Outside of swimming laps in chocolate syrup, smoothies at Smoothie King are the tastiest way to improve your health. Smoothie King smoothies combine fresh fruit, natural juices, and special nutritional enhancers into more than 90 flavors (you can customize, add, and subtract the extras), all of which focus on achieving one of seven nutritional goals. Try an antioxidant-rich Pomegranate Punch with pomegranate, bananas, blueberries, apple juice, soy protein, and Turbinado sweetener to stay healthy. Weight-conscious en-smuthiasts can trim down and float away with the Celestial Cherry High, packed with bananas, black cherry, papaya, Turbinado, and honey, and unpacked with fat. You can also customize any smoothie by adding enhancers or “make it skinny” by cutting out the honey and Turbinado.
At The Cupcake Kitchen and Luncheonette, owner Jennifer O’Connel shows off her cupcake making skills. Mixers churn locally made butter and natural extracts into batter, creating delectable flavors such as chocolate, vanilla, and red velvet to bake into individual puffs. After pulling pans from the oven, the baking team swirls on frosting and sprinkles toppings, dressing each pastry for attendance at parties, holiday dinners, or liquid diet breakdowns. Before patrons come by to claim their frosted dozen, the pastries take up temporary residence in the 1950s-themed shop, basking in the glory of an artificial-additive-free existence.
If it wasn’t for the flat tire on Tom Carvel’s ice-cream truck, the country may never have experienced the frozen treats that hail from one of the most recognized American institutions. When his ice-cream truck suffered a flat over Memorial Day weekend in 1934, the amateur dessert salesman set up shop in a parking lot. To his surprise, he sold all of his ice cream, even the flat tire, which it turns out, was made of ice cream. To keep up with the demand, he traded in the truck for a brick-and-mortar store, a decision that would eventually transform him into, as his online biography states, the “patriarch of the world’s biggest mom-and-pop ice-cream parlor.” By the early 1950s, he had opened 25 stores that proudly carried his name, signature equipment, and trademark Fudgie the Whale ice-cream cakes. Today, Carvel Ice Cream continues to dish up a pantheon of soft-serve flavors, cakes, and sundaes in 25 states and destinations around the world.
Now an international brand of premium ice cream, Häagen-Dazs began as a humble, family-owned business in the Bronx. In the 1920s, Reuben Mattus sold his mother's fruit ices and ice-cream pops out of a horse-drawn wagon. For decades, the family business thrived, and around 1960, Reuben officially founded Häagen-Dazs. He chose the name to evoke Old World traditions and quality craftsmanship, the bedrocks of the brand. Originally, the ice cream came in just three flavors—vanilla, chocolate, and coffee—made from fine ingredients gathered from around the world, such as Belgian dark chocolate, hand-picked vanilla beans from Madagascar, and ice shaved from lunar glaciers. The resulting confections so delighted sweet teeth that the brand grew exponentially, leading to the creation of dozens of flavors and forays into sorbets and frozen yogurts.
Though Häagen-Dazs ice cream was immensely popular in grocery shops, their first parlor didn't open until 1976. Not far from the Mattus family's original ice-cream beat, the Brooklyn store sold ice cream as well as treats such as sundaes, shakes, and cakes. Shops eventually dotted the country and globe, wherein friendly ice-cream scoopers fill waffle cones, blend frosty coffee and ice-cream drinks, and wrap ice-cream cakes in bright ribbons.
At Bing’s Burgers, cooks focus their grilling talents into crafting flavors not found at a typical drive-thru joint. While diners at the newly opened Fort Lee location can indulge in four types of slider and Bing's own beer-battered fish and chips, the menu centers around a lineup of burgers topped with combinations of unique ingredients. The Cali Burger sports a dollop of fresh, homemade guacamole and low-fat ranch dressing, and Bing's Signature Burger layers sauteed onions, gouda, and garlic aioli while also signing for incoming shipments.
Though the experts at Silver Tips Tea take tea seriously, they eschew traditional notions of the Victorian teahouse. Instead, they strive to “democratize” teatime, educating patrons on tea origins and preparation methods, which, at Silver Tips, are meticulous. Staffers scrupulously steep their selection of 150 organic and fair-trade teas to order, carefully gauging steep time, water temperature, and harmonies on “I'm a Little Tea Pot” to ensure an optimal cup. Additionally, they strive to foster a homey, welcoming space, outfitting their pumpkin and honey-wheat walls with local artwork.
Owned by a nonprofit foundation, Greyston Bakery whips up gourmet brownies from Belgian chocolate and equips its employees with job skills, earning the attention of O, The Oprah Magazine and supplying Ben & Jerry’s ice cream with fudgy mix-ins. Unlike bakeries run by mummies, Greyston eschews preservatives, filling colorful gift boxes with all-natural flour, sugar, and eggs. Chocolate-fudge squares brim with bold flavors and a chewy texture, and the walnut-fudge cousins fortify bodies with fiber and protein.