Choux Designer Cakes & Pastries combines sweet-tooth-sating flavors with upscale, custom pastry design. Using only high-class ingredients such as Belgian chocolate, pure vanilla, and imported Swiss fondant, Choux's chefs handcraft each cupcake and dispense them by the flavor-full according to the customer's verbal request or series of oversized cue cards. Indulge cravings with a chocolate cupcake topped with gooey vanilla frosting, or rest chins comfortably in a pillowy-pink patisserie.
At Hala Cafe and Bakery, chefs whip up a selection of Turkish and Middle Eastern eats, including falafel plates, kabobs, and a number of hummus-based dishes. The menu features buffet options, as well as house specialties, such as the shawarma plate–sliced and marinated lamb or chicken, served on a bed of fresh parsley and onion and topped with tahini sauce.
At Cold Flame, nearly 30 flavors of gelato climb aboard spoons or slide through straws in the form of thick milk shakes, while bites of brownies and cakes provide warmer sustenance. A punch card gets patrons five visits to the dessertery, where they can spend up to $5 each time on treats as sweet as a teddy bear riding a miniature horse. Chocolate, coconut, or tahitian-vanilla-gelato shakes swathe taste buds with rich, creamy flavor ($4.99), and lemon or mango sherbet quells fruit cravings. The selection of gelato flavors rotates, so italian pistachio gets its share of the limelight and tabloid interviews before giving way to cookies and cream or dutch fudge. Sweet-seekers chat while seated upon blond wood chairs at round silver tables, and icy blue walls add visual accent to slices of cake or brownies ($5.49/slice or square).
Just Fitness 4 U Jacksonville has equipped its three locations with myriad machines, amenities, and classes. Its group fitness classes shake up fitness routines as instructors model Zumba's Latin-inspired dance moves to the thudding base of global party hits and Hot Hula classes get hips swiveling to island rhythms.
The Baymeadows location's cardio equipment is equipped with cooling fans and personal screens that show high-definition cable TV. Guests also can refresh at the smoothie bar, pump up their muscles on Star Trac and FreeMotion strength-training equipment, and furiously peddle while admiring a vibrant graffiti-style mural by a local artist in the cycling room. Plush leather couches and a waterfall welcome members to the Mandarin location, whereas the Southside location summons guests to watch movies and chase after screen villains atop Cybex equipment.
All three locations entertain exercisers with either Cardio Theater equipment or a cardio cinema. The staff screens action-packed flicks such as Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, Man on Fire, and Avatar and promises not to weep openly during the emotional scenes.
Family owned and operated, Flippin' Good Cookies sates confectionary cravings with its selection of colossal cookies. Each sweetmeat weighs in at two ounces and comes in five traditional varieties, such as oatmeal brickle raisin, Southern pecan caramel, and chippy chocolate toffee, which mingles semi-sweet chocolate chunks with gregarious gobs of toffee and a saccharine buzz of espresso. Indecisive sweet teeth can craft a delectable dozen of assorted cookies, and eco-conscious chompers may request environmentally friendly packaging to help Mother Nature tidy up after last night's interstellar rager.
Chef Thomas blends fresh, local produce and spices into colorful, stick-centered concoctions ready to greet taste buds in need of flavorful resuscitation. Achieve brain freeze without embarrassing yourself on Jeopardy by exploring chilly inventions ($3.50) such as the popular pineapple cilantro or an oxymoron-inspired frozen mexican hot-chocolate pop with cocoa, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper. The Banilla Vanana captures pureed bananas in a Madagascar-vanilla embrace, and the refreshing cucumber-lemon-mint pop gives summer heat an elegantly cold shoulder. Chef Thomas flash-freezes his amalgamations in less than 20 minutes, giving the popsicles a smoother, softer texture. These icy indulgences pack a variety of vitamins, making them a far healthier snack alternative to butter on a stick and cheeseburger-ice-cream sandwiches.
Substituting fat for more healthful probiotics, Yobe refreshes taste buds with guilt-free spoonfuls of all-natural self-serve yogurt. Made with organic milk, real fruit, and no artificial sweeteners, each ounce of yogurt packs just 25 calories, letting diet-conscious taste-testers engorge stomachs while tightening belts. The shops' soft-serve machines dish out 31 classic and exotic flavors such as açaí berry, passion fruit, lychee, and vanilla ($0.49/oz). After piling bowls high with toppings, such as fresh banana, kiwi, pineapple, or m&ms, cookie dough, or peanut-butter cups, tone-deaf taste buds find themselves serenading incisors with John Fogerty lyrics.