Cold Stone's ice cream, made fresh in stores every day, inhabits a quantum flux between soft-serve and traditional ice cream, with a rich, creamy texture that whispers tales of its super-premium quality as it glides over taste buds. The ice cream generously welcomes dozens of toppings, as traditional as crumbled cookies and chopped nuts or as quirky as granola and black licorice. Choose your favorite ice cream from among dozens of silky flavors, such as Irish cream and butter pecan. Then make certain no one will try and steal a taste by topping it protectively with brownies, gumballs, and cherry pie filling. Whatever Frankencream you create, it'll be scooped cold off the grill into a freshly made waffle cone or bowl. Cold Stone's ice cream and toppings vary between seasons and location, and they also offer sorbet and an array of lighter toppings such as fruit and honey. Ice-cream creations run between $4 and $6, depending on size.
Great Harvest’s breads, which are baked with premium whole wheat, come in many flavors that change daily. Customers can nuzzle with a delicately sweet loaf of honey whole wheat any day Monday–Saturday, or make playful puckering faces at the artisan European sourdough any day Tuesday–Saturday. Win over a paperclip-stealing office mate by picking up a soft bundle of cinnamon chip bread to share before work on a Monday, Wednesday, or Friday. On most days of the week, gluten-free loaves are also available. For those preferring breaded delights that are easily juggled, ogle a variety of muffins, scones, and tea cakes. Creative connoisseurs can stop by the Palomar location to top their choice of bread with premium sandwich meats and veggies ($3.60–$4.90 for a half sandwich, $6.40–$7.95 for a whole).
To Dan Kim, a red mango is something truly special. The fruit only becomes that color for a very brief time, when it's most ripe, most delicious, and most nutritious. This became an allegory for Dan, a frozen yogurt enthusiast, who was conceptualizing his first yogurt shop. He opened the first location in 2007, vowing to use all-natural ingredients that, like the red mango, are both tasty and healthy. His commitment to conscientious snacking certainly caught on, as the brand has since expanded to more than 200 locations throughout North and South America. In 2011, Red Mango took top honors for frozen yogurt shops and for healthy options in a Zagat poll.
In addition to being all-natural, Red Mango's award-winning yogurt satisfies a range of diets by being gluten-free, kosher, and low-fat or non-fat. Each of the nearly 50 flavors, which range from green tea to dulce de leche, contains calcium, protein, and immune-boosting probiotics. Depending on the location, people can serve themselves or order from the full-service counter as they concoct sundaes crowned with anything from fresh fruit to peanut butter cups. The menu includes more than just fro-yo sundaes, however—it also features yogurt parfaits, Skinny Sorbettos, and fruit or boba smoothies. In addition to developing secret handshakes with their favorite yogurt taps, regular visitors can sign up for the Club Mango rewards program to receive special offers and discounts.
Brides to be know that beauty is in the details; that’s why for the last quarter of a century, affianced women have come knocking at the door of Mondelli's Bakeshop where an experienced cake decorator meets bridal clients’ specifications with carefully applied swirls of icing and frosted flowers. Besides custom-cake appointments, the bakers put their attention to detail to use by stocking up the bakery counter with specialty breads, iced cookies, and the shop’s popular chocolate-sundae cake. Bakers also craft an array of donuts and pastries that are rolled, cut, fried, and iced by hand, allowing clients to bite into still-warm treats without consuming them during steamy morning showers.
With a dexterous whirl of her hand, a staffer fills a cup with a soft swirl of frozen yogurt that curls into a perfectly formed peak. After festooning the icy treat with a smattering of cookie crumbs and chocolate chips, she hands the cup over to its owner, who eagerly begins excavating the frosty treat.
This scenario plays out daily at I Can't Believe It's Yogurt, where champions of healthy dessert sling frozen yogurt in a multitude of flavors, as well as low-fat, no-added-sugar, and nonfat varieties. The signature soft-serve can be wolfed down unadorned or bedecked with an assortment of toppings, including fresh fruits and hand-polished sprinkles.