent Texas-style chopped beef brisket, old-recipe polish sausage, and fall-off-the-bone pork ribs make it to tabletops. Sides such as mac 'n' cheese and green beans with bacon continue to enhance feasts with an extra punch of homestyle tastiness. Each meal comes complete with complimentary ice cream, soft rolls, and dill pickles.
A southwestern attitude fills Woody's Roadhouse, where hand-cut steaks, rotisserie chicken, and barbecued ribs fill bellies. To match this meaty madness, servers tap 26 draft brews alongside more than 50 bottled beers, providing the same liquid succor Niagara Falls provides when on vacation in the Sahara every year. The kitchen knows its meat. The staff hand-forms burgers ground in-house from Hereford Beef, pulls pork marinated for a full day before slow-smoking it, and grills steaks over open flames or blackens them with Woody's Roadhouse's signature seasoning. Appetizers such as wings, potato skins, and fried pickles make ideal fuel for catching games on the plasma TVs or challenging tablemates to pool. In addition to preparing cuisine, Woody's Roadhouse isn't afraid to get a little boisterous: most Thursday nights, a mechanical bull and a DJ challenge guests to stump the bull with their favorite riddle, while live music and a DJ get crowds tapping toes on Friday and Saturday starting at 10 p.m, with no cover. See the live music calendar.
At Deleo Bros. Pizza, cooks create every pie as a work of art. They start with fresh-made dough rolled into a circle, which they top with one of five sauces, including marinara and garlic sauce made from scratch. They then scatter the customer's choice of toppings across the surface, selected from 17 vegetables and 16 meats, ranging from pepperoni to smoked oysters. The kitchen experts then top the creation with one of seven cheeses and bake it until crispy.
The team offers more entertainment than simply eating New York–style pies, though. They also maintain a retro arcade where every machine is still just 25 cents to play. Kids can experience classic games such as Mrs. Pac-Man and Donkey Kong alongside their parents, who might recall the times when the Pac-Mans were not yet wedded and lived in modest studio apartment-arcades.
Chefs at New Woodbury Cafe add inventive twists to classic breakfast and lunch dishes such as topping the caprese benedict with fresh mozzarella, tomato, and basil-pesto hollandaise or scooping portions of signature cashew chicken salad on crunchy beds of greens. Their house specialties include the walleye breakfast of blackened or panko-crusted filet, farm-fresh eggs, and side of house-made hash browns. Servers flit about the warm atmosphere, delivering fresh-baked corn bread and chocolate shakes to diners seated in cozy booths.
To find Maui Wowi Hawaiian Coffee & Smoothies, just look for the surfboard hanging in the lowest level of the food court at the Burnsville Center. The aloha spirit permeates everything they do. Smoothie flavors such as mango orange and pina colada evoke the coolness of an island breeze, and top off each tropical drink with a little umbrella. Non-fat yogurt smoothies are all natural and gluten free, and sweetened without corn syrup or refined sugars. Customers needing a caffeinated kick opt for hot or iced coffee brewed drinks from their custom Hawaiian coffees.
Generally speaking, there's not a bubble to be found in bubble tea. Instead, the "bubbles" that the cold Taiwanese drink takes its name from are chewy tapioca pearls or jellies resting at the bottom of the glass, waiting for a straw to suck them up. The tea is there, however—but it's not alone. Mixed with it is the flavor of mango, matcha, or peppermint. In fact, at Steepery Tea Bar—owned by the same aficionados as the Tea Garden—more than 30 flavors combine with 10 bubble varieties to exercise creative muscles and comfort anyone who's afraid of repeating themselves.
Bubble tea is just one of the drinks at Steepery Tea Bar. And it's not even the only drink that can contain bubbles. Shakes and coolers can also hold the chewy treasures in their depths, as well as the cafe's signature drinks such as the royal tea latte. Of course, being a tea bar, Steepery brews up hot drinks too. More than 50 kinds of green, black, white, and herbal loose-leaf tea—most of which are fair-trade, organic, and inclined to give only positive fortunes to tellers—fill cups and pots.
Since 1986, Champps Americana's kitchen has sizzled with burgers and classic American dishes, satiating sports fans and families with a comfortable, welcoming atmosphere. Amid the sunlit dining room, diners at wooden tabletops have views of 25 TVs broadcasting sports games, competing with a cluster of arcade games for eyes' attention. Chefs cater to taste buds by plumping up pastas with chicken, shrimp, and vegetables and piling rolls with beef patties, barbecued pulled pork, and spicy buffalo chicken. Behind the bar, bartenders whip up specialty cocktails and margaritas and fill goblets with an expansive selection of draft beers and wine. The bar and grill draws guests with regular specials and events throughout the week, including daily happy hours, Thursday-night trivia, and Sunday brunch. Every Tuesday, the restaurant serves up free meals to children, as a magician saunters table to table, entertaining kids with tricks and balloon art, crafting replacement siblings on request.