Celebrating their 25th anniversary, Boston Brass enthralls audiences with stylized performances of eclectic musical arrangements. Like sailors to the Sirens, assorted audiences are drawn to the group's diverse horn-blowing backgrounds, including classical compositions and contemporary jazz numbers. No strangers to the limelight, Boston Brass has performed in 49 states and 21 countries, been featured on The CBS Early Show, NPR's Performance Today, and The Great American Brass Band Festival, and recorded several albums.
Southern Smoke Shack's culinary artisans cake fresh cuts of quality meat with dry rubs concocted from family recipes, slowly smoking the porcine and bovine delicacies that appear on the menu over select wood pairings and slathering the creations with house-made sauces upon request. Cherry-smoked bourbon baby-back ribs seal in their succulent flavor with a rub, as well as a delicate glaze of 4 Brothers bourbon normally reserved for adult-back ribs, decorating tables for dinner (half rack, $9.99; full rack, $18.99) or lunch (lunch rack, $5.99). The smoky sweetness of mesquite radiates from the texas brisket sandwich ($5.99–$8.99), and the pork of the smokestack sandwich arrives buried beneath strata of roasted peppers, jack cheese, and diablo sauce ($5.99–$8.99).
Today, it's undeniable: Jazzercise is a worldwide empire, spanning more than 1,800 locations and 32,000 weekly classes across the globe. It's also hip; gone are the leotards and legwarmers of the 1980s, replaced with a high-intensity blend of cardio, strength training, kickboxing and power yoga performed to hits by chart-toppers from Shakira to Justin Timberlake. The class formats, which vary according to different toning goals, are just as diverse as the program's move set, with recent additions such as Fusion, Core, and Strike broadening the workouts' variety and application. Instructors cultivate a noncompetitive atmosphere where all exercisers are welcome regardless of age, build, or fitness background. This sense of community keeps Jazzercise devotees coming back, but so too do the results; benefits ranging from weight loss and boosted core strength to increased flexibility and stress relief.
Jazzercise's continued success can be traced to the innovation of its founder, Judi Sheppard Missett. While teaching jazz dance in the 1960s, she decided to step away from tradition by offering an experimental class that allowed her students to simply dance without the judgment of mirrors or the constraints of rigid technique. Little did she know that this ?just for fun? class was the prototype for what would become the Jazzercise sensation.
Mama Mimi's Take 'N Bake Pizza has been filling homes with the aromas of fresh-baked pizzas and lasagnas since 2000. That year, Jeff and Jodi Aufdencamp built the company from the ground-up with a commitment to family values and recipes from their Grandma Mimi's cookbook. The young couple set out with other young couples in mind?specifically, those trying to properly balance work and family time without having to move weekly movie night into their cubicle. Mama Mimi's makes it easier to do just that with a collection of ready-to-bake pies that includes award winners, such as a primo vegetarian with spinach, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, and roasted garlic. Cheesy lasagnas, fresh salads, and other pastas round out the Mama Mimi's menu, and select locations also carry wine and craft beers from around the country.
The combinations are nearly endless at Brick House Frozen Yogurt. The shop's self-serve frozen yogurt machines dispense a rotating selection of 21 flavors, with options such as cookies 'n cream, peanut butter banana sandwich, and strawberry lemonade. Then, there's the toppings bar, loaded with more than 50 types of candies, cookies, nuts, and fresh fruits so customers can bedeck their frozen creation however they choose. As if the custom treats weren't sweet enough, the shop also offers daily specials nearly every night of the week. On Tuesdays, for instance, guests enjoy free toppings on their yogurt from 6-9 p.m., while an on-going monthly promotion awards a free cup of yogurt to anyone who can fit the most flavors in one cup or suit-jacket pocket.