As a kid, Jason Dilks visited his favorite pizzeria nearly twice a week. The pizza he loved had a thin crust and the cheese rested on the bottom, stepping aside to let the tomato sauce?s flavor play center stage. When Jason grew up, he became a mechanical engineer and moved to South Philly. There, he saw a need for the kind of pie he loved, so he started a pizzeria of his own.
At Slice, cooks handcraft and hand-toss dough daily, using a blend of flour that makes the crust thin and crispy when baked atop hot stones. Cheese makes up the foundation of these Trenton-style pies, which are then topped with tomato sauce. The sauce is made by hand-crushing San Marzano tomatoes, instead of throwing them up in the air and smashing them between a pair of hand cymbals.
Patrons choose from more than 30 toppings when customizing pies, including Maglio sausage, caramelized onions, and broccoli raab. The kitchen can also accommodate guests with dietary restrictions by making pizzas with gluten-free crusts and vegan mozzarella.
Countless trees fly by under your feet as you soar hundreds of feet above the ground. Suddenly, the forest floor below opens up into a gorge. At Red River Gorge Zipline, riders witness this incredible sight on regular canopy tours set amid the picturesque wilderness of Daniel Boone National Forest. The system's ziplines span more than 4,000 feet above the forest canopy, with the longest reaching about 1,900 feet in length. At the end of the tour, dual racing ziplines send riders charging down from more than 200 feet above the ground, and reaching speeds exceeding 50 mph. All of Red River Gorge Zipline's guests are strapped into harnesses for the duration of their tours, while helmet cams document their adventure.
Where most people might have seen an empty, old railroad station, Pat Finney saw her own form of manifest destiny. She and her husband, Lonnie, transformed the century-old Woodbury Station into a cheerful cafe, swapping out the ticketing-area benches for intimate tabletops and covering the switching-room walls in vibrant New Orleans-inspired paintings and brass instruments. Outside, a vintage four-faced clock marks the years since the building’s restoration in 2000, and awnings shade the guests dining on the patio.
As a result of the makeover, the once-silent station is now filled with cheerful chatter and the savory aromas of meals heavily influenced by French cuisine. Morning diners clink coffee cups over plates of eggs benedict, omelets, and crepes, and everything from crispy fried chicken to warm pot roasts grace the evening menu. Meanwhile, freight trains still cruise along the tracks beyond the stained-glass windows, bearing cargo and restless city folk stowing away in the boxcars.
At 25 Burgers, chefs use freshly baked buns and 100% USDA-certified Angus beef to prepare a menu that stays true to the business name. The menu boasts 25 different burgers, offering a choice for everyone, whether they seek beef, chicken, or veggie patties.
No. 5—the Trenton burger—piles grilled pork roll and American cheese atop a grilled beef patty, and No. 7, the six-alarm burger, hosts a fiery menagerie of fresh salsa, jalapeños, pepper jack cheese, and chipotle mayo. Non-beef options include grilled, boneless chicken breast accompanied by teriyaki or barbecue sauces, and veggie patties nestled in with feta, cucumber, and tzatziki on a multi-grain bun.
Finally, No. 25 is the burger of the month, which changes with the calendar to incorporate what's seasonally fresh and to please the tastes of that month's holiday mascot. In addition to made-to-order burgers, 25 Burgers also serves a variety of hot dogs, fries, and shakes.
In the fashion of Ireland's public houses, Lazy Lanigan's is a place to seek company as well as sustenance. The highly social pub—recently under new management—keeps guests entertained with pool, live music, and a dizzying array of flat-screen TVs. Fueling the festivities is a long line of craft-beer taps and bottles, served behind a polished wooden bar or out on the covered, heated patio. Beer even finds its way into the food, whether it's peel-and-eat shrimp steamed in Yuengling lager or beef stew simmered in Guinness sauce. Classic American burgers and cheesesteaks share menu space with traditional Irish eats such as shepherd's pie for a cross-cultural feast to rival the United Nation's weekly chili cook-off.
The sound of knives against cutting boards can frequently be heard coming from the kitchen at SaladSociety, where cooks chop an assortment of vegetables for fresh salads with ingredients such as candied walnuts, warm bacon, or fresh avocado. They also simmer made-from-scratch soups and grill panini sandwiches filled with Albacore tuna salad or chicken cutlets.