Planet Java’s menu adds a healthy jitter to one's morning step with delicious, fresh-roasted joe juice served from a convenient drive-through brew shack. Feed your need for black liquid speed with a mondo (20-oz.) cup of regular coffee ($2), or try a tall (12-oz.) Aztec mocha ($3.60), which blends espresso with cinnamon-chocolate and steamed milk to fill your demitasse with a healthy dose of post-all-nighter elixir. Otherwise, cool off after a hotcake-eating competition with a 20-oz. iced option; bathe your sweaty mouth with the refreshing nectars of a cold chai charger ($3.95), a concoction of espresso, vanilla chai, and steamed milk or water. For something more hedonistic, let the caramel and milk chocolate contents of a hot or blended caramel decadent ($4.35) effervesce within your stomach while you bathe in a cistern of foie gras and watch masked servants dance for your amusement.
Juice it Up! began in Southern California in 1995 as a purveyor of healthy, fresh-squeezed raw juices. Now, there are more than 100 Juice it Up! storefronts across four states, and at each location, juicers transform whole vegetables and fruits into tasty blends designed to boost mental and physical health. An orange, carrot, and ginger “Awakener,” for instance, contains the vitamins essential for good vision and accurate alarm clocks, while a combination of apple, cucumber, spinach, and kale is dubbed “The Immunizer.”
Beyond juices, staff also blend fresh fruit, non-fat yogurts, and creamy sherbets into custom-created smoothies, ranging from the classic—such as strawberry-banana and pineapple punch—to power blends packed with protein powder, specialty blends made with tea and coffee, and lower-calorie "delightful" blends. They can add vitamin-packed Booya! boosts to any drink to enhance energy, memory, and immunity, and fill acai bowls with granola and fresh-sliced fruit.
On The Edge presents an appetizing slate of coffee beverages and breakfast and lunch sandwiches, to be sure. But it might be the outdoor patio that compels a visit more than anything. Sprawling umbrellas grant shade as guests admire a mural that towers over the scene. The mural's figures play music beneath exposed brick arches, and in front of the mural real flowers bloom, providing eye candy as patrons taste roast beef or focaccia turkey sandwiches and sip hot or frozen mochas.
As if in homage to simpler times, the menu lettered beautifully on The Ice Box's chalkboard is short and sweet. The main draw here is frozen treats, waffle cones piled high with Marianne's Ice Cream, and sweet popsicles made in-house in flavors such as thai iced tea. Diners construct a squarer meal when they order one of the shop's savory treats, including paninis fresh off the grill and crepes folded around turkey and avocado. Guests can sit outside and admire the retro-style signage; inside, they can lunch next to the 1928 combination stove-ice box and try to get it to tell who was really president back then.
A little family run spot, Saigon Bistro Express pours a heap of passion into every Vietnamese banh mi sandwich, noodle soup, and grilled sate skewer. Lemongrass tofu stars in vegetarian entrees, while fresh fruit shakes cool off palates still smarting from flavorful bites of spicy beef or chicken rice bowls. The cafe atmosphere is welcoming and casual, with orders taken at the counter and delivered to your table by restaurant staff. Throughout the day, customers breeze through the friendly, family-owned dining space, stopping in for a full meal or a quick bite.
In 1996, in Washington State, taste tied the knot with health as the first Emerald City Smoothie location oversaw a marriage that, today, has grown to 50-plus locations across the United States. There was no exchange of vows, and objections—if any existed—were quickly muted by a chorus of "Mmms," as fresh-fruit smoothies treated sippers to healthy, on-the-go meals. To help patrons navigate its vast selection without a map made of crazy straws, Emerald City Smoothie divides its menu into categories, such as Boost My Immune System, Help Me Lose Weight, and Just for Kids. Past smoothies, nutrition weaves a common thread through each store's additional offerings, including meal alternatives, snacks, and supplements from major brands.