Every day at Bruster’s Real Ice Cream, passionate ice-cream professionals craft fresh frozen treats while drawing from an arsenal of more than 140 recipes. At any given time, up to 24 different ice-cream flavors situate themselves on the shop’s menu, providing creamy canvases for a mélange of toppings including M&Ms, chocolate chips, fudge, and gummy worms. A lineup of yogurt, sorbet, and fat-free selections provide lighter yet equally satisfying alternatives to traditional cones, and chilled beverages such as iced coffees, shakes, and fresh-fruit smoothies challenge slurpers to sip until lips become permanently frozen in the shape of an ear-to-ear grin. In addition to dishing out treats from behind the counter, Bruster’s Real Ice Cream totes its refreshing repertoire to public functions and fundraisers, where the company typically donates a portion of its sales to the event’s cause.
At Bop's Frozen Custard, sweets specialists whip up cold desserts in the same way that vendors did under the carnival lights of Coney Island in 1919. With fewer tiny air bubbles than traditional ice cream and a serving temperature of 26 degrees, frozen custard provides a dessert experience that’s as smooth and rich as John D. Rockefeller swimming in an olive-oil pool. The dessert artists design specialties such as frozen-custard turtle sundaes with fudge, caramel, and pecans and super-thick concrete shakes packed with loads of fruits and candies.
Quick Quakes whips up protein-infused smoothies for time-strapped, nutrient-needing civilians. Under the leadership of a smooth and health-savvy owner, the staff concocts drinks designed with energy, nutrition, and satiation in mind. Their menu is extensive; standard Quakes ($3-$6) come in 30 flavors as varied as chocolate peanut-butter cup and strawberry banana. Specialty Quakes ($5-$7) traverse many of the food-pyramid compartments and include options such as the pre-workout Foreshock Quake and the post-perspiration Aftershock Quake. Patrons can take it to the next level with protein, caffeine, fiber, or vitamin C add-ons ($0.30+ each) or scale back by ordering any drink sugar-free.
Despite their clean, colorful appearance, making donuts is tedious work. The cook has to deep-fry them in oil, careful not to turn them over or take them out too early, in hopes they'll darken to a perfect golden brown. And that's to say nothing of fillings, frosting, and toppings. But the staff at Planet Donut is up to the challenge, stocking old-school glass cases with their round treats. They whip up a range of flavors, from blueberry-studded to classic glaze.
At three local donut shops, bakers frost fresh batches of long johns, cake donuts, and sundry other sweets every morning, augmenting sugary starts with savory breakfast croissants and biscuits. Pastries such as glazed donuts ($0.59), éclairs ($0.80), and bear claws ($1) take a swipe at hunger, and cinnamon rolls ($1.15) unravel into sweet, flaky layers. Customers can ponder the perplexing solidity of donut holes ($0.12 each; $1.25/dozen) while waiting for a steamy croissant sandwich packed with ham and cheese ($3.25). While prepping hot kolaches or pigs in a blanket ($1 small; $2 large), bakers tuck hot dogs into a pillowy dough blanket before telling them "I love you" one final time.
To demonstrate just how old-fashioned it is, Bops Frozen Custard Flowood’s staff keeps its ice cream at the same temperature as Theodore Roosevelt’s bedroom thermostat: approximately 26 degrees. Whipped with very little air to maintain a dense flavor, Bops’ flagship frozen custard finds its way into sundaes, banana splits, and concretes, in which the custard and toppings are blended until the mixture is thick enough to turn upside down. Fruit smoothies and shaved ice in 26 flavors cool down mouths after heated exchanges with rival debate gangs, and a selection of take-home pies and custards keeps tempers chilled for days to come.