Tropical Smoothie Cafe’s menu focuses on what it does best: fresh sandwiches and smoothies. The sandwiches and wraps sport interiors full of fresh chicken adorned with inventive ingredients such as buffalo sauce with light ranch, and thai peanut dressing with wontons. The café’s toasted roast-beef sandwich is topped with a wasabi-caesar dressing, and the toasted flatbread Caribbean Luau pairs pineapple with Jamaican jerk sauce. Smoothies are made with real fruit and blended into delicious flavor combinations such as strawberry and kiwi, or blueberries and almonds. Supplements such as whey or soy protein are also available.
Artisan owner, chocolatier, and pastry chef Jason Andelman has been dubbed "the Willy Wonka of Arlington" by Express, and not just because he wears a purple top hat and likes to take customers on nightmarish boat rides. The beautiful designs adorning his bonbons are as much art for the eyes as they are for the tongue. Artisan's seasonal artist series rotates regularly, as do the feature designs by local artists. Currently, Monica Gallagher's love-struck skulls perch atop a dark-chocolate ganache with a hint of brandy and champagne, while Val Lucas has added a honey-drop pattern to Artisan's layer of crispy pecan praline topped with a bitter molasses ganache. For something spicier, try the bittersweet ganache infused with smoky chipotle chilies and vanilla bean accented by a Southwestern motif by Rania Hassan. Artisan will also be offering a special gift box for this year's Cherry Blossom Festival, as well as a ton of surprise treats for Easter.
Red Velvet Cupcakery's pastry chefs unleash their culinary capabilities on quality ingredients to fashion a menu of cup-sized delicacies. Tongues curtsy for the Southern Belle, a signature cupcake dressed in whipped cream cheese, the standard costume of Scarlett O'Hara. Absorb morsels of the Peanut Butter Cup, a chocolate-buttermilk cake laced with chocolate chips and topped with a creamy peanut purée. Meanwhile, the Cookies 'n Cream cupcake, blended with cookies 'n cream pieces and garnished with more cookies, charms cookie lovers with a delightful texture and poems it claims were written with them in mind.
Beyond the warm, neighborhood atmosphere, Java Shack's many varieties of java, brewed from local Virginia roasts, have a much richer flavor than the corporate brews, as proven by favorite drinks like the Java Shack House Blend coffee ($1.90 for a medium) and classics like the creamy latte ($3.50, medium), rich espresso ($2.20, medium), cappuccino ($3.50, medium), and café mocha ($3.95, medium). You'll have no trouble learning your personable barista's name if you order a specialty Java Shack creation such as the Dale Special, an iced Americano with dashes of vanilla, caramel, and half-and-half. Java Shack’s many regulars also regularly gulp the Korinator, a latte with a bit of vanilla and caramel, and Java the Nut, a latte with hazelnut, vanilla, a drizzle of caramel, and several intergalactic bounty hunters in its employ. While the drink titles will help you learn their names, Java Shack employees rely solely upon their own social natures, and perhaps some light Facebook stalking, to learn yours. Baristas make the effort to remember not only customers’ names, but also favorite drinks and even backstories if you’re up for sharing without over-sharing.
An edible rainbow stretches behind the counter of each Robeks Fruit Smoothies & Healthy Eats, tempting taste buds with a vibrant array of blueberries, kale, wheatgrass, strawberries, carrots, bananas, and other fresh fruits and vegetables. They recently unveiled 20 new additions to their menu, including Age Buster and Replenisher smoothies, the kid-friendly PB&J Delight, and the Fast Break bowl, which blends fruit, pineapple sherbet, and greek yogurt with strawberry and banana slices. Blended into bases such as natural nonfat frozen yogurt and sherbets, these nutritious morsels transform into smoothies and juices bursting with flavor. The menu also extends to coffee smoothies, kid-friendly options, and smoothie bowls.