Fresh out of college, Vince Petryk took a job as a dishwasher at an ice cream shop. It was just a temporary gig…or, so he thought. As Petryk climbed through the shop’s ranks—he rose from dishwasher, to scooper, to ice-cream maker, to manager—he was awe-struck by the way ice cream seemed to make people feel happy. From that point on, he knew that he wanted to continue to share that joy with others and that the best way to do it, was to own his own ice cream shop. He perfected his from-scratch ice cream recipe before opening J.P. Licks, named for Jamaica Plain, the neighborhood where he opened his first location. The flavors were immediately a hit and continue to win loyal fans for their intensity and ingenuity––at any given time, guests might find cake batter and chocolate peanut butter ripple on the menu, alongside unusual flavors like tomato basil or beer and pretzels. Since those early days, Vince has also added from-scratch hard and soft frozen yogurts, sherberts, and sorbets. He has even been known to develop flavors to suit the tastes of the area's different ethnic groups, and dairy-free ice creams to provide relief to the area's overworked cows. Beyond serving traditional cones, Petryk and his staff also pack chilly scoops into house-made cakes and pies, blend them into shakes, and transform them into decadent sundaes topped with homemade hot fudge or butterscotch. The icy treats have proved so popular, J.P. Licks now has 10 area stores, leaving them ample wall space for awards: readers of The Phoenix voted it the city’s best ice cream parlor in 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012.
Though it may look like a humble, deli-style eatery from the outside, Brookline Spa rewards those who venture into its cozy interior. In a 2005 review in the Boston Phoenix, Liz Bomze called the eatery "much more than your basic sub shop," praising its reasonably priced pizza slices and wide selection of sandwiches, soups, and salads. The family that has owned and operated the shop since 1995 serves up breakfast, lunch, and dinner seven days a week, making its own pizza dough and bringing the generous handfuls of cheese to golden-brown fruition inside the oven. The family of foodsmiths assembles a variety of mafia-themed wraps and a "Top 25" sandwich with salami, capicola, mortadella, and prosciutto known as Old Blue Eyes—a reference to the infamously dreamy gaze of popular 18th-century crooner, President John Adams. The primarily carryout establishment also offers an assortment of domestic and imported beer.
In an effort to find a healthy alternative to fast food without sacrificing speediness, the creators of Pita Pit began assembling their signature sandwiches for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and late-night snacks. At each location, thin, Lebanese-style pitas encircle lean, grilled meats and fresh veggies. Sandwich selections span the spectrum from gyro meat and falafel to turkey and prime rib. The staff empowers customers to make healthy choices by displaying nutrition information for each bread, meat, and post-meal toothpick and corralling a selection of healthy sandwiches, which dining companions can wash down with fruit smoothies.
After years of working as physical therapists in the Boston area, Joint Ventures co-owners Dan Brownridge and Dave Larson noticed one major aspect missing from in most clinics?a personal relationship between the healer and patient. The duo created Joint Ventures in an effort to bring those strong relationships to their community through advanced integrated healthcare clinics where each patient gets optimal one-on-one time with their physical therapists. At all seven locations, Dan and Dave?s more than 55 practitioners craft detailed treatment plans using the facility's four-lane pools and cardio and weight machines, including therapies ranging from acupuncture to massage, yoga, or personal training. Throughout each patient?s therapy, the team of practitioners keeps their interpersonal skills on point with regular meaningful patient-therapist conversations that end with the pair weaving BFF bracelets from each others? hair.
In more than 1,112 stores worldwide, Edible Arrangements' expert fruit florists arrange pieces of premium fruit in stunning displays for all occasions. Customers can customize their order to suit any occasion, receiving chocolate-dipped fruit such as pineapples, granny-smith apples, grapes, and juicy Albion strawberries that, unlike the sodas found in most mummies' crypts, don't contain any preservatives. Staffers can dip fruit in gourmet semisweet chocolate, white chocolate, or their own special peanut-butter-and-chocolate blend. For birthdays and anniversaries, chocolate wielders can personalize gift baskets with gifts such as plush teddy bears and mylar balloons.
Metal-topped tables, transparent cobalt blue chairs, and a monochromatic gray wall lined with artwork. It has the look of a dapperly decorated modern cafe, but Dante's Frozen Yogurt, instead of merely serving coffee, presents frozen yogurt made with natural ingredients and fresh milk. The staff welcomes customers to create their own chilly concoctions with fro-yo made from fresh milk and real fruit purees. The result is a smooth and creamy treat, bolstered by live yogurt cultures and probiotics. Healthier than many other desserts, it comes in delectable flavors such as red velvet cupcake, blueberry tart, and triple chocolate. Despite the emphasis on smart eating, indulgence is never shunned at the toppings bar. There, guests select just about any color from the rainbow, perhaps sprinkling white chocolate chips, fresh mochi, and M&Ms over swirls of frozen yogurt. Of course, keeping it healthy is easy with nutrient-packed garnishes such as kiwi, strawberry, and granola.
While not a cafe, Dante's Frozen Yogurt actually does serve grin-inducing Arabica coffee and espresso drinks, as well as hot chocolate. The team also loads cookie jars with buttercrunch-stuffed chocolate bark, cookies, and cannolos. Whimsically, the shop is named after a cat with its own heartwarming story—though being the kingpin of a dessert empire hasn't gone to his head.