At Soul Vegetarian, gravy cascades over the burgers and country-fried steaks and creamy cucumber sauce nestles into a gyro pocket. This picture of decadence aside, even as the chefs eschew animal products, they also avoid heavy fats or preservatives. The result is a surprisingly healthy take on classic Southern cuisine, including macaroni and cheese and cornbread. Savory protein comes in the form of tofu, lentils, and a flexible vegetable-protein roast they've dubbed "kalebone."
Even dessert has a healthy side at Soul Vegetarian. Blenders whir with fruit smoothies and soy shakes, many of which incorporate nutrient-dense foods such as coconut milk and almond butter, and even energy or protein supplements. To make perfectly creamy shakes, the restaurant's food inventors created the soy-based Dream Kream—also available by the scoop.
VAVAVOOM wants women to love their bodies. The 200-square-foot studio, nestled in the basement of the historic Hotel Roxy Lofts, offers an intimate atmosphere where the staff is dedicated to caring for, decorating, and celebrating the female anatomy. Its services include facial and body waxing, body art, airbrush tanning, and below-the-belt skincare.
A wildly successful alternative to traditional day spas—its more than 300 locations blanket 36 states and half a dozen countries—Planet Beach Contempo Spa is a futuristic relaxation station where state-of-the-art machines administer all the spa and tanning services. These friendly automatons sometimes replace familiar treatments, as in the Luminous facial, a light-based service that delivers blemish-busting results similar to those of a conventional facial. But other equipment maps out new spa territory entirely: the Hydro-Derma Fusion chamber moisturizes the whole body with nutrient-rich steam in order to offset the effects of a dry climate or a rear-end collision with a salt truck. Other machines whiten teeth, spray tan skin, and massage muscles.
Planet Beach operates on a gym-style membership system, meaning that members purchase packages or pay flat monthly rates. As members spend more time at the spa, they get to know the helpful assistants who are always on hand to demonstrate how to use the equipment without activating its ability to cry.
There's no skin issue too daunting for Christy Durrah. The Jazmin Spa aesthetician applies her expertise to services such as exfoliating body scrubs that gently remove dead skin cells and replenish skin. She joins a staff that beautifies clients with facials, deep-tissue massages, and relaxing spa packages that combine facials, massages and mani-pedis.
The deluxe manicure and pedicure at Nail Talk and Tan builds on basic grooming (cuticle and nail shaping, light massage, and a fresh coat of shiny polish), adding extra muscle manipulation, aromatic exfoliation, and sea-salt scrub to the mix. During the treatment, a skilled nail technician will help you slaughter stress by masterfully massaging your head, temples, neck, shoulders, legs, and feet. Sea-salt and sugar scrubs leave skin smooth and moisturized and set expired skin cells free to float around in the air. The pedicure includes a luxurious cooling mask with hot towels to soothe aches and pains.