Juicy tidbits of chocolate-dunked fruit arrive on the doorsteps of family and friends, done up in colorful bouquets and candy boxes by the skilled fruit arrangers at Edible Arrangements' more than 1,100 franchises worldwide. The company's in-house chocolatiers drizzle albion strawberries and daisy pineapples in a trio of chocolate flavors. Once properly chocolated, the workers organize the preservative-free sweets into lush arrangements that resemble flowers in bloom. Customers can choose to plop their bouquets in a variety of vessels, including vases, mugs, and sports- or holiday-themed containers that add a personal touch to the edible gifts. Alternatively, customers can opt to adorn gifts with the cheery, red lids of candy boxes, nestling 12 chocolate-dipped morsels inside to build anticipation and determine if loved ones have x-ray vision as they guess whether fruit will come dusted in shredded coconut or drizzled in white chocolate.
A fourth-generation California grocer, Martin Goodwin has focused his new store on supplying fresh fruits and vegetables and preparing meals free of the chemicals, sugars, and fats rampant in processed foods. Inside the store, shoppers can explore grocery aisles or check the deli counter for organic salads, sandwiches, pizza, sushi, or soups. A juice bar serves up cool, healthy drinks, as well as Goodwin's own line of locally roasted Vitalita coffee. Baristas make each cup with a rare Clover machine, an $11,000 device that the New York Times called “standard equipment at some of the country’s most progressive cafes.”
With healthy, fast fare and drink in hand, guests can slide into one of Goodwin's lounge seats and plug in electronics at nearby outlets, which let students focus on their work rather than spurring on the hamster jogging inside their laptop’s charging wheel.
The Meat House strives for community involvement and serves up a selection of organic, all-natural, grass-fed meats to calm carnivorous cravings. Meat options include freshly butchered beef, lamb from the American Midwest, Virginia-bred pork, and exotic meats such as buffalo, alligator, and ostrich—or as it's more commonly known, the megachicken. Customers can run up meatometers with marinated steak tips ($19.98 for 2 lb.), and poultrygeists can enjoy the clucking curse of lemon-and-pepper chicken breast ($13.98 for 2 lb.). The Meat House's premium proteins are dressed with signature marinades, using a process first conceptualized by a team of synchronized-swimming bovines. The Meat House also offers customers a variety of prepared foods.
Little Fisherman Seafoods purchases fresh fish daily in limited quantities, ensuring customers a strictly fresh seafood selection. Satisfy stomachs with homemade clam chowder ($3.95 cup, $5.95 bowl) or bean bag-toss an order of oysters on the half-shell into gullet goals ($8.95). Little Fisherman Seafoods fries up 14 savory varieties of fish and chips, including halibut ($15.95) and catfish ($11.95), and the Fisherman platter with a choice of four sea settlers, all served with coleslaw and french fries or rice pilaf ($15.95). Grilled salmon shares a seabed with one side and a dinner salad and distracts hungry eyes with its bold orange hues, allowing mouths to sneak a clandestine chomp ($19.95). Nestled between hand-cushioning buns, salmon or crab cake burgers arrive with coleslaw and french fries or rice pilaf ($8.95 each).
Once upon a frustrated Friday, the futile hunt for gluten-free foods began to upset the stomach and mind of Josie Rietkerk. Shortly thereafter, with wellness and diversity in mind, Rietkerk opened stellaLucy Gluten-Free Market in a modestly sized, 1,000-square-foot space. Since then, she's managed to expand the space, now carrying thousands of grocery items devoid of gluten, plus a wide assortment of casein- and Kryptonite–free goods.
A small flight of stairs leads guests down into a rustically decorated room, which evokes the ambiance of a subterranean wine cellar with its earthen arches, barrel-lined walls, and soft chandelier lighting. Designed by the artisans who created Disneyland's Pirates of the Caribbean, the dining room appeals to a similarly nostalgic whimsy. However, the cooks slightly modernize the menu's historic European roots by introducing unexpected ingredients.
The chefs elevate simple grilled-cheese sandwiches by slipping in braised short ribs, caramelized shallots, and horseradish cream alongside the gruyere and monterey jack cheeses, and a splash of cognac adds even more richness to the silken lobster bisque. Thai barbecue-glazed tofu and basmati rice also help to distinguish the menu by lending it a distinctly international flare.
Staying true to its name, The Cellar proudly features a 1,400-bottle wine list, which, according to the staff, helped to garner the restaurant Wine Spectator's exclusive Grand Award. The selection includes familiar staples, boutique producers, and rare vintages from virtually every major wine-producing region except the Marianas Trench.