It would be more than fair to say that Alfonso Gonzalez is of local renown?the owner and executive chef of La Riviera Restaurant won the Chef of the Year award from the Brazos Valley chapter of the Texas Chefs Association three years in a row, and he now reigns as their director.
With more than 30 years of experience, it's not surprising that Gonzalez uses only top-notch ingredients such as Angus beef, local produce, and fresh-caught seafood. He's also comfortable enough to dabble in an international lineup of culinary styles, stacking his menu with everything from chicken carbonara to Caribbean jerk tilapia, so named because it makes fun of other fish. The diversity of his food is matched by the wine list, which includes varietals from California, Oregon, and abroad.
The desire to study abroad while at Texas A&M led Audrianne Doucet to topping fro-yo with Oreos and berries. While looking for a way to pay for a semester abroad, she decided to create Project: Yogurt after noticing the area was bereft of yogurt shops. With help from her family, Project: Yogurt opened in 2011, serving up build-your-own frozen-yogurt creations and smoothies. All flavors, which include birthday cake, cookies 'n' cream, and no-sugar-added tahitian vanilla, are certified kosher and most are gluten- and cholesterol-free.
But Audrianne didn't just want to fund her own fun experiences—she knew good could come from Project: Yogurt's profits, and that there were several worthwhile causes that could use the money. Each quarter, Project: Yogurt partners with five local nonprofits and donates 10% of its profits to the charities; past partners have included Family Promise, Brazos Valley Rehabilitation Center, and Voices for Children. Additionally, six times a year, Project: Yogurt gives yogurt away for donations instead, and 100% of those donations go to the nonprofit partners.
If you were to trace the origin of one of Jamba Juice?s freshly squeezed juices, it wouldn?t take long before you ended up face to face with its most important supplier: Mother Nature. Whole fruits and vegetables from her gardens, groves, and orchards fill Jamba Juice's stores: kale, apples, pineapple, carrots, beets, and other produce. Although it?s serious about filling cups with wholesome, natural ingredients, the company is a little more playful when it comes to the palate.
Sure, there are classic juices on the juice menu. Purely Carrot, for instance, which is as elemental and straightforward as it sounds. But there?s also the Tropical Greens, which combines apple juice and pineapple with super greens and chia seeds. And there?s Kale Orange Power, loaded with kale, bananas, and orange juice?all of which are packed with a serious helping of vitamins and manganese. Regardless of which flavor you choose, each 12-ounce juice packs in at least 1.5 servings of fruits and veggies, making it a convenient way to restore energy and get nutrition on the go. The same commitment to simplifying healthy eating can be found throughout the Jamba Juice menu, from its Fruit and Veggie smoothies to its Artisan Flatbreads.
In addition to providing healthy options to customers, Jamba Juice sponsors Team Up for a Healthy America. The initiative is focused on improving childhood nutrition and fitness by encouraging fans to join the Team Up community of celebrities, athletes and other leaders committed to helping the nation stay fit?which you can do by visiting the main Jamba Juice website.
With over 500 stores serving the full freshly squeezed juice menu, Jamba Juice is the perfect way to blend in the good.
Following a whim can sometimes change someone’s life, as the proprietor of Sugar Mommas knows well. A cake decorating class at a local craft store started her on a trajectory that led her to open her own bakery. She draws together wholesome ingredients such as sweet creamery butter and pure cane sugar to craft cupcakes with soft coronas of frosting. She also creates full-sized customized cakes and cake pops on sticks, which are convenient for eating as a snack or holding out of reach of a children’s basketball team. While baking her confections, she works to protect the environment by using green products, recycling, and minimizing her use of water whenever possible.
The Whistle Stop Café halts hunger throughout the day with hot, homemade meals. Taking an old-fashioned approach toward food, the restaurant plates up classic comfort eats, including all-day breakfast favorites: fluffy pancakes and buttermilk waffles. More savory options include chicken fried steak, pulled pork baskets, and meaty entrees served with such sides as mashed potatoes and mac and cheese.
You don't need to know how to jitterbug to get the most out of a visit to Jitterbug Cafe, but just a warning––the creative fare, gelato, and coffee drinks might just make you want to dance anyway. After all, what's not to love about strawberry-shortcake oatmeal with whipped cream? Or rocky road frappes? Or tabletop s'mores featuring marshmallows roasted by diners over an open flame or through pyrokinesis? The fun and flavorful options might even inspire you to dream up your own smoothie or latte, which could make it onto the staff's running tab of the drinks customers have created themselves, such as the Saba, a spicy hot chocolate blended with cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, or the Cloud 9, a drink made with creamy white chocolate and coconut.