Bedrock Cafe serves up a menu of mammoth-sized bar eats and cold beer in a lively sports bar environs. Guests can start game night off right with smothered fries ($7.49), heaped with cheddar cheese, smoked bacon, and creamy ranch dressing. Wings ($6.95 for 10) come in a myriad of flavors, such as mild, medium, hot, blackened, cajun garlic crystal, BBQ, pterodactyl, and more. Dig into archaeological good taste with the Bedrock Philly hot sandwich ($7.95), or nosh on a classic 8 oz. flame broiled burger ($5.95) with cole slaw, pickle, and French fries. The catfish fingers seafood platter ($6.95) lets one embrace whiskery underwater creatures without the risks of tickling your cheeks. Although catching a grueling baseball defeat over a meal might deplete morale, troops can rally with a karaoke round of “Don’t Stop Believing” on Wednesday nights, while geometry hotshots can prove their mathematical prowess on the pool table.
The independent Evolution stimulates the Lakeland scene by selling an eclectic selection of both mainstream and underground music while providing an intimate venue for local and touring musicians to present their craft. Evolution's stock consists of T-shirts ($10+), CDs and vinyl records ($1+), and posters for music fans to coat their empty walls with artist admiration. Peruse Evolution's thousands of vinyls, from timeless classics, including The Beatles and AC/DC, to exciting new artists (though Bob Dole's ambient-metal album is currently sold out). Evolution hosts shows nearly every weekend, featuring artists advancing the cause of rock, hip-hop, folk, and more.
In order to enter Brew Hounds Sports Lounge, one has to pass between murals of a football field and basketball court. Inside, flat-screen televisions glow with the day's games, blending with the neon of beer signs. Visitors looking to create some competition of their own will find it at the row of electronic dart boards, upon the pool table, or staring into the Yuengling mirror, waiting for the stranger on the other side to blink.
The Rack boasts impressive lunch, dinner, sushi, and cocktail menus at both the Hyde Park and Brandon eateries. House favorites include the Bomber ($12.95–$14.95), a specialty sushi roll of cooked and uncooked delights (snow crab, avocado, and asparagus topped with salmon, tuna, and eel sauce) served with tempura chips. Or blast through hunger with the Volcano roll’s cucumber, crab, cream cheese, avocado, eel sauce, and spicy mayo ($12.95–$13.95). Fusion appetizers, salads, sandwiches, single rolls, and chef special entrees round out The Rack's eclectic menus into a rolling billiard ball made of sticky rice.
Where there's smoke, there's a fiery Groupon. Fill your lungs with one night of unlimited fruity deliciousness at the plush and swanky Meridian Hookah Lounge (a $12 value). Meridian is an intimate and relaxing lounge that's open until 3 a.m. and has live music several nights a week.
The friendly barbecue buffs at BubbaQue’s offer a hearty menu of hickory-smoked meats, 10 unique sauces, and comforting Southern sides. Whet your appetite with a tongue-teasing order of fried green 'maters, a savory staple served with ranch dipping sauce ($4.99) before moving on to the savory main event. For a quick bite, diners can grab the Big Ol’ Bubba, pulled pork served on texas toast ($5.99), or the Buffalo Soldier sandwich, chicken tenders drenched in Bubba’s own buffalo sauce and served with blue-cheese or ranch dressing ($6.49). Combinations such as the smoked turkey dinner come equipped with two sides to provide preassembled meals ($8.99), offering full-plate feasting without conversation-stilting banquet tables and noisy dining-room jousts. Saucy mouths are readily rinsed with a large glass of sweet tea ($1.99) or a bottle of domestic ($2.49) or imported ($3.49) beer.