Ground Control’s cuisine reflects the cosmopolitan lifestyle of its owner, Sean, who offsets his nightly bartending with daily travels as a professional pilot. He and his wife, Tara, have also lived abroad, a sojourn that developed their taste for European dining. Now settled in Arizona, executive chef Chris Ibarra still satisfies their cravings—and those of their patrons—with scoops of house-made gelato atop stuffed crepes, short ribs braised in Guinness, and custom wood-fired pizzas crowned in ingredients such as roma tomatoes, duck, and gouda. Open for three meals a day, the eatery also anoints glasses with exotic ingredients by serving rich espresso drinks, creative cocktails, and sippy cups of water from the Fountain of Youth. Live music fills the space every Friday from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Robeks uses the freshest ingredients to craft made-to-order drinks and eats that will make you feel guilt-free about grabbing a quick bite. Join the berry party with berry smoothies such as the Banzai Blueberry, Strawnana Berry, and Cranberry Quest, all of which pulverize fruit together with all-natural juice, non-fat yogurt or sherbet, and ice ($3.49 junior, $4.49 regular, $5.49 large). For more pulchritudinous pulverized pulp, energize your day with power smoothies, including the Cardio Cooler (with a base of passion fruit and mango juice), which blend juices, non-fat yogurt or sherbets, soy or whey protein, and vitamin boosters ($5.29 regular, $6.29 large) into an elixir that that will revitalize even the most workout-withered body. Bites include protein-packed Kim & Scott's Gourmet Pretzels such as tomato parmesan or spinach feta ($2.49 each), and the hair-raising goodness of Lenny & Larry's power muffins or cookies with flavors such as oatmeal raisin, chocolate chip, lemon poppyseed, and more ($1.99 each).
Tropical Smoothie Café whips up freshly blended fruit smoothies and wholesome café fare. Low-fat smoothies such as the Hawaiian Breeze transport landlocked taste buds to an exotic isle surrounded with a zesty blend of pineapple, orange, and nonfat yogurt. Supplement boosts populate supercharged smoothies such as the Lean Machine, which powers bodies with a mix of strawberries, banana, and weight-management and energizer supplements, plus three drams of raw horsepower.
Though she focused her early life on becoming a classically trained musician, Leiticia Rice also dabbled in airbrushing and painting at a young age. It wasn't until a birthday party in 2012, however, that she thought to channel her talent for visual art into cakes. As she faced rapidly increasing demands for her unorthodox pastries, she founded Ritzy Cakes—where today, she and her staff make cookies and cake-based treats with a focus on bold colors, quirky imagery, and accurate maps of long-lost treasures.
Leiticia tops cookies with marshmallow fondant and fondant characters, and forms red-velvet, chocolate-fudge, french-vanilla, and yellow cake pops into a range of shapes and sizes. Her most popular baked goods are her cakes, in which she blends her own imagination with the ancient symbols of the Antoinettes, a French cake-worship cult. Using 14 cake flavors—such as chocolate fudge, cream cheese, and peanut-butter fudge—she crafts multilayer confections in shapes such as silver shoes, gilded skulls, masquerade masks, and flower-covered gardens.
He spots her from across the room; a mask-clad enigma. Fellow partygoers wink in and out of focus as a strobe light pulses and he draws closer. Finally, he tears away the mask to reveal … a single tier of chocolate cake. Inspired by eccentric songstress Lady Gaga and topped with a mask ripped straight from the music video, Cakepop Couture's Poker Face cake is a prime example of the over-the-top confections that get owners Nicole and Chris's creativity flowing and partygoers hitting on inanimate objects. The cake exudes a signature flair shared by each of the shop’s cake pops.
Infused with flavors that range from traditional chocolate and red velvet to snickerdoodle and key lime pie, each dessert is baked and decorated to-order.