From behind a frozen granite slab, the staff of Cold Stone Creamery uses twin spatulas to blend custom servings of ice cream and creative mix-ins to fit customers? exact specifications. Founded by Donald and Susan Sutherland in 1988, Cold Stone began under the hot Arizona sun, eventually spreading its frosty fingers to encompass more than 1,400 locations worldwide. Despite the size of the company, each location?s staff keeps up the handcrafted quality, making ice cream onsite every day and using those signature spatulas to create delicious pointillist art against the freezer wall.
Tropical Smoothie Café's wholesome smoothies are filled to the gills with fresh fruit, juices, yogurt, chocolate, nuts, and healthful supplements, minimizing the crushing guilt of dessert consumption to a soft heartbeat emanating from the floorboards. Puréed potions such as pomegranate plunge (pomegranate, banana, strawberries, and cranberry; $4.79) are stuffed with super fruit, and low-fat options, such as mango magic (mango, pineapples, and non-fat yogurt; $4.29), trick gullible taste buds into believing that they are traversing a candy factory full of whipped-cream lollipops. Supercharged smoothies are stocked with a healthy dose of supplements, such as the kiwi citrus green tea's antioxidant-laden matcha charge or the muscle blaster's whey or soy protein ($4.79 each). Individual supplements can also be added to any other smoothie ($0.79 extra), boosting its magic points by +10.
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 Turbinado.
Sandwich eaters, coffee lovers, and music enthusiasts rejoice: Ashland Coffee & Tea has managed to artfully meld all three under one cozy roof. The intimate space hosts a regular lineup of musical guests every Tuesday–Sunday, showering listeners with sounds of bluegrass, folk, and jazz players, who have all vowed to never break into a cappella karaoke versions of The Macarena. Performers and guests can strike a pose with their drink mugs for a fun "mug shot" photo session. Guests can feel free to bring a book to swap for another at the on-site book exchange, or grab a sandwich, omelet, or milkshake from the café menu throughout the day. A variety of coffee drinks are also available, or sippers can build a customized tea at the stocked tea bar.
At each Moe's Southwest Grill location, the same signature three-word greeting tickles the eardrums of each diner who enters the doors: ?Welcome to Moe?s!? Inside, chefs prepare a bounty of fresh burritos, fajitas, and tacos filled with grass-fed beef, cage-free chicken, grain-fed pork, and fresh veggies. The staff caters to diets of all sorts with high-fiber guacamole, gluten-free sour cream, and hand-diced pico de gallo made in-house every day, all of which complements hormone-free meats and organic tofu. In all, they use more than 20 wholesome and often sustainably acquired ingredients?one for each subliminal but positive message in the average PSA. As a mellifluous embellishment to the ambience, a sound system plays songs solely performed by deceased artists to honor their musical legacy.
Unique Hutchinson, the owner of Jazzy Petite Treats, specializes in miniature versions of popular snacks and baked goodies. Her menu includes delicious sweets such as cookie balls, as well as cake balls and cake pops that come in 10 delectable flavors, such as carrot, red velvet, lemon dream, and coconut bliss. Her specialty Jazzy Push Pops showcase layers of moist cake interspersed with layers of frosting, which the eater can push up through a push-pop container to eat by hand.