Dining out with friends can foster healthy relationships that might otherwise be limited to impersonal group texts or overly personal bathtime visits. Get a bite in person with a person with today's Groupon: for $15, you get $30 worth of American fare and '50s merchandise at Rock Island Cafe.
Rock Island Cafe entertains appetites and eyeballs with vintage midcentury memorabilia and a menu of gourmet pizzas, tasty sandwiches, and old-fashioned malts. Gourmet personal pizzas cater trips through time and sessions of afternoon espionage with bites from the 007 seven-item, 9-inch discus decked out with pepperoni, mushroom, basil, and a three-cheese blend ($12.95). Sandwiches such as the kalua pulled-pork barbecue Porky Pig ($9.95) snare savory meats between toasted french rolls, and 8-inch hot dogs, such as the Lassie's chili cheese ($7.95) deliver delicious kosher beef in toasted buns. In addition to plates of gourmet sandwiches and pizza, Rock Island Cafe serves up hand-packed, old-fashioned milkshakes ($7.95) from its antique Hamilton mixer, which treats diners to extra malt for an additional $0.50.
The décor of bright-red art-deco booths and walls clad in memorabilia from the '50s and '60s hearkens back to a time when Elvis reigned as king and Eisenhower served as Elvis's prime minister. After dinner, guests peruse Rock Island's ample collection of keepsakes for nifty finds such as a Marilyn Monroe metal sign ($22.95–$42) or a signed check from Lucille Ball ($495). Additional notes of nostalgia resonate throughout the spacious diner, from the fraction of a '57 Chevy embedded in the wall to the nightly performances and bomb drills of the Dancing Dinettes.