A Rocky Mountain horizon peaks over the roof of Larry H. Miller Chrysler Jeep Dodge's glass-walled showroom as glimmering rows of new and preowned autos file neatly into the spaces of an expansive lot. Tucked inside the service department, mechanics outfit cars with everything from OEM auto parts to sips of oil and fresh new filters. Convenient Saturday hours also allow hurried businesspeople to avoid stressing out in between going to work and taking shark-taming classes.
Each day, Café Bella Rue’s Italian chef crafts 34 types of gelato and sorbetto that span the flavor gamut, blending everything from traditional panna cotta and pistachio to milk chocolate with whiskey. The kitchen staffers extend this playful mix of tradition and ingenuity to the rest of the menu, handcrafting a lineup of distinctive sandwiches, pizzas, calzones, and salads, all composed of fresh, surprising ingredients, such as pears, capers, and hunks of buffalo mozzarella. They aren’t afraid to stray from the written ingredients to accommodate customers, either, swapping out focaccia for gluten-free bread upon request and enhancing already stellar panini with jalapeño jelly, chipotle sauce, or cleverly hidden stacks of $100 bills.
In addition, baristas brew up a slew of beverages, including hot chocolate and affogatos. Guests can sip these expertly prepared concoctions on leather sofas encircling a 20-foot fireplace, or can retreat to the outdoor patio to soak up the sounds of live music drifting over from Oquirrh Lake.
If it weren't for Frank Crail, Durango, Colorado would have been a much different smelling place. Decades ago, when he and his family first settled in the mountain town, he was considering two different business ventures: a chocolate shop or a car wash. Luckily, he chose chocolate, and since then, the air in Durango has carried its distinctly sweet scent. Inside the flagship shop, as well as in the hundreds of international franchises that have popped up over the years, cooks simmer caramel and fudge in hand-forged copper kettles, dipping skewered apples in the bubbling caramel and pouring the fudge onto 500-pound slabs of marble that cool it as it's shaped into 22-pound loaves.
Though they've now got a handle on efficient candy-making techniques, Frank and his early team members were hardly expert confectioners. In the beginning, all they had was a ping-pong table. Upon it, they would clumsily make too-big candy centers, which only got larger after needing several dips in chocolate to make them presentable. But now, oversize candy is one of Rocky Mountain's trademarks: two of their most popular items are the Bear, a "paw-sized concoction" of caramel, chocolate, and roasted nuts that will attack if it smells food, and the Bucket, an impossibly large peanut-butter cup with whipped filling. Shoppers can watch many of these creations being made right in-store, and satisfy their growing cravings with take-home candy packaged in decorative boxes and tins.
The professional photographers at Target Portrait Studios capture paramount moments in premier lighting with high-tech digital cameras and a choice of vivid background images. After clients discuss pose preferences with their portraitist, subjects take the stage for approximately 10 minutes of flashing bulbs, bright smiles, and focused lenses. Clients are welcome to bring props and shadow puppets from home, and after choosing a background, they can further customize each image with one of the studio's props, if desired.
Using natural ingredients and recipes derived from four generations of candy making, Hall's Confections bakes, cooks, and drizzles chocolate, peanut butter, and caramel to create a bevy of bonbons. Hall's Groupon-specific extra-large treat crate offers a candied cornucopia, including one bag of caramel corn, four squares of fudge, one package of puffed corn, one package of apple bites, four rice crispy bars, two popcorn balls, and two chocolate marshmallow pops. This symphony of sugars is safely secured from the sticky wingtips of its postal pigeon carriers in one of Hall's wooden crates, glossily adorned with cellophane and a large bow. Sweet-toothed Sallys and Simons may also opt to sample six pieces of Hall's specialty fudge, choosing between milk chocolate, rocky road, peanut butter, and pecan flavors, or stack multiple squares to create an exponentially decadent sandwich.