With Tasti D-Lite treats and Planet Smoothie in one spot, healthier treats abound, from Tasti D-Lite's frozen concoctions with fewer calories than both ice cream and fro-yo to Planet Smoothie's fresh-fruit-and yogurt smoothies and protein shakes.
Like many children, the founder of Tasti D-Lite, a native New Yorker, begged her father for a taste of ice cream. But this was no typical whining for a treat: she needed her father, an experienced food technologist, to help develop a frozen treat with less calories and fat than ice cream and frozen yogurt. Thus, in 1987, the first cup of Tasti D-Lite swirled into existence. From the shining root-beer oceans to the marzipan mountains, Americans now enjoy flavors such as carrot cake, chocolate nougat, or Mango Tart 'n Tasti, topping each treat with bits of candy and fresh fruit.
Meanwhile, the team of fruit mixologists at Planet Smoothie has nothing to hide when it comes to making its cold creations. Whether blending a weight-loss smoothie or a protein shake, the team knows exactly what's going into each of its concoctions—which consist primarily of fresh fruit and yogurt. They’ll even happily recite the all-natural ingredients list at customers' behest or unprompted in the middle of the night as they try in vain for slumber. Customers can choose from the shop’s list of smoothie combinations or come up with their own custom mixes.
The Dallas Observer called the ice cream sandwich “perhaps the most perfectly devised dessert ever created.” But apparently even perfection can be improved upon. “Pokey O’s has upped the ante,” the paper went on, in its explanation for bestowing this cookie and ice cream shop the honor of Best Food Orgasm in 2006. Pokey O’s puts a freshly baked spin on the iconic dessert sandwich by plopping a decadent scoop of Blue Bell Ice Cream, a treat rarely found on the West Coast, between two of their moist, chewy cookies. Customers can choose from more than 10 cookies, which range from such classics as chocolate chip and snickerdoodle to creative combinations of white chocolate and cranberry or maple and pecan. Once they’ve selected a cookie, the next step is to choose from 15 flavors of ice cream. Customers can also opt for cookies sans ice cream, which wash down perfectly with a thick, old-fashioned milkshake.
The Marble Slab Creamery sensory experience begins by just walking past the storefront, where the buttery scent of fresh-baked waffle cones drifts out into the air. Gourmet ice creams are freshly crafted on site from Marble Slab?s original recipe, enticing customer's eyes with a rainbow of colors. Once clients have made a flavor selection, they choose from a smorgasbord of mix-ins, from fresh fruit to nuts to candy and crumbled cookies, which an ice cream chef then hand-folds in atop a frosty marble slab before packing the finished custom-designed flavor masterpiece into a house-made waffle cone.
In addition to procuring hand-held treats, Marble Slab Creamery can send creations home in a variety of other formats, such as ice cream cakes, cupcakes, and hand-packed quarts, or in the capable hands of a catering team for sprucing up special events such a corporate get-togethers or school functions with sundae bars in tow.
Founded in 1996 at a lone store in Carrollton, Texas, Smoothie Factory began its journey simply by selling smoothies and nutritional supplements. The menu has since expanded to include frozen yogurt, juices, and healthy meals, but the franchise—which operates out of nine states and four countries—still focuses on its original mission: meeting the dietary needs of health-conscious customers with real fruit, nutritional supplements, and nonfat yogurt.
Each store mixes more than 30 flavor combinations, including Just Peachy, Very Berry, and Island Delight, a tropical blend of pineapple, banana, orange, and honey. Nutritional boosts such as caffeine, multivitamins, and fiber spin into chilled beverages to enhance weight loss and energy or give drinkers the cognitive ability to name all the stars in the universe.
Beams of sunlight filter in through the lush vegetation that surrounds Garden Cafe?s outdoor patio and garden. Such a setting seems almost designed to inspire poetry, and it?s hardly a coincidence that the caf? hosts a regular poetry dinner that pairs a five-course meal with open-mic poetry readings.
If poetry isn?t your thing, Garden Cafe still has you covered with an all-day breakfast and lunch served out on the patio. Popular menu items include house salads, sandwiches, and omelets made with organic and free-range eggs. Though the options are varied, the chefs don?t skimp on any of them. One case in point is the french toast, which is covered in real, organic Vermont syrup and topped with a miniature beret.
For a 103 years, the old-fashioned Highland Park Soda Fountain has served authentic diner eats at its long lunch counter, including deli sandwiches, hearty soups and chilies, and frozen treats. With barstools, traditional malt glasses, and phosphates on its menu, the shop was described by Frommer?s as ?blissfully out of place with all the home-goods and high-end restaurants that surround it.? The menu pays homage to the soda shop?s early days with traditional grilled-cheese, egg-salad, and minced-ham sandwiches. Co-owner Sonny Williams?a customer since childhood?now teaches kids to spin on the 19 barstools that line the lunch counter as they wait for ice-cream sundaes, milk shakes, or phosphates.