Tropical Smoothie Cafe's wholesome smoothies are filled to the gills with fresh fruit, juices, yogurt, chocolate, nuts, and healthful supplements, minimizing the guilt of dessert consumption to a soft heartbeat that emanates from the floorboards. Pomegranate Plunge (pomegranate, banana, strawberries, cranberry, $4.79) harnesses the nutritious hunger-fighting power of superfruit, and delectable low-fat elixirs such as Mango Magic (mango, pineapples, nonfat yogurt, $4.29) hoodwink gullible taste buds into believing they are traversing a candy factory full of whipped-cream lollipops.
In the kitchen of Zino's Italian-American Restaurant, chefs whip up a menu of more than 200 Italian and American classics—from cheesy homemade lasagna to tender sirloin steaks. The chefs top half-pound burgers with hearty toppings like chili and fried egg, and slather ribs in sweet St. Louis–style barbecue sauce. They shower fresh toppings onto homemade pizza crusts, which writers from the Virginian-Pilot lauded as "thick and chewy." Throughout the month, the lively eatery features special events, including karaoke and free-pool nights.
With hundreds of cake flavors and designs, the options are nearly endless at Pinky Sweets Cupcakes and Confections. A rotating selection of cupcakes delights taste buds with flavors such as chocolate salted caramel, chocolate turtle, lemon coconut, and red velvet. Pinky's bakers also design specialty cakes and cupcakes for weddings, and they can arrange cupcakes on custom displays.
Pinky's birthday-party packages, which have themes ranging from spa party to tea party to tax-filing party, allow kids to take on the cupcake-decorating responsibilities while munching on snacks. They often feature a professional photographer.
"Fisherman can place their orders, no matter what time during the morning. It's not abnormal for me to go up at 6 a.m. and deliver sandwiches," says general manager Kathy. With Kathy's boat right there on the marina, it seems that she has never known anything different—crafting homemade mac, coleslaw, and potato salad only steps from Chesapeake Bay. But it started only a few years ago. Vinings Landing Marina caught wind of the popularity of Kathy's deli in town and decided to pay her a visit. "They had a space available and asked me if I'd set up shop," Kathy says. "And, well—I love boating." Her start dovetailed nicely with a full renovation that bestowed the place with new tile floors, new walls, and hardwood tables, but a big selling point for Kathy was the outdoor patio to the Marina. "Here people can pop in by car, by boat, or by foot. It's very accessible." During winter months, regular fisherman and new guests alike stop in for her lunch offerings of made-to-order deli and breakfast sandwiches. As the calendar turns to April, warmer weather unleashes acoustic Fridays, as well as a few other pleasant surprises not dissimilar to hearing James Taylor sing at a Metallica concert. "The menu becomes more expansive," she says. "Burgers for dinner—also tuna salad, chicken salad, egg salad. I know the winter menu says just chips. But in summer, we'll roll out the fries.”
The aroma of freshly roasted coffee beans lures passersby into Bean There Coffeehouse's two locations, where baristas reenergize sluggish bodies with a menu cascading with traditional brews and seasonal espresso beverages. The coffee shops' thoroughly vetted beans are plucked from the top 20% rated throughout the world, with special attention paid to the country of origin, the altitude, and the astrological sign of each bean. Serving up flavorful coffee is their top priority, and the staff also cultivates a homey, neighborhood feel at each establishment, welcoming guests to events such as coffee tastings, dessert pairings, and poetry slams.