Offering flavors containing two grams of fat or fewer, Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt showers customers with a slew of healthy dessert options that scoop and customize for themselves. Rows of self-serve machines wait for inquisitive hands to release an eclectic mix of flavors—such as vanilla, brownie batter, eggnog, chocolate mint, and gingerbread—into waiting cups below. Customers become maestros at work as they conduct a symphony of sweet and candied toppings, dusting heaps of soft-serve with wisps of coconut, mochi, or cocoa pebbles. After finishing their masterpieces, customers can decamp to seating set between the shop's neon-lime walls to eat away, read over the detailed nutritional information of their favorite flavors, and build replicas of the Sydney Opera House out of discarded spoons.
Hungry Howie's grew into a nation-spanning franchise from a humble start in Taylor, Michigan in 1973, when founder Jim Hearn converted a hamburger stand into a pizzeria. With the help of business partner Steve Jackson––who started as a delivery man at the original location––the two men franchised a decade later and began expanding their delicious operation, eventually expanding to nearly 600 locations spread across 24 states in the 3rd dimension alone. Winner of Pizza Today magazine's Chain of the Year award in 2004, Hungry Howie's continues to earn the most attention for its specialty flavored crust pizzas––which infuse dough with a choice of eight seasonings such as ranch or garlic herb––as well as zesty pizza accompaniments such as oven-baked meatball and chicken parm subs.
The maritime chefs at Crab King of Augusta populate their savory menu with fresh seafood and a celebrated garlic dipping sauce. Start off with 1- or 2-pounds of shrimp bathed in steam and seasoning blends, recalling a jacuzzi party hosted by Mrs. Dash. Toothsome morsels of bacon-wrapped scallops and fried oysters infiltrate muzzles after increasing their allure with a bath in Crab King's signature garlic dipping sauce. Tea and soft drinks add refreshment throughout the meal, while a pair or quartet of Sara Lee strawberry shortcake cups provides a better finale than eating a The Cosby Show season eight boxed set.
Armed with just a single, generations-old cookie recipe, Great American Cookies opened its first store in 1977, and the rest is history. Today, the franchise boasts locations in malls across the country and nabbed a coveted spot on Entrepreneur magazine’s 2012 list of Top 500 Franchises in the baked-goods category. The shop’s reputation grew, and so did its menu as chefs churned out a mouthwatering roster of gourmet-cookie recipes, each created and carefully tested in Atlanta. The tempting options now include snickerdoodle, peanut butter with M&M’s, and chewy pecan supreme, as well as freshly baked fudge and cheesecake brownies and cookie sandwiches stuffed with frosting. The real showstoppers, however, are the giant chocolate-chip cookie cakes, which can be customized with sweet, celebratory messages or shopping lists penned in colorful icing.