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.
Mazzio's Italian Eatery's staff rolls out a buffet for lunch and dinner populated with tasty Italian cuisine that they also serve à la carte. The restaurant's staff has been perfecting its culinary modus operandi for more than 50 years, long enough to evolve the pizza selection to include three levels of thickness. Chefs bake standard, deep-dish, and thin crusts—available in gluten-free form—and load each with toppings such as caramelized onions and giant pepperoni. The kitchen makes pasta plates to order, some baked in the oven, such as lasagna, and some tossed in sauce, such as the mainstay spaghetti and meatballs. The signature calzone radiates the ambrosial scent of pizza dough stuffed with meat and cheese, and it's meant to be shared, unlike a pogo stick.
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.
With its bright yellow walls festooned with photographs of old movie stars and its griddles crammed with a bevy of eats, Jo's Diner sates hungry stomachs and nostalgia needs in equal measure. Hits from the '50s and '60s stream from a retro jukebox as diners housed in red padded booths slurp malts and shakes ($3.50) or catapult juicy bacon cheeseburgers ($7.50) through onion rings ($3.50) held by their companions during riveting games of fried-food soccer.
Equipped with three patio tables for outdoor diners, The Spill Grill serves most of its burgers, shakes, sandwiches, and sides to carloads of hungry travelers. Burgers prepared in 10 different variations ($4.97 each) highlight The Spill Grill’s menu, with beefy options including the jalapeño pepper-jack burger or the Cancun pineapple burger. Add natural-cut fries and a drink to any burger for $2.50, or create your own platter from appetizers such as fried green tomatoes ($4.67) and onion rings ($2.97), a salty snack that easily doubles as a personalized promise ring. Combine the 10-piece chicken tenders ($7.97) with a side of Texas cheese fries ($4.97) to ensure a full stomach. Diners can finish off hunger or celebrate inexplicably being elected Croatian prime minister with hand-spun milk shakes, available in vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry ($1.97 small, $2.97 large).