Helmed by sisters Rosalina, Monica, Lorena, and Giovanna Ascolani, Coronado Cupcakery brings a welcome dash of the familial to the cozy confines of Coronado. Following in their cupcake-loving mother’s footsteps, the siblings craft creatively flavored desserts each day in the form of red velvet, coconut cake, and lunch-friendly peanut butter and jelly cupcakes—a cousin of the chocolate cake sandwich. In addition to their daily flavors available in store, they custom-design birthday cupcakes, cater weddings, and bake muffins, cookies, and regular-sized cakes.
Shakespeare’s Corner Shoppe imports products from across the pond and welcomes neighbors for afternoon tea, served daily with finger sandwiches and cakes. An extensive online and in-store inventory spans everything from canned jellies, curds, and jams to animal collars patterned with the British flag. Should an item of desire elude shoppers or Sherlock Holmes, store associates occasionally place special orders. The tea experts stock a selection of English bone china, which is available to purchase or rent for an at-home garden party or a sophisticated rave. The store's quaint outdoor patio is home to daily afternoon tea, a British tradition that the crew has modernized to include vegetarian and sugar- or gluten-free delicacies.
Frozen yogurt not only tastes good; it's also good for you. Each of Fiji Yogurt's 100 flavors can be consumed guilt free, even if they're not one of the sugar-free, fat-free, dairy-free varieties. Besides classics such as pistachio, vanilla, and chocolate, far-out flavors are inspired by dessert with varieties such as blueberry cheesecake and white chocolate mousse. Once patrons fill their cups at the red yogurt station, they move to the green countertop to choose toppings. Peaks of yogurt can be crowned with candy, cookies, nuts, and fruit, as well as chunks of cookie dough and cheesecake. Customers enjoy their cups while perched on chairs that match the counter or the candy-apple-red leather sofas that match the maraschino cherry bush growing out front.
Nestled into a shopping center in Carmel Valley, Chuao Chocolatier serves up uniquely decadent chocolate-infused desserts. Founded by two Venezuelan brothers in 2002, Chuao is a pioneer in fusion chocolate, developing unexpected flavors using a special blend of chocolate and fresh ingredients. What began as a single boutique in Encinitas has developed into a premiere artisan chocolatier destination for San Diegans. In the Carmel Valley location, red walls surround a glass case filled to capacity with trays of chocolates. Their signature twist is the Spicy Maya, a modern take on the Mayan’s ancient hot chocolate recipe made with pasilla chile and cayenne pepper. Other highlights include their chocolate bars, bonbons, brownies, gelato and truffles.
With more than 700 locations, Jamba Juice proves to the masses that nutrition can be speedy and delicious. Since the beginning, the company’s product philosophy has revolved around choosing whole fruits and other natural ingredients over artificial flavorings, sweeteners, and preservatives. The menu is completely free of high-fructose corn syrup and trans fats, and it offers additional accommodations for vegan and gluten-free diets. Blended drinks dominate the menu, with options including fruit refreshers—made with naturally hydrating, electrolytic coconut water—and pre-boosted smoothies that can fill nutritional gaps with infusions of protein, immunity boosters, or antioxidants that neutralize accidentally swallowed pool water. The drink list also includes organic house-blend coffee and Mighty Leaf teas flavored with hibiscus flowers or peppermint. For those with heartier appetites, steel-cut oats steep in soymilk before being enhanced with toppings such as apples, cinnamon, and brown-sugar crumble. The lunch hour presents a trio of california flatbreads, each packing only about 320–420 calories, which can be pleasantly capped off with cups of Whirl’ns frozen yogurt.
Every Saturday night at the Sheraton Suites Houston, someone gets murdered––while dinner guests watch. Mystery dinner theater may not be a novel concept, but it's safe to say that the crew at Mystery Cafe does it right, as evidenced by their 2009-2013 streak of winning the United States Commerce Association's Houston Award for Dinner Theatres. Forks clink and brain gears whirr as theatergoers dine amid the action, where one of the cast members gets killed and the rest of the off-the-wall characters try to figure out whodunit. As the plot twists and turns like a Slinky on a waterslide, audience members take note of the evidence and submit their suspect and motive on a solution sheet. Whoever sniffs out the culprit is named Super Sleuth and garners a prize. The dress code is dressy casual, meaning anything from a prom dress to jeans is okay, but the mermaid tail should stay at home.