From the street, Valley Grind's appearance hearkens back to the Wild West, its double doors and long, covered porch reminiscent of an old general store. Inside, paneled pine walls surround large wooden tables and an overstuffed leather sofa, and the sound of an espresso machine whirrs as baristas plunge the steam wand into a pitcher of milk. Foamy cappuccinos and flavored lattes only begin the menu, however. The team also blends fresh fruit into smoothies and layers bagels with cream cheese, veggies, and meats. In Valley Grind’s adjoining shop, patrons can pick up cute gifts such as candies, cards, hand towels, and other towels that only work on forearms.
Since 1986, Caribbean Coffee has been transforming fresh beans from across the globe into flavor-rich specialty coffees with their European-style roasting process. Using fair-trade-certified, organic beans, which represent the top 5% of green coffee quality, roasters extract the signature flavor of Jamaican Blue Mountain, Kenyan, Sumatra Mandheling, and other single-origin varietals. Other coffees in Caribbean Coffee’s inventory include espresso roasts, custom blends, and flavored coffees.
Since 1980, Sam's To Go's staff has been assembling sandwiches stacked high with premium deli meat and cheese. From within the K-Mart Shopping Center, they bake loaves of bread fresh every day, then pile on everything from hot pastrami to cotto salami, capicola, bologna, and cheese. The Santa Barbara?staple eatery now has four locations, several of which have outdoor tables where clients can soak up the warm sunshine and taunt birds with their ice cold beers.
Small surprises abound inside Takenoya, where ice milk tea might contain sweet bites of mango jelly and one of the sushi rolls might arrive wrapped in soybean paper or cucumber rather than traditional seaweed. Those interested in eschewing surprises can build their own bento box, which compartmentalizes their chosen meals of chicken teriyaki, nigiri, or other specialties into neat squares alongside soup, salad, and rice. Savory noodles swirl amid shrimp tempura in the nabeyaki udon, one of several noodle dishes. The menu also includes traditional plates such as pork katsu, japanese curries, and korean short ribs.
The elaborate sushi listings showcase more than 25 signature rolls. The spicy tempura-lobster roll nestles its namesake ingredient against cucumber, avocado, sprouts, and smelt egg, whereas the summer fresh roll cocoons tuna, salmon, and yellowtail inside a cucumber shell. Four types of box sushi are prepared with a pressing box, which molds each bite into a tiny cube.
The dough wizards at Papa John's hand toss circular masterpieces with original and thin crusts made from high-protein flour to support warm bouquets of toppings. Hand-cut produce crowns all of Papa John's pizzas, mingling with the sun-soaked sweetness of sauce made from fresh, California-grown tomatoes. By adhering to its brand promise of "better ingredients, better pizza," Papa John's grew from a back-tavern pizzeria into more than 3,500 restaurants within three decades' time, or the amount of time it takes to grow a single pizzeria from a small seed.