Once a ramshackle ice-cream store with a loyal Akron following, today Zack's Fire and Ice serves barbecue along with its cones with help from new owner and former pastor Randy Stewart and his wife, Kathy. The Stewarts have lived in the Southwest and up and down the East Coast, so rather than adhere strictly to any one regional barbecue style, they synthesize their favorite elements from a number of traditions to create an eatery with the welcoming spirit of a backyard cookout. The kitchen slow smokes brisket, ribs, pork, and turkey breast and slathers them with sauces such as honey and apple bourbon. Frozen treats such as sorbet and frozen yogurt stay chilly at the ice-cream counter alongside hard-packed ice cream in flavors such as pumpkin pecan, oatmeal cookie, and Superman, designed to freeze enemies’ brains faster than a speeding bullet.
Named Akron’s Best Coffee Shop by CityVoters, Nervous Dog percolates palates with locally roasted beans, soothing smells, and a small menu irrigated with pastries and tasty sandwiches (sandwiches coming soon—will be available at Stow location only). To prepare for a busy workday filled with consolidating files with a flaming broadsword, grab a small coffee ($1.75), or opt for a more complex tongue massaging with a small latte ($2.95), cappuccino ($2.95), or mocha ($3.55). The various tasty pastries are baked daily, ensuring they’re fresher than a cryogenically frozen bouquet of daisies ($2.35 each, on average). Customers on the run and method actors doing research for a Boo Radley portrayal can stock up on invigorating coffee with a one-pound bag of beans ($12.85).
Shopping carts loaded with dozens of different dry noodles from Japan, Korea, and China roll through the aisles at Hana Asian Market, where shelves hold spices from across Asia, homemade vegan and meat pot stickers, and bundles of sushi- and sashimi-grade fish. The market also regularly hosts sushi-making classes that demonstrate proper rolling techniques and give students all the necessary ingredients, sparing them the hassle of ransacking the aquarium in their office lobby.
West End Blenz's nutrition gurus forge fresh fruits and healthy supplements into a selection of 25 smoothies. Flavors range from traditional strawberry and banana to protein-packed Bulk & Muscle smoothies, which can be sipped before the shop's community self-defense classes or attempts to bench-press the counter.
Upon entering Rose Bowl Florists & Gift Shop, the scent of freshly cut flowers and hand-poured candles floods the senses. Friendly florists—each hand-picked by the owners—man the counters, assembling these fragrant gifts into special flower arrangements for occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries, bridal showers, and the successful completion of regular showers. Using fresh blooms and blossoms of flowers such as roses, calla lilies, and orchids, they create spectacular designs for congratulations, sympathy arrangements, and seasonal arrangements. They also stocks the shop with perennials, annuals, seasonals, gifts, and gardening supplies, ranging from sunflowers and gourmet chocolates to artificial flowers and wreaths.