From behind a frozen granite slab, the staff of Cold Stone Creamery uses twin spatulas to blend custom servings of ice cream and creative mix-ins to fit customers’ exact specifications. Founded by Donald and Susan Sutherland in 1988, Cold Stone began under the hot Arizona sun, eventually spreading its frosty fingers to encompass more than 1,400 locations worldwide. Despite the size of the company, each location’s staff keeps up the handcrafted quality, making ice cream onsite every day and using those signature spatulas to create delicious pointillist art against the freezer wall.
Motley Cow creates hearty comestibles crafted with ingredients sourced as close to Johnson County as possible, a practice which allows the chefs confidence in the quality and lower carbon footprint of their ingredients. Despite being in a larger space, Motley Cow's décor replicates the intimacy and character of its original location with warm red lamps, quirky used objects or materials from the surrounding area, and a parade of singing giraffes outside the grounds every half-hour. Motley Cow's menu delights patrons with a roster of dishes that changes with regard to the seasons and availability. Whet your appetite on house-marinated olives ($2.50/$4.50) or a cup of white bean and bacon soup ($3.50/$7). Locality becomes particularly succulent in the world of entrees: dine on a roasted ruby trout next to grilled spinach and a barley salad with yam, parsley, and pistachios ($19), or a grilled pork chop escorted by seared polenta, queso fresco, and roasted tomatillo salsa ($18). Desserts include a spiced apple biscuit with walnuts, poached cherries, and cream ($6) and a spicy cardamom funnel cake ($7.50).
When looking for a quiet spot, customers turn to The High Ground Cafe. Whether seated on the patio or in the airy cafe, they can set up shop with their computer, a cup of fair trade Kickapoo Coffee Roaster brew, and a light snack. The menu includes plenty of tasty offerings, such as the flavorful turkey mango sandwich or a cup of Italian wedding soup.
Yotopia’s self-serve machines swirl out a rotating lineup of probiotic-packed treats, which are available in gluten-free, dairy-free, and sugar-free options and await customizable spoonfuls of candy and fruit toppings. Patrons can dispense silky ribbons of red velvet or chocolate yogurt from an arsenal of silver apparatuses.