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.
Sweet Temptations, a sweet shop and ice-cream haven born on the summer boardwalk in 1985, serves homemade treats year-round. Ice cream mixed by resident dairy expert Ray tempts sweet teeth with 28 flavors, such as chocolate almond and french silk ($3.20+), that fill the deceptively sedate confines of a waffle cone ($0.50). Shape-shifting frozen desserts take the shape of shakes ($4+), malts ($4.50+), and sundaes ($3.50+), and ice-cream cakes and pies proffer benevolent group hypnosis. With texture variation in mind, Sweet Temptations handcrafts many-flavored caramel corn ($4+), fudge, peanut brittle, and other classic indulgences. A selection of old-fashioned candy increases cultural literacy among future aficionados and enables Proustian reveries.
The Michigan Brewers Guild wanted something very specific when it turned 15: it asked the state’s breweries to concoct a 15th-anniversary ale for its summer beer fest. Chef and home brewer Amy Sherman, host of Great American Brew Trail, went behind the scenes at the celebration, where she interviewed local breweries’ staff members about their celebratory brews. Reports like these are typical of her show, Great American Brew Trail, for which she travels to microbreweries across the country and unveils the creative and culinary processes behind beer.
Sometime around the dawn of man, a human discovered that dough is worth more when tied into intricate shapes. Fast-forward a couple millennia to the present, and you’ll find that Nautical Knots has taken the next step in pretzel innovation. Since 2001, the Grand Haven boardwalk has benefited from the skillful tying of the eatery’s pretzel knots, which come in 11 sweet and savory varieties such as asiago cheese, frosted raisin, and sesame seed. In addition to stretching the dough into traditional pretzel shapes, staffers also twist it around frankfurters to make a signature treat they call the Nauti Dog, served with reckless amounts of ketchup and mustard. The waterside stand, which is open from May to September, also loads baked potatoes with cheese, chili, and salsa, and whips up frozen strawberry and mudslide drinks that combat the summer heat nearly as well as turning off the sun.
Brewed from beans roasted onsite, a cup of joe from Magnum Coffee Roastery is always fresh. Pick up a bag of beans, ranging from medium to dark roasts from all over the world. Customers can also stop in for an espresso, tea, or the caf?'s specialty drink, the Magnum Mocha?an amalgam of coffee, chocolate, caramel, and whipped cream.