In the late 1960s, seeking a remedy for his allergies and low blood sugar, Smoothie King founder Steve Kuhnau began mixing fruits, nutrients, and proteins in his home blender. The positive impact that followed inspired Steve to share his concoctions and open the first Smoothie King in 1973. Today, with more than 600 locations scattered across the United States and Korea, Smoothie King presides over 90 different flavors, all made with real fruit, natural juices, and specialized enhancers. The business keeps its ever-growing selection of slurp-worthy drinks categorized by their nutritional function, including Trim Down, Get Energy, and Indulge.
Mary Ann Donuts' slogan is "They're Donutlicious," and people agree; the shop was named a top-five Best Bakery in 2008 by FOX8. It boasts more than 50 species of donuts and pastries, including devil's food and angelic cake donuts, capped with a variety of toppings and icings (regular donuts are $0.81 each, and $8.15 a dozen). Four varieties of gourmet muffins (including triple-berry whole grain and chocolate-chocolate chunk) are served daily ($1.49 each), while Aunt Mary Ann's signature crème sticks ($1.20 each) come in chocolate, maple, vanilla, crunch, and powdered sugar. Regular, dark-roast, and gourmet coffees ($1.25–$2.75), along with espressos ($1.49–$2.49), cappuccinos ($1.75–$3), flavored lattés ($2.29–$2.59), and frozen cappuccinos ($2.99) cleanse esophaguses' sugar coatings. To round off your donut-and-coffee mealstravaganza, order a chicken- or tuna-salad sandwich ($2.49).
The foodsmiths as Taggarts Ice Cream Parlor construct a menu loaded with made-from-scratch cuisine and creamy frozen desserts served in an old-fashioned ambience. Silence hunger pangs with an ample array of diner-style sandwiches, such as reubens ($6.65), patty melts ($5), and half-pound angus burgers ($6.85). For dessert, indulge in more than a dozen ice-cream flavors, which can be scooped solo ($1.65–$3.45), mixed into sundaes ($2.65–$4.40), or blended into velvety milkshakes ($3.65–$4.40). The parlor's Bittner blends three-quarter-pounds of vanilla ice cream, homemade chocolate sauce, and roasted pecans into a classic creation ($3.95) popular since the 1930s, when the New Deal established dessert as a meal.
The scent of freshly ground coffee coaxes customers through the wooden doors of Carpe Diem Coffee Shop, whose painted ivory and red trim evokes of the aesthetic of an old Victorian. Since Cathy and Patrick Wyatt opened the shop in 2003, baristas have been pulling shots of espresso to concoct lattes and cappuccinos and pairing them with pastries, sandwiches, and salads crafted from local ingredients. Customers can lounge in padded wrought-iron chairs and overstuffed couches as they jump onto the free wireless Internet, or direct eyes to a pair of televisions regularly airing the news or the Chipmunks’ remake of Dead Poets Society. Coffee-related and handcrafted items—such as cards, candles, and mugs—line wooden shelves and make especially sweet gifts when packaged with chocolate-covered beans.
The bakers at Parker's Place can whip up elaborately designed cakes and more than 20 different flavors of cheesecake. But you don't have to order ahead via shout to sample their sweet wares. The eatery keeps a collection of cookies, cupcakes, and other baked goods in stock and on display. You can pair sweets with coffee, breakfast dishes such as pancakes and omelets, or lunch plates like BLTs or salads.
Party planners at Maximum Events specialize in decking out dessert tables in delicious sweets personalized with eye-pleasing icing. A changing selection of cupcakes may include such tasty classics such as vanilla cake with buttercream frosting or chocolate cake with chocolate ganache. Unlike black velvet, which makes for a great bathrobe but tastes like fabric, the red-velvet cupcake makes for a poor bathrobe but delights diners with a rich red crumb and a velvety cap of cream cheese. Selecting a variety of inventive flavors such as the raspberry champagne or coconut-pineapple meringue treats taste buds to sweetness and the best kind of spice—variety.