Nestled in Homewood, Meat and Three Cafeteria keeps American culinary traditions alive with home-cooked comfort food for customers either dining in or just passing through. Just as a dining-room table hosts different portions for all tastes, the menu features an array of country-style meats and vegetarian-friendly sides from which patrons can customize their own platters. Dishes such as beef tips, chicken and dumplings, and fried catfish join steaming servings of sautéed squash, fried okra, or yams, and desserts such as fresh pecan pie keep sweet teeth from storming out of their gums in envy.
Salsarita's swiftly serves a spicy sea of Mexican dishes, with a myriad of fresh ingredients available to customize any meal. Peruse the menu in search of an ideal south-of-the-border entree, such as a bodacious burrito ($4.59–$5.59 for a small or $5.99–$6.99 for a large) or a tantalizing taco ($1.99–$2.49). Fusion-minded food-lovers can try one of Salsarita's pizzas ($5.49) of the taco, vegetarian, white, or BBQ variety. Sides such as chips and guacamole ($2.59) sidle up to non-tortilla options such as nachos ($5.99–$6.99) or taco salads ($4.99–$6.99), a dish born when a claustrophobic bunch of lettuce refused to climb into the overcrowded taco shell.
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 honey and Turbinado.
TCBY (a.k.a. The Country's Best Yogurt) serves 96% fat-free yogurt, which contains benevolent bacterial cultures that assist the body with digestion and nutrient absorption. The Pelham location's menu touts silky soft serve in flavors such as golden vanilla and white-chocolate mousse ($1.99–$4.19). Top your probiotic-packed treat with strawberries, gummy bears, coconuts, or a host of other toppings ($0.69–$0.99). TCBY's Beriyo smoothies—potent potions such as Strawberry Bananza and Berrylicious—contain real-dairy frozen yogurt blended with bushels of fresh fruit ($4.49–$5.49). Celebrate successfully evading a baby raincloud with a hand-scooped traditional sundae ($4.39–$4.59). Prices and selection vary from store to store.
Tutti Frutti’s self-serve yogurt ($0.45 per ounce) represents a healthy and delectable alternative to heavy ice cream and deep-fried sticks of butter. Get your fruit fix with tart flavors such as pomegranate, acai berry, and the aromatic lychee, or opt for something on the creamy side. Cappuccino diehards will scramble to sample its yogurt counterpart, and pistachio’s distinctive flavor will bring back memories of that magical summer spent toiling on a Turkmenistan pistachio farm. Finally, adorn your edible artwork with a sprinkling of 50 toppings. Health nuts can keep it ab-tastic with fresh mango and blueberries, and others can turn their yogurt into a breakfast fit for hours of Looney Tunes cartoons with Fruity Pebbles and cookies. More experimental appetites, meanwhile, can transform their yogurt into a battlefield where chocolate chips do battle with their natural enemy, coconut. And if just the thought of combining pineapple and almonds on top of strawberry-cheesecake frogurt freezes your brain, sugar-free and dairy-free options are also available.
Baker Jan Moon cut her teeth at kitchen stints at both Southern Living and Cooking Light before launching Dreamcakes. Her creative icing-laced confections ($3 per cupcake) are a step up from basic vanilla. Try the bananas foster, a banana cake base pounded with heavy old-fashioned caramel frosting and dripping with caramel drizzle. Coconut fans appreciate the almond joy, a white velvet cake injected with coconut crème filling, covered in coconut frosting and liberally laced in chocolate drizzle with an almond on top. Other selections including a candy-covered banana split, choc-o-cherry, and cinnamon sugar mama. See the complete menu here.