So established is Circle K that even brand-new vehicles recognize what its red-and-white logo stands for—fuel, snacks, and everything else a car might need to keep powering down the road with its driver. Circle K's story starts back in 1951, when Fred Hervey bought three Kay's Food Stores in El Paso, Texas. Under his guidance, these three little shops grew into the more than 3,000 convenience stores that crouch on our nation's street corners today.
After rolling up to a Circle K, drivers can pump their faithful roadsters full of high-octane fuel and send them skipping through a car wash to experience the cleansing touch of Blue Coral Beyond Green and Rain-X products. Then it's time to step inside the air-conditioned shop for a peek at the provisions. Rows of sodas hibernate behind glass doors, and snacks, candy, and their ATM guardians stand boldly out in the open. Some Circle Ks also offer the Take Away Café, which presents an appetizing lineup of healthy road fare including Ball Park hot dogs. Drivers can gear up for a long drive with Premium Coffees or enjoy a cold Polar Pop, whose specially formulated cup keeps drinks colder thanks to the family of tiny snowmen trapped in its foam walls.
As the proud, busy parents of three young boys, Kang and Mary Nhin know that eating dinner as a family can be a challenge. So they created Nhinja Sushi and Wok, a casual, kid-friendly setting where the service is fast and the menu includes healthy options. As children don a Nhinja mask cutout and sketch the daily Dow Jones chart on a coloring sheet, families dig into spicy tuna rolls or stir-fried Hunan Garden shrimp. The food blog Dishin & Dishes lauded the restaurant for offering the option to order sushi and entrees made with brown rice.
The family-centric vibe even extends to the restaurant's orange walls, which are decorated with artwork of the owners' children. Careful not to neglect fully grown eyeballs, they have also filled the space with futuristic white chairs, tables, and booths accentuated by the pops of bright pink, turquoise, purple, and lime green.
A member of the Drycleaning & Laundry Institute, Legacy Cleaners and Laundry harbors a slew of cleaning techniques that help extract stains and grime from garments. For laundry services, customers can forage closets and or pilfer a tailor’s piñata for clothes such as shirts ($2.25) and pants ($5.25), which the staff will clean and drape on hangers. Alternately, dry-cleaning machines sidestep water to vanquish wrinkles from sweaters ($5.25) and men's or women's suits ($9.25+). Clients can spruce up bedclothes without overworking washing machines or novelty-size toothbrushes with comforter cleaning ($35+).
Behind the counter at Top That! Pizza, a colorful collection of more than 30 toppings, 10 cheeses, and 8 sauces await each pizza-lover’s creativity. They first pick from three crusts, including honey wheat, then choose sauces such as Thai peanut and basil pesto to adorn their personal-sized pies. Lastly, they select from locally sourced toppings such as marinated ribeye, Polish sausage, and applewood bacon, as well as regional cheeses including asiago and gorgonzola, before their creation is baked to a golden crisp in just three minutes. Customers can then sit down to enjoy their customized pie at the restaurant, or take it home. It’s the concept of combining choice, quality, and speed come to fruition that Top That’s creators envisioned years ago. Today, locations stretch across Oklahoma, Texas, and Colorado, and menus make room for baked dishes such as chicken alfredo and meatball marinara.
While the walls’ crimson mosaic tiles glitter in the sunlight that filters in through large windows, CherryBerry’s guests pump out rotating flavors of frozen yogurt and lounge on puffy, mod-style furniture. With each creamy bite, it becomes more evident that the yogurt was made from all-natural ingredients: the strawberry contains tiny chunks of fruit, and the chocolate’s rich flavor could never have come from a powdered mix.
With more than 50 fruit, nut, and candy options overflowing from its bins and canisters, the topping bar plays home to fresh berries and healthful granola as well as candy-coated chocolates and sprinkles. Like a tag-team dance-off at the U.N., the yogurt itself features four types of live and active cultures, all of which aid in digestion. Low-fat, fat-free, and gluten-free flavors abound, as do sorbet options with no dairy and Splenda-sweetened yogurts with no added sugar.
In addition to celebrating its four-year anniversary, Berri Licious also celebrates freedom from hormones, pesticides, and gluten with sweet, vibrant bursts of frozen yogurt. A rotating lineup of flavors teems with live active cultures. Red velvet and Cinna-bun simulate the comforting flavors of baked goods, and cantaloupe and watermelon conjure memories of summertime picnics and supermarket-aisle bowling tournaments. Free of fat and packed with calcium, most varieties help to whittle waistlines and build strong bones. An assortment of candies, nuts, and fruits adds color and crunch to the shop’s creamy swirls. Snackers can also indulge in decadent coffee drinks such as caramel macchiatos and lattes.